Encyclopedia of Big Data

Living Edition
| Editors: Laurie A. Schintler, Connie L. McNeely

Data Center

  • Mél HoganEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32001-4_299-1



Big Data requires big infrastructure. A data center is largely defined by the industry as a facility with computing infrastructure, storage, and backup power. Its interior is usually designed as rows of racks containing stacked servers (a motherboard and hard drive). Most data centers are designed with symmetry in mind, alternate between warm and cool isles, and are dimly lit and noisy. The data center functions as a combination of software and hardware designed to process data requests – to receive, store, and deliver – to “serve” data, such as games, music, emails, and apps, to clients over a network. It has redundant connections to the Internet and is powered from multiple local utilities, diesel generators, battery banks, and cooling systems. Our ever-growing desire to measure and automate our world has seen a surge in data production, as Big Data.

Today, the data...

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Further Readings

  1. Burrington, I. (2015). How railroad history shaped internet history. The Atlantic, November 24. http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/11/how-railroad-history-shaped-internet-history/417414.
  2. Easterling, K. (2014). Extrastatecraft: The power of infrastructure space. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  3. Neilson, B., Rossiter, N., & Notley, T. (2016). Where’s your data? It’s not actually in the cloud, it’s sitting in a data centre. August 30, 2016. Retrieved 20 Oct 2016, from http://theconversation.com/wheres-your-data-its-not-actually-in-the-cloud-its-sitting-in-a-data-centre-64168.
  4. Starosielski, N. (2015). The undersea network. Durham: Duke University Press Books.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Vonderau, P., & Holt, J. (2015). Where the internet lives: Data centers as cloud infrastructure. In L. Parks & N. Starosielski (Eds.), Signal traffic: Critical studies of media infrastructures. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Communication, Media and FilmUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada