How Vital Is Your Data Center Location?
If your company relies heavily on its IT infrastructure, choosing a location for your data centre can be crucial. However, it isn’t just a question of price or convenience – there are several other factors to be considered. You should weigh up your options carefully when deciding where your data centre will be located.
The location you choose to establish your data centre can significantly impact latency, reliability, compliance regulations, and even safety from natural disasters. This article will briefly touch on some of these factors.
Distance & Latency
The location of your data centre is one of the primary contributors to the amount of latency you’ll experience. Simply put, the further your data centre is from the people using it, the more latency they’ll encounter, as the data being exchanged between the centre and your users will have to travel greater distances.
Excess latency can cause you several issues – For your internal users, slower speeds mean lower productivity. For external service users, high latency can be a significant source of frustration and also sap productivity.
Websites can also suffer from excess latency – Loading speeds (Core Web Vitals) are now an essential aspect of SEO assessed by search engine crawlers, which means your website’s search rankings may be negatively affected as a result.
What’s more, slow loading speeds can irritate web users and increase your website’s “bounce rate” (the proportion of visitors who leave your site after a short period without taking further action). Bounce rates are another important aspect of SEO, which means latency can deal a double blow to your search rankings.
Bearing all of this in mind, finding a data centre location close to your business and users is essential if you want to avoid excess latency.
Security & Compliance Regulations
Australian companies can easily be enticed by the low-cost option of using offshore hosting providers, but do you know the risks and legal implications of storing your data outside the Country?
Aside from the issue of latency, as already discussed, privacy laws and licenses, corruption and theft, and lower quality resources are all key factors to be considered. When selecting your data centre, it is highly recommended to do your due diligence and ensure that the quality of the facility meets Australia’s security and compliance standards.
Natural disasters can be bad news for data centres. Earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods can cause severe damage and disruption to your data centre or even completely take it offline. Blizzards, heavy snow, and thunderstorms are less likely to completely knock out your data centre but can still wreak havoc with their effects on the surrounding infrastructure.
Because of this, you should try to choose a location for your data centre that is less prone to natural disasters and ensure that the facility is equipped with safety measures to mitigate the effects of a catastrophe, such as backup generators and redundant power supplies.
An even better option is investing in data centres in multiple locations to ensure that even if one goes down, the other can act as a backup. This can be costly, but if there is no choice but to have a data centre in a location prone to natural disasters, then it can reduce the risk of downtime and lost or damaged data.
Power is both a cost and performance consideration for your data centre’s location. One of the most significant operating expenditures for your data centre will be its power consumption, so if possible, it could be helpful to choose a location in an area with lower energy prices.
In terms of performance, it may be helpful to pick a location close to regional power supplies – the closer your data centre is to a major power supply, the less likely you’ll experience any issues with power transmission. That means less risk of power outages putting your data centre out of action, and in turn, less chance of damage to data or lost productivity.
If you can’t access your data, your business can’t operate – so it’s vital to avoid network outages. Choosing the right data centre location can help reduce this risk, which can be quite useful for those operating in rural areas. If you establish your data centre in a place with access to multiple network providers, then you’ll have access to alternative networks if your primary provider experiences any network issues.
Another factor to consider when it comes to your data centre’s location is how accessible it is. The further your data centre is from your business’ headquarters or base of operations, the longer it will take for IT staff to travel there if they need to carry out maintenance, upgrades or installations.
The longer your IT team has to spend travelling back and forth from your data centre, the less time they’ll be able to spend on other essential work. Over the long term, this can mount up to a massive loss of productivity, so make sure to consider this impact when deciding on a data centre location.
Conclusion: How Vital Is Your Data Center Location?
Location affects several fundamental aspects when it comes to your data centre – how safe it is from natural disasters and emergencies, how much latency you and your users will experience, how accessible it will be for your IT team, and how reliable its connection will be. As a result, location is one of the most significant considerations to factor in when deciding where to establish your data centre.