Navigating the Different Types of Data Centers

Surya Yadav

In a data-driven economy, data centers process huge information at breakneck speeds. This helps support decision-making and other digital capabilities that companies require.

Each data center offers varying degrees of flexibility. Be sure to find out if they can scale with your business over time or provide you with options for additional space and power.


Hyperscale data centers are designed to provide high-speed, low-latency processing for mission-critical workloads. These massive facilities feature an architecture designed for horizontal scalability, which means they can easily add more hardware (servers or other computing components) to the infrastructure as demand increases.

This flexibility makes the different types of data centers ideal for storing and processing large amounts of information, especially during peak traffic. They’re also used to power globally-recognized streaming services such as Disney+, Netflix and Hulu, which require enormous storage capacities and fast access to the data they store to deliver seamless, high-definition media.

Unlike enterprise data centers, which are often built on-premises, hyperscale data center operators prefer to make their facilities in remote locations that offer the right mix of security, power and connectivity. 


Unlike cloud data centers, where customers pay for hardware infrastructure as a service, colocation data center providers offer space for clients to house their own servers and networking equipment. The customer owns and manages the equipment, but a colocation data center provider supplies remote “eyes-and-hand” support services, power, cooling, connectivity, UPSs, and more.

Colocation providers typically have connections to several domestic and international internet service providers. These direct links can help companies reduce costs and increase performance by cutting down on bandwidth bottlenecks and network latency.

The physical security protocols that a colocation data center offers often go beyond what a company could cost-effectively implement ‘on-prem’ and include fire and flood prevention systems and a variety of other protections from cyber threats. Colocation providers can also offer access to low-latency networks through a data center interconnect (DCI) feature. The DCI network consists of optical fibers and digital transport, which deliver ultra-low-latency connections between geographically disparate locations. These can be helpful for businesses that need to exchange data between multiple colocation centers or other data centers in different cities.

Managed Services

Data centers are critical to most modern enterprises and support business, network and storage functions. They house an organization’s most valuable assets – data systems and applications – in a secure location with a robust infrastructure.

Modern data center design relies on a combination of complex networking, computing and storage technologies to ensure applications are always accessible, fast and scalable. Industry standards and best practices guide how data center infrastructures are designed, constructed and operated to keep pace with growing data demands.

Delivering a hundred percent uptime for business-critical applications necessitates a lot of bandwidth, low round-trip times and distributed architectures connecting multiple locations. In addition, a high level of energy efficiency and sustainability are also critical requirements for data center management and monitoring.


Data centers are a critical component of any IT infrastructure. Their design and layout must support a variety of business applications. They can range from enormous, hyperscale facilities to small edge sites. The primary functions of these sites include processing, storing and distributing data. Ultimately, data centers must be optimized for performance, scalability, availability and energy efficiency.

In addition, BICSI-certified professionals can provide design and construction services for data center infrastructure. These services are crucial to ensuring data centers’ proper uptime and reliability. Typically, these data centers follow the Uptime Institute Tier Standard, which includes four levels of redundancy and reliability ratings.

Unlike colocation data centers, enterprise data centers are built and owned by enterprises on their premises. These sites are primarily used for mission-critical applications where maximum uptime and privacy are vital. On-premise data centers can also be part of a hybrid computing architecture. They can house data from centralized and remote locations to reduce latency and improve bandwidth. This can reduce costs and increase agility. They can also offer more visibility into power usage, allowing for quicker insights about future scaling.


A data center is a facility that centralizes an organization’s computing infrastructure to assemble, process and disseminate information and applications. This is a critical component of the modern business environment.

These facilities often have support infrastructure, including power subsystems, uninterruptible power supplies, backup generators, cooling mechanisms and fire suppression systems. They also feature network equipment to connect the data centers with other networks, businesses and fiber backbones – from core switches to the network’s edge.

The modern data center is evolving into a multi-cloud architecture where application workloads reside in multiple public, private and hybrid cloud environments. This means that companies must have a highly available and secure data center to meet the demands of users.

The modern data center must also offer scalability and flexibility. It must provide enough processing power, local storage and connectivity to support various applications. It must have an advanced security layer to protect against threats and attacks without slowing down performance. And it must be able to quickly spin up or take down resources as business needs change.

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