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UK leads Europe in datacentre demand, study finds

Archana Venkatraman

European CIOs from large organisations are planning to expand their datacentres by 2014, according to research on the European datacentre market, with demand for new datacentres highest among businesses in the UK.

As many as 88% of CIOs indicated that they will "definitely" or "probably" expand their datacentres in 2013 or 2014.

Security, datacentre power and disaster recovery are the driving forces for European datacentre expansion, according to the study, which was conducted by Campos Research & Analysis in January 2013 for datacentre provider Digital Realty.

Among established business centres in Europe, London was rated by 29% of respondents as the most popular location for situating a new datacentre, ahead of Paris (24%) and Frankfurt (21%).

The respondents indicated a preference for locating new datacentres in their own country for security, latency and connectivity requirements. For over two-thirds (68%) of respondents, the priority was to add facilities within their own country.

However, European CIOs did not rule out North America and Asia-Pacific as possible locations. About half of organisations surveyed (46%) said they intend to spread this expansion across at least two sites.

"Despite the influence of continuing economic uncertainty in Europe, demand for datacentre space remains strong. It seems to suggest that adapting to these conditions and readying the organisations for a return of improved economic conditions can be well served through IT and the datacentre,” said Bernard Geoghegan, Digital Realty’s managing director, Europe.

“Security and disaster recovery requirements remain at the forefront, particularly in light of recent global events,” he added.

The study of more than 200 European datacentre managers also revealed that CIOs prefer high-density and compact datacentres to save on space and power. The average size requirement stood at 1,300m2 – down from 1,500m2 a year ago. 

Datacentre power concerns

The study found that datacentre planning revolves around two power concerns: the supply and reliability of power; and maintaining efficiency to minimise the power requirements of the datacentre.

According to Frost & Sullivan analysts, demand for continuous power availability has become the most important driver for growth in European uninterruptible power supply (UPS) market. The UPS market will reach $2.3bn by 2015, from $1.98bn in 2012, according to analysts.

"For certain users, such as datacentres and banks, power availability is crucial – even a minute of downtime leads to huge monetary losses. This is pushing the demand for smart, reliable and highly energy-efficient UPS systems,” said Frost & Sullivan’s energy and power supplies industry analyst, Gautham Gnanajothi.

Separately, a report published in November 2012 by 451 Research – Multi-Tenant Datacenter Global Providers – revealed a strong datacentre growth trend in Europe.

Multi-tenancy is an architecture in which a single instance of a software application serves multiple customers. It is economical because software development and maintenance costs are shared.

According to the research firm, the four-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for multi-tenant datacentre revenue in Europe through 2014 was estimated to be 18%.


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