What is a Data Center & How Do Businesses Use It?
Businesses operating in the modern world might need a data center for a variety of reasons, mostly related to security. Not only does a business need to protect its own data, they also have a responsibility to protect the data of their clients.
For example, a retail store must protect the bank account and payroll data of their employees, including social security numbers. They also have to protect the credit card information of the people who shop there which might be stored in their point of sale system. Using a secured room or a space in a data center helps to prevent someone who is unauthorized gaining access to the information you store onsite.
What is the Difference between Data Centers and Rooms?
The term data room traditionally refers to a room onsite where servers and other forms of technology are housed. In many businesses the access to this room is limited to only those that need it, such as IT professionals. However, there are obvious issues with an onsite room. No matter how secure you try to keep it, it is difficult to stop other employees and people with malicious intentions from stealing a key or learning the code and gaining unauthorized access.
By contrast, a data center is a secure offsite building where there are typically several layers of security between visitors and sensitive data. Most data centers have secure outer doors monitored by security personnel. Visitors have to be buzzed in to gain access, and show identification to the security personnel. In some data centers the visitors will be photographed and issued a badge before entering. This allows employees of the data center to identify visitors at any point.
There are also secure data rooms available within data centers, and virtual data rooms that allow for safe storage of data within the cloud. These might be a better solution for small businesses or those working with a limited budget.
What Are the Advantages of Using a Data Center instead of a Data Room?
Some of the major advantages of using a data center to store and protect data include:
Better ways to preserve data. Data centers typically backup data at least once a day, so if you are the victim of a cyber-attack, you can restore to a recent version.
A way to monitor accountability in terms of data storage. You will have complete records of anyone who accesses the facility from your company.
Increased accessibility to your data, as most data centers have 24 hour access.
Decreased setup and operational cost. You can choose a data center plan that works for you, from getting a secure data room to taking up multiple rooms in the data center. This is more cost effective than setting up a secured space big enough for servers and other equipment in the office space. This can entail renovations and increased security tools, which may end up adding up to a lot.
Every business has to make the decision as to what data storage solution is right for them. With cyber security a concern for businesses from every industry, more businesses will need to decide if a simple room meets their needs, or if a data center is a better solution.