Data centers are key to any organization that values its data. In the modern world, the data center is more of a technology engine which is an integrated system of computing, storage,
network, and power and cooling, with its own levels of performance, resiliency, and availability.
As such, the data center requires a proper design, as well as appropriate levels of management and maintenance. Data centers provide not only physical security for IT equipment, but also cooling, humidification, grounding, and power feeds that are all highly optimized for IT equipment.
The data center tiers will help us to understand the data center uptime and availability. There are 4 data center tiers
- Tier 4
- Tier 3
- Tier 2
- Tier 1
Tier 4 is the highest tier which are supposed/expected to have highest availability, highest resiliency and highest performance and whereas tier 1 is the lowest tier having the lowest availability and performance.
Tier 4 data centers will have redundancy of everything such as redundancy of power, cooling and network connectivity and whereas Tier 1 data centres might be having single power unit and probably a broadband connection and mobile air-conditioning.
Components of a Data Center
- Racks – All the IT equipment in data center is housed in standardized racks known as 19 inch racks. These racks will be filled with various computing, storage and network hardware.
- Flooring – All data centers will have a raised flooring. A rasied floor is an artificial floor, usually made of floor tiles that rest on top of pedestals. The floor tiles are removable, allowing engineers to lift them and gain access to the void between the raised floor and the solid floor beneath. This void floor is commonly used to route network cables and power cables and as well as potentially channel cold air.
- Rows – In most data centers, racks are organized into rows. In this manner, racks can easily be located by giving their row location as well as their rack location.
- Power – Power is the most important component to make any data center running without failure. It is not just the servers, storage and networking equipment that suck the power. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems consume a lot of power. Modern data centers consume huge amounts of electricity and often have backup generators on-site that can provide electricity in the event that utility power is lost.
- Cooling – Cooling is another important component of a data center to keep the IT equipment cool and running. To reduce amount of energy required to keep equipment cool, most data centers operate on a form of the hot/cold aisle principle. In this type of hot/cold aisle configuration, racks are installed so that all racks in a row face the same direction, and opposing rows face each other in a back-to-back configuration. This means that equipment in adjacent rows is always facing either back-to-back or front-to-front. Modern IT equipment kicks out a lot of heat, and if not kept cool will malfunction.. Keeping hot and cold air separate can drastically reduce the cost of keeping the data center cool.
- Structured Cabling – Cabling is a vital component of the data center. Don’t cut corners when it comes to structured cabling, and make sure that you plan and deploy a cabling solution that scales well and will suit the needs of your data center 10 years from now.
In order to provide the best possible environment for servers, storage and networking equipment, we need to build the data center with efficient racks, power units and cooling machines but also with most efficient cost.
Generally Data Centers are managed by specialized trained personnel and there will be a restricted entry into the data center as per the company guidelines.