Finding Success in the Pacific Northwest

California-based companies are moving their data centers to Washington state.

Silicon Valley. It’s a name that conjures up tech giants such as Google, Apple and Facebook residing side-by-side in a magical, if somewhat vacuum-sealed, locale. It’s also a region where hyperscale businesses and innovative start-ups alike base their operations in the hope that its tech-friendly environment will help drive major success. Despite its allure among technology-driven industry sectors, many California-based enterprises are beginning to realize that perhaps there’s a better place than Silicon Valley to host their data.

Data centers in the United States currently consume more than 70 billion kWh of energy each year, and more than 50 percent of this consumption is coming from California-based companies. However, California, with its unpredictable seismic activity, hot temperatures, steep energy costs, high tax rates, limited inventory and difficult regulatory climate, is a less than optimal region to host data center infrastructure.

For years, engineering teams wanted data centers to remain physically close to their operations headquarters, but as that has become less important, the remote region of central Washington State has made a name for itself in the data center sector for hosting the digital assets of California-based organizations.

Not only are the region’s energy costs the lowest in the nation at $0.03/kWh, a nearly five-fold decrease from California’s $0.14/kWh rate, but central Washington is also unique in its ability to provide companies with climate-specific cooling options. The region’s naturally cool climate provides data centers with major cost-savings for cooling, and therefore, a significant decrease in operational expenses. In addition, Washington has readily available access to a plethora of natural and affordable renewable energy sources, including hydroelectricity, wind and solar power. In fact, Washington’s Columbia River is currently the largest hydroelectric power producer in the United States with a total generating capacity of 6.8 million kilowatts – nearly 2 million more than Niagara Falls, including both the U.S and Canadian sides of the border. In addition, Washington ranked ninth in the nation in net generation of electricity from wind energy in 2015.

Washington State also boasts a robust and diverse fiber optic network that delivers a wide range of carrier-neutral connectivity options including dark fiber, Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), point-to-point interconnectivity, peering exchanges, next-gen networks and on-ramps to the cloud from virtually any location. In addition, Trans-Pacific cables have landings on both the Washington and Oregon beaches and can be connected to Central Washington with as little latency as four milliseconds. Central Washington also has no state income tax and offers an incentive of sales tax exemption on equipment purchases.

Due to these benefits, Washington is currently experiencing rapid growth across its data center market, with Seattle gaining the moniker of “Cloud City” thanks to its abundance of cloud computing and colocation businesses. Recognizing the benefits of hosting data in Washington, Sabey Data Centers has developed three unique facilities, SDC Quincy, SDC Columbia and SDC Seattle, bringing to market a combined 2.2 million square feet of data center space throughout Washington State, and providing tenants with access to affordable power, superior connectivity and turnkey infrastructure deployment.

To learn more about the benefits of colocating with Sabey in one of our Washington facilities, contact us today.

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