A data center is the department in an enterprise that houses and maintains back-end IT systems and data stores — its mainframes, servers and databases. In the days of large, centralized IT operations, this department and all the systems resided in one physical place, hence the name data center.
With today's more distributed computing methods, single data center sites are still common, but are becoming less so. The term continues to be used to refer to the department that has responsibility for these systems, no matter how dispersed they are.
Market and industry trends are changing the way enterprises approach their data center strategies. Several factors are driving enterprises to look beyond traditional technology infrastructure silos and transform the way they view their data center environment and business processes. These include aging data center infrastructures that are at risk for not meeting future business requirements, an ongoing cost-consciousness, and the need to be more energy-efficient.