Banking. Email. Social media. Entertainment. It’s probably no surprise that for all of these services, we rely on the data center. But did you know that you also rely on the data center in your commute to and from work each day? For the electricity that powers your mobile phone, tablet, laptop – and everything else? For the coupons that target exactly what you were hoping to buy? For a good match in your next job?
It’s true… we are inextricably linked to the data center, in ways you might never have imagined. Here are four:
1. Servers in a data center manage traffic lights
If you think about it, managing traffic in even a medium-sized city has got to be incredibly complex. To keep traffic flowing smoothly, the system has to be responsive; if traffic is particularly backed-up in eastbound lanes, for example, the system might shorten the timing of lights for north and southbound traffic. That requires a communications network to tie individual traffic signals together – and programs running on servers in a data center to manage it all.
2. Servers in a data center manage power plants, too
Like managing traffic, running a power plant is a complex endeavor. Temperature, pressure, input, output, all has to be carefully managed and closely watched. It doesn’t take a big change to overheat a boiler or overload a circuit; and when that happens, the power goes out – or worse. So while Mr. Burns leaves the fictional job of monitoring and management to Homer Simpson, in reality the monitoring and management of power plants is controlled by sophisticated software running on servers in a data center. The data center might be on-site, and for security reasons, it might not be connected to the Internet… but it’s still a data center, and it requires a system in place to keep it powered, cooled, and safe.
3. Grocery stores rely on data centers to analyze your shopping habits
The first time it happened, were you shocked to get grocery coupons in the mail for the exact products you typically buy? Of course, the store has kept track of your purchases. But how? Grocery stores, in fact, have been leaders in the practice of leveraging big data analytics in their marketing. When you sign up for the “VIP Rewards” card, you’re allowing the store to track your buying habits and market to you accordingly. This entails a huge amount of data storage and processing – work that’s done in a data center.
4. Your next employer will rely on the data center to analyze your fit
Most employers receive hundreds, if not thousands, of applications for any given job opening. That’s a lot of paper to wade through, so most companies are adopting increasingly sophisticated tools to find the ideal employee. Those tools rely on big data aggregation and analytics, and go far beyond sifting résumés by keyword. Now, companies are able to identify behavioral markers and make decisions using predictive analytics to see if an applicant will fit within the company culture. Where does that data gathering and analysis happen? In a data center.
At IO, we know very well how inextricably linked “life-as-we-know-it” is to the data center. And because we understand the critical and growing role that the data center plays in our everyday lives, we believe that the data center should be as reliable, agile, secure, and sustainable as the most innovative minds can make it.