Vivekanand Vellanki

As companies stored HUGE amounts of data, they needed more and more machines to both store the data and also to process this data.

Today, companies are collecting and storing huge amounts of data every day. They also want to learn something from all the data that they collect.

All of this requires a large number of machines. The natural question is "what is the best way to keep this many machines in the least amount of space?" and "how do we deal with all the heat that is generated?"

The first question is easy - how do libraries keep large number of books? They use racks and place books next to each other. Data centers follow the same approach, except that they stack machines (without the monitor) vertically in racks. So, a fridge sized rack will hold 10, 20 or 40 machines depending on the thickness of each machine (BTW, machines are becoming thinner and thinner to enable this).

The 2nd question is a cooling question - find a place with cheap power so that the A/C bill doesn't go through the roof, or find a cold enough place where the environment naturally helps with the cooling.

Mahesh Godavarti

A rack in a data center is exactly what you think what a rack is (a structure for holding stuff). The only difference is that the racks in data centers hold computer servers and have provisions for providing power, cooling and surge protection to the data servers.