Digital Realty Trust, Inc. has released key findings from its annual study of the European data center market. The research was conducted on behalf of Digital Realty by Campos Research & Analysis, an independent research firm.

The survey of senior leadership at large corporations in Europe revealed the following data center growth trends:

  • A strong majority of respondents, 88%, indicate that they will definitely or probably expand their data centers in either 2013 or 2014;
  • Twenty-five % of respondents indicate that they will definitely expand in 2013, compared to 22% a year ago;
  • The main reasons given for data center expansion are, in order of importance, the need for security, disaster recovery, and power issues (the supply/reliability of power, and maintaining efficiency);
  • The trend is towards slightly more compact data centers, with an average size requirement of 14,100 sq ft (1,300 square meters), compared to 15,600 sq ft (1,500 square meters) a year ago;   
  • Data center planning revolves around two power concerns: the supply and reliability of power, and maintaining efficiency to minimize the power requirements of the data center;
  • Demand for new data centers is highest among businesses in the UK;
  • Established business centers remain the most popular locations for situating a new data center, with London (29%), Paris (24%), and Frankfurt (21%) the top choices.

Commenting on the Campos survey findings, Bernard Geoghegan, Digital Realty managing director, Europe, said, "Despite the influence of continuing economic uncertainty in Europe, demand for data center space remains strong. It seems to suggest that adapting to these conditions and readying the organizations for a return of  improved economic conditions can be well served through IT and the data center. Security and disaster recovery requirements remain at the forefront, particularly in light of recent global events, so it is critical for suppliers to demonstrate a strong pedigree in being able to deliver appropriate solutions."

The research report Multi-Tenant Datacenter Global Providers, published in November 2012 by 451 Research, a division of global analyst and data company The 451 Group, points to strong data center growth trends in EMEA. According to 451 Research, the four-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for multi-tenant data center revenue in EMEA through 2014 is expected to be 18%.

The Campos survey respondents indicate a preference for locating new data centers in their own countries, however, they do not rule out North America and APAC as possible locations.

  • For over two-thirds (68%) of respondents, the priority is to add facilities within their own country;
  • Just under half of organizations surveyed (46%) intend to spread this expansion across at least two sites;
  • The most important factors cited in choosing a data center site were security and connectivity;

London, Paris, Frankfurt and New York were mentioned often as potential sites; Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area were mentioned occasionally; in APAC, Tokyo, Mumbai, Singapore, and Hong Kong were mentioned.