Geography may have lost its luster among curriculum creators, but it remains an important consideration when planning a data center. After all, no business wants to locate such a critical component to its overall mission in a place where it will be under six feet of water in six months.
Threats to a data center from natural disasters can be reduced depending on where the facility is located. When it comes to natural disasters in the
Based on presidential disaster declarations over the last eight years, data centers as less likely to suffer service interruptions from natural disasters in the Northwest than in any other part of the country.
According to the agency, from 2000 to 2008, FEMA Region X, made up of
The Northwest offers other more economic benefits as well. As we have pointed out in past blogs, one of the prevailing concerns with data centers is their massive power consumption to both run the servers and cool the data center as a whole. And this is another reason to favor the Northwest.
"...the popularity of the
for mega data centers [is] due to its inexpensive and low-carbon hydroelectricity, its climate which reduces cooling costs, and its fiber optic infrastructure. " Columbia River Valley
A close second to the Northwest as a relatively safe place to locate a data center is directly on the other side of the country. During the period tracked by FEMA, Region I, comprised of the
However, electricity costs in the Northeast (
So considering the Northwest's cheap and abundant power, as well as the relatively small incidents of natural disasters, there is really no wonder why companies like Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, and Intuit Inc. have been flocking to the Northwest to build out mega datacenters.