Why does EIG host their servers in Provo, Utah?

If you you’ve been a customer of HostGator, BlueHost, or any others that have been acquired by EIG (Endurance International Group), then you’ve probably heard of Provo, Utah before. It’s a tiny town of 116k population, and it houses almost all of EIG’s data centers. Your site was most likely migrated there as a result of EIG consolidating servers after company acquisitions, and although they claimed you were being ‘upgraded’, you most likely didn’t notice any performance increase (or perhaps you website got slower or less reliable).

Why Provo, Utah? Short answer: cost. Most good hosting companies choose to locate their data centers around major internet backbones, such as how Amazon does in Ashburn, VA. But EIG seems to not care about performance, as Provo does not appear to be a major international hub.

Here’s why Provo:

  1. Cheap rent. It’s Utah, the land costs less than a larger city such as Los Angeles or New York.
  2. It has cool outside air. Did you know that up to 30% of a datacenter’s cost is spent on air conditioning? Those servers get warm, and it’s necessary to keep them cool in order to operate effectively. By using the free outside air of Utah, EIG cuts down on their utility costs.
  3. It’s central – okay, I can understand why you’d want to be in the middle of the US, however a city like Dallas that has a major internet drop would be a better choice.

Next time you choose a new host, be sure to ask them where their datacenters are located. Good hosts will be in major internet backbone cities. Even better hosts will have multiple locations and allow you to choose.