Data centers get a bad reputation for being boring places. Considering the fact they're the backbone of 21st century technology, it's probably time they start getting a bit more credit. Every single person in the world is influenced by data centers, and the people who run them do much more than just sit around and wait for dust to collect on server enclosures.
From investing in used computer racks to keeping the room at the right temperature, running a data center comes with a litany of important daily tasks and responsibilities. Data centers can be quite profitable, but you not only need to know what you're doing, you also have to have the right equipment and information to get the most out of your business.
Even if you have experience with data centers, there are some things you may not know or tend to overlook. Here are three fascinating tidbits about data centers to keep in mind:
- Data centers are big business. When it's noon on a Wednesday and you're on all-fours assembling server rail kits, just remember that all your hard work will pay off. The computer server manufacturing industry generates an estimated $14 billion in revenue annually, and every dollar of this revenue is directly influenced by data centers. While technology continues to evolve, there is still one constant: businesses need a central location to store their information. Your data center provides businesses with this location.
- Used computer racks are key. In order to best serve your customers and succeed in this industry, you need to invest in the right type of equipment. Used computer racks perform the same exact job as their brand-new counterparts at a fraction of the price, which is why most data centers opt for used equipment. A single 19- or 23-inch rack can accommodate anywhere from 42 to hundreds of servers, regardless of when it was produced.
- Watch the thermostat! If you've been involved with data centers for a while, you likely already know about temperature control. However, some data center operators are fairly new to the industry, and others may just need a reminder. According to OpenXtra, server room temperatures should not dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and should not exceed 82 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a crucial piece of information, and it is highly recommended that you post this around your data center for employees to see.