How many types of data centers are there?

How many types of data centers are there?

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In a broad sense, there are two basic data centers: private, company-owned, enterprise data centers and outsourced data center providers. This is where it gets interesting.

You can make a case that the traditional enterprise data centers have not changed much in the last 10 years. They have just got retrofitted with larger network "pipes" and better security in various stages of implementing virtualization with storage subsystems of various types.

In the outsourced data centers, though, a lot has changed. We are finding purpose-built data centers. There are content-based data centers (Google, Facebook, etc.), there are data center colocation providers (IBM, AT&T, etc.), there are specialized data centers (high-frequency trading, supercomputers, etc.), there are cloud or shared data centers (Amazon, Rackspace, etc.), and you can also make the case that there are cache data centers (Akamai, Limelight, etc.). All are trying to attract enterprise spending power in some fashion.

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This was first published in September 2011

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