A data center American English  or data centre British English  [note 1] is a building , dedicated space within a building, or a group of buildings  used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. Since IT operations are crucial for business continuity , it generally includes redundant or backup components and infrastructure for power supply , data communication connections, environmental controls e. A large data center is an industrial-scale operation using as much electricity as a small town. Data centers have their roots in the huge computer rooms of the s, typified by ENIAC , one of the earliest examples of a data center. Many cables were necessary to connect all the components, and methods to accommodate and organize these were devised such as standard racks to mount equipment, raised floors , and cable trays installed overhead or under the elevated floor. A single mainframe required a great deal of power and had to be cooled to avoid overheating. Security became important — computers were expensive, and were often used for military purposes.
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