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With the rush of organizations migrating data and infrastructure to the cloud, the need for capable and reliable data centers has never been greater. Colocation centers and data warehouses are popping-up across the country and across the globe. Have you ever thought about where your data is kept? It could have lasting implications on the security and availability of your data.

Specifications like size, speed, and RAM are easy enough to define and compare among cloud hosting vendors, as are adjunct services like optimization, compliance, and redundancies. An apples-to-apples assessment of various hardware and software options can be completed in a few minutes. But how do you compare two locations? Is data stored in Houston better than data stored in Seattle? Data center location – the exact spot where your server is stored and maintained – is a crucial detail that IT managers shouldn’t overlook.

Choosing a Data Center Location

With so many data centers offering similar amenities, physical location could be the key differentiator in your server strategy. First, it’s important to consider what your data needs to do and how risk-tolerant your organization can be. If an outage would cripple your business, then a fault-tolerant hosting plan with zero downtime is the way to go. Having an alternate data center site would enable continuous data replication and a seamless failsafe rollover. However, if your main data center and backup server location are in the path of the same natural disaster, you could lose both in a matter of minutes.

That’s an easy fix, some might say. Spread the data centers far apart! But consider this: Monterey and Palm Springs are over 400 miles apart, but they both lie squarely on the San Andreas fault. The location of your data center can also affect the speed and latency of your website, platforms, and communication tools. If data is stored farther from the end user, it takes longer to retrieve. That could lead to frustrated users, abandoned pages, and stifled business. If your users are clustered in a geographically limited area, then choosing a data center nearby could be a winning strategy.

It’s worth noting that laws and regulations vary from state to state, and most especially across borders. Things like data privacy and security (and foreign government involvement) can be a significant concern for organizations looking to move their data centers abroad.

How Data Center Location Can Impact the Bottom Line

Energy costs vary widely from region to region – and it takes significant power to cool and maintain a server environment. The climate in Miami makes round-the-clock air conditioning units a heavy expense, while facilities in Toronto can pull cool air in from outside. Land availability can similarly impact costs. A data center campus near downtown Los Angeles will almost certainly cost more to build than a comparable facility on the outskirts of St. Louis. As a tenant of the data center, these costs will likely be passed on to you, but if you need your data near a hub like Silicon Valley, Manhattan, or Washington, D.C., the cost might be justifiable.

The number of facilities within a given market can also impact your rates. More supply (i.e. more data centers in a specific area) can drive down cost in a competitive marketplace. Some states even offer tax incentives to spur data center development, with these credits or exemptions lowering overall operating costs. Markets with more renewable energy infrastructure might also appeal to companies looking to boost their green credentials or align with their corporate social responsibility goals. As you can see, the physical location of a data center can support key business objectives.

Turn to GovDataHosting

Data center location matters. GovDataHosting is proud to maintain rigorously secured and monitored data centers on the mainland United States, each supported exclusively by U.S. Citizens. This, combined with our industry-leading 100% infrastructure availability Service Level Agreement, makes it easy to choose GovDataHosting to host and maintain your cloud infrastructure. Give us a call today and we’ll help you find the right data center location to meet your performance, business, and financial goals.

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