Why Phoenix Is A Great Place To Build A Data Center

Data Center Best LocationPhoenix is a great place to build a data center due to ample cheap land, proximity to an urbanized area with a skilled workforce, available power grids, and existing telecommunications infrastructure.  One of the first things to remember when building a data center is that it will likely be operational in current form for well under ten years (estimates by Gartner Inc. approximated that a new data center will be operational for 7 years; the International Data Corporation estimated that the average new data center will be operational for less than 9 years).  Due to the relatively short “shelf life” of data centers, it is imperative that one invests wisely.  Like any building, one first needs to choose a location.

Phoenix climate

Phoenix is known for its hot, arid climate.  All data centers have a virtual atmosphere created by extensive HVAC systems.  A successful data center can neither be too hot nor too cold.  Similarly, it cannot be too dry or too humid.  Most data centers rely heavily on having a quality cooling component to combat the heat generated by various servers and other large machines that run 24/7.  Instead of focusing on building in the perfect climate, focus on building near things one cannot readily find elsewhere.  First, there is no such thing as a natural climate that is perfect for a data center.  It is nearly impossible to get around creating an artificial climate inside any functional data center.  Especially given the relatively short time in which a data center may be operational, one of the most pertinent things to look for is cheap land near utility lines and close to general contractors.  Focus on upfront costs first.

How to cut building costs without sacrificing quality

Obviously, purchasing cheap land is one of the best ways to cut costs without compromising the future quality of a data center from the start.  The next big thing to think about is available utility lines.  One of the most expensive aspects of any major building project can be rerouting utility lines.  Fiber optic lines for faster download-upload speeds are essential to the success of most major data centers.  Depending on the scope of the conceptualized data center, it will be likely that a representative of the project will have to closely collaborate with local utility companies and internet providers for a few reasons.  First, rerouting utility lines is not cheap.  Depending on the location of the existing grid and any unforeseen issues regarding constructability, rerouting utility lines can realistically cost over $1-2 million.

Second, an internet provider would have to ensure that a new data center would not crash their existing system.  For some reason, there is a common belief that the internet is a magical place.  The phrase “cloud” does not help with this misconception.  Almost all aspects of uploading and downloading data require multiple physical components, including a data center connected to a system of fiber optic cables that can handle the anticipated “flow” of data.  The transfer of data through cables is analogous to the transfer of water through a pipe.  If too much water if forced through a pipe that is too small, it will crack and burst, thus rendering the larger system nonoperational.  Cables and electric conduits must be able to handle the capacity added by implementing a large data center on the grid.  Or, necessary modifications must be made prior to the data center’s launch.

Another way to cut costs while keeping quality is to work near a populated area, such as Phoenix.  Data center construction requires the successful transportation and installation of various breakable pieces of equipment, from generators to servers in addition to standard materials for the actual structure in which they will be housed.  Cut shipping and transportation costs by building a data center in a location that has many necessary components nearby.  In addition, there are ample general contractors in Phoenix, some of which specialize in data center construction.  Choose the best person to execute the best data center in the shortest period of time instead of trying to assemble a team that is willing to temporarily relocate to work in the middle of nowhere.  In short, one has more options.  The increased level of competition in Phoenix will allow one to choose the best GC for the job.  Spe ts are available to take a data center from a concept to a fully functional operation while providing consultation and ongoing support.  For future data center owners who are subject matter experts, hiring a reputable build firm and select technicians may be adequate.

Costs after construction

After successfully going through the rigmarole of building code compliance, utility rerouting, and internal data center requirements, one must anticipate how to make the data center functional and ensure that it remains fully operational.  Search for resources on data center design and equipment experts in the Phoenix area.  In many data centers, staff reports to work 24/7.  Employees including educated IT professionals and security personnel must be paid enough to ensure retention and must be able to drive a reasonable commute when earning wages congruent with current local industry standards.  In addition, specially trained technicians will need to be able to perform routine maintenance on necessary equipment including power generators and complex HVAC systems onsite.  Paying extra for travel or relocation can dramatically increase the cost of overall operations in the following several years.  It is also imperative to remember that it is predicted with much certainty that a new data center will likely be obsolete within the next decade.

Other considerations

Look for groups of Phoenix data center experts in the area before deciding to build.  Ideally, a group could help with every aspect of data center creation and/or provide ongoing support.  Always think of data centers in terms of cost-benefit.  Unlike other ventures, construction costs may be more pertinent to the overall fiscal success of a new data center that caters to 3rd party clients.  Given the relatively short lifespan of the average data center, it is imperative to keep upfront costs low while refusing to sacrifice quality.  Building a data center in an urbanized area surrounded by cheap land, such as Phoenix, can be the most logical choice.  Have necessary resources readily available, existing functional utility grids, and an educated workforce.  In short, Phoenix has all data center construction and implementation necessities: proximity to existing power grids, preexisting telecommunication infrastructure, and the building conveniences associated with proximity to an urbanized area.

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