Data Center Map

Branding your data center
By Sune Christesen, May 17 2009

Colocation data centers often look alike and their operators rarely do anything to differentiate them, making them just another fish in the sea without anything special to remember them by. Some put an effort in to standing out of the crowd though, and below I have put together a list of some of those.

Impressive theming – Pionen

One of the most recent and well known examples is the Swedish data center Pionen, which has been built inside a former nuclear bunker in Stockholm. Establishing a data center inside a former bunker is in it self impressive, but that is not the most interesting part about Pionen and a lot of other companies have already done it. The interesting part about Pionen is the attention given to theming/decorating the facility in a unique and clean style all the way through both the data center and the office areas. A design that of course added extra cost, but compared to the level of media coverage and industry buzz it has created it definitely seems like a good investment.

PionenPicture from Pingdom, for further details see their blog post or this video tour.

Personal branding – Joe’s Data Center

Another interesting approach I have noticed recently is Joe’s Data Center in Kansas City, Missouri, which stands out in the sense that the company is branded around the name of the company founder. Judging from the recent threads at Web Hosting Talk regarding colocation in Kansas City (for example this one), it’s a strategy that has paid off. People can relate on a personal level and have a tendency to recommend the company and refer directly to good experience with Joe.

Ultra green profile – AISO

Everybody is going green these days, but in most cases only on the areas where it also means saving green on the bottom line, so there is not much unique in this. However, some providers take the green step a bit further. A good example of that is the small company AISO from Romoland, California, who have received a lot of media coverage due to their green setup with solar power, green roof, rainwater collection system and generator system based on propane fuel instead of diesel. Despite their small size they are well known within the industry and have attracted a lot of clients going for green setups.

Picture from SearchDataCenter.

Architectural eye candy – Data Íslandia

Eye candy is always good when it comes to making sure your clients remember you, getting media coverage and making people talk about you. Apart from inside decoration, some companies building new facilities use the opportunity to put some focus on the external architectural design. A good example of this is Data Íslandia from Iceland, who got a lot of media coverage in 2007 when they announced their new data center that had been designed to use the wind energy to cool it – apart from that function, the design also looked really neat.

Data IslandiaPictures from IcelandReview.

A look behind the curtains

Looking at the more simple steps that can be done, giving a good look behind the curtains is always a good way to get remembered. Good images, video tours and 3d facility models always give a good impression, and if you are building a new facility it is worth considering blogging about the progress as a lot of companies have been doing lately.
Best video/3d tours I will save for another post, but I have a few links for recent construction blogs here:

Data Cave
Open Hosting

So be creative, think outside the box, and take some initiatives to make your clients remember your facility and perhaps even get some buzz in the press or between people in the industry. It pays off.