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Why a Good Data Center Location Strategy is Important

By: Alan Seal on February 20, 2019

Choosing a data center location is one of the most consequential decisions a company will ever make. While considerations such as services offered, connectivity options, and technical support are all important, the physical location of a facility shouldn’t be underrated. Choosing a data center location shouldn’t be as simple as picking the nearest colocation facility. There are very good reasons to make physical location a key differentiator.

Whether a company is looking for a colocation facility or enlisting the services of a software defined data center (SDDC), location matters. Organizations need to consider what they need from a data center and incorporate those requirements into their data center location strategy. Before choosing a data center location, companies should ask why using a facility in that specific physical location addresses key business needs.

Why a Good Data Center Location Strategy is Important

Edge Computing

For organizations making an investment in internet of things (IoT) devices or delivering streaming content services, choosing a data center location is of the utmost importance. The physical location of a facility can mean the difference between delivering quality, low latency services and being plagued by lag and poor connection strength. When it comes to IoT devices and streaming content, edge computing architectures that push key processing functions and cache popular content closer to end users on the edge of the network are critical to success. Companies offering these products and services need a good data center location strategy to ensure that they are positioned in edge data centers that can serve their target markets effectively. Edge data centers located in strategic, emerging growth markets provide outstanding opportunities for service providers to reach new users and streamline services in other parts of their networks.

Natural Disasters

Mother Nature can easily ruin a company’s future if it doesn’t make effective disaster plans. Hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and other disasters all have the potential to take down networks and cause damaging downtime that companies may not be able to recover from. When choosing a data center location, it’s worth considering whether or not the facility’s physical location places it in the path of potential natural disasters. A good data center location strategy will typically incorporate more than one facility in such cases, knowing that a disaster may take one facility offline or make it impossible to access for a period of time. While modern data centers have proven more than capable of handling some of the worst punishment nature can dish out, they can still be vulnerable due to subpar power and transportation infrastructure around them.

Backup Strategies

Data center backup strategies are crucial for any organization that depends on data to deliver products and services. Whether it’s productivity lost to downtime or data that’s damaged or destroyed during a breach or outage, companies simply can’t afford to have their valuable data put at risk by an ill-considered data center location strategy. Storing assets in a single location can leave them vulnerable in the event that something goes wrong. With downtime threats posed by human error, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and ransomware, having well-thought-out data center backup strategies in place can protect companies from risk and ensure that their data will always be available when they need it. While the costs of server downtime can be quite significant, the brand damage caused by inconsistent data availability can often have even more harmful long-term effects on an organization.

When choosing a data center, companies need to factor the facility’s physical location into their decision process. A good data center location strategy not only considers the capabilities of the data center, but also assesses what benefits its physical location can provide. Choosing a data center location should not be a matter of convenience. Rather, it should be the end result of a data center location strategy that determines whether a specific facility in a specific physical location addresses critical business needs.

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