Cloud computing is growing quickly. According to surveys, over 90% of companies rely on some form of cloud services to help streamline their business. Here are many reasons why onsite data centers may be used by a business:

  • Complete control over hardware selection
  • Full time access to hardware and data
  • Total control over security
  • Loss of Internet access will not result in loss of computing resources

This list illustrates that a great deal of expertise is needed to host an onsite data center. For this reason, many businesses work with data center solution providers. After all, these professionals are able to design data center solutions and implement proposals unique to your business. As a business considering an onsite data center, here are five data center components you should know:

Hardware

Hardware is the heart of a data center. Hardware includes servers, switches and routers, and telecommunications or VoIP equipment. Your hardware needs will depend on the tasks your network will perform. If you use VoIP, host web-based software for your workstations, store terabytes of data, and provide a virtual private network (or VPN) portal for remote workers, your hardware needs will be greater than a server that is used solely for storing word processing documents. Data center solution providers can help you select the hardware you need for your onsite data center.

Software

Your software needs will work hand-in-hand with your hardware needs. Often, your network architecture is defined by your software. If your business uses web-based software, such as a program for tracking inventory, your onsite data center will need the storage, computing, and bandwidth capacity to run the software for the warehouses.

Conversely, if your office uses desktop software installed on each individual personal computer, the data center may require no more than a server operating system to provide storage and Internet access for personal computers.

Consequently, you should have a comprehensive grasp on what software you anticipate using and how that software is stored and delivered. This will help your data center solution providers optimize its data center for your use.

Environmental Control

Servers give off a lot of heat. It is likely that a major concern of your data center solution provider will be the HVAC systems needed to maintain temperature and humidity levels that will prevent your hardware from overheating. A professional firm should have no problem utilizing these environmental controls to your benefit.

Fire Suppression

Given the amount of heat and electricity in your onsite data center, there is a risk of fire. Fire suppression is intended to fulfill two roles:

  • Fire suppression can prevent it from destroying your data or spreading to the rest of your office.
  • Fire suppression technology can attempt to protect your data while the fire is put out.

Aside from the risk of destroying the servers and any data stored on them, sprinkler systems can actually cause or exacerbate fires when they spray water on electrical equipment. For this reason, data center solution providers usually recommend either a waterless system or a water mist system that is much less likely to cause equipment damage than sprinklers.

Security

Security comes in two forms when referring to a data center:

  1. Physical security: Even if you trust all your employees to have access to your data center, there is always a risk that a non-employee may try to gain access to your data center. For this reason, data center solution providers will likely recommend some form of access control, such as keycards or biometric locks.
  2. Data security: While data security is usually a software-based task, keep in mind that physical equipment, such as firewall devices, can also provide an additional layer of security. Many data center solution providers also provide cyber security consulting and should be able to advise you on the data security level your network requires.An onsite data center can provide a high level of control over your computing resources allowing independence from cloud-based services. However, many businesses will require the expertise of data center solution providers to design and deploy data center solutions. Rely on ICC360 as your data center solution providers.