What is a Data Center?

A data center is a physical location that is used to store both applications and, as you might have guessed, data. Data centers rely on a complex infrastructure of computing and storage resources to maximize the retrieval and delivery of data, and are often designed to be as secure as possible, so end users don’t have to worry about the integrity of their data or the reliability of its storage.

If you’re like most businesses, at some point, you’ve worked with a partner or a technology that makes use of a data center. But you might not fully understand what a data center is or why data centers are important for modern businesses.

What is Data Center

How Are Data Centers Used?

Businesses often use data centers in one or more of the following ways:

  • Email

    Every message you send or receive needs to be transmitted and/or stored. Data centers are typically reliable for executing these functions.

  • File storage and sharing

    Almost any file storage service you call upon will rely on a data center to maintain your data.

  • Productivity applications

    Productivity applications may also be hosted in data centers.

  • Big data

    It’s not feasible to store massive quantities of data locally for most organizations, but with a data center, the costs and practical limits are more manageable.

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning

    Thanks to the impressive computing resources of most data centers, functions related to machine learning and AI are much more accessible.


Key Elements of Data Centers

Data centers can be planned, built, and maintained in many different ways, but most have a few elements in common, providing three main services:

  • Storage

    Data centers, appropriately, can store large quantities of data. Some companies dedicate their data centers to millions of individual and enterprise customers.

  • Computing

    Data centers can also rely on computing resources like processing, memory, and network connectivity to run applications.

  • Networking

    Data centers are also connected, both physically and virtually, to other data centers and to end-users of the system.


Types of Data Centers

There are several types of data centers, based on who’s using them and how they’re being accessed, including:

  • Enterprise data centers

    Enterprise data centers are typically constructed and used by a single organization, for their own internal purposes. These are common among tech giants.

  • Managed service data centers

    Managed service data centers offer things like data storage, computing, and other services as a third party, serving customers directly.

  • Co-location data centers

    Colocation data centers function as a kind of rental property; the resources of the data center are made available to the people willing to rent it.

  • Cloud data centers

    Cloud data centers are distributed, offering their resources to customers often with the help of a third-party managed service provider.


Data Center Security

Data centers are often responsible for hosting large quantities of sensitive information, both for their own purposes and the needs of their customers. Accordingly, it’s vital that they maintain strict security standards. Most data center owners invest heavily in infrastructure and policies that keep data as secure as possible, both from physical vulnerabilities and virtual ones. For example, data is often distributed between multiple, physically separated data centers; that way, if a data center is compromised by a wildfire, earthquake, or another natural disaster, another data center will be able to restore the lost information.

Accordingly, if you’re choosing a data storage or cloud services provider, it’s important that you understand the security measures they use for their own data centers. Invest in the highest possible level of security to keep your information safe. It’s also a good idea to invest in separate security measures, like an absolute zero trust security approach.

Are you interested in finding a more secure location for your data?
Contact Check Point Software today for more information!


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