What is Data Center Cloud and Virtualization Concepts?
The Data Center
Every bit of information that you access on a device is the result of a transfer of data between where the information is processed and stored, and the device to which the data is distributed. Whether you’re searching for a good restaurant or the best price on a textbook, the information you find comes from a website that hosts its content in a data center. In today’s world, most people rely on the internet to get a majority of their information about the world around them. The need for access to information is growing as more people gain internet access, and companies find more ways to digitalize the way we do things. Companies, governments, banks, and schools all need their information and services delivered to clients and customers around the world. This is why efficiency in data centers is critical.
Data centers are often presumed to be large warehouse-sized structures owned by a large corporation or a government, but they can also be set up on-site by small businesses and companies themselves. These data centers house computer systems, called servers, that are used to share or compute data for clients like a smartphone user or a business website faster than a regular computer could. To grasp the idea of what a data center is, imagine a large amount of hardware in one physical area, such as a warehouse or a basement. In fact, if you do a quick online search for “data-center”, you will most likely come up with a map result of physical data centers near you.
With hundreds of servers processing and storing data for thousands to millions of clients every minute, a data center needs to provide vast amounts of computing power. This power can be achieved by using a great deal of hardware, which can become costly and as previously mentioned, inefficient. Data centers can be virtualized as well, resulting in less need for physical hardware and more flexibility of computing resources. VMware provides many virtualization solutions that solve the efficiency issues that affect data centers. The flexibility of having multiple hardware and software resources, called scalability, is important for growing companies and also allows for fast response to events that can cause outages and other issues.
To reduce the possibility of issues, a data center must be managed effectively. Effective management means monitoring data availability, capacity, and performance. Also, data centers need to ensure data security by not allowing data to be susceptible to theft.
These data center management tasks are accomplished using performance metrics. This is an important process that ensures data centers run as efficiently as possible. Of course, there are also other factors, aside from computing hardware, involved in maintaining data centers such as power management, effective cooling systems, and security measures. Although these are incredibly important, for this course, we will be focusing on how virtualization is used to increase data center efficiency.
The data center infrastructure consists of three main components: a compute system (a server), storage devices, and networks. In this module, you will learn about the architecture of the data center, the elements that make up the physical layer.