Recently someone asked the question on Quora.com, “Why are there data centers in NYC?” They made some great points about how real estate, electricity, salaries, taxes, and more are very expensive in a large city. After all, there must be a good reason for data centers in NYC other than being able to get bagels 24 hours a day.
Conventional wisdom dictates that data centers should be located close to their user base to achieve low latency. According to datacenters.com, “Based on the simple realities of physics–information that travels along fiber optic cables can still travel no faster than the speed of light–distance between a data center and the end user does have a tangible effect on latency. As a result, companies have sought to overcome the challenges such realities pose by locating their servers as close to their users as possible.”
Latency is a problem in the financial sector where milliseconds can make a huge difference with high-frequency trading algorithms. However, this is not the only area where latency can be an issue. With the Internet of Things, there’s an ever-growing range of latency-sensitive machine-to-machine services being created. This list is growing and data centers will need to be near the applications that serve them.
The slight uptick in the economy in recent years has allowed people to once again move to Metropolitan areas. “New Census Bureau data shows that the American city is experiencing something of a renaissance, driven primarily by migration into the center of the nation’s metropolitan areas,” according to thewire.com.
Having data centers located in more densely populated areas may be more expensive, but it allows application providers to improve user experience with reduced latency.
No one wants to wake up at 2 o’clock in the morning and have to drive for hours to get to their data center (after all, that’s what Remote Hands are for). Businesses using data center colocation may be required to travel to their data center on a regular basis. For this reason, it makes sense to locate data centers close to their businesses so they are within driving range. These data centers can also benefit from the huge number of interconnects located in cities like New York City.
Latency, population trends, and accessibility can all play a role in data center selection. This is why having the right location for your data center can make a big difference.
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