In a highly digitized post-pandemic world, data centres power modern businesses by enhancing efficiency and productivity. Data centres leveraged by managed services providers and corporations are modern marvels that feature cutting-edge high-density servers and revolutionary cooling systems.
In recent years, data centres have evolved significantly and will continue to do so. What started with proprietary mainframes on on-premise servers have grown into the cloud, hybrid cloud, and cloud-native infrastructures.
The sheer demand for d cloud computing and data storage has made a wide range of services accessible to everyone from the smallest start-ups to multinationals that demand state-of-the-art enterprise infrastructure.
But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s define it.
What Is a Data Centre?
A data centre is a facility that helps organisations centralise their shared IT operations and equipment to process, store, and disseminate data and applications.
As a company’s most valuable (and critical proprietary) digital assets are housed in data centres, they are located in highly secure and often impenetrable structures.
A few years ago, data centres were traditionally on-premise physical servers. With the emergence of cloud computing, they’ve evolved to host virtual networks that support applications and workloads across on-premise and multi-cloud environments.
What Are the Key Components of a Data Centre?
The primary components that make up a modern data centre differ significantly, based on the business model. For example, a public cloud services provider will have a different infrastructure and security requirements than a data centre hosting a private cloud on-premise (like one in a highly regulated industry like banking and finance).
The most popular data centre models are as follows:
- Cloud data centres (like those used by Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud)
- Colocation data centres (where businesses rent space within a facility located off-premise)
- Enterprise data centres (owned by companies, housed on-campus, and optimised for the end-user)
- Managed services data centres (operated by managed services providers who allow companies to lease the hardware instead of buying it)
Since these facilities house business-critical data and applications, they’ll be able to withstand physical intrusions, cyberattacks, and natural disasters.
Standard components found is data centres are as follows:
- Computing resources (like servers that enable processing, memory, local storage, and network connectivity)
- Environmental control (to allow cooling, heating, and ventilation supported by exhaust systems)
- Network infrastructure (both physical and virtualized to enable essential services like external connectivity to end-user locations)
- Physical and virtual security systems (like biometrics, CCTV video surveillance systems, and encryption technologies)
- Storage infrastructure (to house its most valuable commodity—data)
- Support infrastructure (with equipment to ensure the highest availability possible or uptime)
- Uninterruptible Power Sources (like battery banks, generators, and redundant power sources)
What Is the Purpose of a Data Centre?
Data centres are at the heart of digitally transformed enterprises. These facilities are designed to support big data and analytics, email platforms, high-volume e-commerce platforms, data storage, management protocols, and backup and recovery systems.
These facilities also support cutting-edge artificial intelligence and machine learning applications used by many businesses and government agencies.
As enterprise demands grow exponentially, data centre infrastructure will continue to move off-premise into virtualised environments that support multiple workloads and applications across pools of physical infrastructure and multi-cloud environments.
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