A data center is a facility housing many networked computers that work together to process, store and share data.
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A data center is a facility housing many networked computers that work together to process, store, and share data. Most major tech companies rely heavily upon data centers as a central component in delivering online services.
The terms data center and point-of-presence (PoP) are sometimes used interchangeably, though distinctions can be made between them. Speaking generally, a PoP may refer to a company having a single server presence in a location while a data center may refer to a location that houses multiple servers. Instead of referring to multiple PoPs in one location, Cloudflare uses the term data center to indicate a location in which many of our servers are maintained.
The concept of a point-of-presence rose to prominence during the court ordered breakup of the Bell telephone system. In the court decision, a point-of-presence referred to a location where long-distance carriers terminate services and shift connections onto a local network. Similarly, on the modern Internet a PoP typically refers to where CDNs have a physical presence in a location, often in the junctures between networks known as Internet exchange points (IxP).
A data center refers to a physical location in which computers are networked together in order to improve usability and reduce costs related to storage, bandwidth, and other networking components. Data centers such as IxP co-location facilities allow different Internet service providers, CDN’s, and other infrastructure companies to connect with each other to share transit.
Many components and factors are taken into consideration when creating a modern data center. With proper planning, maintenance, and security, a data center is at lower risk of both downtime and data breaches.
Learn more about the Cloudflare CDN with data centers located all over the world.