In the heart of the Midwest, a digital transformation is unfolding, and Columbus, Ohio, is at the epicenter of this technological revolution. With its strategic geographic location, robust connectivity infrastructure, and business-friendly environment, Columbus has emerged as a red-hot destination for data center investments. This once-unassuming city has evolved into a powerhouse of data-driven innovation, drawing the attention of industry giants and tech enthusiasts alike.
According to research by JLL, Columbus became the nation’s ninth-largest data center market in 2021 with 4.7 million square feet of space. By the end of 2022, that number increased to more than 7 million square feet. With this substantial growth, one begins to step back and look to see just what is drawing hyperscalers, cloud providers, and the like to this area.
What Makes Columbus So In Demand for Hyperscale Customers?
When you think of Columbus, data centers may not immediately jump to mind but that’s about to change. When you take a step back and really look at Columbus, you can see four major reasons why hyperscale and cloud providers are scrambling to put roots in the gateway to the Midwest.
1. Strategic Geographical Location: The Crossroads Advantage
One of the foremost factors that sets Columbus apart is its strategic geographical location. Situated within a one-day drive or a short flight from more than half of the U.S. population, Columbus serves as a vital crossroads for data distribution. This central position minimizes latency and ensures seamless connectivity, making it an ideal location for businesses requiring swift and reliable data access across a wide geographic range.
2. Robust Connectivity Infrastructure: Where Networks Converge
Columbus boasts a robust network infrastructure that acts as a magnet for data center development. The city is a critical junction point for various fiber-optic networks, facilitating high-speed data transmission and enabling businesses to effortlessly interact with customers, partners, and cloud services worldwide. This connectivity backbone positions Columbus as a digital gateway with unparalleled access and redundancy.
3. Business-Friendly Environment: Nurturing Growth and Innovation
Ohio’s business-friendly environment is a driving force behind Columbus’ rise as a data center market. The state offers competitive tax incentives and regulations conducive to business growth. This welcoming atmosphere has attracted tech giants like Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Meta, who have established significant data center operations in the area. The availability of a skilled workforce, combined with supportive policies, fuels innovation and collaboration within the city’s tech ecosystem.
4. Affordable Energy Costs: Empowering Sustainable Operations
Energy costs play a pivotal role in data center operations, and Columbus shines in this aspect as well. The city benefits from a stable and affordable energy supply, which is essential for running energy-intensive data centers. Moreover, Ohio’s commitment to renewable energy sources aligns with the global push for sustainability, offering data center operators the opportunity to pursue environmentally conscious operations without compromising on efficiency.
5. Continual Growth and Investment: A Thriving Digital Landscape
Columbus’ data center market is far from static – it’s a landscape of continual growth and investment. The city’s progressive mindset, coupled with the steady influx of tech-driven enterprises, has created a virtuous cycle of demand and supply. This growth spurs innovation, encourages collaboration, and strengthens the city’s reputation as a dynamic tech hub.
6. Resilience and Disaster Preparedness: Safeguarding Data Assets
In an era where data integrity is paramount, Columbus demonstrates its commitment to safeguarding critical data assets. The city’s relatively low risk of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, enhances the reliability of its data center infrastructure. This attribute appeals to businesses seeking secure and resilient locations to house their mission-critical operations.
What Columbus Means to Compu Dynamics
For the Columbus market, we are a trusted partner when it comes to the White Space Integration needed to meet the demands artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and high-performance computing (HPC) are bringing to the data center world. These game-changing technologies are forcing data center designers and constructors to look at options in which high-density power and cooling alternatives are now a must instead of a nice to have. Ultimately changing the approach to white space from pure electrical to a combination of electrical and mechanical. This change is resulting in data center design and construction shifting from the building shell inward to the data hall outward.
For Compu Dynamics, the Columbus market sees us serving customers in the cloud/hyperscale space, along with other enterprise customers. Our portfolio of projects continues to grow, allowing us to be the trusted White Space Integration provider in the area.