Data centres: Welcome to the data factories

Have you ever wondered how all the digital data you send each day is transferred, and where such an impressive volume of information is stored? For each of your Web searches, for each email you send, or each recording you listen to, a request is sent to servers situated in data centres. What are they and how do they work?

A data centre is one of the necessary elements for the processing and storage of digital data. Indispensable for the Internet, they have experienced strong development since the rise of cloud computing. In concrete terms, they consist of a physical location containing computer servers that store digital data and in which companies can rent storage space, thereby eliminating the need for servers at their own sites.

Data centres: Simplifying the management of computing

data-centerWhy is this significant? Simply, because data centres are hyper-secure: They protect data against risks of fire, flood, theft, intrusion, breakdown, and power failure, besides which the data are replicated to prevent the risk of loss in case of a major problem. Through such decentralization of resources, the management of computing infrastructures is simplified, equipment does not become obsolete … and data are available at all times!

Energy efficiency in data centres

datacenter-covilhaBecause of their size and their 24/7 demand for electricity, data centres are massive energy consumers. Some data centres in the USA consume the equivalent energy of cities the size of Strasbourg or Bordeaux. To reduce the environmental impact of this equipment as much as possible, energy efficiency is now an integral aspect of these sites. VINCI Energies has participated in the construction of the Covilhã data centre in Portugal, which uses wind energy and solar energy, as well as free cooling (a system for refrigerating storage blocks) to limit CO2 emissions.

The Axians brand integrates the various hardware and software components required for the data centre and installs its copper and optical fibre cabling. It also develops tools to optimise bandwidth. Finally, VINCI Facilities ensures the operation of the buildings and multi-technical maintenance for this type of site.

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