Data Center Site Selection


Determining the location of a data center is one of the crucial decisions for a company as it is based on strategy and goals of a company. In any discussions related to data center sites, few factors come up frequently like power, telecommunication, data center tiers, clean power, site selection and so on. Management looks for Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and makes decisions based on their long-term and short-term goals.

Factors Affecting Site Selection

  • Geographic location – First and foremost factor is the geographical location of the site. This has to be thought out at the outset. Few things which needs to be looked are: Natural disasters – probability and frequency of occurrence at the said location; Environmental hazards – Impact and degree of affect; and Climate – Climates which support free cooling (outside air cooling) will be an added advantage.
  • Electricity – Electricity or power is important factor as it is one of the chief constituent to operating cost of a facility. we need to understand. Factors include: Availability – While looking at availability of electricity, we need to weigh options like access to more than one grid, maturity of grid, various generation options, power transmission mechanism, etc.; Cost – Need to compare cost of electricity across various options. i.e. it should have low cost/tariff per KWh; and Alternative source of power – Management can look into renewable energy options like solar, wind, air etc. which will help company to become greener.
  • Telecommunication Infrastructure – Telecommunication is one of the most important components for a datacenter. While selecting a site for datacenter, various factors need to be considered with respect to telecommunication infrastructure perspective. Following list will help in this regard: Fiber backbone route and its proximity – How near a fiber backbone to the selected site. It will help to gauge addition investments required from backbone route to the exact data center location; Type of fiber – Will affect speed and transmission; Carrier type and support – What all carriers are present in the vicinity and their support & service model in place; and Latency – Transaction time/latency will be an important factor.
  • Tax Rates – Another important aspect is tax rates prevalent at a particular location. Following needs to be considered: Property tax; Corporate tax; and Sales tax.
  • Construction – While building a data center at any particular location, construction cost and options play a major role. Following aspects should be considered for making a decision: Construction industry maturity, experience, process in place and technology availability at the considered site; and Labor – Availability and cost of labor at the considered place.
  • Transportation – Availability and proximity of various modes of transportation affects site selection for a data center, as equipment must be delivered and workers must commute to the location and vendors must visit it.
  • Cost of living – Presence of various day to day requirements and cost of living is an important factor which has to be though/analyzed while selecting a site by a company.

Our data center site selection survey can highlight the true potential of a site. As well as other factors, we’ll examine and report on the capacity for the incoming building services (such as power and fiber connectivity) that are required for your new data center. Our data center site selection survey is a cost effective way of determining the suitability of an identified location or building before considering a large capital data center investment. We will carry out a full suitability report, showing our findings, recommendations, and conclusions.

With our data center site selection survey you’ll have all the information you need to decide on the purchase of premises or commitment to a lengthy business lease. Alongside the building services, we will also review and comment on the basic fabric and construction of the building you have in mind. This would typically include assessing the suitability of surrounding areas, such as available space, security and access. We’ll also examine any other constraints that may adversely affect the surrounding environment, or impose restrictions or possible rejection of a planning application required for a data center facility. 

Our data center site selection service would also include working with the local electrical network provider on HV networks, planning consent and applications for external plants, acoustics, environmental reports, and fiber connectivity feasibility studies.