Facebook and Google data centers are up and running in both North and South Carolina, accompanied by dozens of data centers for other telecommunications companies. In the end, that benefits those of us who use technology on a daily basis. Google has centers in Goose Creek, South Carolina and Lenoir, North Carolina. A Facebook Data Center is in Forest City, North Carolina.
Essentially, a data center is a huge complex of connected or networked computers, used to distribute information, and store or process data.
Have you ever stopped to think about how a data center can connect you to the world?
When you type “BBC” in a Google search bar, your request is forwarded to a Google Data center, and almost immediately returns a variety of choices, including the website for the BBC TV organization in the UK. And if you click on the BBC website link, you’ll be taken to the page in less than three seconds, assuming you are using a high speed internet service and there are no connection problems at that moment.
Three seconds… When you clicked on that link, your request traveled from your computer, out of your home to your ISP or Internet Service Provider (like Charter or AT&T), then to Google, and from Google to the BBC website server, which is probably located in the United Kingdom. Then that website was transmitted back to your computer, all in about three seconds. Even more fascinating is that your request traveled through dozens of connection points along the way. Again, in about three seconds.
By having multiple data centers throughout the world, there is a higher probability that your request will get through, even if telecommunications lines are out of service in some areas.
The same principle applies to other data centers, including Facebook Data Centers, which store an enormous amount of users photos, videos, and other data. Your local business or organization probably uses a data center to store information or host websites.
Obviously, the connection process is much more complicated, but you should get the general idea.
If you want to know more, here are some resources… or just search for data centers on Google…