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Data Center

Data Centers are simply centralized locations where computing and networking equipment is concentrated for the purpose of collecting, storing, processing, distributing or allowing access to large amounts of data. They have existed in one form or another since the advent of computers.[1]

A traditional data center is comprised of three main sections:[2]

  • Compute - Equipment Distribution Area (EDA)
  • Network - Main Distribution Area (MDA)
  • Storage - Storage Area Network (SAN)


History of Data Centers[3]
Data Centers have their roots in the huge computer rooms of the 1940s, typified by ENIAC, one of the earliest examples of a data center. Early computer systems, complex to operate and maintain, 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, raised floors, and cable trays (installed overhead or under the elevated floor). A single mainframe required a great deal of power, and had to be cooled to avoid overheating. Security became important – computers were expensive, and were often used for military purposes. Basic design-guidelines for controlling access to the computer room were therefore devised.

During the boom of the microcomputer industry, and especially during the 1980s, users started to deploy computers everywhere, in many cases with little or no care about operating requirements. However, as information technology (IT) operations started to grow in complexity, organizations grew aware of the need to control IT resources. The advent of Unix from the early 1970s led to the subsequent proliferation of freely available Linux-compatible PC operating-systems during the 1990s. These were called "servers", as timesharing operating systems like Unix rely heavily on the client-server model to facilitate sharing unique resources between multiple users. The availability of inexpensive networking equipment, coupled with new standards for network structured cabling, made it possible to use a hierarchical design that put the servers in a specific room inside the company. The use of the term "data center", as applied to specially designed computer rooms, started to gain popular recognition about this time.

The boom of data centers came during the dot-com bubble of 1997–2000. Companies needed fast Internet connectivity and non-stop operation to deploy systems and to establish a presence on the Internet. Installing such equipment was not viable for many smaller companies. Many companies started building very large facilities, called Internet data centers (IDCs), which provide enhanced capabilities, such as crossover backup: "If a Bell Atlantic line is cut, we can transfer them to ... to minimize the time of outage."

The term cloud data centers (CDCs) has been used. Data centers typically cost a lot to build and to maintain. Increasingly, the division of these terms has almost disappeared and they are being integrated into the term "data center".


See Also


References

  1. Defining Data Center How Stuff Works
  2. A traditional data center is comprised of three main sections Panduit
  3. History of Data Centers Wikipedia