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Summary

When a company buys new land, it is important to consider the property's suitability to house a server environment. Failing to do so often means having to spend more on Data Center infrastructure, either to add what's missing or to overcome shortcomings on the site. The most desirable type of location is one that supports the Data Center's mission to safeguard server equipment and accommodate growth and change.

Learn the zoning, building codes, building control standards, and other regulations that apply to a property. These can affect both your Data Center design and normal business operations. You should likewise understand the risk factors facing a potential Data Center site. These can include natural disasters such as earthquakes, ice storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, and landslides, as well as fire, pollution, electromagnetic interference, vibration, political climates, or airport flight paths. If you decide to build in a region susceptible to these hazards, you need to adjust how the Data Center is designed, such as upping the capacity of its standby power systems or increasing the structural strength of the building, depending upon the particular threat that's posed.

An ideal Data Center location is strategically placed among your company's other Data Centers and any designated off-site storage facilities—close enough so employees can quickly reach them after a disaster, but far enough away that they are unlikely to all be affected by a single catastrophic event.

When evaluating a property, assess the physical features of all existing buildings. Determine what power, cooling, and data cabling already exist and how easily their capacity can be increased to support a Data Center. Also make sure that the structure has adequate clearance and weight-bearing ability to accept incoming server equipment. A loading dock, freight elevator, and distributed infrastructure all make a site more conducive for housing a Data Center, while immovable building elements and potential hazards such as water piping and a kitchen are unfavorable. Finally, confirm with local service providers that adequate power and connectivity can be provided to support the Data Center.

Because each property has its own advantages and disadvantages, you must decide what characteristics are most important for your business and choose accordingly.

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