At Hostio Solutions, we use data centers that ensure that our servers can run under ideal conditions. In this article, we explain what a data center is and show you what our data center looks like.
What’s a data center?
A data center, also known as a server farm, is a physical place within a building where servers (or computers) are hosted. They allow important services such as backup, recovery, data management, networking and data storage.
What does a data center look like?
In a data center, you’ll find different spaces where companies keep and operate their IT infrastructures. Usually, a data center offers different options. Depending on the size of your company you can get a private suite to host several racks, a cage or one or several racks.
In a data center, controlling the climate is important to ensure that the right temperature and humidity are maintained. Only with the right temperature and humidity, a data center can function properly. Most data centers run on around 23 degrees Celsius, but some differ. To ensure the right temperature, Hostio Solutions uses efficient cooling systems, water leak detectors, and fire detection and extinguishment.
For many organizations, one hour of downtime can cost thousands of euros. Therefore, a data center always ensures that continuity can be guaranteed.
To ensure continuity in our data center, we have power generators and a UPS system (a device that allows servers to keep running). When power fails, the UPS system will take over. In the meantime, the power generator will be turned on. Depending on how full a data center is, a UPS system can provide around 15 minutes of emergency power. This is enough to get the power generator started.
Most data centers can run 24 to 72 hours. This depends on how full the data center is (in terms of power consumption) and how full the diesel tanks are.
Server racks are designed to hold and organize IT equipment. Data center racks have specific dimensions based on a unit of measurement (abbreviated as U). Racks usually are 46U (units) high but are also available in smaller and bigger sizes. Most servers that are used in a rack have a height of 1U or 2U.
Usually, 1 or 2 switches of 1U are placed in a rack. A switch is for remote management of the server and is often referred to as IPMI. Furthermore, racks often have a TOR switch (Top Of Rack), which is used to connect the servers to the internet. This switch is connected to the core router and the core router is connected to the internet through different providers.
Data and security
Server data is vulnerable to transmission errors, loss, hacking and corruption. While security protocols vary across data centers and companies, most data centers implement several security measures to prevent this from happening. These measures include having multiple saving locations, encrypting of data during transmission and backing up.
Also, the physical location of a data center needs to be protected. Therefore, most data centers are surrounded by fences and security cameras managed by someone at the data center. For visitors there usually is a secured entrance gate. To visit, visitors often have to register in advance. For people who are planning to visit the data center more often, it’s possible to use a whitelist. People on the whitelist get 24/7 access to the data center. Upon entering, an ID check is done and the access code is checked.