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Posted Thursday, October 16, 2008 6:44 AM


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I think the only hesitation for some to relocate to work in a remote opportunity is the lack of a 'Plan B' if the company folds. Finding yourself owning a new home, the kids enrolled in school and you out of a job in Fondis, CO might be a career changing event.
Post #586898
Posted Thursday, October 16, 2008 6:59 AM


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Fuel can cost more in cities, plus you can easily burn more fuel in cities trying to commute from your house. Don't forget most people don't necessarily live near work.

Finding other jobs is a problem, which is why it's good to see MS, Google, etc. investing in these smaller towns. They provide more jobs, so maybe you lose your job and they have one, or they let someone go and there's a job at your company.







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Post #586915
Posted Thursday, October 16, 2008 7:42 AM
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Part of the long term problem I see with this is the offerings made by states and localities. The Midwest is famous for tax abatements. In my city we pay a 1% sales tax on restaurant food to pay for the Memorial Coliseum expansion (hockey, concerts, conventions, etc). Yeah, getting the outside business is good, but once government gets its hands on a revenue stream, it never goes away. Those bonds were paid years ago. We still pay the tax.

GM was given a huge property tax abatement to build here. Now that the state recognizes that the property taxes are unbearable by the average property owner and has lowered them, many areas can no longer finance schools. The hundreds of millions in tax revenue GIVEN to GM would certainly have made up the difference, at least tenfold.

Another reason for those data center locations is cheap, plentiful power, certainly compared to the West Coast. And what happens to those two things as more data centers move? No longer cheap, no longer plentiful. Just look at the corn to ethanol debacle as an example.

Like everything else, it is a double-edged sword. Data centers should not require a large concentration of workers nearby, which makes remote locations ideal. But be careful how your location lures these businesses, who employ few and spend most of their local money with the utilities.


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Post #586972
Posted Thursday, October 16, 2008 8:08 AM
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I always had it in my mind the main reason companies move data centers to "remote" locations is for disaster recovery, and that job creation, tax incentives, etc... are just supporting motivations. I wonder if any research has been done to prove that this movement has accelerated since 9/11?
Post #587003
Posted Thursday, October 16, 2008 8:37 AM
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One thing that helps to drive this is the amount of support staff that can be available remotely. I work in a company with a large on-site data center, but I haven’t actually been in the data center for several years, even though it is located less then 50 feet from where I sit. There are people that have to be able to go into the data center to physically manipulate hardware, but a large part of the support comes from people that don’t really need to be anywhere near the data center. We have other large data centers that I help support, and I haven’t even visited those sites.

The smaller that size of the staff that has to be physically present, the easier it is to locate in a remote area with a relatively small population, provided it has the power and communications infrastructure. There is probably no reason why a data center with several thousand servers couldn’t be handled by 50 people or less on-site, and the rest of the workers connecting remotely.

The down side of this for a small town is that they may provide fewer jobs than a large call center that has seats for 1,000 representatives, and can provide employment for less skilled people. That data center in Iowa may create a lot of jobs, but it could be for people living in New York, Toronto, San Diego, Manila, or Mumbai.


Post #587030
Posted Thursday, October 16, 2008 9:07 AM
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The MS data center in Iowa is not excatly being built in some small remote town, yes Des Moines is small compared to NYC, Dallas etc, but still ok. And lots of plan B companies available. Granted, most companies that rely heavily on IT here are finance companies, but luckily none of them has been hit hard (so far).

I do agree witht he poster above though, that a call center would be far preferential to a data center as far as jobs go. The numbers I have seen for MS is about 80 people employeed in Des Moines.
Post #587066
Posted Thursday, October 16, 2008 12:42 PM
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I think it is a nice move for those companies. I live at Update NY area, the living standard here is much lower than NY city, Philly and California, but the salary is not bad. My boss had an interview with Google two years ago in Mountain View, California. They offered him a job (technical manager) but the salary was lower than the one he has right now. But in Mountain View the cost of living is 10 times higher than here. So he turned down the job at Google. He said he could not even afford a 1000 square condo with the salary they offered him. Now he owns a 2500 sq feet house with 2 aces of land.
Post #587241
Posted Friday, October 17, 2008 1:30 AM


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One thing that helps to drive this is the amount of support staff that can be available remotely. I work in a company with a large on-site data center, but I haven’t actually been in the data center for several years, even though it is located less then 50 feet from where I sit.


I like this idea very much. With technology going at the current rate you can sit far from the actual datacentre and still provide support. I grew up in the countryside and now am living in Johannesburg. I would give anything to go back to the small towns again. Steve, organize me a greencard and a plane ticket and I will come work for you.


Manie Verster
Developer
Johannesburg
South Africa

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. - Holy Bible
I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times. - Everett Mckinley Dirkson (Well, I am trying. - Manie Verster)
Post #587453
Posted Friday, October 17, 2008 1:33 AM
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Ditto! lol
Post #587455
Posted Wednesday, July 24, 2013 12:02 PM
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I'm interested to see how the discussion unfolds 5 years on. Is the point still valid given the growth of cloud computing. Incidentally where are cloud data centers located - city or country?
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