Iceland has been identified as the safest place in the world to host a data center, followed by Norway and Switzerland.

These are the findings of the Data Center Risk Index published by the American property management company Cushman & Wakefield.

In 2013, when the previous edition of the report was published, US was rated as the top data center location in the world, but has now moved to the tenth position. Meanwhile the UK has moved from second to ninth.

Nigeria was rated the riskiest of 37 countries analyzed in the study.

First football, now this

Aurora Borealis above Kirkjuffell in Iceland
Aurora Borealis above Kirkjuffell in Iceland – Thinkstock / Nikolay Pandev

Every few years, C&W publishes a report “designed to support data center due diligence and senior decision making when considering global investment and deployment activities.” It rates countries by the most appropriate risks affecting data center operations in current climate.

This year’s report is based on a survey of more than 4,000 clients worldwide and takes into account ten factors including energy cost, water availability, average Internet bandwidth, ease of doing business, level of corporate tax and political stability.

The top 10 looks as follows:

  1. Iceland
  2. Norway
  3. Switzerland
  4. Finland
  5. Sweden
  6. Canada
  7. Singapore
  8. Republic of Korea
  9. United Kingdom
  10. United States

The top 5 riskiest markets for data centers, according to C&W, are:

  1. Nigeria
  2. India
  3. China
  4. Turkey
  5. Indonesia

Authors of the report have noted that the top five data center markets succeed by offering a combination of political stability, low natural disaster risk and high proportion of renewable energy.

They added that the high ratings of South Korea and Hong Kong prove that proximity to market, ease of doing business and modern IT infrastructure can offset the risks of locating within a natural disaster zone.