Data Centres set to increase capacity by 20 million square feet in 2021

The pandemic has encouraged them to accelerate the use of colocation services.

The top 35 cloud and colocation service providers opened 10 million square feet of data centre capacity in 2H20 according to Omdia’s latest Cloud & Colocation Data Centre Building Tracker, despite lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Approximately 51 per cent of the new capacity was brought online by colocation service providers and 48 per cent by cloud service providers.

For 2021 Omdia is estimating roughly 20 million square feet of new data centre capacity, notwithstanding adjustments for data centre construction projects that may flow into later periods.

In Omdia’s recent Colocation Service & Leadership Strategies N.A. Enterprise Survey-2020, 49 per cent of colocation using respondents indicated the pandemic has encouraged them to accelerate their use of colocation services.

Both cloud and colocation service providers have experienced consistent growth over the last few years, but new demand drivers created by the pandemic are accelerating long-term data centre capacity expansion plans. A Microsoft executive, recently quoted in a Microsoft website post, said they expect to open 50 to 100 data centres per year for the foreseeable future.
Alan Howard, principal analyst in the Cloud and Data Centre Research Practice at Omdia, said with each update to the data centre building portfolios for service providers we track we make adjustments to their anticipated opening date if needed.

“Cloud and colocation service providers have rather different building schedules. Colocation providers are usually right on the money opening data centres as scheduled, which is a function of meeting customer demand. Cloud data centre build cycles, on the other hand, can span anywhere from 12 months to 30 months, and occasionally longer,” he said “Colocation, of course, is a critical piece of the puzzle as enterprises of all kinds need not just rack capacity for IT infrastructure, but also the broad interconnection capability needed to reach their multi-cloud providers and partners. This is a requirement for digital transformation initiatives that is difficult for many enterprises to achieve on their own based on its complexity and cost”.



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