What is in a data centre facility?

The operation and maintenance of a data centre require sophisticated infrastructure, including power subsystems, uninterrupted power supplies (UPS), ventilation and cooling systems, fire suppression systems, backup generators and connections to external networks. Ensuring the efficient performance of such components is essential to maintaining the centre’s hardware and software.

What are the standards for data centre infrastructure?

ANSI/TIA-942 is the prevailing standard for data center design and infrastructure. It provides certification to ensure compliance with one of four tiers of data centers that are evaluated based on their redundancy and fault tolerance levels.

Tier 1:

A Tier 1 data center offers limited protection against physical events, featuring single-capacity components and a single, nonredundant distribution path for basic site infrastructure.

Tier 2: Redundant-capacity component site infrastructure.

This data center provides enhanced safeguards against physical incidents, leveraging redundant-capacity components and a single, nonredundant distribution path.

Tier 3: Concurrently maintainable site infrastructure.

This data center is equipped with multiple features to protect against physical events, such as redundant-capacity components and multiple independent distribution paths. Through these components, users can be serviced without interruption even when parts are removed or replaced.

Tier 4: Fault-tolerant site infrastructure.

This data center offers the highest level of fail-safe and redundancy protection. Through the use of redundant-capacity components and multiple independent distribution paths, concurrent maintainability can be achieved, with even a single fault in the system not resulting in any downtime.

Types of data centres

The classification of data centers and service models is determined by a variety of factors such as ownership, topological compatibility with other data centers, employed technologies for computing and storage, and energy efficiency. Generally speaking, there are four main types of data centers:

Enterprise data centers

Businesses are responsible for constructing, managing, and operating these systems to the benefit of their consumers. Typically, they are situated on the corporate site.

Managed services data centres

Organizations can opt to lease equipment and infrastructure from a third-party or managed services provider, as opposed to purchasing it outright. This arrangement grants the company access to data centers that are managed on its behalf.

Colocation data centers

Colocation (“colo”) data centers offer a convenient solution for companies who wish to host their infrastructure off-site. Space is rented within a data center owned by another entity, and the necessary building, cooling, bandwidth, and security components are provided by the host. Companies utilize their own servers, storage, and firewalls to manage the system within this environment.

Cloud data centers

This form of data center, known as off-premises hosting, involves data and applications that are hosted by cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, or other public cloud service providers.