Location is one of the most critical factors in determining where to build a data center, particularly when it comes to such drivers as cost of electricity, average year-round temperatures, the security of the site, and whether the primary source of electricity is clean or dirty.

So, if a company could choose any spot around the globe as the site for a new data center, what would be the top choice? According to a new report compiled by Ronald Bowman, executive vice president of Tishman Technologies, that site could very well be in Reykajavík, Iceland. The country is blessed with an abundant source of clean, low-cost geo-thermal and hydro-generated electricity and access to cool water for free cooling.

Bowman and Tishman Technologies are in a good position to compile such a report. Tishman has served as the primary contractor on dozens of major data center construction projects around the globe, specializing in those for banks and financial trading institutions. Bowman himself has served as a project manager for more than 100 data center installations for such companies as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Charles Schwab.

In compiling the report, Bowman weighed a number of factors, including the following:

- Access to reliable and scalable power inclusive of the generating cost of CO2 emissions.

- Access to reliable and scalable power inclusive of the generating cost of CO2 emissions.

- Access to cooling solutions, including potable and grey water with free cooling options.

- Confluence of last-mile, long-haul, and submersible cable connectivity.

- Relevant government, as well as civilian, stability and security.

- Possible Acts of Gods risk: disasters, duration and consequences.

- Total Cost of Ownership, inclusive of taxes and tariffs, and operating expenses.

- Access to and reliability of human resources (and vendors) for multi-cultural and multi-lingual operations and sustainability.

- Existing and potential eco-friendly and renewable energy conservation and energy creation to enhance assets.

Bowman noted that not all factors received equal weighting. Access to geothermal energy, as well as access to reliable and sometimes free sources of water or aquifers for cooling scored higher on the list, than say access to human resources. “We are collectively doing more with fewer humans, which enhances the remote data center model,” Bowman said in the study.

After weighing all the factors Bowman came up with the following top 10 list of countries, along with – in most cases -- the most favorable city/state location and the top reasons for their selection:

1. Iceland, Reykjavík - Low-energy cost, free cooling

2. United States, North Carolina - Low-energy cost, favorable labor, and fiber optics

3. China/Vietnam; Shanghai -Extraordinary demand and new/diverse fiber optics

4. Latvia (no city given) - Low-cost hydro power, favorable labor

5. India, Mumbai - Extraordinary demand, favorable labor

6. Russia, St. Petersburg - Favorable telecom, free cooling, favorable labor

7. Canada, Vancouver - Favorable labor, free cooling, favorable telecom

8. Japan, Toyko - Extraordinary demand, favorable telecom

9. New Zealand (no city given) -Strategic location, green power, favorable labor

10. United Arab Emirates, Dubai - Strategic location, favorable labor, telecom

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