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An Overview of Colocation Data Centers in Northern Virginia (with map)

An Overview of Colocation Data Centers in Northern Virginia (with map)

Did you know that Northern Virginia has the nation's largest data center market?

With over 100 data centers and more than ten million square feet of available data center space, the area is well-developed with companies that can meet your needs. The issue, however, is that with the sheer volume of options, determining the best solution can be overwhelming.

We'll help you understand the Northern Virginia data center landscape so that you can find the right fit for your business.

Colocation Data Centers in Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia boasts the largest colocation data center market in the country and with tenants like Amazon, Boeing, and the US government, it's no wonder. The region has a significantly higher demand than most areas in the nation.

Northern Virginia has more than 100 data centers in operation with more than ten million square feet of space, and it shows no signs of slowing.

Virginia also has some perks that made it easy to grow. The area is cost-competitive from a tax standpoint and has reliable utilities that are more inexpensive than in other regions. It offers a robust network of fiber connectivity that ensures low latency. The real estate is relatively low-priced, and data centers can receive a five percent tax exemption on various pieces of equipment.

All of these reasons make Northern Virginia an outstanding place to set up a data center.

The Providers

The top data center providers in Northern Virginia include Equinix, CoreSite, and Digital Realty, and Atlantech Online (Rockville, MD). You can read more about them in our breakdown of the best data center colocation providers in Virginia.

Equinix is one of the most prominent providers, maintaining nearly 500,000 square feet of colocation space across ten buildings. It also connects over 200 network service providers to allow your company to reach almost anywhere.

CoreSite offers access to Any2Exchange, the second largest Internet peering exchange in the country.

Digital Realty maintains 17 data centers in Northern Virginia with access to over 1,000 provider networks, multiple Internet Exchanges, and the Open-IX Peering Exchange.

Atlantech Online has two data centers across the Potomac River in Maryland. The Rockville facility is just across the Potomac from Ashburn, VA and is ideally located for colocation deployment and interconnecting with major telecommunications networks. Businesses in the I-270 corridor region will find Atlantech’s Rockville colocation facility to be an excellent alternative to the expense and effort of building and operating their own data center facility. Our data centers offer 10,000 gross square feet of space and 130 cabinets each, with a network capable of delivering up to nearly 10 Tbps of throughput.

Many of these companies offer redundancy features as well, similar to how Atlantech's own data centers connect directly to a multi-substation power grid with an online UPS and diesel generators. We also provide low latency peering relationships to deliver high-speed, high-bandwidth fiber connectivity to our clients.

Because these providers are all based in the area, you're able to build face-to-face relationships with them, getting more personal customer support.

Nearly all of these providers also maintain empty space so that when their clients need to scale, they're able to do so without switching locations. This is often a priority to companies, so ensuring your data center has the capacity to allow growth is essential.

10 questions to ask before buying data center services

The Locations

One of the most important factors when selecting a data center is the location. You have two main options, either in-house or off-site, and in Northern Virginia, there's no shortage of off-site locations.

The pieces you want to consider are whether your IT staff can easily get to the data center. If you need to manage a simple update to your servers, you don't want to lose your IT team for a week, just because of the travel time.

Additionally, you'll want to ensure your data center is not located on or near earthquake fault lines. This is another reason why the Northern Virginia market is growing. The only natural disasters it will generally face are hurricanes, and because of its location inland, flooding is less severe. So long as the specific data center has power backups, there's little cause for concern in regards to natural disasters.

The map below illustrates the layout of major data centers around Northern Virginia. You should consider how far it is to your company and how easily accessible it is. 

Atlantech Online




Digital Realty






The Considerations

One of the unified communications risks to be considered is data center security. While many will maintain locked doors, you want to ensure your provider requires more than that.

At Atlantech's facilities, we require advanced notification and valid photo ID. In addition to our motion sensors, biometric hand scanners, and 24x7 secured access, you can trust no one will have access to your data but you.

Also, you want to ensure your data center has enough redundant features to maintain a high uptime with little packet loss and latency. We manage this with diverse entrance fiber paths that also offer speeds up to four Terabits per second. Our "mesh" configuration eliminates single point-to-point fiber link failures to ensure our customers' data is never interrupted.

10 questions to ask before buying data center services

Tom Collins
Post by Tom Collins
July 31, 2019
Tom is the Director of Enterprise Sales & Marketing for Atlantech Online. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the Internet Service Provider industry and is known for translating technology into positive results for business. A native of Washington, DC, a graduate from University of Maryland (degrees in Government & Politics and Secondary Education), Tom is also a five-time Ironman finisher.