Thursday, March 22, 2007

The New Data Center Boom

Across the country, data center development is booming. Companies, including major players like Microsoft and Google, are buying up acres of land with the intent of building new data centers.

This rapid growth is, at least in part, spurred by the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA), which call for better handling and storage of data. Companies are also responding to the nationwide push to establish energy efficient data centers. In order to accommodate the state-of-the-art, next generation data centers, companies simply need more space than their current facilities can provide.

Data Center Site Selection

For companies seeking to develop a new data center facility, high-quality site selection is of the utmost importance. By choosing a site location wisely, companies can save both time and money, while achieving scalability, flexibility and high availability.

Choosing a site that minimizes the natural and man made threats to continuous operation is the first step in provisioning a new data center. There are many factors to consider, including:

  • Natural Hazard Threats
  • Physical Location Threats
  • Terrorist Activity Threats
  • Environmental Contamination Threats
  • Site Accessibility
  • Amenities Access

It is interesting to note that the priority level of these factors is highly changeable. For instance, a decade ago it would have been more common for companies to seek site locations that with close proximity to major cities and airports. However, in the wake of September 11th, data centers are more likely to spring up in smaller cities, reducing the likelihood of damage from terrorist attacks, but most especially in those areas of the country that have the lowest operation costs including utility rates, land acquisition costs, labor rates, tax rates, and cost-of-living expenses.

To help navigate the complex process of site selection, many companies employ data center consultants for assistance in selecting an appropriate geography on which to locate their data center. Site selection services are the optimal way to ensure your mission critical facility is set up in both a location and a building that can support constant availability.