Home > Commercial Real Estate News, DataCenter > Location might be slipping in rank on the priority list for data centers – #CRE #SIOR #CCIM #DATACENTER

Location might be slipping in rank on the priority list for data centers – #CRE #SIOR #CCIM #DATACENTER

How far are you from your data center?

via How far are you from your data center? – The Savvis Blog.

How far are you from your data center?

Colocation IconDistance may make the heart grow fonder, but how much does it really matter for the average company choosing a colocation provider?

We in the colocation world often talk about the “server huggers,” those leaders who want their data centers as close to their offices as possible. But as efficiency and cost gains advance this market, location might be slipping in rank on the priority list.

That’s good news for colocation providers and their clients because it opens the doors to more low-cost location and low-carbon design options.

Why We Hug Our Servers

With the threat of downtime hanging overhead, it’s understandable that some clients want to hug their servers. Data center downtime is costly to business, and when a client’s IT staff can travel quickly to the facility to troubleshoot the problem, operations come back online faster, minimizing detrimental expense and other repercussions.

But when third party data centers are used, uptime responsibility generally lies with the colocation provider. That means these providers have incentive for maintaining maximum reliability for all the enterprises that rely on its services.

Latency is another common concern among huggers. But for most third-party data center users, a couple hundred miles creates small latency – so small, in fact, it’s usually only noticed by users involved in online trading, gaming and other high-stakes activities.

In reality, being close to a third-party facility is of little or no benefit to clients. Even if they’re just a short car ride away, a third-party service provider can often fix the issue remotely before the client arrives.

Enterprises Grow the Distance

Increasingly, we’re finding enterprise clients growing the distance between their offices and their third-party data centers. In fact, we’ve anecdotally found providers in traditional disaster-recovery markets have high percentages of customers from beyond 100 miles away.

The reasons? Efficiency and focus.

Many companies test out colocation with their nonmission-critical IT workloads. These are easily outsourced, allowing in-house IT to focus on more pressing priorities while the third-party manages day-to-day operations.

Another factor is trust. Once a third-party provider establishes a solid track record, companies are more likely to streamline additional workloads.

As the technology world moves further into colocation and cloud, don’t be surprised to come across clients with shifting attitudes on location and proximity. This is particularly pertinent when we consider urban data centers, which can be more constrained by space and more expensive to power than in other areas.

As clients increasingly regard facility location with less importance, third party colocation providers will have the opportunity to reap power-cost savings and gain advantages in space and power capacity. These are tangible benefits that can also be passed down to clients.

While the majority of today’s customers still operate within an easy, 100-mile driving range of their data centers, the tide is turning. And that’s promising news for providers and today’s server huggers.

Drew Leonard is vice president, colocation product management, at Savvis, a CenturyLink company.

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