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Atlanta Colocation Market: Everything You Need to Know
Many companies turn to colocation facilities to help them efficiently manage and secure their business data. Retail colocation providers allow businesses to rent space, power, computing infrastructure, network, and security without being directly responsible for all these resources.
Atlanta, Georgia, might be the perfect city for you if you’re in the market for retail colocation services.
With over 70 colocation facilities and data centers, the Atlanta data center market has become a top player in the industry. Ranking among the top ten data center markets in the United States, Atlanta is known for its favorable colocation environment, affordable power cost, reliable network infrastructure, and juicy business incentives.
This guide explores the top 6 reasons you should consider data centers in Atlanta for your colocation needs.
1. Reliable Energy Makes Atlanta an Excellent Colocation Market
The average energy rate in Atlanta is around 16 ¢/kWh which is 32% lower than the country’s national average and 46% lower than tier-one data center markets like Los Angeles. Many generating plants and substations exist in Atlanta, and the state of Georgia oversees these energy providers to guarantee a reliable power supply.
Two powerful corporations regulate Atlanta’s power supply: The Georgia Power Company, which is responsible for servicing most parts of the city, and the Greystone Power Cooperative, which services outlying suburbs. Because utility cost is an important factor businesses consider in retail colocation, Atlanta uses a mix of alternative fuels to build an affordable and sustainable energy supply on which data center facilities can rely.
These alternative fuels include natural gas, nuclear energy, coal, and hydropower. As of 2019, only 6%-8% of the power in Georgia comes from renewable sources. Georgia’s government is investing heavily in green energy sources to match its sustainability goals. In 2017, Atlanta became the 27th U.S. city to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2035.
These alternative sources contribute to the low-cost, abundant power supply which benefit Altanta data centers.
2. Atlanta Has a Thriving Data Center Industry
There are abundant data centers and colocation facilities to choose from in Atlanta. In 2022, the city experienced a 40% growth rate among primary markets in the data center industry, with over 71 megawatts of new inventory. Many data centers are located in the downtown Atlanta area. Cumberland, Norcross, Marietta, and Alpharetta are also home to retail colocation facilities and cloud service providers.
With over 350 megawatts of multi-tenant commissioned power, the thriving competition among Atlanta colocation providers allows consumers to choose facilities that match their growing needs. Some popular Atlanta colocation providers include 365 Data Centers (Alpharetta and Smyrna), EdgeConneX (ATL01 and ATL02), Equinix (five sites: AT1 – AT5), DataBank, Flexential, Switch, Evocative (ATL1), and Zenlayer (ATL2)
3. Network Reliability and Latency Levels Are Favorable
Atlanta enjoys a robust and reliable fiber infrastructure and network service providers that make it possible for colocation facilities to sustain their business. Robust network connectivity, including dark fiber and lit fiber services are a competitive advantage for data center colocation in the city.
Netstream and Fiberlight are popular companies that provide regional-focused fiber networks within the city. Additional fiber companies in the city include CenturyLink, LIT Networks, Southern Telecom, Crown Castle, Google fiber, and EarthLink.
The Atlanta Fiber Network (AFN) is also a differentiator for the city and a benefit for colocation customers. The AFN is a 200 mile network of fiber optic cables that traverses the city providing network speeds of up to 100 Gbps. The AFN is carrier-neutral, meaning all providers have direct access to the network to service their customers. This increases competition, and decreases costs.
In addition, Microsoft Azure is a prominent cloud service provider with three availability zones businesses can choose from. Other cloud providers in the city include N-iX, Netguru, Ripple IT, Zenlayer, and Velosio. The abundance of fiber and cloud providers in Atlanta makes it possible for colocation facilities to thrive.
4. Atlanta Has a Low Natural Disaster Profile
In over six decades, Georgia has only experienced 65 federally declared natural disasters compared to other prominent data center markets like California (284), Texas (255), and New York (95). A favorable natural disaster profile is a boost for Atlanta data centers. In this section, we’ll highlight some common natural disasters and their corresponding risk to the city of Atlanta.
