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    Columbus Colocation: Exploring Data Centers in the Arch City

    Columbus, Ohio, is a thriving data center market, attracting businesses seeking low-latency connectivity, affordable power, a flourishing business environment, and a low-risk natural disaster profile. According to Cushman & Wakefield’s “2024 Global Data Center Market Comparison”, Columbus is now the 7th largest data center market globally, and 5th largest in the Americas. The city has consistently attracted technology companies and is home to the nation’s largest concentration of Fortune 1000 companies. With these advantages, it’s easy to see why Columbus colocation services are in increasingly high demand.

    In this article, we’ll explore the benefits of colocation in Columbus. Let’s get started!

    Columbus Has a Vibrant Economic Base

    Columbus is Ohio’s largest city and the 15th largest in the United States after San Francisco. It has a diversified economic base where no industry represents more than 18% of employment. Cardinal Health, Nationwide Mutual Insurance, American Electric Power, and L Brands (owners of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works) all call Columbus home. For colocation customers, this robust economic base means a stable and reliable business environment and greater customer access.

    Ohio has long been recognized as one of the most business-friendly states in the country, with low tax rates and a supportive regulatory environment. Additionally, Columbus has established several programs to support entrepreneurship and innovation, such as the Columbus Idea Foundry and Rev1 Ventures. These programs provide support and resources to startups and small businesses, which can benefit colocation customers by fostering a thriving technology ecosystem.

    Columbus is also a thriving market in the Ohio colocation scene. The city currently has 1,170 Megawatts of data center capacity. This makes Columbus the 5th largest data center in North America, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

    Columbus Offers Low-Latency Connectivity

    Columbus’s central location in the Midwestern United States provides a strategic location for businesses seeking low-latency connectivity to other major U.S. markets. Columbus is between New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Nashville, and Raleigh-Durham. In fact, over 50% of the U.S. population lives within 750 miles of Columbus. By colocating in Columbus, you can access significant markets across the Northeast, Midwest, and Southeast United States.

    The Ohio Internet Exchange (Ohio IX) is located in Columbus and is a crucial internet exchange point for the Midwest United States. Ohio IX allows internet users to exchange traffic across a common switch fabric, lowering connectivity costs. It also offers diverse network paths, increasing network fault tolerance for data centers and their clients.

    The city is home to several other fiber optic networks that provide businesses with the high-speed connectivity they need for their operations. The Ohio Supercomputer Center’s (OSC) OARnet is one of the largest networks in the area, providing businesses with access to national research networks such as Internet2. Other major fiber optic networks in the area include AT&T, Verizon, and Windstream. 

    Columbus Has Affordable Power

    Columbus’s relatively low power costs are another draw for businesses in the market for colocation services. Columbus’s power costs are $0.16 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This is 21% lower than the national average. Lower power costs generally lead to lower costs for colocation services.

    The city’s energy market is competitive, and its abundant natural gas reserves mean that businesses can take advantage of low-cost, reliable power sources. These benefits colocation providers, who require significant energy to power and cool their facilities. Businesses can reduce their energy costs by choosing Columbus as a data center site and ultimately improve their bottom line.

    In addition to these factors, Columbus has made strides in promoting green energy initiatives, which are particularly beneficial for colocation providers. The city has established several programs encouraging renewable energy, such as wind and solar power. The Smart Columbus program, for example, aims to reduce carbon emissions and promote the use of alternative energy.

    Another initiative is the Columbus Green Business Program, which provides resources and support to businesses seeking to reduce their environmental impact. The program offers free energy audits and recommendations for reducing energy consumption and increasing efficiency.

    Businesses can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and improve sustainability by choosing a colocation provider that utilizes renewable energy sources. Data centers in Columbus are helping customers achieve these objectives.

    Columbus Has a Low Risk of Natural Disasters

    Columbus is a favorable location for colocation services due to its low risk of natural disasters. The city has a relatively low risk of hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires, which are among the most significant threats to data centers in places like Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Diego.

    One of the most significant threats to data centers is flooding, which can cause extensive damage to equipment and disrupt operations. However, Columbus has a low risk of flooding as it is located outside major flood zones. According to FEMA’s flood hazard maps, most of Columbus is in a low to moderate-risk flood zone, with only a few areas in high-risk flood zones.

    Columbus’s low risk of natural disasters is a significant advantage for colocation customers, as it reduces the likelihood of data loss or downtime due to environmental factors. Additionally, it can lower insurance costs and improve data center operations’ overall security and reliability.

