3 Things to Consider When Picking a Location for Your Data Center

Data Center Map

With the power of modern servers and Internet data speeds, something like the geographical location of a server may seem trivial. After all, data zips across the Internet so quickly, so does location matter anymore? Shared or VPS Hosting customers may not need quite as much out of their hosting plans. But, Dedicated Server clients demand greater performance, speed, and reliability. Squeezing more out of a server means exploiting every opportunity for performance boosters, including Data Center location.

Despite the relative speed of servers and the Internet today, users can still experience lag when they try to access data over great distances. This lag becomes particularly pronounced in situations where the user and the server exchange a great deal of information, such as in a mobile app setting. In many cases, it might be wise to have servers in multiple locations. This approach makes sense for those serving data to users in different vicinities. It also serves as a means of risk management by keeping redundant data and processes on Dedicated Servers in geographically distant locations. If something happens to one server (natural disaster, power outage, etc.) the other can take over.

Many reasons exist for wanting to have a Dedicated Server located in a particular place, but you should consider a few common questions in every case. These can help you decide where to locate a Dedicated Server, whether you need more than one, and what sort of features your operation requires. Thus, consider these 3 things before choosing a Data Center location that is right for you:

Why Do You Need a Dedicated Server, and Where are Your Users?

Obviously, budget and operating requirements must factor into your decision. But, would it be better for your operational goals to explore colocation (i.e., having servers in multiple locations)? Or, does having just one, ideally located server better suit your objectives and budget? Will you need top-of-the-line specifications, or should you go for solid entry or mid-range servers in multiple locations?

The answers to some of these questions will relate to your intended use for the Dedicated Server. For example, a mail server should probably run close to the pool of users that will access it. On the other hand, most customers do not need top-level hardware simply to run a mail server. As a result, it may be possible to purchase hosting for two or more such servers on different coasts. The resulting reduction in lag for users could easily speed up their email delivery times. In fact, the gains could well exceed those resulting from higher-end hardware in a more distant Data Center. Multiple server locations could also create backup redundancy for security and ensure continued operation even in the event another server suffers a failure.

Alternatively, those needing Dedicated Servers for mobile app infrastructure may want servers located as close as possible to their user base. If data reveals that the majority of users live on the US East Coast or in Europe, having a dedicated server located on the East Coast with the highest available specifications may provide the best user experience. On the other hand, if the majority of users live on the US West Coast, Asia, Australia, or somewhere in the Pacific region, a West Coast server could be key.

InMotion Hosting now offers Data Centers located on both the US East and West Coasts. These Data Centers also allow a choice of different server configurations to suit most operational needs.

Does the Provider Have the Right Infrastructure to Keep Your Operation Online?

An ideally located server will not offer any value if it lacks adequate infrastructure for its intended use. Some bargain brands use out-of-date hardware with few provisions for security or backups. Others run Data Centers that suffer from inadequately engineered buildings, lacking sufficient ventilation, power, fire protection, etc.

Quality Data Centers (sometimes referred to simply as “DCs”) have disaster recovery plans, uptime guarantees, and Managed Hosting Teams. InMotion Hosting, for example, prides itself on the performance of its Managed Hosting Team, to the point of creating a 100% Network Uptime Guarantee. Hosts like InMotion Hosting ensure that no matter what happens, server operations continue with little or no disruption. They ensure that in the event of a failure or fault, the hosting company makes it right. And, they can perform maintenance and upgrades seamlessly.

Is the Data Center Close to an Internet Exchange Point (IXP)?

The proximity of the server to the users can have a huge impact on performance and latency. Yet, it means little if the distance between the Data Center and an IXP remains too great. The physical infrastructure through which the Internet passes, IXPs provide “crossroads” of sorts for data. They serve as branching points for data, providing multiple paths across which data can travel, thus reducing latency and bandwidth.

Data Centers far from IXPs suffer far greater latency because data has to travel a greater distance. It must use a limited number of paths to an IXP or directly to the user. Conversely, Data Centers located adjacent to IXPs (like those at InMotion Hosting) have far less latency. This equates to faster delivery of data across the Internet. If the DC and the end user share close proximity with an IXP, that can create truly substantial performance gains.

Ready to Explore InMotion Hosting’s Dedicated Server Options?

With the addition of an East Coast Data Center, InMotion Hosting’s already unbeatable Dedicated Server solutions have become even more appealing. InMotion Hosting offers the power, performance, security, reliability, and geographical locations to get the job done right every time. That makes InMotion Hosting the smart choice for Dedicated Server Hosting whatever your operational requirements may be.

Discuss your Dedicated Server needs with one of our expert sales representatives, or visit our Dedicated Server product page for more information on packages, pricing, and specifications.

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