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industrial data center

8 Critical Factors to Evaluate Before Choosing Any Industrial Data Center for Your Manufacturing Operations

An industrial data center, (that is, a data center within an industrial setting such as a factory) is a high-tech facility specially designed to store, manage, and process all the data generated by your industrial equipment, processes, and systems.

Such data centers should be tailored to the unique requirements and challenges of industrial environments, where factors such as temperature fluctuations, humidity, dust, and vibration can significantly affect infrastructure reliability and performance.

Here 8 critical factors to examine to keep in mind when choosing an industrial data center for your facility:

  1. Location Industrial data centers are typically located within or near industrial facilities, such as manufacturing plants, power plants, refineries, or distribution centers. Locating the data center close to the source of data generation reduces latency and transmission costs while ensuring timely access to real-time data for operational monitoring and control.
  2. Environmental Control Industrial data centers require robust environmental controls to maintain optimal operating conditions for IT equipment. This includes temperature and humidity regulation, as well as protection against dust, moisture, and corrosive gases commonly found in industrial environments. HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) systems and air filtration technologies are essential for ensuring the reliability and longevity of data center infrastructure.
  3. Physical Security Security is paramount in industrial data centers, given the sensitive nature of the data they house and the criticality of industrial operations. Access control measures, surveillance cameras, biometric authentication, and intrusion detection systems help prevent unauthorized access, tampering, and theft of data center assets.
  4. Redundancy and Resilience Industrial data centers must be designed for high availability and resilience to ensure uninterrupted operation of critical industrial processes. Redundant power supplies, backup generators, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), and redundant network connectivity are essential for minimizing downtime and maintaining continuity of operations, particularly in mission-critical environments.
  5. Industrial-Grade Equipment Industrial data centers often use ruggedized or industrial-grade IT equipment that is designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions, including temperature extremes, humidity, and vibration. This includes servers, storage systems, networking equipment, and industrial IoT (IIoT) devices specifically built for industrial applications.
  6. Data Connectivity Industrial data centers require robust connectivity solutions to facilitate the seamless transfer of data between industrial equipment, control systems, and enterprise IT systems. This may involve deploying industrial Ethernet networks, wireless communication technologies (such as Wi-Fi and cellular), and industrial IoT platforms for real-time data collection, analysis, and integration.
  7. Scalability and Flexibility Industrial data centers should be designed to accommodate the scalability and growth requirements of industrial operations. Modular design approaches, flexible infrastructure configurations, and scalable IT architectures enable organizations to adapt to changing data processing needs and accommodate future expansion seamlessly.
  8. Compliance and Regulations Compliance with industry regulations and standards governing data security, privacy, and industrial safety is essential for industrial data centers. Organizations must adhere to relevant regulatory requirements, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) guidelines, and industry-specific standards (e.g., ISO 27001, ISA-95), to ensure the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of industrial data.

Industrial data centers: critical foundation of Industry 4.0 success

Industrial data centers play a critical role in enabling digital transformation and Industry 4.0 initiatives by providing a secure, resilient, and scalable infrastructure for managing and leveraging industrial data to drive operational efficiency, innovation, and competitive advantage.

Looking for a partner that can help?  AutomateIT’s engineering team, aligned with our industry-wide partnerships, can ensure you choose a data center that delivers high availability, excellent redundancy, robust cyber-security, and long-term scalability to meet growing operational demands