The Modern Rules of Data Center
by Nationalcws.com on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 16:00
Are you wondering what the modern rules of a data center are? We’re here to provide your roadmap to data systems.
Americans are more reliant on digital data than ever. The dictionary defines data as “quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer”. Those who rely on data systems, however, know that it is so much more.
If your business relies on a data center, you know that picking one that you trust is crucial. Making critical errors in your data center has the power to single-handedly destroy your business.
So what are the rules of a modern data center? Read on to learn more about what you should expect.
A Date with Data
It’s time to get to know data one on one. Data is anything and everything that you input into your device. This includes encrypted data, as well as the files created by your computers and other devices.
The modern era is a digital age. We live in a time where the use of computers has become essential to our everyday life. Nearly every business existing utilizes complex computer-aided operations.
Vast amounts of data and information are being inputted. This information is then processed and sent out from your emp to everyone else’s computer units. In this form, data is often still raw and needs to be processed further before users can fully utilize them. Thus a need to manage all of these data and information is a must.
The complexity of properly managing and storing data and information requires a data center. A data center is a facility that centralizes the information technology (IT) equipment and operations of an organization. It is where data are being properly stored, managed, and disseminated.
Basically, data centers are a physical building and it’s IT equipment. The information stored in data centers is often confidential, so data centers are often heavily guarded.
Ensuring the safety of your business’ private information as well as the information entrusted to you by your users is of unparalleled importance. Rather you're looking for your first data center or looking to make a move, here are a few insights into what you should expect from a high-quality data center.
Make Sure Your Data Center Is Highly Secure
Your data center should reserve the right to exclude anyone from their facility. This should be possible even without cause and/or written notice.
Anyone who is requested to leave the premises should have to do so immediately, as any suspected ‘bad actors’ can compromise the security of your information.
Your data center may also choose to include security measures like surveillance cameras. This can help to ensure that no employees are tempted to copy secure data.
Data centers should take their hiring very seriously to ensure that their employees exceed standard industry requirements. Standard security measures for data centers can be strict.
Your data center should have strict security measures, much like an airport. This may include a search of one’s personal belongings. This helps prevent visitors and employees from bringing prohibited devices into the data center.
Malicious activities and violations should also be a no go. It’s important that the data center be a drug and alcohol-free zone.
Anyone under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other intoxicants should be immediately reported or written up.
Valid Identification: Access Granted
Employees and visitors should be required to present valid identification before entering the data center. The data center location may also require you to wear a badge while on the premises.
If you're a data center employee or visitor, you should be subject to disciplinary action if found with falsified documents. (So don't go trying to reuse that old pass).
Visitors must carry proper identification with them at all times while on the premises.
You’ll be required to sign in and out when you enter and leave the data center. The front desk officer will greet you and issue you a certain visitor’s badge or id pass.
This ID will be something that you will be required to wear at all times while you're inside the data center. When exiting, you will likely be required to return the badge that you were issued.
Data Center: The Food Court
Drinks and electronics don't mix. Crumbs and condiments aren't desirable either.
This is why most data centers have strict requirements for how their employees eat and drink while at work.
There’s a designated area in the data center where you can eat and drink. Food and drinks are highly prohibited in most areas of the data center. This is especially the case on the server room floor, as spills may cause servers to malfunction.
Whoever said 'there's no reason to cry over spilled milk', clearly didn't work at a data center.
Cellular phones may only be used in designated places inside a data center. This policy is in place for multiple reasons.
The signal of your cell phone may also be hindered by the data center floor due to impediments. So if you're planning a data center visit, you can plan to leave your cellphone in the car or at the front desk.
Additionally, photos are highly prohibited in most data centers, however, you may ask about the rules specific to your location. In some instances, you’ll be asked to file a photo application form at the front desk.
Only with specific authorization can you freely snap that data center selfie.
Safety Measures and Other Approvals
Snapping a selfie isn't the only thing that can get you in trouble at a data center. There are many things that may seem routine may be off limits or require permission.
For instance, you aren't allowed to alter anything in the data center without prior approval. This even includes the floor tiles of the data center.
If there’s a need to get under the data center floor, you'll need to notify a supervisor beforehand. They’ll likely have an agent assist you upon approval.
For safety reasons, children under the age of 16 are often not allowed on the data center floor. Data centers can be a dangerous place!
This is why close-toed shoes are also required when on the data center floor. If you're already planning an outfit for your data center visit, be sure to wear the proper protective clothing. Servers can have sharp edges and rough corners.
No Cardboard (Ever)
In a data center, cardboard is the enemy. No, that's not a typo. Innocous looking cardboard is an enemy of servers and is therefore usually prohibited by data centers.
Cardboard is prohibited on server floor because it is highly combustible material. Cardboard is also made of worrisome particulates and dusty matter. This can get into the fans of the servers and wreak havoc.
This can then clog up the airflow needed to keep the equipment cool. At best, this can require the servers to use more energy and take longer to cool down. At worst, this can cause catastrophic server failure.
Data centers should always place a high value on the cleanliness of their servers.
How to Pick a Well-Managed Data Center
Everyone wants a data center that can keep up with the rapid changes required from computing equipment. To do this, they must have a handle on all of the elements required for efficient function.
This means real-time measurements of server temperature, room humidity, and airflow. It is also imperative to maintain a detailed inventory of equipment including its characteristics, vintage, and performance history.
Using RFID (radio frequency identification) technology greatly help in tracking the equipment status. Physically tagging equipment can also be helpful. This enables you to tie each server to a particular spot on the rack and identify it within the network.
When the equipment is moved, the RFID readers will help to update the status of the equipment in the central tracking database. Digital camera images (DCIM) is another software that is also necessary for data centers. This can provide a detailed picture of the current status of the data centers but should be used in conjunction with other measures as well.
Data Center Procedures
Data center equipment is constantly changing and requires a well-managed facility. This means well-defined procedures for design, deployment, maintenance and decommissioning of computing and infrastructure equipment.
RFID tracking tools, over-the-network data collection, and DCIM sensor measurements help data centers make these procedures accurate and efficient.
In some sophisticated data centers, sensor data is used in conjunction with machine learning algorithms. This can help to automate some data center operations and simplify human procedures.
Picking the Right Data Center for You
If your company is looking for a new data center, you have all the information you'll need. You'll know what to expect and what questions to ask if something doesn't seem right.
If you're looking for more great tech news, be sure to visit our blog. We have lots of useful content designed to help make tech work for you.