If employees are the heart of any business, then you can think of the data centre as the brain. As the name suggests, these facilities also store and analyze any data relevant to the organization and they generally contain the systems critical to everyday operations. There are basically two kinds of data centres—enterprise and internet-facing. The key difference between the two is how many users and applications they support. Regardless of type, the security and reliability of an organization’s data centre is of utmost importance.
Modern data centres have changed significantly from those that existed just a decade ago. Rather than relying purely on physical buildings and hardware solutions, current data centers often involve virtualized data processors and infrastructure that can support applications across a variety of different locations. These centres are incredibly important for running activities related to modern AI solutions, machine learning, planning, customer service, file sharing, and more.
The three most important components to any data center are as follows:
- Storage systems
- Data infrastructure
- Computing resources
Network infrastructure includes servers, routers, switches, and data for running applications. These are all necessary for connectivity to outside users. Storage systems are needed to hold data for future use. Without such systems, everything else would fail. Computing resources are used to run all of an organization’s applications. This includes processing, memory, local activities, network connectivity, and all other functions needed for normal operations.
While some aspects of a data center can be virtualized, large organizations will likely need multiple data centres in different regions for maximum efficiency. This gives more options for backing up data and protecting against unforeseen events. In fact, there are so many options for building a physical data center that it can be one of the more difficult choices an organization makes.
An organization’s data centres need to be built around the organization’s goals. For example, a business that needs continuous operation will need to build multiple data centres to protect against full outages. These centres would be exact copies of each other so that one could be entirely shut down if needed while the other(s) continued to operate. A smaller business, or one that simply doesn’t need continuous operation, could have one main data center for operations and back up the data on outside devices as needed. There are standard specifications for each type of data center, and needs are determined by the scope of the organization.
With the rising popularity of cloud technology, the way organizations store and process their data is changing, and data centers are going through transitions to adapt. Organizations now how choices as to whether they even want a traditional data center at all or if they would prefer using Infrastructure as a Service from cloud providers.
Regardless of whether your infrastructure makes use of data centres in Perth or those in San Francisco, they are a central hub for an organization’s equipment and IT operations. Future efforts geared toward data center technologies will be focused on making solutions scalable to the ever changing demands of the IT industry. Software-defined networking can be used to more efficiently program network configurations and monitor performance.
Appliances are becoming easier to move and scale for projects where network virtualization is either impossible or undesirable. Development of applications will become faster thanks to containers—a way of virtualizing runtimes into their own systems without impacting the rest of the network. GPUs, traditionally used for video games, are being considered for future data centers due to their parallel processing abilities.
The jobs data centres perform are more important than ever, but the technologies and systems performing the jobs will make new data centres look radically different from traditional facilities.