As one of the largest global markets, it is estimated that the UK houses up to 7.6 million square meters (81m sq ft ) of data center  space—an area equivalent to 14 U.S. Pentagons (one of the world’s largest buildings at 6 m sq ft) or 900 football pitches.

In order to estimate the UK data center market size, DatacenterDynamics Research used data from the Global Data Center Industry Census 2011, and built a predictive model to determine IT-based demand for data centers in a given location and the context in which they operate. Other input factors such as organizational size and IT dependence were also considered, and taken together with known and observed information about data centers and data center portfolios.

In terms of power consumption, the UK data center market is estimated to consume 6.4 GW (about enough energy to power 6 million homes) annually. This number is set to grow by 6.7 percent during 2011-12, or by a further 410 MW. Power consumption is growing ahead of growth in rack numbers, indicating increasing rack power density—one of the hallmarks of data center markets which are at the most advanced state of development. Using a UK average of 4.22 kW/ rack this equates to somewhere in the region of 2 million racks.

 George Rockett co-founder and CMO of DatacenterDynamics, said, “I’m not surprised by the status or size of the UK data center market. When you look at the size of the operations of just a handful of organizations, you quickly get a sense of the market’s scale. From a research point of view, it has been important to establish a rigorous methodology as well as a representative sample of the industry in order to validate our numbers. We are delighted to have had the cooperation of CBRE, a company which has an unrivalled reputation in this sector.”

Andrew Jay, head of Data Centers EMEA, CB Richard Ellis said, “Given the idiosyncrasies of privacy and security that prevail across the industry, it has been notoriously difficult to determine market size to date. By working with DatacenterDynamics over the last 6 months, and combining our data sets, we are exploring ways of modeling data center markets to determine their total size. We believe the numbers released today well reflect the UKs position as a leading global data center market, and look forward to refining the model and using it in other markets.”

The UK in comparison to other markets

The Data Center Industry Census 2011 depicts the UK’s substantial facility base as one of the largest global markets. The sample data alone suggests a 25 percent growth in data center investment to $3.35 billion during 2011-2012. In the context of the research, this is money which will be invested in the construction of new data centers, the upgrade of existing facilities or the use of outsourcing.

The UK is positioned behind the East and West Coast US in the Data Center Development Index (DCDi); a classification system created by DatacenterDynamics Research to provide a relative indication of conditions within 21 global data center markets. DCDi ranks markets according to their state of development by criteria such as the size of economy, the number of data centers and the influence of its sector, power consumption, human resources and technology considerations. More details about DCDi can be downloaded from the DatacenterDynamics website.

The UK Data Center Report can be downloaded free by visiting