With a physical server environment, is it advisable to live in the same major city as the data center, even if there are better data center options halfway across the country?
Hosting and bandwidth costs, incident response time and ongoing travel costs are primary concerns. Uptime is important, but we could endure a half-day data-center outage once a year or so.
I am planning a data center application deployment with roughly a dozen physical Linux hosts (with more to come) each with defined roles of database server using local storage, or standby database server, or application server. The machines will share a VLAN and utilize some DAS second-line storage for archival. There is no virtualization planned except possibly for a few standby roles which would greatly under-utilize a physical machine.
The nearby and far-remote data center both offer paid engineering support. I can't determine at this time how well the engineers would know our specific architecture in a problem situation. Assuming a long mean time between emergencies, I'm guessing they would not be that familiar, or even the same persons.
I have managed remote servers with isolated roles, always hosted outside of data centers for many years, and would be comfortable never seeing the machines after install. My question comes from listening to a StackExchange podcast, where physical network hardware became intermittently slow under load from rapidly communicating servers, requiring extensive debugging over an extended period. High-end network hardware is outside my current experience, is this type of troubleshooting practical from a remote connection, or is it common to need to go onsite when that happens?
To sum up, how much benefit is obtained from living near a good data center in a major city when starting up a deployment like this? Does it outweigh the benefits of a better/best data center in an even larger city?
Thank you for sharing your experiences in this area.