When choosing a colocation data center provider, there are many factors to consider, including connectivity, reputation, services, support, and cost. But one of the most important is location — where the data center is in the world. Location is central not just because location itself matters, but because location has an impact on many of the other factors I mentioned.
In theory, a datacenter can be built anywhere with power and a connection to the internet, but in reality, location has an impact on the quality the facility is able to offer to its customers. Let’s look at some of the factors that are affected by location.
Connectivity at scale is a cooperative venture. Ideal connectivity depends on multiple redundant fiber connections to major bandwidth providers. Colocation data centers are customers of the downstream backbone bandwidth providers. The only way to provide consistent and reliable bandwidth at the volumes required by an enterprise-grade data center is to build lots of connections to lots of different bandwidth providers.
The facilities of these bandwidth providers tend to cluster together at major peering points, hubs at which many bandwidth providers connect to each other. As an example, our Atlanta data center is located in close geographic proximity to the Atlanta Internet Exchange, one of the largest peering points in the US, allowing our clients to benefit from incredible low-latency and multiply-redundant bandwidth.
However much bandwidth a colocation data center has access to, its customers are bound by physics and the infrastructure of the internet. Data takes time to travel from one point on the earth to another. Round-trip distances are usually double the geographic distance, because both the request and the response have to traverse that distance. It takes longer for a user in New York to receive data from a Los Angeles data center than a user in Atlanta.
The round-trip time is compounded by the state of the network: data almost never travels in a straight line between sender and recipient. It meanders through networks, routers, and switches, each of which can add latency.
The closer the data center to its customers, the lower the latency. Atlanta has excellent metro, long haul, and regional fiber connectivity. Our Atlanta data center is perfectly located to provide optimal low-latency connectivity to major metropolitan areas, including Miami, FL; Kansas City, MO; Boston, MA; Los Angeles, CA; and Seattle, Wa.
Finally, it’s the nature of colocation that customers need access to their colocated hardware. If your data center is located in the middle of nowhere, access to hardware becomes difficult. When you’re choosing a data center, pay attention to transport links and amenities in the area. You don’t want to have to drive hundreds of miles after flying in to the nearest airport when you need quick access to your servers.
Cyber Wurx’ Atlanta data center is ideally situated in the center of Atlanta, with great transport routes from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is among the largest and best-connected airports in the world.