The way people work has been evolving since the invention of the Internet. Today, many employees’ entire workday involves accessing and being connected to the Internet. Always maintaining a connection to the applications and network systems is vital.
Every day, people are utilizing and accessing virtual conference rooms, online databases, and various forms of digital media to accomplish a range of tasks. All of these applications that people use to be productive come from a specific location that is accessible to authorized users. These specific locations that provide stable connectivity are called data centers.
Data Centers: Defined
The definition of a data center has also evolved over time. Essentially, a data center is a centralized location where system networks and computing devices allow for the gathering, transmitting, storage and dissemination of data for a range of public and private entities. A data center houses all the components to allow users to access and transmit data, as well as provide storage and security measures to keep the systems and applications secure.
Common systems that are found in data centers include:
- Data Management Systems
- Networking Services
- Data Storage Components
- Backup and Recovery Systems
- Network Security Applications
In order for a data center to run efficiently, they must use a multitude of collaborative parts. These parts can be firewalls, switches, networking systems and routers. The data centers also house physical components used to organize and maintain the network equipment. Just some of these items are: racks, cables, backup generators, uninterrupted power supplies, and cooling and ventilation systems.
A Brief History of Data Centers
In the past, data centers were smaller and typically located in-house at a business. The components and systems were in an IT closet or small room for small to medium-sized businesses, and large warehouses for bigger corporations and operations. Data centers for businesses today are not necessarily located in one central location.
When designing a data center in current times, the physical size of the location is not typically taken into consideration. Instead, data center infrastructure is designed based on a tiered system that adheres to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) regulations.
- Tier 1: Basic Infrastructure
- Tier 2: Redundant-Capacity
- Tier 3: Concurrently Maintained
- Tier 4: Fault Tolerant
Tier 1 data centers are the lowest certification, where there are no redundant-capacity components and only single capacity components. Each level going up offers more system protection and redundant-capacity components.
As technology changed, virtualized infrastructures have taken form for data centers. They use multi-cloud environments as well as multiple server farms that can be located anywhere across the country and around the world.
Keeping Your Employees Connected
There are many types of data centers that businesses use to keep their employees connected. Enterprise data centers are usually built, owned, and maintained by the company who will be exclusively using the system. There are also data centers that will be managed by a third-party vendor as they may provide a range of additional services.
Other types of data centers include cloud data and co-location. Cloud data centers are hosted by cloud service providers and have become popular for the past decade, as these off-campus data centers can keep costs low for both big and small business operations. If a company is looking to rent space to have their network systems and applications located off-site, they may hire a co-location data center that will hold the systems as the business itself will maintain and manage all the data center components.
Your business doesn’t have time for connectivity issues. A company can experience downtime if their bandwidth connection is unreliable or if they must deal with usage limits. Here at PS Lightwave, we keep your company productive and your employees connected. We offer all-fiber-optic networks throughout the Greater Houston area that are scaled to the customers’ needs. Whether they are public or private entities, they can always maintain a high quality connection to the data, applications and network systems they need with the redundancy that is required. For more information, speak with our representatives today.
In fact, we now have our own data center, LightHouse. Learn more about LightHouse and other data centers that PS Lighwave works closely with.