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HawkPodcast 36 – Common data center terms

By Mike Netzer · 11/13/2020

This is an episode of HawkPodcast, datacenterHawk’s viewpoints on the data center industry. If you enjoyed this episode, you can check them all out on our blog. If you’d like to know when we release future episodes, you can subscribe here. You can also click here if you want to read our 3Q 2020 data center overview for North America and Europe.

Below are the terms we go over in the podcast above.

kW (kilowatt & megawatt) - These are the units of power measurement that leases in the data center industry are measured in. They refer to how much power capacity your IT infrastructure has access to.

Gross + E - A type of lease and also a simple equation for how much it will cost you to be in a data center. “Gross” stands for having the right to access the power infrastructure and “E” stands for the actual power that you utilize.

Triple Net Lease “NNN” - This is a different type of lease from the “Gross + E” that we mentioned above. A “Triple Net Lease” is mainly reserved for larger companies who will take care of some of the building operating costs that are usually provided by the data center operator themselves.

Carrier Neutral Facility - A facility that offers multiple fiber providers instead of just one. Almost all multi-tenant data centers today are carrier-neutral facilities.

Ping, Power, & Pipe - This is a phrase for referring to the basic components of a data center colocation lease. It is another way of referring to power, space, and cooling.

Managed Services - Any service that a data center provider will offer in addition to power, space, and cooling, for example, firewall management, remote hands or rack and stack.

Rack & Stack - Another example of a managed service where the provider will assemble your hardware for you in their facility.

Purpose-Built / Retrofit - These are the two different types of data center construction. Purpose-built means the reason a facility is being built is to be a data center. Retrofit means that a building was not originally meant to be a data center, but has been renovated and changed to be one, likely because it’s in a good location with good power and connectivity.

Absorption - This is the word that the data center industry uses to measure demand/growth in a given time period.

Dark Fiber - A dedicated fiber route between one facility and another. Dark fiber is typically used by a single customer as opposed to shared. Since it is a dedicated resource, it will be more expensive than lit fiber.

Lit Fiber - A fiber route that goes directly into a facility is considered “on net” or “lit”. Data centers will typically have multiple fiber providers entering their facility. Lit fiber is a shared resource.

PUE - Stands for Power Usage Effectiveness. This is a metric that data center facilities will use to measure the efficiency of their design. It measures how much of the power that comes into a facility is used by things other than the data center space (e.g. office space).

Compliance Acronyms (ISO, PCI, SOC1, FEDRAMP, etc) - Compliance is a very important aspect of the data center industry. This has grown in importance due to data breaches and other security issues. There is a long list of acronyms that can be categorized under the compliance umbrella, but the jest of what you need to know is that there are dedicated teams in the data center industry that need to know what all of these acronyms stand for and the specifics of them.

Thanks for listening to this podcast, we hope you’ve found this information to be helpful. If you did, it would help us a ton if you would like, share, and subscribe to our content.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our HawkPodcasts and don’t miss out on our latest release of market data for the data center industry.

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