A data centers is a dedicated building that provides space, power, and cooling for IT  / telecommunications equipment.

“A building or portion of a building whose primary function is to house a computer room and its support areas.”
TIA 942

“All buildings, facilities and rooms which contain enterprise servers, server communication equipment, cooling equipment and power equipment, and provide some form of data service”          

EU Code of Conduct

  • To locate computer, storage and networking devices safely and securely
  • To provide the power needed to maintain these devices
  • To provide a temperature-controlled environment within the parameters needed to run these devices
  • To provide connectivity to other devices both inside and outside of the data center
  • To provide other services that may be required to support these devices

A Data Centre is just that, it is a centralized point of data, however there are multiple DC types that can be referred too.

  • A Colocation Data Center
  • An Enterprise Data Center
  • A Managed Service Data Center
  • A Hyperscale Data Center
  • A Cloud Data Center
  • An Edge Data Center

A Co-location facility (Co-lo) is generally a larger data center which is subdivided to support many different business users

There are different levels of service:

  • Co-lo hosts, customer provides all equipment and connectivity
  • Co-lo provides connectivity, customer owns servers
  • Co-lo owns the servers, customer provides the application
  • Customer just buys a service

An Enterprise Data Center is owned and operated by the same company and is sometimes located within the same facility as the main company premises but it may be located on a separate site.

A Hosted Data Center is a facility which is managed on behalf of a business and will usually be located within a separate premises to the main business which it is supporting. Similar to that of a standard DC but through a provider called an MSP (Managed Service Provider). They will sometimes own or manage the hardware.

A hyperscale Data center can be viewed in multiple ways.

  1. A Data Center of a significant size in footprint or power availability – Equinix / DLR / Google MSFT
  2. The type of customer that is constructing / owning the facility – AWS / Facebook / Google / Microsoft

A cloud Data center is a term used to describe a data center that is not “on Premise” or remote to the business that owns / operates it and is connected via the internet.

An Edge Data center is a term given to a data center that is close to the end users. A smaller offering / facility to that of a standard DC. Helps reduce latency to the desired information.

  • Power
  • Cooling
  • Space
  • Connectivity.

According to Uptime Institute, the international standard is as follows:

A Tier I data center is the basic capacity level with infrastructure to support information technology for an office setting and beyond. Tier I protects against disruptions from human error, but not unexpected failure or outage. Redundant equipment includes chillers, pumps, UPS modules, and engine generators.

A Tier II facility covers redundant capacity components for power and cooling that provide better maintenance opportunities and safety against disruptions. The distribution path of Tier II serves a critical environment, and the components can be removed without shutting it down. Like a Tier I facility, unexpected shutdown of a Tier II data center will affect the system.

A Tier III data center is concurrently maintainable with redundant components as a key differentiator, with redundant distribution paths to serve the critical environment. Unlike Tier I and Tier II, these facilities require no shutdowns when equipment needs maintenance or replacement. The components of Tier III are added to Tier II components so that any part can be shut down without impacting IT operation.

A Tier IV data center has several independent and physically isolated systems that act as redundant capacity components and distribution paths. The separation is necessary to prevent an event from compromising both systems. The environment will not be affected by a disruption from planned and unplanned events. However, if the redundant components or distribution paths are shut down for maintenance, the environment may experience a higher risk of disruption if a failure occurs. Tier IV facilities add fault tolerance to the Tier III topology.

Data center redundancy refers to the way in which the data center infrastructure and the network are designed and the availability of duplicate components which are ready to be engaged when needed.

  • N Normal - there is NO redundancy
  • N+1                        Normal plus 1 additional component
  • N+2 Normal plus 2 additional components
  • N+20%                  Normal plus at least 20%
  • 2N                          There is TWO of everything

  • Greater levels of fault tolerance
  • Provides for regular Maintenance windows
  • Directly related to AVAILABILITY

WUE = Annual site water usage (in Litres) divided by the IT equipment energy usage in kilowatt hours (Kwh)

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