Colocation in Michigan

April 8th, 2011 | Posted by Colo and Cloud in Editorial | Waveform Technology

Several environmental and economic factors make the American midwest, in general— and the state of Michigan, in particular—an advantageous location for a data center. Michigan’s freedom from natural disasters and comparatively low prices both make Michigan colocation more reliable and more cost effective than many competing data center markets.

In terms of reliability and uptime, the most striking advantages Michigan has over other data centers is weather and geography. Data centers located on or near America’s East and Gulf coasts can experience direct wind and water damage as the result of a hurricane. Additional infrastructure disruption caused by a hurricane can result in loss of Internet connectivity and commercial power. As seen with Hurricane Katerina in 2005, particularly large and descriptive hurricanes can also lead to extensive social disasters (including evacuation and search and rescue) that may impede the restoration of Internet connectivity and commercial power, and possibly delay the delivery of fuel needed for backup power generation.

Likewise, data centers located near a fault line, such as those located near America’s West coast, are vulnerable to earthquakes. Data centers near fault lines have needed to invest heavily in seismic isolations systems to protect customer colocation equipment as well as the data center’s cooling, power, and networking equipment. Seismic isolation is often successful, but it adds another layer of complexity to a colocation deployment and its failure can be catastrophic. Additionally, larger regional damage can disrupt Internet connectivity and commercial power.

By comparison, the weather in Michigan is boring. Michigan is free from natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, tsunamis and floods which can cause downtime and service disruptions.

Michigan data centers also have a price advantage over colocation facilities in nearby markets such as Chicago. Chicago colocation does has a price advantage in bandwidth; there are more bandwidth providers in Chicago and, thanks to increased competition, the prices are generally low. However, in many cases the total cost of Chicago colocation is far more expensive because of higher rates per square foot and higher electrical costs.

Many colocation customers are finding that less expensive markets located away from the traditional technology hubs can offer the same uptime. We are watching a similar migration as large data center builders and operators, such as eBay, move their attention away from urban areas to take advantage of lower property and power costs in the midwest. Michigan has a number of advanced data centers that offer the same uptime as facilities in Chicago, and other cites, but at a much lower cost.

Thanks to both lower prices and a lack of natural disasters, Michigan data centers are right now experiencing exceptional growth.

About Waveform Technology
Waveform Technology is an innovative provider of both data center and telecommunications solutions that meet the demands of a number of industries in southeast Michigan. Our dedicated team of engineers work directly with our clients to meet their high speed connectivity, high availability, disaster recovery, and Michigan colocation needs. Waveform Technology’s diverse portfolio of internet and data center solutions are the perfect tools to help your IT department meet the demands of your business.

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5 Responses

  • Greg Swain says:

    I think this was a great way for Waveform Technology to let potential costumers the benefits to their Geographic location. I never really thought about natural disaster as a big factor in choosing a Data Center. They make some good points about the East, West, and Gulf Coasts.

  • Jake Wilson says:

    It’s slightly amusing to realize that dull weather and remoteness are attractive qualities for data center sites. Though I wonder how long those areas, like Michigan and the Utah Valley, will remain low-cost when growing industries like colocation providers, develop those areas more and more.

  • Emma Thomas says:

    Michigan is a great site for colocation – here’s another site that talks about Why Michigan colocation

  • Nic LeCheminant says:

    It’s interesting to see how many factors go into determining a good colocation data center: weather, natural disasters, etc. I also think it’s funny that some data centers avoid metro areas, like Chicago mentioned here, because of lower costs and other potential issues.

  • Brad Burkhart says:

    Michigan isn’t in tornado alley or in danger of hurricanes and earthquakes, but blizzards are a huge problem there. Companies can find other locations with less frequent natural disasters.

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