Why is Atlanta the Colocation Data Center Market So Hot?

25 Aug 2020 by Michael Kriech

You may not realize it, but the Atlanta Data Center Market has seen tremendous growth over the last few years in terms of data center investment and end-user, colocation customer demand. Atlanta has emerged as one of the top data center markets in the United States and is quickly outgrowing its reputation as a secondary market. With a flurry of activity, it’s showing signs of becoming a major hub for the data center industry and we’re not just talking about hyperscalers.

In this article, I’ll examine a few of the reasons why Atlanta, Georgia is experiencing such high growth rates and we will look specifically at activity, market movers, and absorption. I’ll also look at a few of the Atlanta colocation providers and top data centers in the area.

Atlanta Data Center Market Fundamentals

Simply put, Atlanta offers the right combination of moderate climate, low occurrence of natural disasters, low utility costs, infrastructure, accessibility, labor market, business activity, and commerce to drive interest from data center owners and operators. These fundamentals make it possible to build and operate data centers economically and reliably.

Atlanta Energy Pricing, Power & Utilities

Atlanta energy costs are on average 50% lower than the natural average. Atlanta and surrounding cities offer a diverse mix of energy sources including coal, natural gas, and hydropower. These all contribute to power that is low-cost, abundant, and highly reliable. Utility costs can be as low as $.109 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). That’s according to this Bureau of Labor Statistics Report. Utility costs are especially important for utility customers that have high power demands such as data center owners and operators.

Atlanta Climate, Natural Disaster Risk Profile

Atlanta experiences a temperate humid subtropical climate with consistently hot summers and cold winters. Summer starts in June and ends in September, while winter runs from November to early March. July is the hottest month. Temperatures during the day go up as high as 89.6°F (32°C) in hot summer.

In terms of natural disasters, Atlanta has a low-risk profile for damage to buildings and power infrastructure caused by earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, flooding, and severe storms when compared to other popular data center markets.

Transportation, Transit & Accessibility

Atlanta is home to one of the busiest airports in the world. In fact, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is ranked #1 in the United States as the Busiest Airport in the United States. It is followed by Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), O’Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), and Denver International Airport (DIA).

In addition to air travel, Atlanta was born as a transportation hub and remains a logistics center, boasting the nation's 9th-Largest Public Transit System and the convergence of three major Interstate highways.

Atlanta’s Economy, Business Climate & Tax Profile

Atlanta has been called the “The Capital of the Southeast” and for good reason. It has outgrown and outpaced the nation’s best-known metropolitan areas with continued growth and innovation. As of July 2020, the city ranks very high in a number of different categories including 1 Metro Area Tech Hub (Growth Leader), #2 Metro Area for Business Climate (among large metro areas), #2 Metro Area for Quality of Engineering Universities, #3 Metro Area for Corporate Headquarters and more.

Major national and international companies are headquartered in metro Atlanta, including seven Fortune 100 companies: The Coca-Cola Company, Home Depot, United Parcel Service, Delta Air Lines, AT&T Mobility, and Newell Rubbermaid. Other headquarters for some major companies in Atlanta and around the metro area include Arby's, Chick-fil-A, Equifax, First Data, Foundation Financial Group, Gentiva Health Services, Georgia-Pacific, NCR, Oxford Industries, RaceTrac Petroleum, Southern Company, Mirant, and Waffle House. More than 75% of the Fortune 1000 companies have a presence in the Atlanta area, and the region hosts offices of about 1,250 multinational corporations.

Atlanta’s combined state and sales tax (slightly under 7%) is lower than that of nearby states. The costs involved in purchasing building materials, hardware, cables, and other supplies are thus lower.

Atlanta Colocation & Data Center Activity

According to Datacenters.com, there are currently 47 Data Centers in Atlanta, Georgia. This includes all of the major colocation providers such as Digital Realty, Equinix, CoreSite, Switch, QTS Data Centers, CyrusOne, Flexential, Cyxtera, DataBank, Sungard AS, H5 Data Centers, Performive, CenturyLink, Colo Atl, INAP, Cogent, and DataSite Colo. Numerous providers mentioned above are in the process of building their first data center, building additional data centers or expanding their existing data centers in Atlanta.

In addition to colocation facilities, Atlanta metro plays host to privately owned, hyperscale data center facilities. This includes the Atlanta Facebook Data Center 240 Shire Parkway, Social Circle, GA near Stanton Springs, Georgia (40 miles east of Downtown Atlanta).

Top Atlanta Data Center Facilities

With a rich interconnection ecosystem of telecommunications carriers, ISPs, network service providers, and the like. Atlanta features some of the most in-demand colocation facilities in the nation.

Atlanta is a sprawling metropolitan city. By U.S. Census Bureau standards, the Atlanta region spreads across a metropolitan area of 8,376 square miles – a land area comparable to that of Massachusetts. Data centers in Atlanta metro are typically located in Downtown Atlanta and surrounding cities including Alpharetta, Marietta, Norcross, and Suwanee.

Datacenters.com ranks the following data center facilities based on demand from internal and external data sources. Here’s our list of the Top Atlanta Data Centers:

Equinix AT1 Atlanta IBX Data Center

Digital Realty ATL13 Atlanta 56 Marietta Street Data Center

QTS Atlanta Metro Data Center

DataBank ATL1 - Atlanta Data Center

Flexential DC2 Atlanta Data Center

Performive ATL05 Atlanta Data Center

Conclusion: Selecting Atlanta for Colocation Makes Sense

Numerous factors show that Atlanta is a highly desirable location for colocation customers and data centers alike. Between the low cost of plentiful power, the low risk from natural disasters, the business-friendly climate and low cost of land, Atlanta data centers are a cost-effective solution to meet all of your IT infrastructure needs.

Searching for Atlanta Colocation? I can help you find the right provider, data center facility, and pricing from all of the colocation providers listed above. By using our FREE service, you gain direct access to all of the best colocation providers and data centers from a single source. Save time and money on your next IT infrastructure project with Datacenters.com. Contact me by email at Michael@Datacenters.com or call (303) 228-7658.

Author

Michael Kriech

Michael brings twenty-three plus years of IT and telecommunications experience to Datacenters.com. With a wide range of expertise, Michael assists his clients in determining the best solutions needed for their technology roadmap. As information technology infrastructure evolves, Michael continues to suggest and present comprehensive, stable, and scalable solutions. This helps clients take advantage of the best and latest technologies that support company objectives while freeing up time to concentrate on core competencies. With a passion for helping organizations meet their goals, Michael is willing to go the extra mile to support his clients. A Navy Veteran and proud husband and father, Michael and his wife (Jessica) spend their spare time raising puppies as a volunteer for Canine Companion for Independence (CCI).

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