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We are living in a data-eccentric era whereby organizations, both for-profit and non-profit are depending on data to run systems. Large volumes of data is churned on daily basis and is used for decision-making.
There is always a need to do proper data management. Data should be stored in proper ways and at the same time be availed to the the required parties in a timely manner. This is where the importance of data centers comes in.
A data center is a facility that houses systems and structures that support data management.
The center can exist as a physical form such as a room housing the required infrastructure or it can exist in the virtual computers.
TA typical data center infrastructure comprises of different components such as data storage, computing unit and data storage unit.
All of these are powered by electric energy hence the essence of electronic components.
In this guide, we are going to discuss the essential active components that run data centers.
What is the importance of data centers?
To appreciate the roles of active components in data centers, it will be prudent to know the role of data centers in the modern world.
The importance and sensitive nature of data requires high levels of attention.
Basically, all the activities and operations in organizations depend on data.
So, data must be stored in a proper manner and meet their required standards.
Data centers have the capacity to store large volumes of data without any physical limitation.
Other than the capacity, the centers can store data that exists in different forms. Whether it is text data, audio, video among others.
Of course the storage should be in a secure way to eliminate authorized parties from accessing it.
Why cant we just store data in simple computers? You may ask.
The fact that organizations are dealing with humongous volumes of data means that computers will rarely have the capacity to handle such.
Access of data may also prove to be challenging when dealing with large organizations.
The centers also provide necessary access to the stored data whenever it is needed. The centers have elaborate systems that enable accessibility of data to authorized users. This helps to preserve the quality and integrity of data.
Data centers are well-equipped to handle all data processes. They have specialized processing units, storage units and data buses that facilitate the flow of data from one end to another.
Also, the fact that data centers are specialized units means that organizations can focus on other core aspects knowing very well that the area of data is well-taken care of.
What makes up a data center?
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Now that you know the importance of a data center, let’s look at some of the key elements of a typical data center.They include but not limited to the following:
Data center facility
In most organizations, a special or dedicated room is set aside for the data center functions. The facility should have the capacity to host all the equipment and components that are needed for data processes. It must have adequate lighting and ventilation. The size of the facility will always depend on the data needs of the organization.
Beyond the facility, site or location is another critical element of the data center. The site chosen to host the data center facility should be easily accessible to the organization. This applies to both the physical and virtual data centers. For example the site should have proper connection to power and connectivity.
Racks in data centers ensure that there is proper utilization of the available space. They are usually arranged from the floor of the facility going upwards.
Other than space, the racks ensure that the facility remains organized to allow movement of personnel in case of maintenance.
The racks must be strong and meet structural integrity to support all the relevant electronic devices.
A data center is characterized by many cables. Power cables are used for supplying electricity to the data equipment. On the other hand, data cables are used for implementing the transfer of data.
The right sizes and quality of cables are used in data center. Also, a proper cabling system ensures that cables in the room are properly arranged and secured mainly for safety reasons.
Data enters have power systems that mainly deals with the management of power. This is vital as all the equipment responsible with data management need power. The power system also ensures that each active center gets the power or current that it is designed for. This goes a long way to protect vital components from electric damage.
The power system also ensures that there is a backup in case of unexpected power loss at the data center facility.
Environmental control systems
As we have mentioned, the conditions inside a data center facility should support the smooth running of the electronic devices. This is where the aspect of environmental control systems come in.
There are different electronic devices that keep the temperatures, humidity and other environmental factors at optimum conditions for the efficient running of the devices.
Safety and security components
A data center must be safe and secure. It must be safe from different types of hazards such as fire and water damage.
Fire safety devices such as smoke are usually installed at strategic points in data centers to giver alerts in case of fire incidences.
Water and fire barriers may be added to protect key components from these hazards.
What about security? Data centers feature different types of security systems designed to safeguard against unauthorized access of data.
These systems include alarms, physical barriers, cameras, motion detectors, among others.
In most cases, on-site security guards are deployed to protect the facility.
Security factor also gets full attention even in the virtual data centers. For example, firewalls are installed to protect data center from hackers.
Some of the elements that e have discussed above are electronic hence feature active components.
Integrated circuits in data centers
There are many active components found in data canters Most of the components are embedded in integrated circuits from where they can work with other components to execute different functions.
To give you a better understanding of these components, we are going to highlight essential integrated circuits in data centers and what they do. You will then appreciate the roles of active components in the chips.
These are commonly referred to as central processing units (CPUs). As the name suggests, their primary role is to process data in the data centers.
These chips perform the arithmetic and logic functions that are needed for data processing.
Modern CPU chips tend to feature high-performance features. They can process large volumes of data fast and effectively.
Power management chips in data centers
We have just discussed the essence of proper power management in data centers. They ensure that all the power-related issues in the center are run smoothly. The chips are responsible for converting power into a perfect form from the power source.
Power integrated circuits also regulate voltage that goes into different electric devices designed for data storage. Some devices run on 12 volts while others 24 volts or more. It is the function of the chips to regulate the voltage depending on the requirements.
Memory integrated circuits
Among the biggest functions of the data centers is the storage of data. Memory chips in data centers are designed to store data and also facilitate access of data when needed.
There are different types of memory chips used in data centers. They include Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) chips, Flash memory chips, Random access memory chips (ROM) Programmable ROM, EPROM, Static RAM (SRAM) EPROM, among others.
The fact that data centers handle large volumes of data means that their memory chips are of high specs. After all, these chips directly affect the storage and management of data.
How is data transferred to and retrieved from data centers? This is made possible by the networking chips. They are usually installed on various network devices to facilitate data flow between the data center and the users.
Devices such as routers, switches and network controllers depend on the networking chips to work.
Networking chips have the capacity to synchronize smooth flow of data through cables or even in wireless connections.
They also have security and authentication features to ensure that data exchange is between authorized parties.
ASIC stands for the application-specific integrated circuits. These are chips designed to perform specific roles in data center environment. One thing about ASICs is they are permanently programmed to do those roles. This means that you cannot modify or reprogram them.
There are ASICs programmed to do machine learning, others are for security while others are for the networking functions.
An established data center has numerous active electronic components that ensure it is always in operation. Depending on the type of data center, the components used may vary from one to another.
Are you planning to build a data center? You have some ideas on what active components it needs.
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