Not all that long ago, data centres were reserved for big companies with big wallets. Today data centres are available to just about everyone from everyday professionals to major multinational companies looking for cloud based IT solutions. Data centres today play an integral role in cloud computing and they are located all over the world.
In essence, a data centre is a physical facility that provides a secure environment for computer equipment to be stored.
In extreme examples, data centres are earthquake-proof concrete bunkers but even private data centres provide controlled access, uninterruptible power supplies, air conditioning, water cooling and fire suppression systems.
While the physical structure can be impressive, it is the working components of the data centre – and multiple redundant connections to the internet – which makes data centres accessible to (and from) anywhere in the world, a perfect match for IT cloud computing services.
Inside a Data Centre
Contained within their cool corridors and reinforced walls are the fundamental building blocks of computing: servers, storage arrays and networking switches.
Data centres are densely packed with thousands of blade servers for greater economy of physical space and are underpinned by technologies like virtualisation and optimisation techniques. In doing so, these data centres are delivering infrastructure services and software applications at an extremely low cost.
Data centres also host IT cloud solutions for security, traffic management appliances and a bunch of other amenities and services necessary for today’s high-tech business environment. Most importantly, data centres provide the best available protection against data loss through a combination of physical and logical security. Data centres are like 5-star hotels for computer equipment with the costs shared across every item, making them accessible to small business and not only large Enterprises as was the case in days gone by.
While some Data Centres are privately owned, others are owned by major cloud IT service providers like Google, Amazon and Microsoft. These organisations typically offer public cloud services on a large scale with physically redundant data centres across multiple locations.
Finally, if you ever wondered just exactly where the ‘cloud’ is, the answer is simple. It’s in the data centre!