Data center

A data center is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems.
It generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls (e.g., air conditioning, fire suppression) and security devices.
 
 
overseeing a Network Operations Control Room of a data center.
History

Data centers have their roots in the huge computer rooms of the early ages of the computing industry. Early computer systems were complex to operate and maintain, and required a special environment in which to operate. Many cables were necessary to connect all the components, and methods to accommodate and organize these were devised, such as standard racks to mount equipment, elevated floors, and cable trays (installed overhead or under the elevated floor). Also, a single mainframe required a great deal of power, and had to be cooled to avoid overheating. Security was important – computers were expensive, and were often used for military purposes.

Data Center Function

The functional requirements of any data center space are fourfold: 1. To provide a safe and secure place to locate mission critical equipment 2. To provide sufficient power protection to maintain the critical load 3. To provide adequate environmental controls, including cooling and fire safety, to operate the space within the critical loads operating parameters 4. To provide communications connectivity both inside and outside the space

Data Center Philosophy

The goal of any data center is to provide continuous availability of all network services. Therefore, whether discussing the network design strategy or the facility design strategy the overall philosophy remains the same:

· Keep it as simple as possible
· Design for scalability
· Utilize modularity wherever possible
· Be flexible and adaptable to change