Do Midwest centers offer an advantage? Is it better to use a Midwest colocation facility rather than the facilities in Northern Virginia, North Carolina, or Atlanta?
The answer is totally dependent of your organization's criteria for a data center. In six years of conversations with potential customers, I've seen many of the same concerns surface when it comes to geographic data center locations:
How far is the Midwest data center location from my IT staff?
What is the cost of data center power?
Is the facility a hardened data center built to address geographic and weather related risks?
How flexible is my access to multiple telecommunications carriers?
What sort of compliance levels does the data center maintain?
Do I have any IT staff already living in the outsource data center's city?
What is the cost of living in the target city?
Considerations for the primary data center
How reliable is the data center facility itself?
Is there office space available for my staff?
Considerations for a secondary data center
How far is the secondary data center location from my primary data center?
Are my existing telecom carriers available the the data center?
Is there office space available in the event of an emergency?
Over the years, I have seen companies overwhelmingly choose locations that are a maximum of about half a day's drive from the IT staff . The costs of telecom and the costs of travel both increase significantly outside of this radius. Many people in the industry refer to this as "server hugging", or wanting to be close to your equipment. I see it more as a math problem.
Power costs alone is driving more companies to the Midwest data centers and data centers in the Northwest. The cost of power remains low in many Midwest data centers.
Hardened data center facilities requirements are more common. Midwest companies tend to want F5 tornado resistant data centers.
Compliance is driving more companies into colocation facilities, whether it be for their primary or secondary data centers. It's simply less expensive to allow a facilities provider to manage physical security and the other components of data center compliance and certifications.
Telecommunications costs and availability still drive geographic decisions. The monthly recurring costs of telecom often exceed the monthly recurring costs of the data center facilities themselves.
Use the questions above to determine whether Midwest colocation suits you. And if you need a Midwest data center facilities provider, give us a call.