The emergence of the data center began in the 1990s, when companies began installing servers on their premises, replacing clunky and outdated mainframes. As technology improved, these spaces moved to off-site facilities with more dedicated resources. Today’s data centers are impressively sized, with countless premium features. In fact, the world’s largest data center—located in Las Vegas, Nevada—covers over nine acres of data real estate!
A traditional data center is an industrial building in which space is provided for server infrastructure, along with power resources, cooling systems, cabling, natural disaster suppression technology, and the most up to date security measures. To maintain cost efficiency, data centers are normally built where overhead costs such as electricity and real estate are low, but still have the ability to maintain an adequate staff. It is important to note that traditional data centers can be expensive to build in terms of monetary value and time; this cost is likely handed down to the customers down the road.
Prefabricated data centers (also referred to as modular data centers)—ones that are able to fit within standard shipping containers—are becoming the new norm. These modular centers give companies the ability to customize server architecture on demand as necessary. A modular data center can be placed anywhere data capacity is needed.