Sometimes a remote location is just what an expanding company needs, especially when it comes to data centers.
That desire for ample land and open space may have played into Google's July 2018 decision to purchase 375 acres of land in Midlothian, located just 26 miles south of Dallas-Fort Worth.
"Google has purchased property in Midlothian ... and while we do not have a confirmed timeline for development for the site, we want to ensure that we have the option to grow further should our business demand it," Andrew Silvestri, Google's head of public policy and community relations for the central U.S. region, said in a prepared statement.
The rapidly expanding North Texas community of 42,000 is a rising star on the southern DFW landscape, and offers “fringe benefits.” Midlothian offers vast land options (including its new Midlothian Business Park) as well as minimal traffic congestion, convenient proximity to major Texas markets, and abundant water and power resources — paired with an affluent, semi-rural quality of life.
According to industry experts, data centers have been migrating away from major metro areas to more remote locations.
This trend is being driven by a desire for lower latency — or the amount of time, or delay, it takes to send information — and the need to elevate the end-user experience with improved connectivity, speed, and performance.
Other traditionally critical site factors for data centers include security and safety, risk for adverse weather, telecommunications infrastructure, cooling technology, and perhaps most importantly, the availability, cost, and redundancy of electric power.
These criteria must be carefully weighed within the context of future operations, as the data center industry is a fluid one. Flexibility and scalability are essential to ensure that a data center will be well positioned to meet changing demands of business.
As data centers have flourished, fueled by growing demand for accelerated computing and applications, North Texas has emerged as a hot spot for industry activity.
In fact, according to an early 2018 report by CBRE, Dallas-Fort Worth was the second busiest data center market in the country in 2017 behind only Northern Virginia.
According to CBRE analysts, new DFW projects added about 51 megawatts of capacity to the North Texas market, thanks to projects underway by Compass, CyrusOne, DataBank, RagingWire, and QTS.
A central location and low utility costs comprise much of North Texas’ allure, as well as its diverse, skilled, and ever-increasing pool of talent.
According to a July 2018 Data Center Frontier article, the DFW region’s data center market is one of the largest and most active markets in the United States, and is currently experiencing a data center building boom.
The region is home to a diverse ecosystem with strong demand for retail colocation, wholesale data center space, powered shell, and build-to-suit projects, according to the article.
By all indications, North Texas’ data center market is powering forward, boosted by names including Facebook, Digital Realty, Stream Data Centers, Equinix, and more which contribute to DFW’s enviable mix of established operations, new and expanding facilities, and projects on the drawing board.
"Data center users and investors have flocked to the Dallas region for a number of reasons," said Rick Hughes, executive managing director at Cushman & Wakefield.
Cushman & Wakefield Data Center Advisory Services was recently tapped by data center solutions provider Ascent to help market its Plano location.
"By 2030, Texas will become the largest 'mega-region', surpassing the Boston-New York-D.C. Mega-Region in population," said Hughes. "The recognition of the population explosion in Texas offers unique opportunities for data centers to be near the people they serve. Additionally, Dallas offers competitive, deregulated power and superior fiber connectivity, in the most business-friendly state in the Union."