Data center infrastructure is the backbone of the internet and includes countless of model’s hardware and related machines. This article will bring clarity to the computing and non-computing resources that are considered the core elements of data center infrastructure.
What Is Data Center?
A data center is a physical room, building or facility that houses IT infrastructure for building, running, and delivering applications and services, and for storing and managing the data associated with those applications and services.
Data centers have evolved in recent years from privately-owned, use of one company, to remote facilities or networks of facilities owned by cloud service providers housing virtualized IT infrastructure for the shared use of multiple companies and customers.
Types of data centers
1- Enterprise Data Center
In this data center model, all IT infrastructure and data is hosted on-premises.
companies choose to have their own on-premises data centers because they feel they have more control over information security,
2- cloud data centers
house IT infrastructure resources for shared use by multiple customers—via an Internet connection.
3- Managed data centers
Managed data is an options for organizations that don’t have the space, staff, or expertise to deploy and manage some or all of their IT infrastructure on premises—but prefer not to host that infrastructure using the shared resources of a public cloud data center.
In a managed data center, the client company leases dedicated servers, storage and networking hardware from the data center provider, and the data center provider handles the administration, monitoring and management for the client company.
Data center infrastructure components
1.1 Servers
Servers are powerful computers that deliver applications, services and data to end-user devices. Data center servers come in several form factors:

1.1.1 Rack-mount servers
 standalone servers, designed to be stacked on top of each other in a rack.
1.1.2 Blade servers
designed to save even more space. Each blade contains processors, network controllers, memory and sometime storage; they’re made to fit into a chassis that holds multiple blades and contains the power supply, network management and other resources for all the blades.
1.2 Storage systems
1.2.1 NAS
Network-Attached Storage; provides data storage and data access to multiple servers over a standard Ethernet connection The NAS device is usually a dedicated server with multiple storage media—hard disk drives (HDDs) and/or solid state drives (SSDs).
1.2.2 SAN
enables shared storage but a SAN uses a separate network for the data and consists of a more complex mix of multiple storage servers.
2. Networking
Consisting of various types of switches, routers and fiber optics, carries network traffic across the servers (called east/west traffic), and to/from the servers to the clients (called north/south traffic).
3. Power supply  
Data centers need to be always-on, at every level. Most servers feature dual power supplies. Battery-powered uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) protect against power surges and brief power outages. Powerful generators can kick in if a more severe power outage occurs.
 four-tier system to rate the redundancy and resiliency of data centers:
  • Tier I — Provides basic redundancy capacity components, such as uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and 24/7 cooling, to support IT operations for an office setting or beyond. 
  • Tier II —Adds additional redundant power and cooling subsystems, such as generators and energy storage devices, for improved safety against disruptions.
  • Tier III — Adds redundant components as a key differentiator from other data centers. Tier III facilities require no shutdowns when equipment needs maintenance or replacement.
  • Tier IV — Adds fault tolerance by implementing several independent, physically isolated redundant capacity components, so that when a piece of equipment fails there is no impact to IT operations.
Redundancy and disaster recovery
Data center downtime is costly to data center providers and to their customers, and data center operators and architects go to great lengths to increase resiliency of their systems. These measures include everything from redundant arrays of independent disks (RAIDs) to protect against data loss or corruption in the case of storage media failures, to backup data center cooling infrastructure that keeps servers running at optimal temperatures, even if the primary cooling system fails.
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