Just like anything else, trends come and go; this is especially true for data center relocation. Although such a move may seem too important to undertake without careful consideration, not taking into account new trends and hot topics can leave a data center owner or operator out in the cold.
While companies may have a number of reasons to consider a data center relocation, here are three that you may not have thought about:
1) Improved energy efficiency
Although moving may seem like an overly dramatic response to energy efficiency concerns, data center relocation may become a more popular option as this becomes an increasingly prevalent issue.
In the past, server rooms and data centers were built without too much thought to energy usage. As long as air conditioning units were able to keep equipment from overheating and unplanned downtime was avoided, data center owners and operators were happy. However, after an October 2012 report from The New York Times claimed that data centers waste 90 percent of the energy they intake and that these facilities worldwide use as much electricity in a given year as is generated by 30 nuclear power plants, power usage effectiveness became a far more prevalent concern.
Part of this issue stems from the ability of the data center to maintain ideal internal temperatures. According to statistics from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers cited by Energy Star, most servers should be in a room that is between 65 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if the data center facility is poorly insulated, then much of the cold air pumped in via HVAC units quickly dissipates, forcing managers to use more electricity to keep equipment under ideal conditions. As such, some organizations may find it more cost effective to conduct a data center relocation to a more energy efficient building to significantly reduce these kinds of costs.
2) Mitigate new external threats
Unplanned downtime has always been a constant threat to data center owners and operators, but until recently it has taken a backseat to other concerns. While geographic proximity has long been – and continues to be – one of the core factors considered in a data center relocation, the threat presented by natural disasters has now slightly shifted this focus.
For instance, New York City and other major metropolitan areas along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States are among the most sought-after locations for a data center relocation due to the sheer number of businesses and individual customers headquartered in and around these cities. However, as natural disasters such as hurricanes become more prevalent in these regions, some organizations have considered relocating inland. In particular, InfoWorld blogger Paul Venezia wrote last November that the damage brought by Hurricane Sandy should make data center owners and operators reconsider the costs and benefits associated with building in New York and New Jersey.
3) For tax breaks
Business owners are looking to lower their overall tax spending, and this is definitely true among companies that operate a proprietary data center. Increasingly, states and municipalities are willing to oblige these requests in order to lure the direct and associated economics benefits that come with a big-name tech firm setting up shop in a given area. According to a report from the Washington Post from June, approximately 15 states have set up data center-specific tax breaks since 2008. Although a data center relocation presents a number of upfront costs, those may be mitigated in the long term by the savings a company may see by paying less in taxes every year.
“States are seeing $500 million up to $1 billion data centers, and they want to have a piece of that action,” John Lenio, managing director of CBRE’s Economic Incentives Group, told the Post. “Without incentives, they weren’t landing on the short list.”