Storing data and keeping it secure should be a top priority for any organization. Unfortunately, finding a solution to this issue can be difficult. Many organizations lack the technical expertise or infrastructure to manage their own servers, or they may wish to have backups elsewhere even if they store information on the premises. Data centers offer storage and infrastructure to keep your information safe and available whenever you need it.
The modern world is based on data, with businesses and individuals creating more every day. Data centers provide a secure location for this information. While there is variation across the industry, these facilities have some core components in common. Data centers also come in different types, meaning that you’re sure to find one that fits your organization.
Why Are Data Centers Important?
Organizations and individuals produce massive amounts of data every day. In fact, they created 97 zettabytes worth of data in 2022 alone. Data of this magnitude would be impossible to compute on standard PC networks. They simply lack the power that modern businesses require to achieve daily business goals.
That’s where partnering with a data center facility comes in. The modern data center is a crucial resource for daily operations, providing much-needed:
- Storage systems to share, access, and process data
- Physical infrastructure to support data communication and processing
- Utilities to power, cool, and provide network access
By housing these resources, data center infrastructure supports nearly every aspect of modern organizations’ data storage, computation, and applications. To put it another way, if an organization needs a computer to complete a task, there’s a data center somewhere making it possible.
Data Center Components
The components of a data center can vary. However, there are certain core components that make up data center infrastructure. Whether the data center is for cloud computing or an on-premises data center, the following core components should be there.
Facilities are the physical space where data center equipment is housed. They are ideally located in areas where there is a low risk of natural disaster so your information remains safe. For example, TenHats’ data center facility is located in Knoxville, TN, due to the area’s low environmental risk, sustainable energy, and secure power grid.
Learn about the importance of data center resiliency!
Data storage and other essential components are located inside the facility. This can include:
- Networking switches
- Physical racks
- Storage subsystems
This equipment and software provide a secure place to keep your data. They also facilitate access and movement of your organization’s data. For example, those with approved access can view, process, and share information as needed. On the other hand, those without access are blocked from the information so that your data remains safe.
Support infrastructure is the equipment that keeps the data center up and running. This is measured in uptime, which is the percentage of time a data center is operational.
Common support infrastructure for data centers includes uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) in the form of:
- Battery packs
- Redundant power sources
Physical security helps ensure that data centers stay up and running by preventing unauthorized access to the facility. Many data centers will have:
- 24/7 armed guards
- Video surveillance
- Biometric access scanners
Environment controls are another important part of support infrastructure. This includes:
- Heating and ventilation
- Cooling systems
- Temperature monitoring
Cooling systems also play an important role in the sustainability of data centers. At TenHats, we use the latest in chiller technology to keep our operating costs low. This in turn allows us to keep the cost of using our data center low.
Learn how the data center tier system can help you choose a data center with the highest uptime possible.
Types of Data Centers
Data centers safely store your data and allow you to reliably retrieve it whenever needed. But that doesn’t mean they’re all the same. Businesses have different goals and needs, so a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. Fortunately, there are different types of data centers you can choose from to provide your business with the best fit.
Enterprise Data Centers
Enterprise data centers are owned and built by the organizations that use them. They are proprietary and only intended to be used internally by authorized employees. These data centers can be located on or off premises, supporting the IT goals and applications of the owning organization.
Colocation Data Centers
A colocation data center, or a colo for short, houses rental space that’s owned by third-party users. An organization will provide hardware such as:
The data center provider then supplies the:
- Security systems
These data centers are ideal for organizations that don’t want to spend a lot of money on an enterprise data center. However, they still get many of the benefits of organizations that do, including improved security, connectivity, and room for growth.
Cloud-Based Data Centers
Cloud data centers are located off-site and run by a third party or a public cloud provider. Google Cloud is a popular example of this type of data center. They offer an infrastructure-as-a-service model, leasing their infrastructure to customers for access to their cloud services. Without the help of an IT provider, cloud-based data centers are less customizable than others, but they provide a good start to small organizations with low-security risk.
Managed Services Data Centers
Under the managed services model, data centers are maintained by third parties to provide data storage and computing services. Unlike colocation data centers where organizations own their hardware and rent space, managed service data centers allow organizations to lease services and infrastructure rather than buying it themselves. This makes managed service providers a one-stop shop for all of their IT support needs.
Edge Data Centers
These data centers are designed to solve the lag problem that occurs when an organization is geographically far away from its data center. To solve this, edge data centers are much smaller facilities, allowing them to be closer to the edge of networks and data sources to reduce lag. Other types of data centers may also serve as edge data centers.
Hyperscale Data Centers
Hyperscale data centers maximize their hardware density while reducing the cost of administrative cooling and overhead. They are associated with large-scale data center operators such as Google, Meta, and Amazon.
Are you ready to see the difference a data center can make for your business? Contact us today to start a conversation!
Businesses and individuals create tons of data every day that needs to be stored safely and securely. Data centers are where this information is kept, forming the backbone of the modern world. These facilities share certain core components, although there is great variety. Data centers come in different types to help serve the different organizations in need of their services.
In 2016, TenHats built the region’s first purpose-built colocation data center in over 20 years. Located in Knoxville, TN, our data center can serve any organization in East Tennessee and beyond. With our team’s IT experience, we provide a lot more than simply protected data. When you call us, you talk to a real IT expert. Connect with our team about our data center today!