Understanding data centers
Data Centers are beneficial to businesses large and small, and have been around for as long as computers themselves. There are more than 500,000 data centers worldwide, covering enough square footage to fit over 5,500 football fields. The largest (and most eco-friendly, running exclusively on renewable energy) data center in the world is located in Tahoe Reno, Nevada, and covers 7.2 million square feet. Construction on data centers continues to grow by 21 percent annually, as they are crucial in this technological world.
What is a data center?
A data center is a facility that houses many networked computers that can be used for numerous applications like running websites, maintaining emails, tracking bank account deposits/withdrawals and more. “Data centers provide physically secure facilities to house clients’ equipment, provide power to run that equipment, and internet to connect the equipment online,” says Jeremy Keefe, Director of Operations of Frontier IT.
Headquartered right here in Colorado Springs is our sister company Springs Hosting – a leading Hosting Service Provider (HSP) and Data Center (DC). Since 2006, our Springs Hosting team has been providing customers with best in class managed services that include colocation, internet service provider (ISP), cloud services provider (CSP), disaster recovery as a service (DRAAS), website and email hosting.
Onsite vs. offsite data centers
Some businesses may be tempted to have an onsite data center, but they can be very expensive to run, and there are many factors involved in proper operation. Offsite data centers, on the other hand, reduce capital expenditure, provide proper heating and cooling, offer better risk management, meet compliance standards, and are located in areas protected against natural disasters — with cutting edge security and disaster recovery services. Springs Hosting’s Data Center, for example, boasts an extensive list of certifications to meet customer requirements that include SSAE16 Type II Compliant, HIPAA Compliant, PCI Compliant, and UL Listed [UL827]. “Even companies like Facebook and Google have data centers offsite, not connected to any corporate offices,” says Kelly Karnetsky, Director of Marketing at Frontier IT.
Virtualization and cloud computing
Data centers open up more opportunities than ever before. In the past, servers have been used for one application, leaving unused resources. Today, those same servers have virtualization technology, allowing multiple virtual servers to run on the same physical server. “You can now take a full rack of physical servers and compress them down into just a few,” says Jeremy Keefe.
The virtualization technology also extends ample opportunity for cloud computing. The servers are always on, and have multiple fast connections to the internet; so if a business has more than one location, having shared files, applications, databases, etc., in one place allows for better and more reliable accessibility. Employees will always have the latest version of files and applications, and collaboration is more streamlined and efficient.
Data center management
Though data center employees maintain the overall data center, clients maintain their own equipment, and are even provided with “remote hands” to power cycle equipment and unplug cables if needed. Data centers also have DCIM software, which shows the utilization of rack, power being used, bandwidth and other network data. Optimization is the key word when it comes to data centers, and when a business’ technology is optimized, so too can be its productivity.
To learn more about how a data center can benefit your business, call Frontier IT at 719-888-4357. If you’re looking for colocation call Springs Hosting at 719-393-9266.