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15 Data Center Myths Explained

15 Data Center Myths Explained

by Nationalcws.com on Monday, March 11, 2019 15:00

There are a lot of myths out there about data centers. Read on to learn about the top data center myths and the truth behind each one.

There are over 8 million data centers around the world. A data center is important for protecting, managing, and disseminating data. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths out there about data centers.

Some of these myths state that data centers are going out of style, while others downplay the benefit of data centers. Check out our list of 15 data center myths and see if you've been guilty of believing any of these false claims.

  1. The Cloud Is Making Data Centers Obsolete

This is one of those myths that keeps on spreading. While the cloud has grown in recent years, it will never replace onsite servers. An increasing number of businesses are using the cloud, but the cloud is mostly to help businesses, not to replace data centers.

Most businesses would prefer to keep sensitive information in a dedicated data center. If you're not convinced, a recent study found that data centers are growing, not disappearing.

  1. An Old Data Center Can't Learn New Tricks

Do you think old data centers are unable to take on new workloads? Many think that they lack enough space and power to do so. But that's not the case.

Because of the development of new cooling and power management technology, data centers are always becoming more efficient. As long as a data center replaces and upgrades its technology, a 10-15-year-old data center can run almost as well as one built yesterday.

  1. Physical Security Isn't Important

Do you think old data centers are unable to take on new workloads? Many think that they lack enough space and power to do so, but that's not the case.

Did you know that hands-on activities are responsible for 66-75% of data center information breaches? While most people who think of data centers worry about hackers, physical security is only as important as network security. Be mindful of physical security: you wouldn't want someone to walk out with all your sensitive information!

Be sure to keep your data center safe. We've covered the ins and outs of data center security here.

  1. Big Data Centers are Always Most Efficient

Of course, there are several advantages to having a large data center. Because you can buy components in bulk, you'll save ten-fold on the cost per rack.

But with big data comes big responsibilities. These data centers have larger operational costs and have to manage more people. So in the long run, smaller may be more cost-effective.

In a nutshell, don't build big because you feel like you have to.

  1. Multiple Power Grids Make a Data Center Safe From Power Outages

Some data centers take pride in the fact that they are on multiple power grids, making them safe from power outages. The truth is, there are only three power grids in the entire United States: one for the west, one for the east, and one in Texas. So odds are, it's really on one main grid.

Now, they're not intentionally lying: often, they're on multiple substations. Most outages that would take out one substation would also take the adjacent one down with it. So no matter how many "grids" a data center is on, it has to still plan for power outages the same way as everyone else.

  1. To Stay Competitive, You Have to Hyperscale

Whether we're talking about Microsoft's cool new underwater data center or Facebook's Open Compute Project, hyperscale is on everyone's radar. But these are huge companies, and you don't have to try to keep up with them. What's most important is making sure your data center is running efficiently.

Before taking any huge hyperscaling steps, make sure your data center is running as efficiently as possible. Focus on maintenance, training, and responsiveness. These are the real things that people are looking for in a data center — no matter how cool the other guys look.

  1. Data Centers Only Store Data

Some people believe that data centers only store data. And while this is true — static data storage is a large part of daily data center functionality — they do so much more.

Here, laboratory data gets analyzed. Financial business partners make quick trades and transactions. They let us communicate with our friends, loved ones, and colleagues.

As you can see, a data center is so much more important than a place to store data.

  1. Design = Reliability

Design is important. There's no getting around it, but is it the most important? After all, very few data centers have innovative designs.

What's most important is the data center's operations and engineering groups. Some groups will outsource these functions, and it often ends badly.

Look for engineers, technicians, and electricians on site. And make sure to look for preventative maintenance records!

  1. Space in a Data Center Costs Too Much

Avoiding a data center due to cost is a bad idea. Business data is a critical asset, and you need to be sure to think of it as such. If you consider the value of keeping your data safe, it's a bargain.

In a data center, you can lease space so you only pay for what you use. You can scale up to pay more as your needs grow, so there's a solution for everyone.

Some businesses start out using the cloud (it doesn't have upfront costs, and it's quick and easy). But as they grow, there's much less flexibility. It can save a lot of future headaches to start out with a data center in the first place.

  1. Data Centers Don't Affect the Economy

If you believe this myth, it may surprise you to find that data centers have huge, positive effects on the economy. For example, Google's data centers generated over 1 billion dollars in economic activity and created 11,000 jobs. This is only one example, but it goes to show how big of an effect data centers can have.

Data centers hire a huge number of people. It's not only specialists: data centers need customer support as well as engineers and electricians.

  1. Data Center Location Doesn't Matter

You might think that you can build a data center anywhere, and it will cost the same amount to run. However, because of utility costs and water rates, as well as property and sales taxes, that isn't true. And energy costs can vary a lot between communities.

So while a certain community can offer incentives for building in their location, it may not be the best choice in the long run. Also, consider the costs of real estate and construction.

  1. Network Connectivity Doesn't Matter

Some data centers put all their focus into hardware and less into the connectivity. Network connectivity is important for providing a good user experience.

This is especially true if you're running an edge data center. In this case, you're building remote sites, and your system is no longer in one central building. It's sort of like running a cellular network.

  1. Data Centers are Energy Inefficient

Data centers work on efficiency. Why would they waste energy when more energy costs more money? The less energy they use, the less money they spend, and the more competitive they are.

Additionally, you may think a bigger data center is less efficient with energy. The truth is that bigger companies can better allocate cooling and electricity, so these end up being the most energy efficient of all.

  1. Small Data Centers Can't Customize

Customization for data centers lets them choose exactly what they need. Many people think this service is only possible for big data centers.

Surprisingly, anyone can afford customization. As long as you choose a vendor that controls its own manufacturing, it'll keep costs down. It may cost a bit more than choosing off the shelf, but because you won't have to work to make it fit with your current setup, it's worth the money in the long run.

Make sure to choose the option that's best for your business.

  1. A Data Center Means One Thing

There's no standard definition of what a data center is, and it's open to interpretation. Different data centers function in different ways and have different areas of expertise. To choose the best data center for a business, it needs to consider the best fit: data centers are definitely not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Data Centers are Here to Stay

A data center is a very important part of the business world, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. If you're a business looking to build a data center, check out our article on what to look for when choosing one.

If you work at a data center and need help moving to a new location, or if you need to destroy some old data, we can help. Contact us today for a free project quote.

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