The modern world of connectivity in which we now live make data centres as crucial to a functioning society as schools, hospitals, law enforcement, etc. Data centres provide that link that keeps us connected across the world. Without them, most of what we take for granted in the technology arena would simply cease to be. So what goes on in a data centre? In its most basic form, a data centre is a dedicated space housing networked computer systems and tertiary equipment. It can be space set aside in a company's headquarters or space found in a purpose-built campus dedicated exclusively to data centre functions. Your typical data centre houses network servers that serve data across local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), or both. Just getting online means you are interacting with a data centre. If your company utilises cloud applications or publishes a website, a data centre is involved. Your company might even have its own data centre with a complete IT staff to keep things running. But is there more? Yes. Data centres do more than just serve up web pages and cloud applications. The modern data centre offers a host of additional services that customers are becoming increasingly dependent on. High Density Computing As the world becomes increasingly more connected, keeping networks up and running requires ever more powerful computers. 'High density computing' is a term used to describe the process of using high-powered computers and networks to handle unusually large loads. A high-density computing environment today houses server racks that consume anywhere between 10 and 20kW of power, as compared to 3 to 5kW required by a standard rack. High density environments feature machines with higher numbers of CPUs, more powerful video rendering, tremendous volumes of RAM, etc. A high-density environment is reserved for power-hungry processes such as 3D rendering and seismic data processing. High-density computing keeps global retail networks online and military defence capabilities up and running. Managed Cloud Environments The cloud is where it's at for modern business. The biggest and most successful companies have long abandoned locally hosted software in favour of SaaS applications in the cloud. They are using cloud environments to interact with customers and facilitate work within the office. Making it all work are managed cloud services. A managed cloud environment is an enterprise environment that combines the expertise of data centre technicians with the applications customers need to run their businesses. Managed clouds can be public or private. The best are connected to either Tier 1 or Tier 2 carriers and networks. Deployment Support The speed in which global networking is advancing makes it impractical for companies not directly engaged in data centre activities to keep up with it all. As such, data centre operators have started offering deployment support. This support comes with both technical solutions and ongoing help to keep everything running. Data centres can do as little or as much as their customers want or need. A comprehensive solution would be a turnkey solution including cabinets, cabling, complete technical design, layout optimisation, power density balancing, and even test certification. Asset Management Auditing There are times when customers need to know how their own assets are doing before making a decision about moving operations to a new data centre. Many data centre operators offer assistance by way of asset management auditing. They utilise experts to go in and audit the customer's assets at every level. Then they recommend a course of action. If an audit reveals that the customer's assets are more than adequate to continue supporting operations, the recommendation may be simply to move those assets to another location. On the other hand, the recommendation might be to turn everything over to a data centre provider and start from scratch with new hardware and a fresh deployment. Data centres are still the place for servers hosting small business websites. They are still places where you can find shared hosting plans, virtual servers, and the like. But today's data centre is so much more. It offers a larger range of services intended to meet the ever-changing needs of modern business. In doing so, data centres are taking on an ever-increasing role in making the world work.