Selecting a location for a data center can be a complicated issue with a lot of factors involved. John Rath from the Data Center Information blog has written a white paper about data center site selection that should be a good starting point if you are in the US.
Above: The US sure has a climate with a temper.
One part of the report examines natural disasters and weather conditions for different regions in the US, kind of like we did back in our post “Where NOT to keep your servers according to Mother Nature”, but in more detail.
Another part examines a different type of climate: the business climate, as well as various cost and power issues.
It is a good collection of facts to consider when selecting a location for a data center. Rath also makes an interesting observation regarding where companies usually end up putting their data centers:
I wanted to explain what I believe is the most important factor. Whoever the decision maker or makers are for site selection, many of the factors listed below bear little importance. […] Businesses seemingly ignore all factors and build where their people and/or office buildings are.
There is something to be said for having direct access to your data center, even if the location of your offices may not always be ideal. However, a lot of small businesses will have a hard time matching the quality of a large, established datacenter, so in many cases the best choice may be to outsource your hosting.