A data centre is a building or space within a property, where business-critical computer systems are stored. This includes data storage systems, telecommunications equipment and other components essential to how a business operates. Its purpose is to centralise an organisation’s IT infrastructure to maintain security, reliability, and operational efficiency.
As they store the most important applications of a business, data centres are crucial to an organisation’s day to day operations. To function they need to maintain the right electrical supply, temperature, and humidity.
Checking all these factors are within safe and effective parameters involves an environmental monitoring system (EMS). This system measures mission-critical EMS values such as the data centre’s temperature & humidity to ensure no issues arise that could cause damage and lead to unplanned downtime. It’s vital EMS values are monitored 24/7, 365 days a year. Otherwise, small issues can develop into big problems that cause massive detriment to an organisation.
How Do Data Centres Work?
Data centres shouldn’t be analysed as a single component as they’re constructed from a range of technical features:
Compute: The processing power and memory to run applications, which is provided by servers.
Storage: Valuable data that is essential to how an organisation operates is stored in a data centre. Dedicated back-up storage is also vital to reduce the risk of data losses.
Network: Routers, switches, application-delivery controllers that connect the components of a data centre with outside systems.
Within each area, are systems that contribute to how it operates. All components work in tandem and function together to ensure an organisation can work efficiently and effectively.
Uptime Institute is the source for industry tier certification of data centre design, reliability, and overall performance. The international tier standard measures various levels of performance for data centre operations and are objective at ensuring investment in infrastructure matches business goals. Establishing your data centre to follow the Uptime Institute’s high-standard guidelines delivers the best results.
5 Key Systems of Modern Data Centres
Power is what allows a data centre to operate. The storage components all need to run on a dedicated power source. If the power supply is broken, the servers and storage systems cannot operate, which leads to damaging data losses. Uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), such as battery banks, back-up generators, and redundant power supplies ensure business continuity.
Cooling systems play as crucial a role in every data centre. If physical infrastructure is allowed to overheat, it could slow down a data centre’s operating processes or completely malfunction. A combination of suitable ventilation and air conditioning systems maintain a consistent temperature to ensure the technical equipment can operate without overheating.
Environmental Monitoring Systems
Environmental monitoring systems (EMS) allow users to check the EMS values of a data centre. This allows staff to check if the temperature or humidity levels are at an optimal level. Without consistent monitoring, small issues could escalate and become a large problem that could lead to serious data losses or unplanned downtime.
A data centre needs security features to protect its hardware and software. Physical security features include multi-factor ID authentication, CCTV, and metal detectors. On-site security guards are a solution to ensure it is physically protected at all times. Firewalls are also required to defend against cyberattacks such as malware.
Fire Suppression Systems
Fire suppression systems extinguish a fire to reduce the risk of damage to the data centre infrastructure. It also ensures the fire doesn’t spread to other areas of an organisation’s building. They will detect a fire and suppress it, however, the most effective way for it to do this depends on the individual data centre. Fire suppression systems may use either a concentration of gas or water mist, for example.
Why Are Data Centres Important?
Data centres have become an essential component of how many successful modern businesses operate. They make an organisation’s servers more accessible for staff while ensuring valuable data is secure. The right data centre installation optimises the day-to-day business of a company making it easier to grow and expand.
The Benefits of Data Centres
Ability To Scale – A data centre allows an organisation to scale efficiently, effectively, and more easily.
Secure Data – With the correct components, a data centre will offer high-levels of security for an organisations’ sensitive data.
Always Accessible – Back-up power supplies ensure power outages do not affect a data centre, while also ensuring an organisation can always access their data.
As a data centre provider offering both consultancy and construction services, Infiniti can help offer
guidance and support on the best options for your business.