LATEST NEWS

DataBank Establishes $725M Financing Facility to Support Growth. Read the press release.

Get a Quote

Request a Quote

Tell us about your infrastructure requirements and how to reach you, and one of team members will be in touch shortly.

Schedule a Tour

Tour Our Facilities

Let us know which data center you'd like to visit and how to reach you, and one of team members will be in touch shortly.

Get a Quote

Request a Quote

Tell us about your infrastructure requirements and how to reach you, and one of team members will be in touch shortly.

Schedule a Tour

Tour Our Facilities

Let us know which data center you'd like to visit and how to reach you, and one of team members will be in touch shortly.

Get a Quote

Request a Quote

Tell us about your infrastructure requirements and how to reach you, and one of team members will be in touch shortly.

Schedule a Tour

Tour Our Facilities

Let us know which data center you'd like to visit and how to reach you, and one of team members will be in touch shortly.

Data Center Virtual Tours: Exploring Beyond The Racks

Data Center Virtual Tours: Exploring Beyond The Racks


Data centers are integral to modern business operations. That being so, it can be helpful to have a basic understanding of what they are, what they do, and how they work. One way to get this understanding is through data center virtual tours. Here is one of them.

A brief history of data centers

The earliest data centers were the “computer rooms” of the 1940s. These became server rooms, then on-premises data centers. Initially, on-premises data centers were, literally, on a business’ existing premises. Later, however, they became dedicated, stand-alone facilities.

Some businesses do still run private data centers. These days, however, it’s more common for businesses to use colocation facilities for their data center needs. Using colocation gives businesses access to data center infrastructure without the commitment of running a private data center.

The role of data centers in business operations

Most data centers are large-scale facilities designed to store and/or process high volumes of data. There are, however, increasing numbers of small-scale data centers, often known as edge data centers. These are used for small-scale processing near where data is generated and/or used.

Both types of data centers are implemented in much the same way and used for much the same purpose. They are simply on a different scale.

Exploring data centers through data center virtual tours

Data center virtual tours are a useful way to gain a deeper understanding of how data centers actually work. With that in mind, here is a virtual tour of a typical modern data center.

Physical security

Physical security in data centers works along much the same principles as physical security in any other building. It is, however, typically implemented to a very high standard. In particular, most data centers will be carefully zoned into areas of different sensitivity. Access to each area will be granted on the basis of an individual’s role.

To ensure that access controls are respected, data centers will have external and internal barriers (e.g. perimeter fences). These will have a limited number of pass-through points with robust access controls. They will also typically be monitored by both cameras and sensors. These will alert human staff if there is an issue.

Digital security

Digital security in data centers generally works along the same principles as physical security. It is just implemented through different means. For example, network segmentation replaces physical segmentation. Likewise, firewalls and intrusion detection and prevention systems replace cameras and sensors.

The main difference between digital and physical security is that digital security has the benefit of encryption. This can be used to protect digital assets (e.g. data) from being exploited by anyone who does manage to intercept them.

Power

Data centers literally cannot function without power. They will therefore generally have contracts with more than one power supplier along with multiple sets of power infrastructure. This will be supplemented by uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) and fuel-powered generators in case of power outages. Some data centers will also have the ability to generate power on-site (e.g. through solar panels and/or wind turbines).

Cooling

Modern data centers typically deploy multiple cooling solutions ranging from passive to active. Passive solutions are highly economical and highly sustainable.

Unfortunately, at present, they are unlikely to be enough to cool a data center on their own. Fortunately, mechanical cooling solutions are already vastly more energy- and water-efficient than the cooling solutions used in the early days of data centers.

Moreover, the introduction of smart technology makes it possible to take real-time, accurate temperature readings. This ensures that cooling technologies only provide the minimum level of cooling needed to maintain optimal temperatures.

Networking

Most data centers will utilize both wired and wireless networking technologies. Wired networks were traditionally based on ethernet. Ethernet is still widely used but is now being replaced by fiber optic. Likewise, wireless networks were traditionally based on WiFi. This is still widely used but is now being replaced by 5G.

Hardware-storage options

The three main hardware storage options are racks, cages, and suites. Racks are essentially shelving units specifically designed for IT hardware. They may be used on their own or put inside cages for an extra level of security.

Colocation facilities may also offer suites. These are self-contained areas within the data center. As such, they offer the highest levels of security and the most scope for customization.

Data center hardware

Data center hardware is continually becoming smaller, more powerful, and more energy-efficient. Crucially, it is also becoming more flexible. This is largely thanks to the development of virtualization.

Virtualization is a technology that enables software to replicate the capabilities of hardware. It therefore makes it possible for the same piece of hardware to be used for different purposes. This makes it much easier for data center managers to accommodate the demands of changing workloads and fluctuating volumes.

Share Article



Categories

Video
Ashburn Virginia IAD3 Data Center Virtual Tour Fly-Through

Take a virtual fly-through of DataBank's latest data center construction project in Ashburn Virginia, IAD3. The project will have 280,000 square feet of raised floor when complete.

White Paper
An Effective Data Center Partnership Guide

Strategic, Technical, and Future alignment gives you the best possible data center experience today and tomorrow.

7 Steps To Secure Your Data Center
Blog Article
7 Steps To Secure Your Data Center

Modern data centers typically hold vast quantities of data (big data). This will generally include personal data and highly sensitive business data. Probably at least some of this data will be required for critical applications. This means that security has to be a top consideration for all modern data centers.

Discover the DataBank Difference

Discover the DataBank Difference

Explore the eight critical factors that define our Data Center Evolved approach and set us apart from other providers.
Download Now
Get Started

Get Started

Discover the DataBank Difference today:
Hybrid infrastructure solutions with boundless edge reach and a human touch.

Get A Quote

Request a Quote

Tell us about your infrastructure requirements and how to reach you, and one of the team members will be in touch.

Schedule a Tour

Tour Our Facilities

Let us know which data center you’d like to visit and how to reach you, and one of the team members will be in touch shortly.