Why is North Texas a good spot for data centers?

This time last year, Facebook joined several of its fortune 1000 neighbors in North Texas, building a $1 billion, 750,000-square-foot data center in Fort Worth.

Data centers of this size and grandeur are becoming commonplace in the Lone Star state.

A study conducted by Dallas commercial real estate firm JLL indicated North Texas is the number three data center market in the U.S. According to one Dallas Business Journal piece, “The area hosts at least 56 data centers, almost half of all facilities in Texas, according to Data Center Map, a website that has cataloged 2,500 facilities in 90 countries. That figure is also larger than the number of centers in Houston, Austin and San Antonio combined.”

But what makes international corporations like Toyota, Exxon, and Amazon flock to the DFW area to set up their mission critical data centers? That’s what we aim to find out.

Here are five reasons North Texas is king when it comes to building data centers.

1. Tax Exemptions

Data centers that invest $200 million within five years of groundbreaking get 10-15 year sales and use tax exemptions thanks to a 2011 measure passed by the state. These tax-saving channels offer huge incentives for large corporations looking to build their data centers.

2. Lower Cost of Living

Though data centers don’t generally create huge population swells, the employees that do relocate enjoy Dallas’ thriving housing market, no state income tax and lower cost of living compared to other parts of the country.

3. Access to Massive Fiber Networks

Dallas is often praised for its rich fiber optic network. Built in the late 1990s, it’s one of three major power grids in the nation. This easy access to technologically advanced fiber is a definite lure for builders looking for a data center base. The state’s dedicated power grid also decreases downtime.

4. Central Location

Not only does Texas sit equidistant between both coasts. With 40ms average latency to east and west coast, North Texas is perfect for hosting latency sensitive applications. It also has a top-notch international airport to facilitate easy travel and with numerous interstate and intercity highways, getting to or in and around the DFW area is ultra convenient.

5. Easy Development

When a company decides to build a data center they’re likely to go the path of least resistance. The less time they spend getting clearance and building permits the better. Texas has simplified this process to make it easy for incoming businesses to get started.

The Biggest Driver, Energy Access

Experts agree that access to energy is often the deciding factor when planning a data center. Downtime and energy outages can cost millions or even billions and the massive amounts of energy that data centers consume each year are substantially higher than a conventional office building.

As a 2015 piece published by the Dallas Morning News explains, “A 2014 Natural Resources Defense Council report said data centers consumed 91 billion kilowatt-hours, or the energy output of 34 large power plants. The report estimates that number will increase to 138 billion by 2020.”

Ultimately, it’s no surprise the largest state in the continental U.S. is also home to a large concentration of data centers. The Dallas-Forth Worth area is booming, offering the world’s largest tech companies innumerable benefits.

Want to reduce your data center’s inherent vulnerabilities? Contact us to see how Global IP Networks can insulate you from the direct and indirect costs of a datacenter outage.

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