Thunderstorms and flooding
These are the most common natural disasters affecting Atlanta. Over the next three decades, the city may suffer a moderate risk of flooding. The office of emergency preparedness leads a periodic readiness and planning strategy to help protect the city and its businesses from damages that may result from extreme weather.
Atlanta is more than 450 km away from the Atlantic Ocean, minimizing the likelihood of damage from hurricanes that develop over the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
Earthquakes in Atlanta are a rare sight compared to other prominent data center markets like California. The largest earthquake in Georgia was in 1991, and the last moderate earthquake was in 2002. According to the U.S. Geological Society database, Atlanta is predicted only to have a 0.73% chance of an earthquake happening soon.
5. Atlanta Is Home to a Growing Community of Tech Companies
Also called the “Silicon Valley of the South,” Atlanta is home to over 1,000 tech companies and headquarters. The city also ranks among the top ten data center hubs in the United States. Popular technology companies stationed in the city include Microsoft, Cardlytics, Apple, Kabbage, Calendly, Google’s parent company Alphabet, and Pindrop.
Additionally, Atlanta is home to two popular tech communities that enable startups and established tech companies to thrive.
- The Atlanta Tech Village is a state-funded business incubator that supports young entrepreneurs across the state.
- The Atlanta Tech park is a tech accelerator developed to help potential investors set up shop in Georgia. The program is ideal for businesses still in their growth phase and in need of additional support like access to capital and a solid business network.
In 2022, the Atlanta colocation industry experienced the highest percentage growth compared to other primary markets like Phoenix and Dallas. With an increasing demand for retail colocation services in Atlanta, this competition allows businesses access to various providers that can match their unique requirements.
6. Atlanta Has Friendly Business and Tax Policies
When choosing a colocation facility, it’s essential that the area has friendly economic policies that support business expansion. As your business grows, you want a data center facility that can grow with you. Atlanta’s very friendly real estate industry makes it easy for data centers to set up and manage facility growth.
Coupled with affordable real estate rates, the state of Georgia provides tax breaks for Atlanta colocation facilities and data centers. To qualify for the tax exemption, data centers must maintain an average of new quality jobs during the investment period and match the minimum investment threshold based on the population of the county in which the facility resides.
Georgia’s government has introduced a new bill that extends the “Sales and Uses Tax” exemption for colocation facilities for another ten years. In addition, the new bill adds a clause that:
- Mandates data centers to create new jobs in counties with a population of fewer than 50,001 people.
- Allows data centers with a qualifying purchase of $15 million to be exempt from additional purchase tax.
This new bill will also allow colocation facilities in these counties to qualify for more federal tax breaks.
The Bottom Line: How Can Brightlio Help?
Are you interested in an Atlanta data center? With a mix of favorable business incentives, a robust fiber network, and a thriving tech ecosystem, data centers in Atlanta provide the perfect market for your colocation needs.
Our team offers competitive colocation pricing for Atlanta colocation facilities at no cost or obligation. We also provide cloud, network connectivity, and unified communications services to help your business enjoy a well-rounded tech solution.
Contact Brightlio today to select the right colocation partner for your data center needs and budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose Atlanta for colocation?
Atlanta, a hub for technology and innovation, provides access to reputable data centers with reliable connectivity, robust bandwidth options, and excellent cloud services. The city’s central location in the Southeast region enhances connectivity and reduces latency for businesses across multiple states.
What about connectivity and bandwidth options?
Atlanta data centers provide exceptional connectivity with high-speed network connections, ensuring fast and reliable data transfer. You can choose from a wide range of internet bandwidth options tailored to your business needs. There is also great connectivity to other locations, including Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Washington, D.C., and more. This makes Atlanta colocation a great option for backup and disaster recovery applications.
Are “remote hands” services available in Atlanta colocation facilities?
Yes! Atlanta colocation grants you access to skilled professionals who can assist with tasks like server reboots, troubleshooting, and hardware installations, saving you time and effort. Organizations also benefit from other offered by a carrier neutral Atlanta data center including dedicated servers, migration services, and deployment services.
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