by Devin Moore

Where Not To Put Your Data Center

from the checklist dept

Where I might build a datacenter is a pretty vague question depending on a ton of factors. A much easier question to answer is "where would I not want to build a datacenter?"

1. I would not build a datacenter anywhere that I couldn't get to and physically set foot in the datacenter within a few hours. I don't care how cheap it is, how do I know if I'm getting a good value if I can't drop in unexpectedly and see if it's being run as planned?

2. I would not build a datacenter in a zone known to experience frequent or severe natural disasters. Again, what's the point of saving a few bucks up front if a disaster (tornado, earthquake, hurricane, etc.) can wipe me out? Furthermore, how stupid am I if I put my datacenter in a place known to experience those things? The Earth is quite large, I can just put it somewhere else.

3. I would not build a datacenter anywhere that had a single point of failure on a necessary utility. I am not comfortable having my datacenter services all fail because a single provider failed. Having a more expensive location that allows 2+ providers adds to my overhead, but having a backup provider creates peace of mind that any cost savings due to only one provider will not.

4. Building security is important, but not as important as sourcing trustworthy talent to be inside the datacenter. I would not put a datacenter anywhere that I could not get local, independent sources of talent that all are from a similar cultural background to myself. This is not xenophobia, it's just being able to relate on a direct level with the people in charge of my business' most critical assets. For example, if I insult an admin one day just based on a cultural misunderstanding, then I may inadvertently cause my own security issues.

All other conditions can be summarized like this: take what you think is your ideal location and then take a random warehouse building inside a 50 mile radius of where you are right now. If you can't answer why you should take the ideal location over the random building with all of the reasons above, then you should seriously consider that random building as a candidate. After all, if it doesn't fail at the above, then exactly why would you not use that as a datacenter?

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  • icon
    peter (profile), 23 Dec 2009 @ 5:40pm

    Cleveland, Ohio

    Cleveland is your place -- no natural disasters (you can find a place that doesn't experience tornadoes ever in the region), great source of local talent (great universities, huge corporate headquarter locale), outstanding culture. And even if you're in the Bay Area you can get here in 4 hours.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael Olson, 22 Feb 2010 @ 10:38pm

    Charlotte, NC

    Truth be told there is no place in the US that is disaster free. However Charlotte, NC is nice and, well, boring. Could Charlotte be the next best place for data centers? Also, I'm 20 and hardly versed in the areas of Data Center Admin, yet im actively seeking how i can become one, and beginning to read LOTS of text on the subject. Yet, I just want to work at a data center first, books are great but I want hands on! If you know what I should do to Start my Career as a Data Center Admin please let me know. Better yet come to Charlotte, build a Data Center and make me your apprentice. Pm me for good justice!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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