That is the reason businesses - nowadays - rely on digital services to serve customers. In fact, they are so digital-driven and data-driven to a point that digital outages cost them their reputation and hefty revenues.This raises the question: what is the foundation of this digital-driven world that makes everyone’s lives easier every day? The answer: data centers.
Data centers (also known asweb server farms) form the backbone of the modern Internet. After all, these data centers send and receive a humongous amount of data every second to meet the demands of the digital-age people. In fact, “every second, 2.8 million emails are sent, 30,000 phrases are Googled and 600 updates are tweeted. The amount of data uploaded to the Internet in a single second is a staggering 24,000 gigabytes,
” according to Data Matter: Architecture for Non-Humans
.What is adata center?
A data center
is a physical facility housing computing, networking, and storage equipment that provide uninterrupted access to humongous amounts of apps and data. Its infrastructure ensures high availability and security of applications and data, thus facilitating fast and secure access to the Internet.
In the last decade, data consumption increased exponentially - primarily due to the rising demand for videos. Consequently, there was a need to increase the processing power and storage options to cater to this ever-growing demand for data.
As a result, data centers grew big enough to host thousands of servers networked together to facilitate the demands for the fast Internet. These servers can do and serve a host of functions like running websites, managing instant messaging systems, streaming digital payment transactions, and a lot more.Different types of data centers
There are different types of data centers based on various factors such as their technology, processing power of the facility, number of owners, etc. In the last decade, data centers have evolved from simple on-site equipment housing to present-day massive systems that interconnect on-site resources with cloud infrastructure. With that said, there are primarily four types of data centers:Enterprise data centers
Enterprise data centers are constructed, maintained, and operated by a company or organisation for in-house usage or enhancing the experience of their users. These consist of multiple centers of thousands of computing and storage devices with each center responsible for sustaining a key function.
These data centers are further classified into three types: intranet, extranet, and internet. Intranet data centers host the infrastructure for apps and services for the company or organisation. Extranet data centers host the infrastructure for business transactions over VPN. Last but important, internet data centers host the public infrastructure responsible for providing web services to the public.Colocation data centers
Colocation data centers - also called colos - are shared physical facilities that allow companies to rent spaces for hosting their own computing and storage infrastructure. The data center takes care of the basic infrastructure like power, cooling systems, raised flooring, etc. while the tenant companies pay for their computing servers and related infrastructure. These can be compared to cowork spaces that allow affordable office spaces for freelancers as well as businesses.Managed service data centers
Managed service data centers - like colocation data centers - are managed by third-parties for a company or organisation. These data centers are deployed, managed, and monitored by third-party providers to service small businesses. These provide all features of standard data centers while allowing partial to complete control to the customers (businesses opting for these data centers).Cloud data centers
Cloud data centers are another type of off-premise data centers. In these data centers, a cloud service provider offers and manages computing, networking, and storage services for their client businesses. These data centers generally power software-as-a-service products. There are many cloud service providers including popular ones like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, etc.Summing Up
Data centers, even if in the background, have become an integral part of our digital lives, allowing us to access information instantaneously, connect with the world in seconds, and share large amounts of data constantly.They have evolved from on-site infrastructure to cloud-based computing and storage systems. And last but most important, they are ever-evolving to meet the ever increasing digital demands of the digitally connected world.