Eichorn agrees that power has become an increasingly a cost driver in data centers. At the same time, green initiatives have people talking how to better manage power consumption. As a result, he says, there are many new techniques available to companies today.
"Companies use green, and they use it for different reasons," Eichorn says. "There is an emphasis on being environmentally conscious, but there's also the [monetary] value...that being green brings to the table."
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Most companies don't plan for just one data center at a time, Eichorn notes. Usually, it's two: a primary facility and a business continuity and disaster recovery redundant facility.
David Eichorn, data center practice head for Akibia, believes today's data center industry provides accessibility to green initiatives for everyone.
One of the biggest concerns, Eichorn says, is the proximity of the two data centers. Putting one facility in an area that's prone to natural disasters is risky enough, but if your data centers are too close, a hurricane, tornado or other big storm could take out both facilities, he says.
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At the same time, if the data centers are too far apart, turn-around time suffers. In addition, putting facilities in another state, province or territory will increase the overall cost (and complexity) of capital and labor, which is an important consideration for small and medium-sized companies. (Larger firms with multiple offices, of course, have more options for where to base a data center.)
In the end, Lambert says, most businesses establish a perimeter or short-list of ideal regions and go from there. If you narrow your site selection down to a few regions, then you can analyze the benefits of each location and plan your facility.
The good news for companies looking to expand facilities or invest in new data center builds is that the industry is more open today than it was in the past. Far from being proprietary and secret, today's data centers show that there is more interest and more willingness from companies to share their experiences and knowledge with other companies.
"When people bring knowledge and technology advancements to the table, it brings forth a more open environment and accessibility to green initiatives for everyone," Eichorn says.