In many ways, Colorado is an ideal place to locate a data center. The natural protection of the mountains, and a new data center tax incentive program has just passed through government approvals.
The cool, dry climate in parts of Colorado is ideal for server cooling most of the year. Colorado data center leasing averages the second lowest in cost in the nation.
With all of these positives about running a data center in the Rocky Mountains, there are three problems in the state which any potential investor or company executive should consider when deciding to build such a facility in Denver, Colorado Springs, Boulder, or the surrounding areas.
1. Lack of Technical Talent
Colorado has a high concentration of technology startups, and many technology companies, but many Colorado tech job openings go unfilled due to a lack of skilled candidates.
There are a number of public-private partnerships which are being formed to build a technology skilled workforce, however. The Colorado Technology Foundation is one such organization.
2. High Use of Fossil Fuels for Power
The majority of the power in Colorado is generated through the burning of coal and natural gas.
Colorado happens to also be one of the highest producers of coal; however, governments are pushing for renewable forms of energy. Almost forty percent of coal is shipped out of Colorado.
There are trends towards renewable energy in Colorado; however, as coal is slowly dropping as a source of electricity, alternative energy sources such as the wind, solar and biomass power is climbing slowly.
Natural gas-run data centers are perceived as dangerous so moving towards renewable resources is a good thing.
3. Natural Disasters
Wildfires and tornadoes happen fairly frequently in parts of Colorado. Data centers need to be hardened to resist the damage from these events.
There are other factors about Colorado to be considered which are not really too problematic:
- Legalized marijuana might be a challenge with employees
- The highest concentration of microbreweries in the United States
- Concentration of hippie culture in the state. (See first bullet point)
- High cost of living in areas like Boulder
Colorado has a lot of positive factors, including natural beauty, abundant natural resources, and the Denver Broncos. If you are considering investing in a data center in Colorado, these are some factors you will want to consider in light of these potential problems.
Have you investigated the prospects of building a data center in Colorado? What factors made you invest, or seek alternate locations? Tell us about it in the comments!
And if you need to grow the client list and revenue base of a Colorado data center, be sure to download your free copy of Lead Generation Best Practices for Colocation Data Centers.