    Another advantage of Columbus’s natural disaster profile is its ability to serve as a disaster recovery location. Due to its low risk of natural disasters, Columbus can serve as a backup location for businesses in other parts of the country at higher risk of environmental threats. Many companies headquartered in New York and Chicago choose Columbus as their disaster recovery site. In the event of a natural disaster, companies can quickly switch to their Columbus-based data centers to ensure the continuity of their operations.

    Columbus Offers a Talented Workforce

    Columbus’s talented workforce is yet another advantage for colocation customers. The city is home to several major universities, including The Ohio State University, the fourth-largest university in the United States. Other institutions of higher learning in the Columbus area include Franklin University, Otterbein University, and Capital University. These universities provide a steady stream of highly skilled engineering, computer science, and data analytics graduates.

    For colocation customers, a talented workforce means access to highly skilled professionals who can provide support services and technical expertise. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses with limited IT resources, as they can leverage the expertise of colocation providers and their staff to ensure the smooth operation of their data center operations.

    Columbus Has Many Data Center Providers

    There are 26 colocation data centers in the Columbus area, and growing. Many are in downtown Columbus or nearby Dublin, Westerville, and New Albany. A healthy number of colocation providers means a more competitive market for colocation services and better pricing.

    Cologix is one of the largest data center providers in Columbus. The company operates four data centers (COL1 – COL4), providing businesses with colocation, cloud, and network services. Cologix’s Columbus data centers offer access to over 45 network service providers and 600 networks.

    The Ohio Internet Exchange is also located in Cologix’s COL2 data center at 555 Scherers Court in Columbus. Connectivity to regional fiber networks makes COL2 an excellent location for clients looking for disaster recovery services.

    Expedient is another major colocation provider in Columbus. The company operates two data centers in the city: 5700 Innovation Drive in Dublin, OH, and 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd in Upper Arlington, OH. The data centers combine to deliver 6.4 MW of critical IT load over 20,000 square feet of raised floor data center space.

    Columbus Data Centers We Recommend

    Below are a few Columbus colocation providers Brightlio recommends. For colocation pricing in Columbus, contact Brightlio.


    Centersquare’s CMH1 Columbus data center is one of the best multi-tenant data centers in the region. The facility was owned by Cyxtera before its acquisition by Evoque in 2023 and subsequent rebranding in 2024.

    Why we like Centersquare Columbus:

    • Highly resilient location with full critical systems redundancy and built to sustain 140 MPH winds.
    • The facility meets multiple compliance frameworks, including SOC 2, ISO 27001, PCI DSS, and NIST 800-53.
    • Low latency connectivity to public cloud providers including AWS, Microsoft, Google, IBM, Oracle, Alibaba, and Salesforce.
    • The Centersquare data center portfolio boasts locations across the US, including markets like Ashburn, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Secaucus. This makes them a fit for a national colocation strategy or edge computing deployment.


    Cologix offers four data centers in the Columbus region (COL1 – COL4). COL3 is the largest with over 160,000 square feet and 18 Megawatts of capacity.

    Why we recommend Cologix Columbus:

    • They offer connectivity to over 45 network service providers, including the Ohio IX Internet Exchange.
    • With 40 data centers, they are a fit for a US national colocation strategy. They also offer data centers in the key Canadian markets of Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
    • Services are backed by their 99.999% uptime SLA.
    • They offer the lowest latency onramps to AWS and Google.


    Expedient offers three data centers in the Columbus area located in Lewis Center, Dublin, and Upper Arlington, OH. They combine to offer over 150,000 square feet of space and 12 Megawatts of critical IT load.

    Why we recommend Expedient Columbus:

    • Flexible space options, including partial rack, full cabinets, and private cages.
    • Expedient has a portfolio of data centers in the Midwest, including Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee, making them an excellent fit for customers wanting primary and disaster recovery sites in the region.
    • 100 Gig connectivity is offered between data center locations.

    Conclusion: The Columbus Data Center Advantage

    Columbus’s colocation market is growing due to its strategic location, favorable business environment, abundant fiber optic networks, and low power costs. As more businesses recognize the advantages of locating their data centers in Columbus, the city’s reputation as a hub for innovation and technology will grow.

    Ready to Learn More About Columbus Data Centers?

    Are you interested in a Columbus data center? Brightlio can help. As a telecommunications broker, we partner with a global network of colocation providers in Columbus and nationwide. We will help you find the optimal data center solution for your needs and budget.

    Additionally, we offer a full range of IT services, including network connectivity, cloud, unified communications, and advisory services

    Contact us today to get started.

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