Independent survey reveals strong demand for new Data Center space


Aug. 29, 2011

According to the results of a recent industry survey, over eighty percent of participating European businesses plan to expand their Data Center infrastructure over the coming year. Eighty-two percent of organizations polled reported that they would definitely or probably expand their Data Center facilities this year, with half of them planning to expand in two or more locations.

The study among IT decision-makers at over two hundred major UK and European organizations highlights the strengthening of the data Center market following the economic downturn.

Significant findings

Of those who intend to expand in 2011:

  • Seventy-three percent plan to do so within Europe, with a majority wanting to expand within their own country
  • The UK proved the most popular target destination, with 37 percent of respondents planning to locate a facility there, followed by France (30), Germany (26), Spain and the Netherlands (21 each)
  • Capital cities and recognized business hubs remain the location of choice for new data centers, with London, Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam and Frankfurt proving the most popular locations
  • Outside of Europe, the US is the next largest target market for expansion for European businesses (25 percent), followed by Asia-Pacific (21)

The main drivers behind expansion are improving security, disaster-recovery and implementing a consolidation strategy

The results for the section of the survey relating to power capacity and consumption reveal a small increase of respondents measuring power efficiency. The nominal increase suggests there is still scope for improvement.

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According to the study, there was a slight increase in the average Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) levels since last year:

  • Power capacity per rack in the respondents’ existing data centers rose by an average of nine percent in 2010 with power density averaging 5.5 kW per rack. Forty-three percent are using more than 6 kW per rack
  • The proportion of respondents measuring their power consumption remained unchanged from last year’s results, with two-thirds currently monitoring their energy usage
  • PUE levels were up slightly over last year, with average rating rising to 2.66 from 2.57
  • Twenty-seven percent of those surveyed were either not aware of the PUE value for their organization’s data centers or were not familiar with the measurement tool, suggesting that opportunities remain for businesses to reduce operating costs related to power consumption as well as the environmental impact of their IT load

The study finds that two-thirds of respondents will seek support from a partner organization during the process of acquiring or building a new Data Center facility

  • Sixty-seven percent will use a partner during the design and construction process and/or to lease wholesale space from a partner
  • The biggest factor cited when choosing a partner organization is access to a greater choice of products, marking a departure from the “one-size-fits-all” approach of yesteryear
  • Advice about regulatory issues is the most important capability a partner can offer
  • Interest in “do-it-yourself” data centers continues to wane, with only 30 percent of responding companies considering this as an option, down four percent from last year

The survey also highlights the growing importance of power usage effectiveness (PUE) as a means for customers to monitor the performance of their facilities.

Overall, the survey indicates that the European Data Center market is about to enter a cycle of robust growth. Solutions providers will continue to play an integral role in supporting this growth.

Survey Methodology

Two hundred and five respondents participated from large companies with at least pounds Sterling 600 million in annual revenues or over two thousand employees and headquartered in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands. The respondents were responsible for day-to-day Data Center management, contract execution, implementing new data centers or expanding existing facilities within their organizations.

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