There seems to be some side bar comments that keep popping up on which is better. I am often wrong and did not want to go off topic on those who think Dallas is generally better in the 4 posts that this came up in recently. I want to understand better the points that make Dallas look better. This is why I say Chicago: If you go to peeringdb.com and look at the exchange points in both cities, Chicago appears far superior..I know this is not 100% accurate and certainly does not include all networks but there is a trend with enough discrepancy between the two cities that would say that unless you are focusing on Latin America, Chicago is a better choice than Dallas. That is the only thing I am going by. I would like to know what I am missing in my thinking, if anything..
My concern with Dallas is proximity to the Gulf of Mexico. At 250 miles inland they're not as vulnerable as Houston to tropical weather, but anyone who's lived in a hurricane zone knows how far inland a decent sized storm can travel. My other concern is tornados, given its proximity to tornado alley.
My concern with Chicago is (potentially) greater exposure to terrorist activity because it's a major banking and financial center. A lot of datacenters and carrier POPs are in the same buildings as the major financial exchanges. I personally would never colo in NYC for the same reason.
Connectivity-wise, I would put DFW and Chicago on somewhat equal footing. Dallas has better reach to the sun belt where a good chunk of the country's population lives. Chicago would be preferable if you want to reach the Northeast.
Both cities are about the same distance from the population center of the US, both good central locations. Chicago has more sheer throughput, peering, and connectivity, and that is largely driven by the financial markets. if you're a high frequency trader, you wouldn't even consider Dallas over CHicago, but Dallas is certainly good enough for anyone in the WHT crowd.