Latest Posts

Latest Comments


Data centre drivers – location, location, location?


Posted by |

As new data centre construction continues, no longer are data centres confined to the capitals, with recent developments spanning from rural parts of the southern US to the Arctic Circle! This vast disparity in location choice reflects the varying objectives of each project. Do you want a cool climate, to reduce cooling costs? Do you require close proximity to a web hub? Having recently project managed our Reading data centre construction, I know first-hand the importance of data centre location, and am able to offer my thoughts on a number of the key drivers, including the benefit of a regional data centre.

There has been lots of talk recently around the importance of a more distributed data centre network, particularly within the UK. A concentrated ‘hub’ of data centres within our major cities poses security and terrorism risks; imagine the impact to Great Britain plc if  attacks such as 9/11 or the Thames flooding wiped out a number of big London docklands data centres, even if downtime was a matter of hours and not days.

When CIOs and managed service providers were questioned for the Jones Lang Lasalle Spring Data Centre Barometer on the factors affecting data centre location choice, top of their list was power availability, with efficiency also scoring highly. Other key stats to note from the survey include the rising importance of renewable energy, with over 50% of respondents suggesting they would only use a data centre where a minimum of 10% of energy came from renewable sources.

There are no doubt benefits associated with regional data centres. As well as power availability, data centre efficiency can also be improved purely by location. London is typically 2-3 degrees hotter than the rest of the country, with rural areas boasting an ambient temperature reduction and servers requiring less cooling. And in financial terms, given the reduced price of real estate, transport and wages outside of London, a rural setting is beneficial. Operating a regional data centre allows providers to support regional business through service and maintenance contracts, with everything from sandwiches to plant supply and plant maintenance being sourced outside the narrow confines of the city. I certainly champion the regional data centre, having seen our Reading and Harrogate Tier 3 facilities thrive; geographic distance to client premises is more or less meaningless, as we found out while located in a city where a six mile journey from the city to the docklands often took more than an hour. Ensure you’re near to good transportation links and you’ll find most customers are not too concerned with being ‘just around the corner’ – and with Crossrail emerging, from places such as Reading the city truly is just round the corner.



Post a comment

Comment submitted! Comments needs approval before being displayed.