What Drives Data Center Choice?

March 25, 2020

It doesn’t seem that long ago that a data center was simply a dedicated space or facility — on- or off-site — for housing computer systems and other components.

Then we began talking about third-party data centers and virtual data centers (cloud). We also started rating facilities for levels of redundancy and fault tolerance using the ANSI/TIA-942 standard, resulting in Tier 1, 2, 3 and 4 data centers.

Today, thanks to cloud computing, Big Data, and other technologies, we now have cloud data centers, hybrid data centers, hyperscale data centers, and edge data centers in the mix. Many facilities, like US Signal’s data centers, fit into more than one category. That includes US Signal’s newest facility in the Detroit Metro area. Designed to Tier 3 standards, it’s purpose-built for secure, reliable colocation, cloud, and DR services.

Survey looks at data center choice

Regardless of what they’re called, who they’re used by and how they’re used, data center facilities still all share two common purposes. First, they house computing and networking equipment for collecting, storing, processing, distributing or allowing access to data. Second and equally important, they provide the power, network connections, environmental controls, and security to enable that equipment to work.

Obviously, with different kinds of data centers available, they’re not all the same. So, what are the factors that influence companies to choose a particular data center? And what are companies using these facilities for beyond housing equipment and accessing the supporting resources?

US Signal recently released the results of its “2020 State of Data Center Offerings” survey, which sought to answer those questions —as well as to understand the whys behind the responses.

Security and compliance matter

Security and compliance were noted as priorities when choosing a data center provider by 58% of respondents, with 31% listing them as their top priority. It’s likely that major data compliance regulations such as GDPR, along with increasing ransomware attacks, are leading companies to look to data center providers for cybersecurity and compliance management assistance.

Minimal latency and DR at the edge

The survey also revealed that 91% of respondents were likely to select a data center provider located close to their users. In addition, 46% of respondents said network capacity and connectivity options were important factors for choosing a provider with 15% citing it as their top priority.

Those statistics support the increasing popularity of edge data centers. Typically positioned in growing markets or on the outskirts of existing networks, these facilities allow companies to deliver content and services to local users with minimal latency. For companies trying to penetrate a local market or improve regional network performance, these facilities are incredibly valuable.

When choosing an edge data center provider, 42% of the respondents cited disaster recovery (DR) and backup availability as key considerations. Not surprisingly, backup and DR were the ranked as the top services used at a data center (75%), followed closely by security services (73%), network connectivity (69%), private cloud hosting (59%), multi-tenant cloud hosting (56%), and colocation (39%).

For more about the findings, see the the survey's infographic.

snippet from data center infographic

Customer-centric data centers

When you look at what US Signal is doing on the data center front, it’s clear that customer demand and concerns — like those expressed in the survey — are the drivers.

For example, the interest in cloud services is among the reasons US Signal’s new Detroit Metro data center will feature a state-of-the-art cloud pod. The unique architecture and infrastructure within a data center environment will allow customers to colocate their hardware assets and get private Layer 2 connections to US Signal Cloud resources, or a direct connection to hyperscale providers. It will also enable organizations to leverage extensive geo-diverse data protection solutions.

The new data center, along with US Signal’s other seven facilities, also offers several options for DR. Redundancy is in place for all critical components, and all facilities have tested storm and emergency preparedness plans in place .

Talk to us

Remember, US Signal solution architects are available to help you assess your data center needs. They can work with you to develop the right solution to meet your organization’s needs, whether it’s colocation, cloud, data protection, network services, security, managed IT services or some combination of these services.

Call 866.2. SIGNAL or email [email protected].