Data Center Equipment 101

- Posted by Author: DTC Marketing in Category: data center |

Managing a data center means hours of preparation to ensure everything runs smoothly, starting from day one and long into the future. Whether you are housing a small data center for your company, or you are in charge of operating a cloud storage center with multitudes of servers, there is some equipment that is absolutely necessary. We put together an easy-to-follow list of equipment that every data center must have.

Internal Environment Controls

When a lot of electrical equipment is located in one place, you need to make sure the temperature doesn’t get too warm. Keeping the building air-conditioned won’t be enough; you need to be able to manage the environment as a whole. These items will help you do that. 

Temperature Regulators – By placing temperature sensors throughout the building, temperature and humidity can be regulated. This is critical for monitoring the internal environment and giving the system time to react.

  • Airflow – Air flowing throughout the data center will help eliminate ‘hot spots’, which could end up damaging equipment. Airflow can be managed using fans, air pressure, and more.
  • Humidifiers –Keeping the humidity level between 45% and 55% is ideal. This can be a challenge when using air conditioners, which is why humidifiers are essential.
  • Central Cooled Air –This can be in the form of traditional air conditioners, water coolers, or any other air-cooled option. The important thing is ensuring the air-cooling units can keep the data center at the proper temperature at all times.

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Server Racks

Server racks are the main thing you think of when you envision a data center. Most people have seen pictures of large data centers with several rows of server racks containing equipment and blinking lights. All data centers hold different types of equipment including servers, routers, switches, and more. If not properly stored in server racks, data center equipment can have issues with cooling, exposing them to physical hazards and lower levels of security.

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Reliable Power Sources

All equipment within a data center depends on a source of power or electricity. The servers, routers, switches, air cooling systems, security systems, and just about everything else in a data center needs electricity to operate. Not only does the data center require a vast amount of power, but it must be extremely reliable. In the chance that there is momentary disruption of power, the entire data center will go down. Power stoppages can damage equipment, resulting in long periods of downtime and expensive maintenance.

Fortunately, most data centers that are in operation today use a two-tier system for power. The first tier is a large battery backup system. All of the power courses through this battery backup so if the commercial power drops, the batteries will continue to supply the data center with electricity.

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Cable Management System

Before adding any equipment to a data center, it is important to have a cable management system in place. It begins with everyday items like zip ties to hold cables in place. It also helps to purchase colored cables that make it easier to identify different types of cables.

With server racks, it is vital to have a cable management system that will keep the cables organized. By guiding cables either up to the top of the server rack, or down through the bottom, will make it easier to replace cables if they go bad. A clean cable management system in a data center looks like a work of art and improves the way the entire data center operates.

Computer & Network Equipment

Once the server racks, cooling systems, power sources, and cable management systems are in place, the real fun starts. The main data center hardware can be installed last. Data center hardware consists of all the equipment needed to move data to and from computers and to communicate with wider networks like the internet. Some of the key computer and networking equipment needed in a data center is:

  • Switches- Switches make sure that data packets go to and from the right location.
  • Modems- A modem allows data to be sent over a given network. A data center modem works similar to a modem in a house or office that provides access to the internet.
  • Routers- Routers enable several servers/computers to all be part of the same local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN).

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Whether you are in charge of constructing a data center for your company, or you are leading a team that operates a cloud storage center, we hope this list of data center equipment will help you in your next data center project.