Data Center: What is it, and how it works


We bring to your attention brief information about data centers, how they work, and the key features of their structure.

Most of you already know that data centers call unique buildings inside which there is IT equipment. These computer units are necessary to transmit, store, and process information in digital format. Each of these buildings is an integral part of the global Internet. Data centers also enable access to online entertainment, communications, financial transactions, security, and navigation systems. Thanks to this, can allow customers to use the most reliable hosting and servers.

It is interesting to note that the “Data Center” concept refers to storage facilities with entirely different sizes. Therefore, this can be called a small server room or a multi-story building, the area of which is sometimes several kilometers. If we talk about the structure of the data centers, then they consist of several components:

  • building;
  • IT equipment;
  • electrical equipment;
  • mechanical components;
  • network engineering.

Some elements of data centers should be told separately.


Most of the data centers are located inside unremarkable and not striking buildings. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, one of the data centers in Barcelona is located directly in the chapel’s structure. Some hardware is located in the mountains, in vegetation, in bomb shelters, and so on. Data centers are often located on the outskirts of cities and in the suburbs.

If we talk about standard centers, their main task is to remain unnoticed by others. Therefore, their architecture is simple and ordinary. Structurally, such buildings resemble warehouses. Inside, there is maximum free space. The internal area is divided into a small number of rooms. The main square is occupied by spacious rooms so that massive equipment can be placed.

A distinctive feature of such buildings is their increased strength and resistance to atmospheric influences compared with conventional offices and warehouses. Access to such infrastructure is constantly available, regardless of what is happening outside.

The critical world data centers are usually located in the mountains or deep above the ground. They are additionally protected, and round-the-clock safety is ensured.

Computer equipment

These are various units with which the buildings are filled. Therefore, they are called Data Centers. Such supercomputers provide global Internet and mobile communications.

IT equipment is 3 special “containers”:

  • servers;
  • memory modules;
  • means of communication.

Servers are used to run programs, applications, social networks, postal services, online games, and much more. These are PCs or laptops. But they are characterized by increased power, speed, and performance. Clients who want to connect to VPS Hosting use the capacities of one or more such servers. Each of them is located in special racks. The dimensions of one server are comparable, for example, with a pizza box.

Electric components

Electricity is an energy source so that server equipment and other components can work and perform their functions. Additionally, they need cooling since the IT agents release large volumes of heat during the operation process. This is considered when planning the Data Center building and its technical characteristics. Indeed, for any data center, the most essential thing is to guarantee sleepless work and the availability of servers for all consumers. Clients can be small sites, applications, or massive companies.

A special system provides data centers with electricity. Two separate power networks are provided, which increases the overall level of security. In case of failure of one network, the equipment can be fed from another.

In case both power networks become inaccessible, a refinement is provided to diesel generators or other reserve sources. Depending on power, generators can work for several hours to several days. The disadvantage of such a supply equipment is that it is required to serve and refuel.
Large data centers always use a whole complex of supply equipment. The connection is available to at least 2 independent electric networks, and a set of interchangeable generators is installed.

Additional sources of power supply

Data centers can use several auxiliary sources to provide power and equipment operation.

  • Switches ABR. Used to switch to backup equipment automatically. The uniqueness of the developed system is that the connection occurs without interruption of work processes. AVRs are electric panels that are inside the buildings and remain invisible;
  • IBP. These are sources for ensuring uninterrupted nutrition. Their activation occurs if the primary power grid suddenly fails. They are necessary to make it possible to manage the generators. The UPS has a limited operability period, which does not exceed 10 minutes. Therefore, such devices are not able to replace generators;
  • PDM. These are modules that are responsible for the distribution of power. These sockets are needed to connect the IT equipment in special racks. Several sockets are installed in each server cabinet to connect all units.

Cooling system

It is a separate part of the Data Center that is responsible for removing heat during computer equipment operation. The principle is the same as in the work of an ordinary PC or a portable laptop. Any equipment that is used constantly can heat up.

If heat is not discharged, this leads to overheating and disconnecting. This situation can negatively affect the company’s reputation and financial costs for any company connected to this data center. Imagine that you left the phone on a summer day under the scorching sun. He overheated and failed, and you lost all the data. The same thing can happen to the data center if you do not provide adequate cooling.

The cooling system’s design usually consists of several modules responsible for air conditioning, ventilation, and heating. Such systems are installed directly near the server and other equipment since they constantly interact with each other.

Cooling devices include two components: a huge fan that pumps air and cools the equipment and a heat removal system. Such units work as much as household or office air conditioners. Only industrial devices are significantly superior in size.

Cooling complexes are usually used in large data centers since their performance indicators are higher. Such units can generate cold water and direct it through special tubes in the computer equipment modules. The system’s only drawback is that it is relatively complicated.

From here, we can conclude that the data center is not just a building with huge computers inside. It is a whole network with a complex and multi-level structure. Thanks to such buildings, access to the Internet, websites, online programs, applications, entertainment, and much more is possible. The uniqueness of the structures is that they make equipment available in almost any circumstance. It is almost impossible to provoke a complete shutdown of the Data Center.