What are Data Center Operations?

Instructor: Marcia Wert

Marcia has taught Information technology and Mathematics with a master's degree in IT

Data centers and their operations process millions of transactions in our high paced world. Explore what operations occur in a data center and how a data center works. Discover how data centers function and what roles are predominant.

What is Data Center Operations?

I am sure that you have seen Wall Street with its myriad of flashing lights and boards that reflect trades, but have you ever envisioned how those trades are calculated? Who performs those calculations? This is where data centers come in.

Data center operations is a broad term that refers to hardware and software that process transactions at a high speed. These operations are carried out by a data center. Because they perform far above your traditional laptop, data centers need to use specialists and mainframe computers (computers that perform millions of calculations in a second) to enable smooth transmissions, store digital information and control digital signals. Let's look at some of the specialists that keep data center operations alive.

Data center at NASA
Data Center At NASA

Computer Operations

Computer operators who maintain and run theses mainframes are trained to communicate with a mainframe by entering specific commands to control flow so that batch jobs can be processed. Their job is to fix any problems, from network control and transmissions to a printer being down. They control input and output to the mainframe. Also, they monitor job flow to insure that test and production jobs are processed.


Schedulers write and coordinate the job on mainframes. They assign priorities to jobs in which order they should run. Some jobs will conflict and use the same files so a bottle neck is created if both jobs compete for the same files. They also correct any errors in JCL or Job Control Language, which defines what class, priority and file descriptions used by the job.

Network Control

Network control's main responsibility is to safeguard electronic transmissions of files or messages. An NCP or Network Core Protocol controls many requests from a server (a device or software that allows others to store files and retrieve them on the Internet) to a client. A client is the end user of a transmitted file. It is their responsibility to make sure that all clients have adequate requests processed. Think of your Internet service provider and how many requests that it gets in a minute. Network control provides the same services but it is linking from the mainframe to the Internet to do it.

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