What it Takes to Run a Data Center
The Internet world is powered by data centers that dot the planet. Numerous people all over the world use the Internet everyday but no one probably thinks about the data centers that makes surfing the Internet possible everyday. A data center is where a website is hosted, it stores images, information, copy and everything else you have on your website on a server that is located in a data center facility.
There is a lot that goes into building a data center. One of the top priorities is location. The location has to be able to support all of the power and electricity it takes to keep a data center running at all times. Data centers require constant power at all times. Power is what keeps the websites and servers running, with no power there is no website.
Big companies, like Google, try to seek out areas that have the space and power sources needed. Google has built data centers in the US, in six different locations across the country. They have also built data centers overseas in Finland, Belgium, Ireland, Netherlands, Singapore and Taiwan. Google researched every area before constructing these massive data centers to make sure the area would be able to support it.
Netsville also researched the area of Rochester before deciding to build our data center in 1999 at our office headquarters in downtown Rochester. One of the biggest reasons on deciding to build it in Rochester is because of the power situation.
Like I said, it is devastating for a data center to lose power. Our Rochester Data Center is located on a redundant power grid, backed by the flow of the Genesee River that runs through the center of the city, a hydro-power plant that was created by the genius of George Eastman. There are transformers on the East side that provide power to the west and vice-versa during any power outage as far as the “Inner Loop”, an expressway that circles downtown Rochester. It is because of this fact, that downtown Rochester has not lost power since the 1960’s! Surviving several ice storms, blizzards and rough winters, we have been able to keep the data center running.
Making sure the website stays live with power is only one piece to the puzzle when it comes to a data center. Infrastructure is another important part to the data center. Websites are hosted on servers that store the information, images and anything you upload to the website. You have to have enough infrastructure to handle all of the incoming data and traffic with out the website slowing down.
We have redundant wireless connections and currently up to 100Mbs at our disposal. This allows the websites we host to be running at high speeds and allows our clients faster uploading speeds.
We manage our own IP blocks and receive full BGP routes from different providers. However, we also manage equipment in other data centers. Basically we make sure our clients websites are running at high speeds which is crucial especially for all of our eCommerce clients.
Temperature is another factor that comes into play once a data center is up and running. With all of the power it takes to keep a data center running they can over heat easily. We have two different AC units running through the building into our data centers to keep everything cool. Here in Rochester we deal with all four seasons, so keeping a close watch on the temperature of the data center is a must.
Now that everything is up and running at nice temperatures, its time to focus on keeping everything safe and secure. With all of the hacking scandals that have been going on with companies like SONY, you can see how important it is to have high security. Clients are uploading information onto the website and it is our duty to protect that information making sure nobody but them can access the website to change the information.
Another important aspect of security is engaging with other system administrators around the world, being active on security mailing lists to find out what others are talking about. And actively maintaining our firstname.lastname@example.org address so others know we are available to report problems.
It is important to do a some research before choosing where you want to collocate your servers or possibly your website. Researching some of the topics I touched on today is a very good idea before you make your decision. In the end, running a data center is 24 hour job. You have to constantly monitor the power situation and the temperature at all times. It’s always a good idea to have a support line so your clients can get in touch with you at all times if they are having problems with their equipment. Let the data center companies worry about the issues though so you can continue surfing the web that’s what we are here for.
Based in Rochester, New York, Netsville is an Internet Property Management company specializing in managing the Digital Marketing, Technical, and Business Solutions for our customers since 1994. For more information, please click here.