Monday, December 1, 2014

World’s largest data center – Microsoft Cloud computing facility in Chicago

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The Importance of Data Centers for Dedicated Server Hosting
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A data center, also commonly known as a “server farm,” is a physical location used to house computer systems and their associated accessories. While perhaps not the cheapest option, they can be one of the most effective ways to store sensitive and critically important data securely.

Data centers are a critical part of dedicated server web hosting, utilized by clients requiring a service that offers state of the art, resource intensive web hosting solutions. Equipped with expensive components like backup power supplies, redundant data connections, environmental controls, and security provisions, these data centers provide customers with the highest quality hosting available using present day hardware technology.

Data centers are frequently utilized to run applications handling core business and operational data for the company. Databases, file servers, application servers, middleware, and various other systems are some of the more common applications handled exclusively by data centers. Complete and continual site backups are also frequently handled by data centers. These critical data backups are crucial to the success of a business. Data centers provide a safe and structurally sound place to store this sensitive data without the fear of data corruption.

Using one of the most popular e-commerce websites as an example, an online marketplace demands continuous uptime and performance in the face of countless factors able to disrupt it. Data centers provide this functionality in a form that can go above and beyond general requirements to offer additional functionality only possible through a separate location. Information security is also a strong point of data centers, effectively minimizing the chances of a security breach that could disrupt the operations of even the largest online business.

Data centers are classified into 4 “Tiers,” varying greatly in available features, complexity, and cost.

Tier 1 – A structure meeting the bare minimum requirements necessary to call itself a data center. Basically, a dedicated computer room, following basic guidelines pertaining to the installation of it’s computer systems, a single path for power and cooling, no redundancy features, and a minimum of 99.671% up-time.

Tier 2 – Also using a single path for power and cooling systems, it is slightly more complex and provides a higher up-time percentage. This Tier includes redundancy components that boost the up-time to an impressive 99.741%.

Tier 3 – Comprised of multiple cooling and power distribution paths with only one path active at a time. Equipped with redundancy components and a 99.982% up-time, this Tier is concurrently maintainable.

Tier 4 – Multiple active power and cooling paths, redundancy components and the ability to withstand power and environmental faults. This is the most stringent data center level. Equipped with all the bells and whistles, they stay running, active and functional regardless of conditions or maintenance being performed on them.

The network security in data centers are home to some of the most intricate configurations ever created. A variety of firewall inclusions and variations, VPN gateways, Virtual LANS, intrusion detection systems and total incoming/outgoing data stoppage in the event of a security breach are just a few of the high-tech security measures within a secured data centers network.

The physical layout of a data center can be made up of many supporting physical structure additions. Landscaping strategies, raised flooring, air conditioning, airflow efficiency measures, smoke detectors, fire sprinklers, clean agent fire suppression, static switches, video cameras, bomb-resistant laminated glass, retractable crash barriers, diesel generators, security guards, card key access, and more are used to ensure the physically vulnerable aspects of data housing are impenetrable and inaccessible to thieves.

If you are a large business, you will be hard pressed to convince yourself of using any other option. Think of the dangers associated with no-name shared hosting companies with little to no resources available to adequately protect your data. Field experience in the protection and configuration of data housing structures is imperative to the success of your online business empire. Computer crimes happen all the time. The only way to ensure you are protecting your data to the best of your ability is to eliminate all possible risk factors. Using dedicated server hosting with a data center can help accomplish this, saving countless businesses along the way because of their paramount security measures.

Some questions that you need to ask any provider of dedicated hosting using a data center are:

1. Do you own your data centers?

2. How many people are supervising everything?

3. What are some of the physical protections being used at the data center to keep my data secure?

4. What virtual protections are in place to protect my data?

5. What Tier classification is your data center?

6. Can you provide a detailed list of features, functions and options available at your data center?

7. Should something go wrong, how long will it take you to replace a certain component, for example?