5 Data Center Location Considerations to Keep in Mind
By: Ernest Sampera on October 7, 2020
Selecting a colocation data center is a major decision for any organization. In addition to the question of infrastructure and engineering capabilities, there are also important data center location considerations behind every decision. Data centers do not exist in a vacuum. Their performance and potential are strongly affected by their surroundings, so it’s important to think about how services could be impacted based on a facility’s location.
Losing access to essential data, applications, and IT assets for any reason is a terrifying prospect for most organizations. As companies have become more dependent upon their networks to connect with customers and compete in a crowded marketplace, keeping their digital infrastructure up and running is critically important for ensuring business continuity. Any disaster situation that disrupts those networks could severely impact their business.
Location is extremely important when it comes to disaster planning. Whether it’s the risk of flooding, tornadoes, or wildfires, almost every data solution could potentially fall victim to a natural disaster. That’s why organizations turn to a combination of colocation data centers and managed service providers (MSPs) to provide disaster recovery services that ensure business continuity. By backing up essential data and applications in a data center location that’s well clear of any disaster that might impact the primary site, companies can protect themselves from losing access to their mission-critical infrastructure when they need it most.
As organizations continue to deploy powerful Internet of Things (IoT) devices and deliver more content over streaming services, speed is becoming a key market differentiator. With so many options available to them now, customers are far less likely to put up with slow loading times and lagging online portals. For some industries, latency even makes it more difficult to get an accurate picture of what’s actually happening in the market. When competitors are making decisions based on real-time data, any delay in information could translate into a serious disadvantage and lost revenue.
Luckily, having an edge data center in the right location can overcome many of the challenges associated with the “last mile.” Latency is ultimately a byproduct of distance, so placing servers and essential applications closer to end users can easily boost network performance. Reducing the distance between data centers and IoT devices ensures that data will be fed back to core network servers more quickly so that big data analytics tools can identify key trends and valuable opportunities. At the same time, users benefit from having more responsive devices and services, which is essential for creating a good customer experience and building up greater brand loyalty.
Data Redundancy and Availability
Not all disasters come from mother nature. Unexpected equipment failure or a cyberattack could bring a company to its knees just as easily as a hurricane. From the view of a customer, it doesn’t much matter if a server went down because of an earthquake or a blown fuse. All they know is that they can’t access the services and products they need at that moment. Keeping essential systems up and running 99.99 percent of the time might sound impressive, but upon closer inspection, that translates to quite a lot of downtime over the course of a month or a year.
For organizations that still utilize an on-premises data solution, using a nearby colocation data center for backup and redundancy can be a lifesaver when it comes to data availability. Whether it’s a full “hot site” backup that serves as a failover system or a “cold site” backup that stores essential data for future access and recovery efforts, a good backup strategy with a fully redundant data center ensures that a company’s network systems can maintain higher levels of uptime. When companies entrust their data with vXchnge, for instance, they know they’ll be able to recover that data at any time thanks to our 100% uptime SLA.
Data Center Market Size
When selecting a data center location, it’s important to think about the characteristics of the surrounding market. Today’s digital landscape is driven by density. The more people are located in a region, the more potential exists for technology services to drive growth. By colocating assets in a data center close to a dynamic, fast-growing market, companies can position themselves to amplify their existing services and scale much more rapidly than they could in a larger, more mature market.
The fact remains that many of the larger data center companies have neglected underserved edge markets around North America. This has created an opportunity for colocation facilities to provide services to companies looking to rapidly increase their “eyeballs, eardrums, and endpoints” by adding more users and customers. These growth markets with high potential are often a more cost-effective investment and allow companies to build up relationships with users on a more local level by delivering a superior customer experience.
Without the right connectivity options, a data center is just an air-conditioned building filled with server cabinets. The best facilities provide access to the world’s leading ISPs and cloud service providers to allow their customers to build versatile networks that meet their business needs. As organizations increasingly turn to hybrid IT deployments that leverage multiple types of cloud platforms with various data center services, it’s important to make sure a colo provider can deliver the necessary connectivity access.
A data center located in an ideal market may not be a great option if it’s a single carrier facility that will lock tenants into using a small number of exclusive vendors. That’s why colocation customers need to assess what connectivity options are available to them when they’re looking at a data center. Certain providers may not be able to provide services to a data center location, so it’s important to identify those potential issues before a migration is underway.
vXchnge: Your Friendly Local Colocation Data Center
As an award-winning colocation provider, vXchnge offers data center services in a number of emerging and established markets across North America. While the locations may change, our essential services and our commitment to our customers do not. Every one of our locations is a carrier-neutral facility backed by a 100% uptime SLA to ensure maximum reliability and versatility. We also provide access to our revolutionary in\siteintelligent monitoring platform to each data center customer at no additional charge. It’s all part of our ongoing mission to provide transparency and help our customers retain control over their essential assets.