The Birth of Data Centers

Data Centers are controlled facilities built with the express purpose of housing complex IT systems. They are usually built with highly advanced climate control equipment to moderate both temperature and humidity. Also, measures are installed to suppress fire should a fire break out. Another key aspect of a proper data center is the use of redundant power supplies which would allow the center to operate even if the power grid fails or blacks out. Like the redundant power supplies, redundant data communication connections are also installed. The last key component of any data center is security measures which control access to the data room as both a protection of the physical components, and the digital information which they provide. These centers allow the companies who use them to receive sure-proof technology support without necessarily having to go to the effort of running the center themselves.Because data centers are essentially a large collection of servers and other computer equipment, they are sometimes referred to as ‘server farms.’ The moniker is appropriate: generally quite large and like a farm populated with animals require care and attention to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The largeness of data centers actually runs back to the original computers.Before the advent of personal computers in the 1980’s, individual computers were massive machines which took up entire rooms. They required climate control to prevent overheating and security to protect the machines. Does this sound familiar? Many of the current practices have their roots in those established with the gargantuan computers of yesteryear. However, the boom of data centers didn’t happen until the 1990’s, after both the personal computer and internet had taken off.The 1990’s saw the rise of the internet. In order for companies to take advantage of the internet they needed servers. Once companies needed the servers to run their businesses, and once networking infrastructure was developed that allowed servers to be placed in their own room, the data center was born.Due to the great expense involved in creating a data center, small companies couldn’t practically build their own. At first large companies built their own Internet Data Centers to provide 24/7 access to the internet and support to ensure their systems were constantly available. Over time data centers migrated to the private sector.Currently operated by private companies which offer managed hosting to their clients. With the introduction of scalability within the data center even small businesses can take advantage of well-managed data centers without having to build their own. Also, managed hosting allows clients to not spend man power on the upkeep of the data centers. While current data centers are designed and operated according to industry standards, those standards are under constant development affecting how private companies operate and develop their centers.