There are almost 3 million data centers in the United States alone, one for every 100 people, according to figures provided by the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and they come in all shapes and sizes. The aim of a data center is to reduce downtime to almost 0, which can be only be done by eliminating the risk factors involved. Choosing the right location is of utmost importance when it comes to taking care of many of the risk factors associated with the working of data centers.
So, here’s a look at 5 things to consider when choosing the location for your data center.
Availability of Network Services and Power
Without proper accessibility to power lines and reliable data connectivity, the proper functioning of a data center is impossible. It is important to consider whether your intended location has reliable network infrastructure to provide not just network reliability, but also speed, security and scalability for your present and future needs. It is also necessary to ascertain whether your intended location has easy access to the power grid. The location of the substation and the main power station should also be taken into consideration when deciding on the location. In addition, make sure to choose an efficient DCIM solution that allows you to measure Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and reduce energy consumption, to keep your utility costs at a minimum, say experts at Sunbird.
The ideal location would be one where you would be within easy reach for your clientele as well as your workforce. Close proximity to customers results in quicker response times as well as reduced latency. Despite being in the digital age, there still are clients who feel more reassured about your services and security after having personally seen your IT environment. A shortlist of potential locations can be created by gathering information about the location of your target audience, which can be done by using the Google Analytics account, linked to your website.
Cybercrimes are going to cost $6 trillion in damages across the globe by 2021, according to an article on Cyber Security Ventures. One of the biggest victims of cybercrime is data centers, since they are the storehouses of information for various businesses. A location that helps you ensure the highest levels of physical as well as cyber security is required.
Climate Control Costs
Data centers need perfect temperatures and humidity levels, and the nature of weather outside the center would dictate how hard it would be to control the temperature and humidity inside the center. For example, a data center in India might sound feasible, given that it has become a hotbed for the IT sector, as well as the large workforce available at lower costs. However, given the extremely hot and long summers, very high humidity during the monsoon, the ability to control the climate within the server room could be a difficult task. On the other hand, if it is too cold, there could be a thermal shutdown. Add high humidity and you could have condensation of water droplets in the air, which can cause short circuits, which is what occurred at Facebook’s first data center in Oregon, according to an article by The Register.
Natural Disasters and Weather
There were eight natural calamities in the United States in 2014, each of which caused a loss of more than $1 billion, according to figures provided by the National Climatic Data Center. Natural disasters have the power to not only cause damage to the structure of data centers, but also cause long term power outages, resulting in huge losses. Thus, proper assessment of the history of weather events and natural disasters in a region should be done before making a final decision.
Choosing the location of a data center is no trivial task. Once you’ve chosen the right location, the next step is to choose the right DCIM solution that will streamline asset, energy, capacity, change, environment and power management, among others.