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What is a Data Center?

In the news, you’ll often hear the term “data center,” but what exactly is one?

A data center is a BIG building (think hundreds of thousands of square feet) that houses huge racks of servers and internet networking devices that contain and facilitate huge amounts of Internet traffic. They’re built to withstand natural disasters, like tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and wide-scale power outages. They have huge air conditioning systems capable of redirecting heat from the thousands of computer systems and multiple backup power systems. And they offer extremely tight security. It’s nearly impossible to gain access without authorization IF you can find the data center in the first place (most are unmarked buildings where you have to KNOW where you’re going).

Who uses them? Well, companies like Facebook (with more than 1 billion users) need to keep every profile, photograph, video, post somewhere. Online video games send their traffic through servers that live in large data centers; and music services need space to maintain their huge libraries; Netflix reportedly uses 3.14 petabytes (or about 3.3 million gigabytes) for its online catalog of movies and television shows. What’s more, data centers can offer fast data transfer rates to its clients or owners by purchasing additional bandwidth. Clearly, the sheer amounts of data loaded on many servers prevent them from hosting at their offices.

But it’s just not for the big boys. Cloud IT providers like Network Alliance need a place to hold their virtual computers and networks, too. Through economies of scale, we can provide an affordable and secure physical space so your information is safe.

 
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