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The data center and corporate headquarters: Together or apart?

My company is building a new corporate headquarters. Our data center is presently located on a sprawling campus. The question is: should we move into that new building, or remain on the campus away from headquarters?

My company is building a new corporate headquarters. Our data center is presently located on a sprawling campu...

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The question is: should we move into that new building, or remain on the campus away from headquarters?

Hello and thank you for your question:

The question you are asking actually requires some careful consideration. There are many factors that go into deciding whether to stay in your existing data center or move to a newly constructed data center. The primary driving force here will be whether your existing data center meets your current--and future--capacity/operating needs. If your current data center does not meet your existing and future capacity, operations and growth needs, then the answer is simple--you have to move into the new facility. Although it is desirable to have the company data center separate from corporate headquarters, sometimes it can not be avoided. If in fact your existing data center does meet current and future growth requirements, then I would recommend that you stay, or perhaps utilize the site as a disaster recovery location (if you do not already have one). Please understand however, some of the following factors need to be reviewed when making your location selection, and are above and beyond existing/future capacity-growth considerations:

  1. Where will the corporate headquarters be located? Where geographically are you considering?

  2. What are the demographics of the area (crime, other companies, financial demographic of community)?

  3. What modes of transportation are nearby (air travel, train-subway, highway/thru-ways, water transportation)?

  4. What climate risks exist (earthquake, flooding, tornado, hurricanes, wildfires)?

  5. What type of business do you conduct, who are your clients and who do those clients conduct business with--Has your company received threats or harassment in the past from any known activist groups?

  6. Does your existing data center meet what is required for current data center security construction practices (proper property line set-back, site hardening, controlled access to site or proper blast mitigation components such as laminated windows, hardened wall construction and so on)? If not, what will it cost to bring your current data center up to speed? Will it be cheaper to factor in these items into the design of the new data center?

  7. What type of security staff coverage will be required if the data center is separate from headquarters? Have you factored in the cost of additional security staff if your data center is separate? Is this within your budget?

  8. Can existing security at the headquarters building monitor a separate data center with technology (security system, digital video) and then provide remote response if an event occurs?

This was last published in April 2006

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