Originally posted on Bluebird Network

With the rapid advancements in technology, the telecom industry has developed widely used concepts that can be easily confused for those not well-versed in or just entering the field. This blog will help to decode some common acronyms and technical terms we hear often in the digital infrastructure space. This will help better understand the intricacies of data centers, with a focus on four main concepts: infrastructure, mission critical, DCIM (data center infrastructure management) and BMS (building management system).

Infrastructure: The Backbone of Communication Hardware

When experts in the industry say “infrastructure”, they can be referring to a wide range of technology that enable communications systems. When it comes to data centers, “infrastructure” refers to the physical components and systems that form the backbone of the facility. In the case of data centers, this can include power and cooling systems, cabling, racks, servers, and other hardware that are essential for operation and functioning.

Fiber networks also fall under the umbrella of “infrastructure” – fiber networks form the foundation of high-speed data communication in data centers. These cables transmit data, providing high-bandwidth, low-latency, and secure connectivity between different parts of the data center and beyond. Fiber network infrastructure may include a combination of long-haul fiber optic cables for connecting data centers over long distances, and local fiber optic cables for interconnecting equipment within a data center.

All of the different types of ”infrastructure” are crucial for maintaining the reliability, availability, and performance of any communications operation. Infrastructure enables the functioning of various aspects of modern society, including communication, commerce, education, healthcare, and governance. It is a vital component of the digital economy and the digital transformation of industries and organizations.

Mission Critical: The Highest Level of Reliability

In the context of data centers, “mission critical” refers to the systems, components, or operations that are vital to the functioning of the facility. Reliable power systems, cooling and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, network and connectivity, backup and disaster recovery systems and skilled personnel are some of the most critical elements that must be maintained at the highest level of reliability to ensure continuous operations. Oftentimes mission critical and data centers are used synonymously. Data centers, such as ones offered by Bluebird Network, are designed with multiple levels of redundancy and backup systems to minimize downtime and ensure the mission-critical functions are always operational. For example, Bluebird Network’s Underground Data Center features redundant power sources, including 3 diverse utility feeds and 3 backup generators, to ensure uninterrupted power supply even during power outages.

DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management): Achieving Total Efficiency

Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) is the merging of IT and building facilities functions within an organization, with the goal of providing administrators with a comprehensive view of a data center’s performance for efficient resource utilization. DCIM solutions include tools, software, and processes that enable real-time monitoring, management, and optimization of various aspects of the data center’s infrastructure, such as power usage, cooling, networking, space utilization, and environmental conditions. DCIM helps administrators identify inefficiencies, optimize resource utilization, and plan for capacity requirements, aligning with the goal of operating data centers as efficiently as possible.

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