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What Are Data Centers and How Do They Work? - Complete Guide

December 19, 2022
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What is a Data Center?

Organizations utilise a data centre as a location to store their important applications and data. Normally, it consists of redundant or backup power sources, redundant data communications links, environmental controls (such as air conditioning, fire suppression), and numerous security tools.They are a vital component of the infrastructure of many businesses and are used to store, handle, and process vast volumes of data. They can be used for a number of things, such as processing and storing data, hosting websites and applications, and offering a safe setting for managing and storing sensitive data. A data center is a facility that centralizes an organization's shared IT operations and equipment for the purposes of storing, processing, and disseminating data and applications

For hosting public cloud, support infrastructure, hybrid cloud, and computing infrastructure, they can be owned and operated by a variety of organisations, including businesses, governments, and educational institutions. They can range in size from small, local facilities to large data center , multi-building complexes.

Types of Data Centers

There are several different types of huge data centres, each created to cater to the unique requirements of various businesses and sectors. They are an essential data center components of the infrastructure for many corporations, governments, and educational organisations. They range in size from modest, neighbourhood facilities to massive, multi-building complexes.

Enterprise data centers

These are used to assist a company's internal IT activities and are owned and operated by that organisation, which is typically a business.

Collocation facilities

These give firms the room, energy, and cooling they need to house their own IT equipment. The company leases space in and is in charge of setting up and maintaining its own equipment.

Cloud data storage

These are owned and run by cloud service provider, such Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS). They make it possible for companies to pay-as-you-go rent computing resources like storage and processing power.

Internet trading places (IXPs)

These give internet service providers (ISPs) a physical place to exchange internet traffic.

Centres for government data

These are used to assist the internal IT operations of government agencies and are owned and operated by those organisations.

Vastly expanded data centres

Large corporations, like Google and Facebook, own and run these, and they are built to support the enormous amounts of data and processing power needed by these businesses. They can span many buildings and are often more larger than ordinary ones.

On-premises data center

Organizations utilise it as a physical data facility to store their important applications and data. Instead of being hosted by a third-party service, it is owned and run by the organisation itself.

A man with laptop diagnosing data center security

Four data centers tiers:

Based on their infrastructure, dependability, and performance, data centres are frequently divided into four tiers. The Uptime Institute, a global organisation that offers direction and certification on data centre design, operation, and management, has established these tiers.

As follows:

Tier I data centres employ a single path for power and cooling and do not have any duplicate parts that are helpful for smaller data.

T2: This level of data centre is built to provide 99.741% uptime, or 22.0 hours of downtime annually, and contains redundant systems for power and cooling.

T3: This type of data centre is built to provide 99.982% uptime, or 1.6 hours of downtime per year, and includes numerous redundant components. This has computing and storage applications.

T4: The highest tier of data centre, or T4, is built to have 99.995% uptime, or 0.5 hours of downtime annually, and has numerous redundant systems and components.

The tier of a data centre is a significant consideration when choosing one because it can affect the facility's performance and availability as well as the cost of operation.

The Components of a Data Center

The Physical Infrastructure often consists of multiple layers and includes the following components:


The computers that store, handle, and process data are known as servers. They come in a variety of sizes, from compact, single-purpose servers to enormous clusters of servers, and can be physical or virtual.


This is the equipment and programme used to store data. It can encompass both more recent technology like cloud storage and solid-state drives as well as more conventional storage devices like hard drives and tape drives.

Hard Disk Storage device

Networking apparatus

The routers, switches, and other hardware used to link servers and storage to one another and to the outside world are included in this.

Cooling and power systems

In order to avoid overheating, data centres must maintain a particular temperature range and an uninterrupted power supply. These systems consist of air conditioners, backup generators, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS).

Environmental safeguards

To guarantee the security and integrity of the tools and data, they frequently have strong environmental controls in place. Systems for controlling humidity, temperature, and air filtration are examples of this.

Security in Data Centers

In addition to security measures like access control systems, surveillance cameras, and physical security guards, data centres may also have safeguards in place to guard against unwanted access.

Management and monitoring

Usually, they have mechanisms in place to manage and keep an eye on the various parts to make sure they are working effectively. Software tools for tracking performance, identifying problems, and managing backups can be a part of this.

