Data centers enable centralization of a company's Information Technology equipment and operational methodologies. A data center plays a crucial role in information storage, management, and dissemination. All organizations depend on the IT infrastructure for different purposes, and data centers play a significant role in ensuring that systems which are greatly needed to ensure smooth undertaking of activities is achieved are readily available.
Aspects such as the reliability of a data center, and it's security are fundamental to any company as data protection is very crucial. There are numerous designs of data centers that can be adopted. However, all designs fall into two broad classifications, which are enterprise/internal or internet facing. The former is usually associated with fewer applications, and the browser is mostly used for access.
The number of users accessing an internet facing data at a particular time is large, and all of them are anonymous. On the other hand, the latter design of data centers is only accessed by very few clients, mostly who have authorization. However, it tends to host more user applications that vary from customized apps to off-the shelf applications.
Data centers are associated with many advantages. The determining factors revolve around the cost associated with the full set up, or leasing space at an already established data center.
- Less capital investment
The general algorithm that is used to determine how well a data center has been established is N+1(Need + 1). The equation implies that any operational procedures that will be carried out need a spare on the other hand. Colocation makes it easy for enterprises as the need to build a personal data center is eliminated. Data centers having a support of the form (N+1) make it cheaper for companies that need to lease space.
- Fire protection systems
Prevention of fire in an environment that is full of IT systems is a top priority for any organization. In case a fire breaks out in a company, components that fail to be destroyed by the fire will in most cases be damaged by the water that is spread in the process of trying to put out the ensuing fire. DataCenters usually implement suppression designs that limit the damage extended by a fire break out.
- Enterprise Mobility
In case an enterprise needs to change its physical location, it becomes easy once data has been backed up in the data center space. Once this happens, less IT equipments will need to be moved.
- Limited Access Control
When all the company's data is transferred to an offsite data center, then the enterprise has to abide by the rules as stipulated by the service provider. As much as some of the regulations might not be very different from what is usually stipulated in an organization, some privileges tend to be taken away, and this might not augur well with the IT personnel in the client enterprise.
- Stable Systems
Investing in a data center requires acquisition of very stable systems as the infrastructure is typically designed for simple setup and installation, and there is no allowance for occasional maintenance. Investing in such systems may turn out to be costly for an enterprise since they are expected to handle massive data operations.
- Advanced Remote Data Management
Data centers are located far away from the actual premise of an organization. Therefore, the method used to access the data should be very stable and secure. An enterprise requires investing in advanced firewall systems and monitoring equipment that make it easy to keep in touch with everything that is taking place at the data center.
- Costs Associated with Data Centers
Three major factors determine the financial cost of setting up a data center, and they include the cooling systems, power supply, and IT equipment carrying costs. In most enterprises, the latter has been a topic that is least understood by most employees, and it revolves around the warranty duration, rate of depreciation, and cost of acquisition.
When all these factors are combined, they form the back bone of operational expenses. In the recent years, there has been a lot of emphasis on sustainability. Therefore, it should be the goal of any organization to ensure that the greatest possible computation can be acquired from a single watt of electricity that is utilized. An enterprise needs to adopt measures that will cut down on the power input and at the same time reduce the costs involved. It is important to come up with a data center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) policies, so that areas that can be optimized are easily identified.