What is Data Center?

A data center is a physical facility that houses computer servers and networking equipment. Data centers are powered by continuous power supply, power backup, internet connections, air conditioning and security features . In simple terms, it is the nerve center for the successful functioning of a computer network. Data centers are varied in size – from single room data-centers in small organizations to large scale industrial data centers of global internet majors like that of Google.

In the early days, data centers were either built for the sole use of one large company, or as carrier hotels or Network-neutral data centers. However things have changed today and many data centers are run by Internet service providers solely for the purpose of hosting their own and third party servers. These facilities enable interconnection of carriers and act as regional fiber hubs serving local business in addition to hosting content servers.

Because of the enormous upfront cost in establishing data centers, most companies prefer to outsource their IT operations. The following two services can operate from a data center –

  1. Server or email hosting – in this type of service, the client rents one of the provider’s servers positioned in the data center. The service can be both managed as well as unmanaged.
  2. Co-location – with the burgeoning market for data centers in India, the concept of colocation has gained some momentum in the subcontinent. A provider offering colocation provisions its client’s servers over its data center. The vendor will make all the required connections, turn on the lights and let the client take the control after that. Subsequently, the provider will have little interference until and unless a glitch is encountered.

A data center can further be classified into four tiers – I, II, III, and IV. To know more about how data centers are classified,

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