Where to Build Your Data Center–Rural vs Urban Environments

When you’re constructing a new data center, you’ll need to determine whether you want to place it in an urban hub or a rural location. There are advantages to both options. Here are some of the things that you’ll want to factor into your decision-making process.

Hiring Concerns

The ease at which you’ll be able to attract your employees is the first thing that you’ll want to take into account. It’s not just hiring that will play a part in it. You’ll also need to consider whether you’ll be able to retain your employee pool once they’ve decided to accept a job with you. Being just outside of a major urban hub is one way to go about getting the best of both worlds. This will allow you to take advantage of having more space and still attract a wider range of talents. However, more rural areas may often require longer commutes if you can’t get enough local hires, which could impact who is willing to work for you.

Infrastructure Considerations

Infrastructure involves more than just the ease of which you’ll be able to build your data center. It involves the resources that you’ll need to keep your facility operational. Continuing electricity concerns can be a problem in an urban or rural environment because you may not have the power that’s required. Another concern is your ability to have a strong internet connection. Depending on what state you’re in, you will have to look into different providers and options. For instance, there may be different rural internet options in Arizona than there are in New Mexico.

Customer Base

It can be easier to attract a customer base to your data center if you’re more visible. This generally involves placing your location in a more urban environment. There are pros and cons to a more populated area, though. How widely you expand your advertising efforts and your reputation in the industry may be able to counteract any drawbacks to selecting a more rural location. Planning ahead for how you can overcome these obstacles will help to make your decision a more level playing field.

Tax Incentives

If you attempt to attract businesses to a smaller, more rural community, there may be tax incentives of which you can take advantage. Another factor is how much your site will cost you in additional taxes against the property. An urban location may be more desirable, but it will also likely cost you more to operate. Some urban communities may offer you an additional incentive to build a new employer in their area. Negotiate for these deals before you make the final decision about where to build.

Both urban and rural environments have their advantages and disadvantages. Use these tips so that you can make a good choice for your data center location.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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