What is a Data Centre?
Data centre refers to a facility housing computers, storage and communications equipment, typically serving a large enterprise or government organization. The term was introduced in the days when enterprise computing revolved around large mainframes whose physical size, power and cooling requirements demanded a specialized central facility. While this model is still common, the term can also apply to the department that manages these resources, even though they may be distributed.
With the increased reliance on IT operations and big data within Canadian organizations, data centres have taken on a large role when it comes to information management. With such dependability on modern technology as part of day-to-day operations, companies' concern for data backup and contingency plans have evolved because of the need to be able to operate in light of a system failure while still having access to important information. If their system goes down, they still need a method to access data through a backup system or they could lose significant productivity. This is where data centres come in.
What are data centres and what do they do?
A data centre is a facility that is used to operate large and oversized computer systems and related components, typically for large organizations. They can be housed on site, but are commonly housed offsite and serve as a backup system.
In most cases, data centres are used for the following:
To house large computer systems
- To serve as computer storage systems
- As telecommunications hubs
- To provide backup power supplies
- To house redundant data files
- To provide environmental control
- To house security systems
The truth is that many of the modern data centres that exist are owned and operated by internet companies to house their own servers. For example, Google has a number of data centres across the United States to house its operations and to provide more effective and fast services to its users. Therefore, if your company is large enough, you may want to consider developing your own data centre rather than using a service-based structure.
Data centre features
Data centres offer companies a number of features and capabilities to assist them with their systems and servers. Core features include:
Space for large dedicated servers and data storage units
- State of the art security to protect your system and data
- Climate control to ensure there is an ideal environment for your equipment
- Protection from fire and flood
- Large generators to ensure there is an unlimited supply of power without interruption
- Highly reliable networks to ensure maximum uptime
Why companies use data centres
There are a number of reasons why companies are increasingly using data centres as part of their normal operations. They include:
They act as a backup and provide support in case of a power disruption or system failure
- More and more companies are using the Internet and related technology to conduct business. As a result, there is an increased need to house data.
- You need to have a backup and a disaster recovery plan in place
- With increased important on computing, companies need to take measures to properly storage and protect servers from damage, theft, and infiltration.
- To ensure their system maintains a high level of reliability.
Data centre services
Data centres not only house computer systems, they also offer companies a number of information management services. Some of the most common include:
Dedicated servers: With these servers, servers are dedicated to your company only, are custom build and use the operating system and programs required by your organization.
- Managed services: This service allows companies to centralize their business network, allowing employees to work remotely and provide back up and load balancing services. With this option, companies often also use administration, security, network and business continuity services.
- Colocation services: These services are ideal for large companies that require substantial space. They can have custom cages built to meet space and power requirements while maintaining complete control of the equipment.
Friday, October 15, 2010iWeb’s new data centre offers Smart Servers The Montreal-based provider of dedicated hosting offers customers faster server provisioning, easier migration to new hardware and better visibility into server functionality. An Info-Tech Research analyst thinks iWeb is toiling in a very niche market
Thursday, October 14, 2010GigaSpaces offers in-memory platform for Cisco UCS The application server vendor targets enterprise users moving from disk to in-memory-based computing, and those using Cisco UCS but having trouble porting apps. Plus, why GigaSpaces is dissing Oracle’s Exalogic
Friday, October 08, 2010Meet the Judges: Anthony Iannucci IT LEADERSHIP AWARDS: We profile the people who’ll be evaluating the nominees for ComputerWorld Canada’s IT Leadership Awards. Toronto Transit Commission’s Anthony Iannucci talks of the value in cross-department collaboration, and praising in public while coaching in private
Tuesday, October 05, 2010HP branches out A branch office connectivity system to eliminate the need for local IT resources, a security service to control application access and a server system for hosting, Web serving or outsourcing applications are among the new products
Tuesday, September 28, 2010IBM to buy data centre switching specialist Big Blue moves deeper into data centre networking with purchase of Blade Network Technologies. An industry analyst is surprised it took IBM so long
Tuesday, September 14, 2010DundeeWealth expands BCP with SunGard DundeeWealth is outsourcing its data centre and renting workspace seats at SunGard disaster recovery locations. Moving to the suburbs reduces probability of risk and other financial companies in the downtown Toronto core should be doing the same thing, says SunGard
Monday, September 13, 2010Paving the way for the flat network Brocade Communications Systems Inc., Hewlett Packard Development Co. LP and Juniper Networks Inc. are pushing to sell new data centre switching gear as servers, storage and networking converge. However an analyst predicts many companies will abandon new networking projects
Tuesday, August 17, 2010IBM releases new Power7 servers for mid-market Big Blue continues to build out its 700-series portfolio based on the Power7 chip, including a high-end and four low-end servers. Also based on Power7 is a new Smart Analytics System for real-time analytics of massive data loads
Friday, August 13, 2010How to build solid, reliable networks Gigabit fibre or 10 G, Fibre Channel or iSCSi, networking hosts and Power over Ethernet: A guide to best practices for making sure the network isn't your organization's weak point
Friday, July 30, 2010How to migrate to Energy Efficient Ethernet An expert says initially swapping out adapter cards and switching hardware will be involved. But as future standards link to it, more complex software and hardware changes may be necessary
Wednesday, July 28, 2010Shrink your IT infrastructure costs Save your money with these 10 tips from Gartner. According to the research firm, 60 per cent of the IT budget goes to IT infrastructure and operations so why not cut costs where it really counts?
