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Data Center Operations

What Are Data Center Operations?

Data center operations are defined as all activities necessary to run a data center. This can include the management of the physical infrastructure or IT infrastructure, as well as compliance, monitoring, reporting, and security for the data center.

Why Are Data Center Operations Important?

Proper management and operations of a carrier-specific or carrier-neutral data center can make the difference between a facility that functions properly and one that doesn't. Data protection, uptime guarantees, and regulation compliance rely heavily on strong data center operations practices. A well-operated data center can also help an organization save on costs associated with power, cooling, and security, ensuring there are no unnecessary costs being incurred.

How Do Data Center Operations Work?

Data center operations don't work without the help of people and tools to keep things running. Operational staff that are responsible for setting up and managing these tools are vital to the success of a data center. Some are responsible for daily management after migration, while others may lend their expertise during key times and events. For example, cybersecurity specialists might come in to set up security controls, while technicians are around more frequently to monitor the controls and troubleshoot as needed.

What are the Components of Data Center Operations?

The components of data center operations include infrastructure management, network connectivity, compliance, security, monitoring, reporting, and staffing.


Data center operations need to be concerned with both the physical environment and the IT environment when it comes to infrastructure management. Physical infrastructure includes anything in the data center that helps keep things running and secure, such as cooling, power, network interconnectivity and other physical environmental components. IT infrastructure also needs to be managed - networking, storage, and servers that create the IT framework in the data center are part of operations as well.


Security is also something that needs to be considered on a physical level and a technological level. The data center needs to be protected from threats using badges, access codes, security cameras, biometrics, and building materials that can withstand any extreme weather common to the area. The data also needs to be protected using firewalls, data encryption, and intrusion detection systems.


Depending on the data being stored and processed at a given data center, different compliance standards may apply, such as HIPAA or SOC standards. In many cases, compliance is determined by how the data center is managed - running regular security audits or having a disaster recovery plan for the facility, for example.


Some monitoring and reporting might be done for compliance reasons, and others might be done simply to ensure the data center is performing as expected. Having the right monitoring and reporting in place can improve uptime, reduce risks, optimize usage, and improve productivity by making data-driven changes.


Additionally, most data centers have staff on-hand 24x7 to assist in the above operations.

Data Center Operation Workflow Examples

Each data center will have a unique workflow based on the staff available, who the data center works with, and how the facility decides to handle management for new and existing projects. A general flow will probably look like this:

  1. The account management or sales team brings on a client with specific capacity and service needs.
  2. The IT operations team decides on the zone and device(s) that will be used for the client
  3. A team that manages the cabinets and and cages, handles the footprint selection based on the space available at the facility, the power needed, and environmental considerations, such as cooling. These will be assessed based on the monitoring and reports available.
  4. Once the equipment is placed, technicians and specialists are available to assist with set up and maintainance of the environment plus running requested network connectivity,

How TierPoint Can Help With Data Center Operations

At TierPoint, we're data center operations experts. We have 40 best-in-class, interconnected data centers located across the country. Services include day-to-day operations, as well as a comprehensive portfolio of complementary solutions - disaster recovery, security, colocation, and other managed IT offerings.

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