Digital Realty Trust, Inc. has announced the latest findings of its annual European market survey.
The independent survey, undertaken on behalf of Digital Realty by research firm
The survey revealed an increase in the number of organizations planning to add new data center space. Eighty-five percent of respondents intend to expand their resources in the next year, compared to 82 percent at the end of 2010. In addition, the responses indicate a growing need for new facilities, with respondents now requiring an extra 15,600 square feet of space on average compared to 14,500 sq ft in 2011. Just over half of organizations surveyed (51 percent) intend to spread this across at least two new sites.
Despite highlighting the increased demand for space, the results also suggest growing uncertainty in the face of the economic difficulties impacting the euro zone and other markets. Of those companies planning to expand their data center assets over the coming year, 23 percent assert this will 'definitely' take place—down from the 25 percent who were certain they would expand in 2011. The remaining 62 percent say they will 'probably' add new facilities in 2012.
Other key findings from the research include:
• Demand for new data centers is highest among
• For over two-thirds (69 percent) of organizations, the priority is to add facilities within their local market
• Established business centers remain the most popular location for situating a new data center, with
• Despite concerns that rising local taxes will disincentivize investment in new data centers, operational considerations remain a priority when determining the suitability of a location: site availability, security, connectivity, and accessibility to local staff were all listed as priorities over regional charges
Using a partner
When asked about their approach to developing new data center facilities, over half (59 percent) of businesses stated that they intend to seek assistance from a partner. The latest results show a significant rise in interest for leasing space from a dedicated provider, with 32 percent preferring this option - nearly double the response rate for 2010 (18 percent). Self-build projects—with or without a partner—are also gaining in popularity, with 42 percent now planning to develop their own facilities compared to 30 percent a year ago.
When assessing the suitability of a potential partner, concerns about turbulence in the markets are driving European businesses to seek stability. When asked about their requirements for a partner, respondents listed the ability to maintain fixed costs and financial resilience as the most important considerations, with the extensiveness of the partner's offering also a valued factor.
The survey also revealed encouraging signs that organizations are making greater efforts to improve the efficiency of their existing data centers, with a greater proportion aware of the power usage effectiveness (PUE) of their facilities. Only 12 percent of respondents admitted not having access to this information, against 18 percent in last year's survey. The results also show an increase in companies actively monitoring their power consumption: almost three-quarters (73 percent) now do so, compared to 68 percent in 2011.
In a related response, the average PUE rating reported has fallen from an average of 2.66 to 2.61. Average power density has also declined, from 5.5kW per rack in 2011 to 5.3kW in the latest survey. However, there are indications this may increase in the coming year, with organizations predicting a need for more power-intensive racks in their new facilities, with an average forecasted requirement of 5.7kW.
Commenting on the findings, Adam Levine, vice president, sales, Europe, at Digital Realty said: "The latest research confirms what we see in the market: that demand for data center space in
"The results underpin the need for an informed, experienced approach to planning and developing a new data center in order to minimize the potential risks involved. With a track record of building and operating hundreds of data center facilities across the globe and a strong financial position, we feel Digital Realty remains best placed to support European businesses as they make their way through the current economic unrest."
Research commissioned by Digital Realty and carried out independently by Campos Inc between 24 October and 3 November 2011. 201 respondents participated from large companies with at least euro 500M/ 500M pounds Sterling annual revenues or 2,000+ employees (for