Running a data center isn’t easy. Data center (DC) managers have to be ever vigilant to protect the data in their facility from security breaches, ISP downtime, electrical blackouts, environmental disasters and a host of other potential problems. It takes a quick mind and years of experience to get it right.
Anyone who has data housed in a data manager’s facility expects that data to be available quickly, reliably and affordably at all times. A highly trained and qualified staff, modern HVAC systems and bleeding-edge tech help to make that happen, but when you get down to it, you still need a manager to make it all run congruently. You need someone who always has data on his mind and is available to solve issues before they become big problems. He needs to be available at all hours of the day, the whole year ‘round.
Luckily for you, that person doesn’t have to be, well, you. Store your data and/or website with Superb Internet instead of keeping it in-house, and we’ll take the stress of managing data out of your life. Our DC managers oversee a core network and backbone connectivity that consists of 11 core network sites spread across five states and includes three SSAE 16-audited facilities. We maintain direct connectivity to all major global Tier 1 backbones and major networks and ISPs. Best of all, though, we have the people to make it all work together. Our data professionals ensure that your data is always there for you so that you don’t have to.
Let’s take a brief step back from the data centers of today, though, shall we? Let’s go back to the olden days of computing, way back when size and performance were inseparable from one another. Even if you’re not old enough to remember you’ve probably heard tales of this era, tales that are almost impossible for many to wrap their heads around today.
They’re true, though, those tales. Back in the bad old days, the most capable computers were absolutely enormous beasts of machines. They demanded absurd amounts of floor space, with just one of them sometimes taking up an entire room. As a result, it wasn’t feasible from a space or budgetary standpoint for most individuals or even organizations to own one of them. Instead, the majority of computers were in those days located only in large universities and other academic institutions, government agencies or gargantuan corporations.
It is at this time that we invite you to reach down into your pocket and pull out of it a handset that in all likelihood is every bit as powerful as the colossal computers of yesteryear. We’ve so quickly become so accustomed to the idea of having access to that sort of power almost everywhere we go that we rarely stop to think about just how impressive the entire thing is.
Of course, it’s not just phones that have gotten smaller and more powerful. Most computing devices have become more diminutive over the years thanks to the scaling down of internals like CPUs as well as breakthroughs in the way of molding synthetic materials.
The most impressive of these “Honey, I Shrunk the Computers” developments are referred to as nanotechnology, as Data Center Journal points out. Nanotechnology is any form of tech that is fabricated from components that are a mere one billionth of a meter or smaller.
Everything in the world, including people, is constructed from nanometers. Nanotechnology is what makes it possible for the mass production of computing equipment – and other goods – that are all identical to one another. Using specialized microscopes, scientists observe substances after they’ve been broken down to this scale. Doing so allows them to observe how such substances behave at the nano level, which makes it possible to make them as stable as they can possibly be.
No Quick Band-Aid
What this all means is that single devices must be capable of performing an ever-increasing array of different functions while being made from ever-decreasing silicon that houses the ability to do so. The result is that the engineers who are tasked with integrating myriad tasks onto a single, tiny chip are being forced to focus their efforts on maximizing the efficiency with which each individual task is performed. Oh, and by the way, they also have to do so while minimizing negative impacts on the business in performing the tasks. So, no pressure, guys.
Computer Weekly recently pointed out that this greatly affects the data center industry. It also took the opportunity to dismiss the popular idea that the centralizing of increasing numbers of functions is the answer to all of these problems. It may be an attractive solution for businesses looking to trim expenses, but it has to be approached with great precisions so that the best data and infrastructure-management partners for the job are chosen. If it’s not done correctly, the process can be expensive and require research into the location and premises, while issues with relocations and/or redundancies have the potential to pop up.
Doing It All
There is likely to be continuing demand for DCs that are able to handle our still-expanding need for data. There must, however, be international recognition of the fact that creating facilities that can house such enormous amounts of data has to be done in such a manner that does not put excess pressure on power supplies. It’s now possible for a DC that has only 2,000 square feet of room in it to be home to 20 petabytes of data. Virtualization, which allows the partition of a physical server into a group of multiple virtual servers, is helping the industry trend towards fewer servers running more efficiently. As a result, there are savings in the form of physical space, resources and costs.
All of these elements must be considered when the location, design and layout of a new DC are being ironed out. What happens if they’re not? Well, then the setup and operating costs of an installation of this sort could very likely eat away the entirety of the savings from centralizing the data storage and handling processes. In other words, the whole thing becomes self-defeating.
It’s likely that in the near future it will continue to be common practice to place data centers in less crowded locations. This is because of the continued need to build in more capacity than is actually necessary to provide an apt amount of future-proofing.
DC managers will keep on facing down the test of offering huge amounts of capacity while accounting for emergency backup systems, controlling their operating costs and consistently keeping on top of building and infrastructure maintenance. Nanotech might just bring about further cutbacks to physical space requirements, but miniaturization should nevertheless remain at the forefront of managers’ minds going forward.
Image Source: Slash Gear
Find out more about Nick Santangelo on Google Plus