The Past-Brief History of Data Centers

In 1946, the U.S. Army developed a huge machine called ENIAC (Electronic Numerator, Integrator, Analyzer and Computer). ENIAC was designed to calculate artillery firing tables for the Army’s Ballistic Research Laboratory. This machine weighted 30 tons, took up 1,800 sq. ft. of floor space, required 6 full-time technicians to keep it running, and performed 5000 operations per second. This was really the beginning of the data center.

In the 1960s, computers were primarily used by government agencies (military, NASA, FAA). During this decade computers converted from vacuum tubes to solid state devices such as transistors, which lasted much longer and are smaller. They were more efficient, more reliable and cheaper than equivalent vacuum tube devices.

Computer memory slowly moved away from magnetic core devices to solid-state static and dynamic semiconductor memory, which greatly reduces the cost, size and power consumption of computer devices.

By the 1980s, the computer industry experienced the boom of the microcomputer era thanks to the birth of the IBM Personal Computer (PC). Computers were installed everywhere, and little thought was given to the specific environmental and operating requirements of the machines.

Circa 1960s – Computer use within Government settings began to increase as they became more reliable and less expensive.
As information technology operations started to grow in complexity, companies grew aware of the need to control IT resources

In 1990 microcomputers (now called servers) started to find their place in the old computer rooms and were being called “data centers”. Companies were putting up server rooms inside their company walls with the availability of inexpensive network equipment.

The boom of data centers came during the “.com” bubble. Companies needed fast Internet connectivity and nonstop operations to deploy systems and establish a presence on the internet. Many companies began building very large facilities to provide businesses with a range of solutions for system deployment and operations.

Circa 1946 – ENIAC was really both a computer and a datacenter

Circa 1960s – Computer use within Government settings began to increase as they became more reliable and less expensive.