While surfing around lately I have seen more discussion on data center location. With data centers going up just about everywhere it seems like a popular topic. Check out this discussion at Digg.com on a Royal Pingdom map for dealing with mother nature. The discussion points out the obvious that the Pingdom map did not account for all natural disasters and things that could potentially harm a data center. Basically, there is not a square foot in the U.S. that is not affected by one of the things mentioned in this discussion.
Microsoft apparently had 31 variables it looked at when selecting San Antonio for its new data center (BTW: what do snowfall and humidity have to do with it!?)
A little bit to the west and we run into the tier 4 Phoenix I/O Data Center. Their site proclaims
"The Phoenix geography and climate provide a stable environment without the risks present in many other cities with collocation facilities. Phoenix/Scottsdale does not experience the same tornado, earthquake, coastal flooding, hurricane nor "mega city" political risks"
They go on to say that Scottsdale is low risk for terrorist activity. Now obviously everyone is going to spin the location angle to their benefit. I'm sure Phoenix falls under a few different categories for mother nature. BTW -- what in the world are people doing still building new facilities with raised floor!!!???? (i/o doing 86k sq.ft of it!) Am I missing something here?
These articles along with the Boyd studies being done and tax incentives being offered by cities make it a topic of discussion for exactly where the 'best' place to locate is. I'm just interested/obsessed enough with the topic that I think I'll attempt a comprehensive list of location selection criteria and see what you think.