Thanks to modern technology, the physical location of a business is less important than it used to be. These days, clients, consumers and staff can access data no matter where they are. That said, choosing the right place for your data centre remains a priority. Here’s why according to Bidwells.
There are several factors to consider before setting up a data centre, with location and proximity being two of the most important. Businesses will need easy access to their servers for maintenance or upgrades, while proximity to staff and clients is also crucial. IT staff may need to visit to replace equipment, make adjustments, or expand operations. With colocation services, businesses retain ownership of all their hardware and software, therefore it is important to have good transport links to and from the data centre.
WHAT MAKES A GOOD DATA CENTRE LOCATION?
In addition to a convenient location, data centres require plenty of space in which to operate, especially if clients decide to expand their business. Servers take up space, and if your data centre does not have sufficient space, clients may move their business elsewhere.
Another consideration for data centres providers to take into account is energy consumption. According to NRDC’s research, data centres are expected to reach 140 billion kilowatt-hours by 2020. This is equivalent to 50 power plants. That said, many data centres are looking into green energy and renewable resources like solar, wind and tidal power as alternatives to sustain operations. In the long run, alternative energy will not only help the environment but also be more cost-effective. More and more data centres are therefore looking at locations where they can make the best use of these alternative energy sources.
DATA CENTRE HOTSPOTS IN THE UK
The UK is a thriving area for data centres thanks, in part, to the fact that it is a major digital and technology hub. The demand for data centres in the UK is high, with some of the most popular areas including:
The capital, which forms part of the Golden Triangle, leads the pack as the most popular data centre location in the UK. There are 71 data centres in the city – the highest in the UK. There are many reasons for providers setting up data centres in London, with its proximity to digital businesses and excellent transport links being two of the main drivers of demand. What’s more, some of the best universities and colleges are situated in London, giving data centres easy access to highly skilled graduates to ensure the highest level of performance and innovation.
Manchester has become something of a technology hub and data centre providers have definitely noted its potential. Manchester is becoming a viable option for data centre operators to set up their businesses, boosted by the government’s Tech North start-up initiative in the city. Again, this location also means access to individuals from some of the best universities and IT colleges, while the city’s internet speeds are also comparable to the best in the country, which is essential for providing a strong hosting service.
David Bainbridge, Divisional Managing Partner of Planning at Bidwells comments: “With cities like Manchester, the UK remains one of the largest data centre markets, with the 2017 Colocation Report stating that the country is becoming the go-to location for data centres in Europe. For businesses, the Investment interest also continues to grow.
“That said, Brexit could strongly influence the decisions of investors to look outside of the UK towards places like Dublin, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Until then, Manchester continues to contribute as a highly valued city for data centres. With the Finance and Investment Forum monitoring new opportunities for emerging data centres and ecosystems in the country, it looks set to thrive.”