A data center is a network of servers and support components assembled to power applications and process, store, and securely distribute often massive amounts of data.
Applications supported by data centers include email and file sharing, customer relationship management tools (CRMs), enterprise resource planning (ERP), virtual desktops, big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning.
Traditionally, "data center" has referred to the physical components comprising a data center. The physical facilities housing computing power, storage infrastructure, security systems, and networking abilities.
Data center facilities can vary in size from underwater cabinets to multi-building campuses spread across geographically optimal locations.
However, advancements in cloud technology have allowed the majority of modern data center operations to exist off-premises, in the virtualized environments of shared networks.
The modern data center must be able to connect secure and reliable on-premises systems with multiple public and private cloud and edge infrastructures. Data centers support critical applications and data management for organizations while providing secure, shared network accessibility to verified users.
The use of data centers is booming.
The modern data center is increasingly capable of utilizing virtual networks to pool physical infrastructures.
Building optimized virtualized environments on the foundation of optimized physical environments.
Data centers can utilize cloud, multi-cloud, and edge solution environments to share assignments based on best fit for the task. The connected networks of different physical data centers create a much wider-ranging and diverse pool of resources to draw from than what could traditionally be achieved by a stand-alone data center.
Integrated network services and established data center interoperability standards now allow disparate systems to function within a single environment.
This reliance on connectivity means data centers must be able to communicate immediately, effectively, and reliably across multiple physical and virtual environments. Safe and reliable accessibility has never been as important.
Data center infrastructure design aims to assemble the best possible collection of both core and support components toward one or more desired data center operations.
The assembly of components can be tailored to a single, specific task, or multiple simultaneous operations.
Additional industry-wide service level agreements help ensure users achieve desired outcomes.
Established companies, like IDTec, can draw on an expansive pool of tried-and-proven component solutions to quickly design and assemble the perfect data center to meet your organization's specific requirements.
The librarians, the bookkeepers, maybe even the nerds of a data center.
Data center storage infrastructure is the combined hardware, software, and processes that monitor and manage data storage.
On-site storage infrastructure components include hard disk drives, tape drives, solid state drive (SSD) flash arrays, direct-attached storage (DAS) devices, and redundant array of independent disks (RAID) devices, as well as technologies like storage area networks (SAN) and network attached storage (NAS).
Storage infrastructure also includes policies and procedures governing data storage and retrieval. These policies encompass security, collection, access control, and data availability.
This type of data center has become increasingly popular in recent years. A cloud data center represents an off-premises facility that is internet accessible to an organization and in which the customer has no responsibility for maintaining the necessary infrastructure. Public clouds are collections of data centers and applications hosted in a cloud that use data center resources from the cloud provider.
A multicloud data center refers to cloud services provided to a single user or organization from two or more public cloud providers. This terminology describes specific architectures allowing an application to use the same service model across multiple cloud providers, such as combining on-premises data centers with colocation facilities.
One of the most advantageous features of cloud data centers is their ability to be provisioned or scaled simply and instantaneously. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings can spin up whole systems on demand. While Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and container technologies offer instant availability towards the creation of new, needed applications.
Data and applications are currently hosted by a wide variety of private and public cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft (Azure), and IBM Cloud.
Distributed data centers are sometimes offered to customers with the help of 3rd party managed service providers.
A more recent development, edge data centers are small, decentralized facilities that exist and operate close to the edge of a network. These data centers, distributed among remote nodes, typically house equipment offering compute and storage in locations closer to the end user. This virtual proximity can reduce latency, optimize bandwidth, and improve performance.
Backup systems are often placed in edge data centers, providing users with better access to data.
Effective DCIM represents a significant performance advantage when utilized alongside your data center infrastructure. This can include:
Increased Uptime: Organizations can quickly and effectively determine data center health and the need for equipment maintenance and replacement through monitoring equipment and constructing reports on gathered data.
Capacity Management: DCIM software can help organizations model and allocate space and resources to support new hardware and equipment and optimally manage their power chain.
Proactive Incident Management: Real-time facility and operations monitoring can warn administrators and managers of likely and possible issues and complications before they would be noticed.
Energy Management: DCIM software can monitor, suggest, and implement best practices for energy consumption for all IT-related equipment, reducing energy usage and costs.
Improved Productivity: DCIM software enables IT departments and management teams to monitor multiple locations simultaneously and remotely. Automated alerts allow these teams to track physical and logical components and warn of active and potential failures.
The rapid advancement of data center technologies has made effective management of data center operations nearly impossible without software assistance.
While the growing variety of applications and means solutions must be easily and quickly customized and deployed.
DCIM software is already critical for organizations and businesses across the globe. And potential benefits to performance appear limitless.
A failure to utilize the best DCIM for your organization's needs can mean your losing money.