The Data Center Standards Overview describes the requirements for the data center infrastructure. The simplest is a Tier 1 data center, which is basically a server room, following basic guidelines for the installation of computer systems. The most stringent Tier is a Tier 4 data center, which is designed to host mission critical computer systems, with fully redundant subsystems and compartmentalized security zones controlled by biometric access controls methods.
Another consideration is the placement of the data center in a subterranean context, for data security as well as environmental considerations such as cooling requirements.The four Tiers are defined, and copyrighted, by the Uptime Institute, a Santa Fe, New Mexico-based think tank and professional services organization. The Tiers describe the availability of data from the hardware at a location. The higher the tier, the greater the accessibility.
Single non-redundant distribution path serving theIT equipment Non-redundant capacity components Basic site infrastructure guaranteeing 99.671% availability.
Fulfils all Tier 1 requirements Redundant site infrastructure capacity components guaranteeing 99.741% availability.
Fulfils all Tier 1 & Tier 2 requirements Multiple independent distribution paths serving the IT equipment All IT equipment must be dual-powered and fully compatible with the topology of a site’s architecture Concurrently maintainable site infrastructure guaranteeing 99.982% availability.
Fulfils all Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 requirements All cooling equipment is independently dual-powered, including chillers and Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems Fault tolerant site infrastructure with electrical power storage and distribution facilities guaranteeing 99.995% availability.
Aerosys Offers End to End Infrastructure, Security, Storage and Software Applications to optimize and Leverage the Investments, the solution offering and integration of the below:
- Flooring, Ceiling and Insulation
- Cooling , Power and Fire
- Physical Security – Access Control and Surveillance Camera
- Rack, Networking (Lan & Wan/Internet) and Routers
- Compute, Storage and Software
- Gateway Security – UTM, VPN and Antivirus
- Applications – ERP and Messaging
- Backup Recovery and Replication
- BCP and DR Planning
- Managing Datacenter
Flooring, Ceiling and Insulation
Data centers typically have raised flooring made up of 60 cm (2 ft) removable square tiles, to cater for better and uniform air distribution. These provide air to circulate below the floor, as part of the air conditioning system, as well as providing space for power cabling.
Raised floor generally consists of an array of pedestals that provide the necessary height for routing cables and also serve to support each corner of the floor panels. With this type of floor, there may or may not be provisioning to mechanically fasten the floor panels to the pedestals. This provides maximum accessibility to the space under the floor.
Cooling, Power and Fire
Air conditioning is used to control the temperature and humidity in the data center, recommends a temperature range of 16–24 °C (61–75 °F) and humidity range of 40–55% with a maximum dew point of 15°C as optimal for data center conditions.] The temperature in a data center will naturally rise because the electrical power used heats the air. Unless the heat is removed, the ambient temperature will rise, resulting in electronic equipment malfunction. By controlling the air temperature, the server components at the board level are kept within the manufacturer’s specified temperature/humidity range.
To prevent single points of failure, all elements of the electrical systems, including backup systems, are typically fully duplicated, and critical servers are connected to both the “A-side” and “B-side” power feeds. This arrangement is often made to achieve N+1 Redundancy in the systems. Static switches are sometimes used to ensure instantaneous switchover from one supply to the other in the event of a power failure.
Communications in data centers today are most often based on networks running the IP protocol suite. Data centers contain a set of routers and switches that transport traffic between the servers and to the outside world. Redundancy of the Internet connection is often provided by using two or more upstream service providers
Some of the servers at the data center are used for running the basic Internet and intranet services needed by internal users in the organization, e.g., e-mail servers, proxy servers, and DNS servers.
Network security elements are also usually deployed: firewalls, VPN gateways, intrusion detection systems, etc. Also common are monitoring systems for the network and some of the applications. Additional off site monitoring systems are also typical, in case of a failure of communications inside the data center.
The main purpose of a data center is running the applications that handle the core business and operational data of the organization. Such systems may be proprietary and developed internally by the organization, or bought from enterprise software vendors. Such common applications are ERP and CRM systems.
A data center may be concerned with just operations architecture or it may provide other services as well.
Often these applications will be composed of multiple hosts, each running a single component. Common components of such applications are databases, file servers, application servers, middleware, and various others.
Backup Recovery, Replication, BCP and DR Planning
Data centers are also used for off-site backups. Companies may subscribe to backup services provided by a data center. This is often used in conjunction with backup tapes. Backups can be taken of servers locally on to tapes. However, tapes stored on site pose a security threat and are also susceptible to fire and flooding. Larger companies may also send their backups off site for added security. This can be done by backing up to a data center. Encrypted backups can be sent over the Internet to another data center where they can be stored securely.
For disaster recovery, several large hardware vendors have developed mobile solutions that can be installed and made operational in very short time. Vendors such as Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, IBM, and HP have developed systems that could be used for this purpose.
Managing Network, Servers, Storage, Security, Application and Data is a big challenge and there are specialized tool to manage each of the Datacenter components.