Tuesday, July 20, 2010Peer 1, Microsoft partner on new e-mail service The Vancouver-based managed infrastructure provider will offer Microsoft Exchange as a hosted service. One analyst thinks offering Web services is a competitive differentiator in a market where basic hosting and co-location is not enough
Monday, July 19, 2010Firm promises new take on containerized data centers I/o Data Centers will formally announce plans in two weeks to enter the containerized data center market. Find out more about the company
Wednesday, July 14, 2010Peer 1 brings ServerBeach to Toronto The Peer 1 hosting brand, which has been housed in four other U.S. cities, makes its debut at the company’s newly opened Toronto facility. ServerBeach is geared toward small players with some in-house administration experience
Wednesday, July 07, 2010Ontario’s Beer Store inks outsourcing deal The province’s beer retailer announced Wednesday that it signed a seven-year, multi-million dollar agreement with Montreal-based outsourcing giant CGI. Find out why The Beer Store took the plunge and what the move means for its IT division
Tuesday, June 29, 2010New HP offerings consolidate, protect data centres FcoE module removes need for two adapters to allow physical and virtual servers to access networking and storage resources. Also, more TippingPoint products
Wednesday, June 23, 2010Brocade unveils HP-based data centre extensions Companies team for Fibre Channel devices that will improve server and SAN connectivity. An industry analyst says it's good for Brocade
Wednesday, June 02, 2010Toronto-based Fusepoint sells for US $124.5M U.S.-based hosting provider Savvis, which announced its purchase on Tuesday, said the deal was motivated by demand from its large multinational customers looking for services in Canada. Plus, commentary on the deal from IDC Canada
Wednesday, June 02, 2010HP layoffs final chapter in EDS integration Hewlett-Packard’s enterprise services push to automate and modernize service delivery is why it’s planning to lay off 9,000 and rehire 6,000 with specialized skills in the next couple of years. The impact of layoffs in Canada will be “fairly modest,” according to an IDC Canada analyst
Tuesday, June 01, 2010Novell extends workload management to Linux Novell has extended workload migration to Linux environments and to Windows clusters in PlateSpin Migrate, PlateSpin Protect and PlateSpin Forge. It’s part of Novell’s Intelligent Workload Management strategy, but one analyst said it’s not yet clear how that plan will play out
Friday, May 28, 2010Getting the most out of your cores While the battle of the cores is underway with Intel, AMD and IBM, enterprises must also pay attention to the servers, systems and applications used to take advantage of this new processing power
Wednesday, May 26, 2010Q&A: A chat with Intel’s Gordon Graylish A vice-president with the chip-maker talks about keeping up with Moore’s Law and how the company is striving to help customers create a sustainable data centre. WITH VIDEO
Friday, May 21, 2010IT should pay the power bill, reasons eBay exec The online seller's data centre chief makes the case for coupling performance and power management. Find out about eBay's own data centre
Monday, May 17, 2010Juniper collapses the data centre Company says new architecture can dramatically increase performance, operational time and cost by eliminating to need to acquire additional products to boost performance
Tuesday, May 11, 2010HP’s new products, services free up IT dollars Thirty per cent of the IT budget is spent on IT infrastructure daily maintenance. But HP said new Generation 7 ProLiant servers with iLO 3, and management tools for virtual and cloud environments, should help shift IT spend to innovative projects