Data Centers are the Backbone of Technology

Did you know there are 7.2 million data centers worldwide? Data Centers come in all different shapes, sizes and designs. In fact, some Data Centers are built underwater! According to Uptime Institute’s “The People Challenge: Global Data Center Staffing Forecast 2021-2025,” job growth is expected to rise 12 percent through 2024. The global COVID-19 pandemic has put technology at the forefront of everyone’s mind. But how does that technology work? Two simple words: Data Centers (with a connected network).

All data, from bank records to x-rays, video game save points to Zoom classes reside within a Data Center. Every piece of information or data must have a “home”.  It is because of Data Centers we can work from home.  The information used for a job may be stored in the companies’ Data Center and using a secure network connection that information can be accessed, viewed, changed or added to. Have you ever used the term, “it’s saved in the cloud”? “The cloud” is a Data Center. Physically, a Data Center is a building or a group of buildings that house computer systems and associated components. The computers (that are about the size of a pizza box) are stacked in special lockers called racks. The racks are lined up in numerous rows, in well-guarded, air-conditioned buildings. These buildings must operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Data Centers need to be highly reliable, energy-efficient and secure.

Most Data Centers are automated, but there is still a need for people. People to design and build the facilities and people to manage and operate the Data Center once it is up and running. Architects design and layout operationally efficient Data Center buildings and offices for the operations staff. Engineers design machinery to ensure that the large electrical and cooling demands of Data Centers are met. Contractors build the Data Center buildings.  Computer specialists install and maintain the computers and networks. Security keeps the buildings and computers safe and programmers write the computer codes and develop apps. These are a few of the many different jobs associated with Data Centers.

Choosing a qualified partner for data center design and construction is crucial for success. GBA Mission Critical has extensive experience providing architectural, engineering, design, construction and commissioning services associated with Data Centers. A recent project that GBA worked on for a Nationwide Telecommunications Provider converted basic shell space into a telecommunication and Data Center power equipment-ready space. A new electrical service, standby diesel generator and air-cooled chillers were added to support the new equipment. Additionally, office areas were converted into warehouse space, the roof and windows were replaced and the site was modified to accommodate the new generator.

In addition to the unique aspects of this type of design and construction, it also takes educated professionals to lead these projects. GBA is a proud STEM education supporter. Introducing careers in technology, engineering and architecture at an early age spark a strong foundation of awareness to the ever-growing Data Center industry.  By providing internship opportunities to those studying in the mission critical field, GBA can provide a real-world experience to those wishing to pursue a career in technology.

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