What is a data center and why is it important?

When global technology and social media giants switch to cloud technology, you’ll often hear the term ‘data center’. From Google, Facebook, and even Microsoft, maybe every high-tech company needs data center support. In the context of modern technology, it can be said that it is impossible for a technology company to operate without them. So what is a data center and why is it so important?

Read also: What is Big Data: definition, features and benefits

What is a data center?

A data center is basically a large computer that stores and processes information. Every company or organization that manages user data definitely needs a data center. In other words, if you have an account on any site, or if you have used the internet to search for something, you must have exhausted some space in data centers located in several locations around the world.

A data center is usually referred to as a single entity, but actually consists of shelves, cabinets, cables, batteries, and a backup generator in the event of a power outage. Because they store billions of megawatts of information, they also have cooling systems to prevent them from overheating.

So think of the data center as a supercomputer that stores all the information online for you and millions of people around the world.

How was the history of the data center discovered?

Even though data centers are in full swing, these physical facilities are not a new invention of the 21st century.

It is generally believed that the first unit that could be considered a “data center” was built in 1946 in the United States. Is called ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) and is used by the United States military to store defense codes and other important information. ENIAC was huge, covering 1,800 square meters and weighing up to 30 tons.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, when commercial computers began to gain popularity, similar large ENIAC computers began to appear on the market. Veteran IBM IT was in charge of such an infrastructure at the time. In 1964, IBM launched the world’s first “supercomputer” called the CDC 6600. If I think about it, this supercomputer has all the features of a data center.

But it wasn’t until the 1990’s that the term “data center” was coined. With the rapid advent of the Internet in the world, the IT companies of that time saw the need to move their servers to dedicated computer rooms.

Where is the data center located?

Data centers are ubiquitous around the world, but most, if not all, are located in areas that are protected from natural disasters. Many are also close to a stable and reliable power source, ensuring a better internet connection. Proximity is also another important issue: the closer the data center is to the business, the faster the overall speed of the Internet in business.

As they begin to spread overseas, data center companies also consider a country’s tax laws, water and electricity costs, and geopolitical risks as important factors.

As data centers become larger in terms of storage capacity, many companies are also beginning to consider security as one of their main concerns. On-site security, such as surveillance cameras and security personnel, and security software for each component are now available for the most part 24/7.

There are over 6,000 data centers in approximately 126 countries worldwide. Currently, the largest data center in the world is located in the United States, with an area of ​​7.2 million square meters called the Citadel. It is located in Tahoe Reno, Nevada, and hosts data from some of the most important names in the business, including eBay, Amazon, HP, Boeing and Bloomberg.

Types of data centers

Data centers are divided into three main types. The first is the enterprise data center. These are facilities owned and operated by the technology companies themselves. For example, Google, Microsoft, and IBM have data centers for businesses in different parts of the world.

Data center placement follows. This is when a company rents a rack space from an enterprise data center. Large technology companies like Facebook also have colocation data centers in addition to their enterprise data centers.

As cloud technology becomes more and more important in the world of technology, cloud data centers are also becoming more popular. Technology companies that have cloud computing businesses typically also operate cloud data centers. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are examples.

Now that we know the different types of data centers, who are the major data center providers in the world? Aside from the big tech names we all know, some of the ones you should know are NextDC, SpaceDC, Equinix and Digital Realty. The first two are based in Australia and Singapore, while the last two are based in the United States.

Why are data centers important?

Data centers are important because everyone uses data. From individual users like you and administrators to multinational companies. Everyone may have used the services provided by the data center.

Whether it’s email, online shopping, video games, or just browsing social media, every byte of what you store online is stored in the data center.

For medium and large businesses, cloud data centers are fast becoming the preferred way to store data. This is because they are much more secure than storing information with regular hardware. Cloud data centers provide enhanced security protection, such as firewalls and backup components in the event of a security breach.


So what is a data center? A data center is a physical location that hosts basic IT and computing services and infrastructure. Simply put, a data center is a physical place to store and calculate data. The data center is the lifeline that sustains our digital world.

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