Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've heard both of these terms used frequently. What is the difference between a Data center vs. a Data warehouse? Are these terms interchangeable?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You may wish to check out Wikipedia on Data Center and Data Warehouse

A data center or datacenter (or datacentre), also called a server farm,[1] is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems.


Data warehouse is a repository of an organization's electronically stored data. Data warehouses are designed to facilitate reporting and analysis

Also a Data Warehouse may host many Data Marts

A data mart is a subset of an organizational data store, usually oriented to a specific purpose or major data subject, that may be distributed to support business needs.

So there can be one or more Data Marts, that exist in a Data Warehouse that is hosted in a Data Center that may contain more than one Data Warehouse plus other services.

share|improve this answer
+1 for noticing Wikipedia has an entry for each. – KPWINC Sep 30 '09 at 23:16
+1 thanks for introducing me to data marts... I often wondered about portions of data that companies (read Google) could sell – Jarvis Oct 1 '09 at 1:08

A data center is a physical facility where (usually) multiple companies' computers are located. It is often so that servers can have a larger-bandwidth Internet connection than the company can get in their own facility, as well as having people dedicated to facilities management, including cooling, power, fire prevention, security, etc.

A data warehouse is a type of database, or a manner of using a database, to collect large amounts of data.

They are not even remotely interchangeable terms.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.