Data Center Infrastructure

The technological and physical elements that help a data centre run are referred to as its infrastructure. This covers the structure, as well as the plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems:

  • The structure should be created with the needs of a data centre specifically in mind, including raised floors and redundant structural elements.
  • All of their systems and equipment, including backup power systems, must be powered by the electrical system.
  • The mechanical system, which includes the air conditioning units and ventilation systems, is in charge of ensuring that the facility is kept at the proper temperature and humidity levels.
  • The plumbing system, which consists of drain systems for wastewater and pipes and fixtures for clean water, provides clean water and eliminates waste water.
A huge data center

The Role of Data Centers in Modern Businesses

They play a vital role in modern businesses, providing the infrastructure and resources necessary to store, process, and manage large amounts of data. In today's digital age, data is a critical asset for many organizations, and data centers must provide the secure, reliable, and high-performance environment that is required to support the storage, processing, and to maintain data.

They support a wide range of business activities, including:

  • Hosting websites and applications: Data centers provide the servers and networking infrastructure that are needed to host websites and applications.
  • Data Storage and processing: They provide the storage and processing resources that are needed to store and manage large amounts of data, including customer data, financial data, and operational data.
  • Supporting the infrastructure required to give access to cloud-based services, such as software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service, data centres support these services (IaaS).
  • Data security and compliance: They offer the logical and physical security measures required to safeguard data from unwanted access and guarantee adherence to industry standards and regulations.

In conclusion, they play a crucial role in the current corporate landscape by providing the resources and infrastructure required to enable a variety of digital operations.

Data Center Best Practices

The recommended principles and criteria for creating, using, and maintaining them are known as best practises. These best practises aid in making sure that contemporary data center services are productive, dependable, secure, and capable of supporting the cost-effective storage, processing, and administration of data.

Among the essential best practises are:

  • Redundancy and resilience should be ensured, and backup systems should be in place to guarantee that the data centre can continue to function in the case of a failure.
  • Implementing security measures: To defend against unwanted access and to guarantee the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data, data centres should have strong security measures in place. This can comprise both logical and physical security measures, such as firewalls and encryption, as well as monitoring equipment and access control systems.
  • Monitoring and maintaining equipment: They should have processes in place to keep an eye on how the equipment is working and to spot and resolve any potential problems. This could aid in ensuring the data center's dependability and uptime.
  • Processes for managing and controlling changes to the infrastructure of data centres, such as the addition, alteration, or removal of equipment, should be in place in data centres.This contributes to the data center's stability and integrity.
  • Designing for efficiency entails making data centers as energy-efficient as possible and utilising resources like power and cooling as effectively as possible. This could save operating expenses and increase the overall sustainability of the project.

The effective, dependable, and secure operation of a data center depends heavily on adhering to best practises in data center design, operation, and maintenance.

A person removing a server from a rack in data center

The Future of Data Centers

Several developments, such as the following, are likely to influence how data centers develop in the future:

  • Increased usage of cloud computing: More companies are projected to use cloud-based services to store, process, and manage their data at the cloud data centers as cloud computing continues to gain popularity. The quantity of data centers owned and run by cloud providers will probably rise as a result.
  • A greater emphasis on sustainability is anticipated to be placed on the design and operation of data centers as long as these facilities continue to use large amounts of energy and resources. This could involve utilising renewable energy sources and putting in place energy-saving technology.
  • A rise in the need for edge computing, which uses data centers that are situated closer to the data source rather than in centralised locations. This can aid in lowering latency and enhancing the functionality of data-intensive applications. The need for edge data centers is projected to increase as gadgets and sensors produce more data.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will be used more frequently, and data centers will be essential to the creation and implementation of these applications. Utilizing dedicated data centers that are designed for these kinds of workloads will probably be necessary for this.
  • A rise in the need for edge computing, which uses data centers that are situated closer to the data source rather than in centralised locations. This can aid in lowering latency and enhancing the functionality of data-intensive applications. The need for edge data centers is projected to increase as gadgets and sensors produce more data.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will be used more frequently, and data centers will be essential to the creation and implementation of these applications. Utilizing dedicated data centers that are designed for these kinds of workloads will probably be necessary for this.
A man checking the operations of servers in data center


As a result, data centres are crucial facilities that offer the resources and infrastructure required to store, handle, and process huge volumes of data. They come in a number of kinds to fulfil the unique requirements of many industries, and they are essential to the operation of many enterprises and organisations. Data centres' future is likely to be shaped by a number of trends, including the use of edge computing, the adoption of AI and machine learning, a focus on sustainability, and the adoption of cloud computing. Data centre best practises help to ensure that data center facilities are effective, dependable, and secure.

Comprint Tech Solutions can assist you with a variety of choices to match your unique needs if you require data centre services. Our team of qualified experts can collaborate with you to comprehend your data centre needs and recommend the ideal solution for your business.

If you have any more doubts, or are interested in purchasing or renting a server for your data center, you can schedule a meeting with us or email us here!