Nearly every business or company today involves the use of the Internet and computers, and this opens up whole new worlds of communication, research, and sharing data files such as text documents, images, videos, and more. But a company’s technology component is more than the PCs that the employees are using in the office building; the brains of this operation is the data center. What is a data center? Put simply, it is an enclosed room with data cabinets that hold many computers, and these computers are all linked together so that they can work as a single unit. Such a data center is used for the company’s entire information sharing network, and a data center can store vast amounts of information and process it all, and a data center can be linked to the Internet if need be. Setting up a data center means having all the hardware and software components and features in place; it is not just a handful of PCs on a shelf. For example, a thermal containment system and cold aisle containment systems should be used, or a data center might soon overheat and sustain damage to its computers. What might a thermal containment system look like, and how can data rack products be used?
Why Data Centers are Used
Companies today need to be modern, and this means having the right IT solutions, ranging from the computers that employees use to the data center to cyber-security. A data center can be useful because it allows workers to operate remotely and not even be in the office itself, as long as an Internet connection is used. More and more workers are choosing to work remotely, such as at home, and there are some benefits to having a virtual presence in the office. Such workers eliminate commute time from their day, opening up more time for work, and they are also free of the noise distractions at the office such as conversations or phone calls. What is more, dirty or germ-covered surfaces at the office can cause sick days, as can bad air, but a remote worker avoids this and limits the spread of illness at the office. If a company has a good data server and Cloud storage that can be accessed remotely, then a remote worker can send and receive files digitally any time of the day. Many managers today are seeing the advantage of this, and they like sharing data virtually. This can also include scanning documents and uploading them to the data server or Cloud, and this can be a fast and convenient option for traveling business professionals, since mailing these documents by paper is often too slow. This is all the software aspect of a data server. But what about the hardware, such as storage racks and a thermal containment system?
A data server cannot exist without the computers that process it, and this means having the right hardware in place. It all starts with the actual room used to contain the data server, which can be a room in the building or even a small auxiliary building that only needs a door so that someone can go inside (no windows needed). In this room, specialized racks and cabinets will be set up to hold the computers and their cables, with heavier hardware at the bottom for safety’s sake. Specialized cabinets will have holes in them so that cables and cooling tubes can run through them, and they may have clear plastic doors that users can open up.
Computers generate heat, and a thermal containment system must be set up to keep the computers safe. Air conditioning can be used, if possible, to air-cool the room, but this may be energy-efficient, and is an older method. Data centers older than seven years are often considered outdated according to the Green Computing norms, so modern data centers may implement a thermal containment system called liquid cooling. Tubes of cooled liquid will flow through computers, and these plastic tubes will be woven through all the cabinets and reach all computers. This saves lots of electricity compared to air conditioning, which saves on the electric bill and also contributes to the energy-saving aspect of the “going green” initiative.