California Data Centers

It should come as no surprise that there are many data centers in California. What are the advantages? Where are the best sites within the state?  

As the home to more large technology companies than any other US state, and with a GDP larger than Great Britain’s, it’s understandable why California would be such a popular data center site. According to datacenters.com, “There are currently 60 providers and 219 data centers in California. This includes 208 colocation facilities, 165 cloud nodes, 54 Internet exchanges (IX), and 55 disaster recovery and business continuity (DRBC) sites.”

Golden Gate Bridge in daytime

Advantages of California Data Centers

In addition to the impressive economic and demographic numbers above, there are more technical reasons underpinning the popularity of California as a data center site.

  • *Connectivity
  • *Renewably-sourced electric power (more in our blog)
  • *Low latency to in-state constituents
  • *Opportunity Zones (more in our blog)

The proof of the enduring allure of California in data center site selection is in the numbers. Based on a research report by Data Center Frontier and Data Center Hawk, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reports that “In total, there were 498 megawatts of new power capacity planned in Silicon Valley in 2019, compared to just 104 megawatts in 2018.” 

Silicon Valley remains the hottest data center market in the United States, behind Northern Virginia.

In total, there were 498 megawatts of new power capacity planned in Silicon Valley in 2019, compared to just 104 megawatts in 2018.

Silicon Valley Business Journal Tweet

In-State Geographic Trends

Not all California data center sites are equal however. Data centers are tightly clustered in the San Francisco Bay Area and the greater Los Angeles area. While those areas make a lot of sense from a proximity and connectivity perspective, they don’t make much sense when you consider cost of land, seismic risk, wildfire risk, and flood risk. 

Increasingly IT teams and facilities managers are starting to look at other parts of the state, like Sacramento. Those parts of the state can offer the same benefits as the San Francisco Bay Area (including Silicon Valley) and the greater Los Angeles area, while avoiding some of the negative aspects. 

Disadvantages

There are some disadvantages to California as a data center site as well. The state has relatively high tax rates, relatively high electricity rates, and a relatively high risk of natural disasters.

 

If you are considering California in your data center site selection process, it is important to speak with a data center developer that knows the state well and can guide you through the strategy. Look for expertise not just in data center development and operations, but also in corporate finance. Your company’s bottom line will be impacted by a decision of this size.

map of seismic risk on U.S. west coast

How Prime Data Centers' Sites Are Optimized

Our Sacramento data center offers the best of both worlds: all of the advantages of California as a data center site, with none of the downsides. It’s also within an Opportunity Zone, which comes with significant potential tax advantages. Our Santa Clara data center allows you to be in the heart of it all, while taking advantage of the relatively inexpensive electricity rates from Silicon Valley Power.

Learn more about our data centers by contacting us.

If you prefer phone or email to live chat, you can reach us at 415-896-4461 or info [at] primedatacenters [dot] com