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Data Centers: What They Do & Why [2021]

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You are in the market to select a data center or renting a colocation facility for your business or service, you must understand a crucial point; the data center is the unseen and unheralded real estate facilitator of the digital world. 

The general public depends on the constant machinations of the data center for their daily smart device and online needs. However, even if the average person may have heard of the term “data center,” they would probably be hard-pressed to define it, even though they desperately depend on them.

What is a Data Center?

A data center is a brick-and-mortar facility, like floor-length office space, warehouse facility, or a building, which houses incredible amounts of data and critical applications equipment.

The data center is a tech facility that strategically centralizes a business’ IT operations and other data transport equipment. Data centers are responsible for housing a business’ most vital communications and proprietary assets. 

A data center’s vital components include, but are not limited to:

  • Data storage systems
  • Routers
  • Servers
  • Firewalls
  • Switches
  • Bandwidth
  • Application delivery controllers
  • Data backup and recovery
  • Cooling and chilling equipment
  • High-volume and high-speed e-commerce transactions
  • Email facilitation

Every major business, organization, and corporation with regional, national, international, and global reach needs a data center to maintain continuity of business operations. So, the data center’s operational reliability, security, and energy efficiency must be a vital priority. 

Data centers are even available on the retail level for those who can afford them. A colocation center, also known as a carrier hotel, rents out data center space and facilities to third parties. 

A data center used to be an on-site physical infrastructure with climate control and high-security protocols. This was the norm in the not-too-distant past.

However, the modern era’s public and privately accessible cloud systems have obsoleted the strictly on-site data center infrastructures.

Unless local laws or regulations say otherwise, many modern data center facilities are virtual cloud infrastructures. In other words, your data center could be an off-site facility far away that houses the operational infrastructure to support data workloads and tech applications for multiple businesses spread across various cloud systems.

Data Center Operations

Artificial intelligence is progressively taking more and more control of data center operations. Businesses utilizing A.I.-derived operational infrastructures are projected to generate over $3.9 trillion in 2022. Such business growth will also necessitate the growing need for AI-controlled data centers in the future.

Many next-generation data centers are called “hyper-scale data centers.” At last count, there were over 600 hyper-scale data centers in the world.

A hyper-scale data center references the abilities of computer systems in a data center to autonomously scale-up computing abilities, memory, storage capabilities, and other functions proportional to demand with the aid of AI. The biggest tech and social media companies have been embracing hyper-scale data centers for the past five years.

In 2018, Google gave some control of its cooling and chilling systems to an AI. The goal was to use AI to strategize how to power the hyper-scale data systems more cheaply and efficiently. 

The AI found ways to cut Google’s energy bills running its hyper-scale data centers by over 40%.

Data centers use cooling equipment to transfer heat from computers, servers, and computer chips to save energy and keep equipment from overheating. In recent years, tech giant companies have begun investing in immersive supercooling technologies as the next-gen evolution of the traditional cooling tower.

In this situation, specially designed computer equipment and component are safely immersed in supercooling liquids to keep them cool and prevent them from over-heating. It is an evolution of the usual air-cooling cooling and chilled water piping towers systems used to transfer heat from overheating systems. The supercooling liquid is non-flammable, non-conductive, and dielectric, meaning it is a poor conductor of electricity but a strong insulator of electromagnetic fields.

Data centers save a lot of money by investing in new supercooling liquid technologies that cool equipment it touches chip-to-chip. It costs a lot of money to power traditional cooling towers, which use air and chilled water in pipes to transfer excess heat away from the equipment.

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