It’s easy to assume the growth of hyperscale clouds like AWS, Azure, and GCP has impacted the colocation market, but colocation remains a strong choice for businesses today. In this post, we focus on the benefits of colocation by narrowing in on one of the best geographies for data centers in the U.S.: Pennsylvania. We’ll look at why so many companies choose to house their workloads in a Pennsylvania data center and why colocation is often their data center solution of choice.
Why Pennsylvania for a data center?
When choosing a data center location, it’s not always about what the location offers. Just as often, it’s what the location doesn’t have that makes it suitable for housing sensitive workloads and meeting high-availability computing needs. Pennsylvania is one such location:
- Not a very seismically active part of the country.
- Surrounded by hills, thus less likelihood of tornados.
- Not as susceptible to flooding as other parts of the country
Population density within Pennsylvania is also low compared to many other Northeastern states. Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania (1.5M people), but the number of people per square mile is less than half that of New York City. Especially when coupled with a high volume of business traffic, bandwidth used by consumers in a densely populated area can put a strain on network availability. For businesses that need reliable connectivity and lots of bandwidth, low population density is a big benefit.
While less populated, Pennsylvania is still very close to major centers of business. Three of the major markets served by Pennsylvania data centers include New York City, Baltimore, and the District of Columbia. The furthest commute from some of the popular Pennsylvania data center locations to these major metros is just over three hours; the shortest is less than an hour.
Businesses that choose to colocate will typically own (or lease) their hardware and often take all or most of the day-to-day responsibility for managing it. It’s very important to these companies that the data center is within a relatively easy commute. Distance is also a critical factor when choosing a disaster recovery site. They want their disaster recovery data center to be close enough to visit if they need to, but far enough away that it remains unaffected by a regional disruption.
The benefits of Pennsylvania for data center colocation
We’ve talked about the benefits of housing your data in a Pennsylvania data center. Let’s now turn to how a colocation facility in Pennsylvania can help meet some of an organization’s other critical requirements.
Security and compliance
Companies that choose colocation services are often trying to balance security and compliance with cost structure. They want to decommission their on-premises data center and convert at least some of their CapEx into OpEx. However, maintaining responsibility for the hardware they own or lease gives them a better sense of control.
Online gaming is another type of business served by Pennsylvania data centers. Dave Callan, TierPoint’s V.P. of Sales for the Atlantic Region recently wrote about how colocating equipment in Pennsylvania can help these businesses achieve their IT goals. Read his full blog post here: Online Gaming in PA: Finding the Right Data Center Provider
High availability and low latency
Many hospitals and major financial institutions choose to house their equipment in data centers located in Pennsylvania. These organizations have high availability requirements, and they need low latency connections so they can create a better customer experience. All of the benefits of housing workloads in a Pennsylvania data center that we have already mentioned are vitally important to them.
Banks and hospitals also have stringent compliance and security requirements, and they often feel most comfortable taking a hands-on approach to their hardware. Data center colocation in Pennsylvania gives organizations like these the best of both worlds. Data center providers often offer additional managed services, remote hands, and IT security monitoring, to help fill gaps when staff can’t be there in person.
Business Continuity options
Business continuity workspace is another benefit of data center colocation with a provider. Data center providers often allocate hundreds of seats and meeting room space for clients to use in the event of a disaster.
During COVID-19, many businesses were forced to rethink their work-from-home policies, and they discovered it was possible to send at least a portion of their workforce home. However, a different type of disaster could quickly impact connectivity to the home, and business continuity workspace gives these employees a place to go.
Our five key Pennsylvania colocation data center regions
In our experience, we found these regions to be the best data center locations for our clients. Here are some of the benefits:
Our Valley Forge data center houses over 600 clients in a 137K square foot facility and offers every product in our portfolio. While many of these customers house their primary workloads in Valley Forge, the data center is also used as a recovery site for many businesses based in Baltimore.
Our Allentown-TekPark data center, at 122K square feet, is often the choice for our D.C. clients. Although it’s a little further away than Baltimore, TekPark is set up to handle the level of computing power required by these clients. In fact, we just completed a major power upgrade to this facility to increase computing density, ensure redundant power, and make it hyperscale-ready.
Lehigh Valley and Bethlehem
Our data centers on Courtney Street and LeHigh Valley in Bethlehem are smaller sites, with 25.9K and 27.7K square feet respectively. A few hours outside the major metro zones, many of our customers choose Bethlehem for disaster recovery, so we’ve configured these data centers to handle their high-compute needs.
At 25.7K square feet, our Philadelphia data center is also a great disaster recovery site, but its strategic location in the Philadelphia Navy Yard also makes it a popular choice for a primary production site.
All five of our Pennsylvania data centers are connected by a dark fiber network ring that can provide sub-2ms connections. We also have dark fiber connectivity down to 401 North Broad in Philadelphia and up to 60 Hudson and 11 8th Ave in New York City. Our fast connections to these well-known data centers allow us to offer faster recovery times to clients using our Pennsylvania data centers for disaster recovery.
Many of our clients take a hybrid approach to cloud computing (public and private), housing workloads in a mix of on-premises data centers, TierPoint cloud services, colocation, and disaster recovery sites. No matter what combination they choose, all of our Pennsylvania customers benefit from our security-first approach. This includes industry-standard security best practices such as checkpoints, gates, fences, 24x7x365 on-site personnel, badge/photo ID access, biometric access screening, secure cages, and full-building video capture.
Come and see one of our Pennsylvania colocation data centers
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of colocation, download our Strategic Guide to the Data Center and Colocation. This resource goes deeper into how colocation works, the advantages of colocation, and how colocation can help optimize a hybrid IT infrastructure.
Learn more about our data centers to understand why we’re one of the best colocation providers in Pennsylvania. To help you decide whether one of our Pennsylvania data centers is right for your needs, we’ve posted our data center spec sheets online:
Are you ready to see one of the data centers for yourself? One of our expert advisors would be happy to give you an on-site tour of any of our Pennsylvania data centers.