Selecting a data center isn’t easy. We understand.

Where should it be? How much power will you need? Should you build or lease? Is latency a concern? What are the risks of a various locations?

It’s important to complete a comprehensive analysis so we’ve provided our step by step process below.

Location Short List

Whether location requirements are based on preference, necessity or some other factor, physical location is an overriding component of the data center site selection process. Narrow sites and analyze specific factors important to you. Also consider vetting properties for space requirements and growth potential.

Risk Assessment

Each geographical location comes with its own risk profile including weather events like hurricanes, floods, quakes, wind, hail, etc. You need to consider your risk tolerance and weigh the many disaster risks both natural and man-made.


The cost of power and the supporting power delivery components are always a concern and a significant cost driver for a data center. The availability, diversity and costs of power to a data center should all be factors in your evaluation process and each factor should be considered part of the overall data center decision.

Network Connectivity

In recent years, telecom networks have gained heightened awareness as a key consideration in data centers. Without a diversity of telecom carriers and products, organizations risk spiraling bandwidth costs, limited scalability, and possible points of failure.

Additional Considerations

  • Build versus lease
  • Total cost of ownership
  • Trends and hot spots
  • Area economics, labor force, space options
  • Budgetary estimates
  • Latency overview

Proven Methodology

Site selection is a complex business decision with far reaching implications both financially and technologically. Deciding where to establish a data center is just the start. Beyond the initial questions such as which location is best and how to connect sites, there are often multiple stake holders with varying priorities and requests. There are always a variety of factors that are important to a business & you need to determine which sites are feasible for your data center – before you make this mission critical decision.

The following are the key factors involved in our process when we evaluate and recommend solutions. We welcome you to use our process.

Perform needs assessment: invite input, determine requirements/prioritization, and understand business drivers relevant to the colocation decision making process
Select A Data Center
Quantify power requirements: list specific power constraints/preferences as well as determine any ancillary initiatives such as alternative energy or “green” power focus

Identify telecom considerations: uncover specific purposes of the data center and telecommunications infrastructure within the context of overarching business and IT strategies; enumerate connectivity requirements based on the business goals

Analyze risk factors: qualify and disqualify sites/locations based on stated risk tolerance and score sites accordingly

Narrow site search: through research and comparison, focus the selection process on three (3) or less geographic locations and six (6) or less providers/sites

Examine TCO: conduct cost-benefit analysis of the remaining sites; calculate the relative costs of providers meeting all the stated requirements

Recommend facilities: develop a “short list” of providers that meet your requirements as well as a summary of power/telecom/risk factors/costs

Let us know if we can help or offer a second opinion during any step of the process.

NEF is professional services firm that provides research, analysis, consulting and planning for large infrastructure projects such as fiber optic network deployments, municipal conduit systems, data center site selection and more.

Talk with NEF today about your data center and telecom roadmap to address current and future infrastructure needs.
Call us at 877-DK-Fiber.

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