The nature of the Internet has truly ushered in the age of the Global Village, where companies can exist on multiple continents and do business 24/7 year-round in a shrinking, hyper-connected world. Whether to tap into business opportunities that follow the activity of the Sun, or to place data centers in various locales around the planet so as to minimize operational deficiencies due to natural or manmade disasters, today’s international companies are building data centers around the globe.
Unfortunately, every country has a different set of political, geographical, and even geologic and meteorological set of conditions to consider before extending valuable financial resources towards the construction and operation of a regional data center. Below are several elements to consider as you decide whether to locate your next data center in Alaska or Azerbaijan, in Zambia or Zimbabwe.
Even if your business has no intention of getting involved in the politics of a country where you locate your data center, you will be under the sway of that country’s governmental system, including its tax structures and law enforcement system. Its political stability can affect your access to power and employees, and warring political factions can create unrest that can disrupt mail deliveries and travel. Some countries also monitor, block or filter Internet traffic.
Third World-Class Development
Many developing countries look great on paper due to their very low costs of living and tax rates. However, it’s tough to operate an effective data center if running water is not guaranteed, electrical power is sporadic, healthcare for employees is at a basic level, and the main roads are little more than dirt paths that can vanish under swollen rivers.
Human Capital Concerns
No matter how sophisticated and automated your data center may be, some local employees will always be necessary for guards and administrative personnel, as well as perhaps mechanical and electrical workers. Are these skillsets available in the indigenous people of your new location, and will their religions and human resource laws allow them to work as required for your business needs?
Natural Conditions & Events
Seismic events on fault lines, typhoon seasons and tsunamis, flood zones, the changing face of the local environment under global weather change…it’s a wise idea to understand what the lay of the land will be for every season of the year at your new data center locale. Remember, not all climates and regions are temperate 365 days a year!
These are just a few of the geo/political considerations a company needs to be mindful of when settling upon a new data center location. Altus provides geo/political and power analysis that help global businesses make the right investments for their future. We’d love to work with you on your next data center development – Contact Us today to learn more or to get started with Altus.