A data centre is a dedicated space where companies store and operate the majority of their information and communications technology infrastructure (data centre infrastructure) that supports their business.
A typical data centre will have redundant power quality controls and backup power system, data communications connections, environmental (cooling) controls such as air-conditioning and fire detection/suppression/prevention infrastructure, and a high levels of security protection.
Depending on the scale of business, a data centre might consist of a simple rack with computer equipment or it could be a room or even a building housing many cabinets with a huge array of equipment that could consume as much power (electricity) as a small city.
A typical data centre has a raised floor with cabling ducts running underneath to feed power to the cabinets. The environment is controlled, with both temperature and humidity monitored to ensure reliable performance and operation of the systems within. Generally the data centre is setup with back-up chillers, cabling, safety and security controls, fire detection/protection systems and water detection systems.
Although data centres can be located in a company’s own facility, nowadays it is quite common to outsource the storage and even the computer and telecommunications equipment to a third-party’s data centre site where the company still has full control of equipment but the overheads and regulations are the responsibility of a specialist service provider.
To stay competitive in today’s business environment, companies need flexible and scalable ways to manage their data centre infrastructure. Employing a third-party data centre services company to assess, audit, design and certify your data centre set-up is highly recommended to ensure your data is protected, secure and available. The third party provider could be based on IDC, co-location, hosting or cloud computing.
By using an external data centre facility, a company can focus on their core business whilst the data centre service provider is responsible for cost management, improving application performance, overseeing risk and regulation, as well as ensuring security and uptime/availability is rigorously upheld, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.