What is a data center?
A data center (DC) is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. It generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls (e.g. air conditioning, fire suppression) and various security devices. A large data center is an industrial-scale operation using as much electricity as a small town. More details can be found in this nice Wikipedia article.
Data center standards
There are a few de jure standards however as with most technologies, the de facto standards imposed by major DC vendors are becoming the trend. An article posted at Data Center Knowledge website analyzes the most recent Data Center standards and which ones to comply with depending on each data center provider requirements and goals.
Data center certifications
The market is yet not fixed however most major software and hardware vendors are updating their traditional certification programs to include the terms “data center” or “cloud” somewhere in between. One good example is the new “CCNA Data Center” and “CCNP Data Center” certifications from Cisco. Also the International Data Center Authority (IDCA) is offering a variety of Data Center certifications, which are worth exploring.
Data center news
One very good and up-to-date source of information and news on Data Centers is the Data Center Journal Magazine. You can subscribe and receive the paper or electronic version of the magazine. Also the Data Center Knowledge website provides a handful of news and latest events around Data Center technology. And last but not least, this is a handy and up-to-date data center map with data center locations around the globe.