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Strategic Siting: Colos in Central Business Districts

Edge and cloud computing, together with increasing demand for interconnection services, make CBD colos attractive to certain clients. The environmental, logistical and regulatory challenges inherent in established CBD locations, however, can prove costly and time consuming for new or expanding data centers. This report, based on interviews with providers in major cities, examines the operational challenges, and solutions for overcoming them.

Key findings:

  • The key challenges inherent in siting colocation data centers (colos) in central business districts (CBDs) fall into three key areas — environmental, logistical and regulatory.

  • Environmental issues include noise and pollution; water consumption; diesel storage and utilization; and impacts on the historical environment.

  • Logistical issues include utilities connection (particularly for power); optimizing available space; and traffic control (access for goods inwards, as well as maintenance and repair).

  • Regulatory issues include challenges in securing permits and consents; liaison with multiple authorities within local government; and engagement with local communities.

Report Author:

  • Tomas Rahkonen, Research Director of Distributed Data Centers, Uptime Institute

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