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The Datacenter – Part 1: What Is a Datacenter?

We’ve all heard about the cloud, and it provides some nice imagery. Where are your documents? Up in the cloud! Delete an email? No problem! There’s a backup in the cloud! In reality, the cloud is made up of thousands of datacenters across the world with thousands of employees to make sure that your data is always accessible. In this multi-part series, we’re taking a deep dive into datacenters and explain why ours is so great!

A datacenter is a facility used to house computer systems. At its most basic, a datacenter is a room with a server inside. These rooms can be as small as a closet or as large as an airplane hangar. There are different levels of security at these buildings as well. Tom, the office IT guy, might have a key to the server closet, or there could be an armed guard at the front door with retinal scanners. You get what you pay for! You’ll learn more about the different tiers of datacenters in the next post.

One of Google’s many datacenters (Source: Google)

Instead of keeping your data on a single computer, storing it on a remote server lets you to access the data from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. Datacenters are the backbone of the cloud, a complex network of millions of connections around the world.

In addition to storing your data remotely, most datacenters have a scheduled backup system of some sort (depending on the tier) and power failure protection. You can schedule backups on your PC at any time, of course, but if the power goes out or your hard drive fails, you’re in deep trouble. Although you certainly SHOULD back up your personal computer data to an external drive (thumb drive, portable hard drive, doesn’t matter!) and store that external drive somewhere secure, like a fire safe, it’s simply not practical for an entire office staff. The magical cloud isn’t really that magical or mysterious. It’s a connected web of networks that all lead back to a central data hub.

Check in next week to learn more about what you can expect with your datacenter subscription.

 

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