by Josh More

Factors For Good Data Center Locations

from the location,-location,-location dept

Several factors apply to a good data center location.

Natural Disasters - The location should be resistant to the common natural disasters. Avoid the coasts (storms, tidal waves), avoid floodplains, avoid areas of high tectonic activity (earthquakes and volcanoes) and if building in areas impacted by large thunderstorms and tornadoes, build underground.

Ease of Access - This must be balanced with the above, but if you are in a highly secure location, it often means that you are harder to get to. This makes it more difficult to get server equipment and emergency personnel to the facility, which can impact how much the location is used. Granted, if you are not reselling space, this is less of a concern, but it remains a factor.

Local Providers - A data center is likely to need power and connectivity. The local utilities that can provide this must be willing to work with you. Some areas have very difficult laws in place relating to backhaul, and that alone may raise operating costs enough to impact profitability.

Local Politics - If the data center is likely to be large and especially if it could cause job creation, it's worth seeing if a local government will offer tax breaks for selecting a location. These sorts of games can slow the process significantly, but it can also save millions of dollars.

Local Keystone Client - Odds are that there is a local large employer that is in need of new space. There may be cost savings involved in sharing the development costs and building a room in the new data center that is dedicated to the keystone client. If possible, find a way to charge for usage at such a rate that the one client pays the operating expenses, so if pickup for the rest of the datacenter is slow, it doesn't impact the sustainability of the business.

Local Management - The good locations tend not to the same "hip" locations that attract the best operations talent. Be prepared to pay above market rates for staffing in order to get the level of professionalism required. Remember that you'll need, at minimum, one person doing the business-side, one person available for facilities issues and one person per shift to deal with network, power, storage and server issues.

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