2015-01-29 / IT infrastructure

How is a data center structured?

by Annika Sandig
Last edited on: 2023-06-30

They are rather invisible and yet they are at the heart of companies. Data centers have to deliver top performance 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. To realise this, they must have a professional structure. But what does such a structure look like? What are the differences between the various data centers? We would like to answer these questions in the following article.

Basic requirements

How a data center is set up depends on numerous factors. These include, for example, the power supply, security concepts, cooling and monitoring. Basically, however, a data center requires both technical and programme systems. In the area of hardware, these are servers and distribution cabinets. On the one hand, software includes system software such as programmes for data transmission and user software that is intended to solve user problems.

Rules for the structure

When setting up a data center, numerous legal regulations and standards must be observed. Here is just a small excerpt:

  • German Telemedia Act (Telemediengesetz)
  • German principles of proper IT-based accounting systems
  • principles of data access and verifiability of digital documents
  • ISO 27002:2008
  • ISO/IEC 27001

Safety measures

A data center must meet very high security requirements. The data must be protected against failures and remain confidential. In this context, access control is particularly important in order to know exactly who had access to the rooms and when. In practice, this is realised by different locking systems, e.g. key cards or biometric systems.

Other important aspects are fire protection, power supply and air conditioning. Protective measures here include, for example, subdivision into different fire compartments, overvoltage protection and air-conditioning units that regulate temperature and humidity.

Increasing demands on data centers

Nowadays, the professional planning of a data center plays a decisive role in economic efficiency. For this purpose, the company's needs are precisely determined beforehand and efficient solutions are implemented based on the results. Every parameter of the data center is individually coordinated to ensure optimal economic efficiency. The data center planners are faced with the challenge of implementing systems that are cost-efficient on the one hand and meet the increasing security requirements on the other.