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Data center infrastructure management

A data center, at its most basic level, is a physical facility where corporations store mission-critical programs and data.

A data center’s design is based on a network of computer and storage resources that allows for the delivery of shared applications and data.


A data center’s design includes routers, switches, firewalls, storage systems, servers, and application-delivery controllers.

What defines a data center infrastructure management?

Data centers are no longer the same as they were only a few years ago. Traditional on-premises physical servers have been replaced by virtual networks that support applications and workloads across pools of physical infrastructure and into a multicloud environment.

In today’s environment, data exists and is networked across several data centers, the edge, and public and private clouds. All of these distinct sites, both on-premises and in the cloud, must be able to connect with the data center.

Data centers also make up the public cloud. When applications are hosted in the cloud, the data center resources of the cloud provider are employed.

Why are data centers important to business?

In the field of enterprise IT, data centers are used to support business applications and activities like:

  • Communication via email and file sharing
  • Productivity Applications
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Enterprise resource planning and databases (ERP)
  • Big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence
  • Services for communication and collaboration, as well as virtual desktops

What are the core components of a data center?

The data center design includes routers, switches, firewalls, storage systems, servers, and application delivery controllers. Because these components store and handle business-essential data and applications, data center security is critical in data center design. When used together, they provide the following services:

The network’s infrastructure. This connects actual and virtualized servers, data center services, storage, and external connection to end-user locations.

Data storage infrastructure. Data is the lifeblood of today’s data centers. Storage systems are used to keep this important commodity.

Computing resources. The engines of a data center are applications. These servers handle everything from processing to memory to local storage.

How do data centers operate?

The purpose of data center services is to ensure the operation and integrity of the data center’s critical components. ​

Network security appliances. Firewalls and intrusion prevention systems are used to protect the data center.

Assurance that the application will be delivered. These solutions sustain application performance by providing application robustness and availability through automatic failover and load balancing.

What is in a data center facility?

Data center components require a significant infrastructure to support the center’s hardware and software. These components include power subsystems, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), ventilation, cooling systems, fire suppression, backup generators, and network connectivity.

What are the standards for data center infrastructure?

The most widely used standard for data center design and infrastructure is ANSI/TIA-942. It meets ANSI/TIA-942 certification criteria, ensuring compliance with one of four data center tiers based on redundancy and fault tolerance.

  • Tier 1: The infrastructure of the site’s foundation. In a Tier 1 data center, physical events are only partially shielded. It has a single, nonredundant distribution channel as well as components with a single capacity.
  • Tier 2: High-redundancy component site infrastructure. This data center is better prepared to withstand natural disasters. It has redundant capacity components and a single nonredundant distribution path.
  • Tier 3: Site infrastructure that can be updated simultaneously. To guard against virtually all physical catastrophes, this data center has redundant-capacity components and several independent distribution systems. Without compromising end-user services, each component can be upgraded or uninstalled.
  • Tier 4: Fault-tolerant infrastructure on the site. The highest levels of redundancy and fault tolerance are available at this data center. Thanks to redundant-capacity components and many independent distribution paths, concurrent maintenance and one issue anywhere in the installation can be performed without causing disruption.

Types of data centers

There are numerous types of data centers and service models from which to pick. Their classification is based on whether they are owned by a single company or a group of organizations, how they fit into the topology of other data centers (if at all), the computing and storage technology they use, and even their energy efficiency. There are four different types of data centers:

Enterprise data centers

Companies construct, own, and operate these for the benefit of their end users. The bulk of the time, they are on the company’s grounds.

Managed services data centers

These data centers are managed by a third party on behalf of a company (or a managed services provider). The company leases the equipment and infrastructure rather than buying it.

Colocation data centers

A company hires space in a colocation (“colo”) data center, which is run by others and located off-site. The infrastructure, which includes the building, cooling, bandwidth, security, and so on, is hosted by the colocation data center, while the company provides and administers the components, such as servers, storage, and firewalls.

Cloud data centers

In an off-premises data center, data and applications are hosted by a cloud services provider such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft (Azure), IBM Cloud, or another public cloud provider.

Data center infrastructure management: from mainframes to cloud applications

Computing infrastructure has evolved in three waves during the last 65 years:

The transfer from proprietary mainframes to on-premises, x86-based servers managed by internal IT teams was the first wave.

In the second wave, the infrastructure that supported apps was widely virtualized. This enables for more efficient resource allocation and task mobility across physical infrastructure pools.

The adoption of cloud, hybrid cloud, and cloud-native technologies is currently in the third wave. Cloud-based applications are referred regarded as the latter.

Distributed network of applications

This progress has resulted in distributed computing. Data and applications are dispersed across many systems, which are then linked and integrated via network services and interoperability standards to create a unified environment. As a result, the word “data center” now refers to the department in charge of these systems, regardless of where they are located.

Building and operating hybrid cloud data centers, leasing space in colocation facilities (colos), using shared computing and storage services, or using public cloud-based services are all options available to businesses.

As a result, apps are no longer restricted to a specific place. They function in a number of environments, including public and private clouds, managed services, and traditional environments.

The data center has expanded in size and complexity in this multicloud era, with the purpose of offering the best possible user experience.

Deborah Navarro
Deborah Navarro
Sou jornalista e produtora de conteúdos para portais online, sempre criando conteúdos que sejam de interesse geral.
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