Data centres underpin the economy, enabling almost every transaction and communication that takes place online. But that’s all virtual. They don’t deliver any value to the real world or the communities in which they operate, right? Wrong! Data centres are an asset to their local communities – let us show you how by debunking some data centre myths.
Myth no. 1: Data centres do bring jobs to their local communities
Colocation data centres are staffed 24/7 and have several specialist teams who provide support and security to their clients. Working in shifts requires relatively high staff numbers, providing direct employment to the local community across a range of skill levels. Data centres are also specialist, custom-built facilities, and so when they’re first being built, they provide a lot of opportunities for construction workers.
And data centres also indirectly create job opportunities in their communities since they bring people into an area. Customers will regularly visit the data centre for maintenance and will make use of local amenities, such as retail and hospitality venues. Plus the presence of a data centre will attract other businesses to set up shop nearby thanks to the connectivity and infrastructure services they provide.
In short, the idea that data centres don’t drive employment is a myth.
Myth no. 2: Data centres are not built in the middle of nowhere
The location of data centres is actually really important – and the choice of location varies from one data centre to another. To provide the best possible services, data centres are built in business hubs, and that doesn’t just mean big cities; you’ll find data centres supporting businesses wherever they are. Edge data centres – decentralised data centres – are specifically built away from cities and close to their customers, and they will become more important over time with the growth of 5G and the IoT.
Colocation data centres can’t be built in the middle of nowhere because they need to be accessible to their customers, which at the very least requires good transport links. And also, because they need access to the right power and connectivity infrastructure. A data centre needs the capability to provide high power levels and tap into high-speed networks. You will typically find them in business hubs like industrial estates, where they have the space, access and infrastructure links that they need to thrive.
In addition, building data centres near to other businesses makes good business sense. First, it enables the data centre to support nearby businesses with infrastructure management (giving them easy access to an existing customer base). Second, those businesses can benefit from the infrastructure upgrades the data centre needs – for example, bringing faster connection speeds.
Myth no. 3: Data centres are not just sheds full of servers
Data centres are much more than holding zones for IT equipment. Not only are they filled with cutting-edge infrastructure supporting advanced technologies, data centres are staffed by teams who bring a rich knowledge of their specialism, and a passion for their community. For example, one way in which 4D supports our local community is by sponsoring an online STEM enrichment activity called ‘I’m an Engineer’, which aims to encourage children to consider a career in science. This programme puts pupils in touch with people like our engineers, each of whom can offer a different perspective on a tech career. We answer the students’ questions and help them better understand the options in front of them. It’s a service to the community – but also to our industry, which needs to secure future talent.
Furthermore, data centre investment in the latest innovations brings cutting-edge technologies to the local community. For instance, 4D’s immersion cooling hosting service brings this new technology to our area, creating a new opportunity for our local customers, like PeaSoup.
Ask more, get more
Like any other business, data centres have the opportunity to contribute to their local communities. If it’s important to you to work with a community-minded data centre operator, then ask your prospective partners on what they do to support their communities. And if you want to learn more about our colocation services, get in touch with one of our experts.