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Global data centre investment hits $US105 billion

Data centre investment up but outsourcing, co-location also increases due to GFC, says DataCentre Dynamics

Data centre spending on facilities management and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) continued to climb worldwide in 2012 according to a DataCentre Dynamics (DCD) census.

The 2012 Global Census Results found that total global investment in data centres grew from approximately US$86 billion in 2011 to US$105 billion in 2012 -- a rise of 22.1 per cent.

According to the survey, the largest increase in investment from 2011 to 2012 was facilities management and the mechanical/electrical sectors. This included electrical distribution equipment, uninterruptible power supplies, generators, cooling equipment, security equipment, fire suppression and data centre infrastructure management systems. Spending was up from $40 billion in 2011 to $49 billion, an increase of 22.5 per cent.

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However, the IT equipment sector including servers, storage, switches and routers had slower growth of 16.7 per cent, an increase from $30 billion to $35 billion this year.

DCD Intelligence managing director, Nicola Hayes, said in a statement that its forecast for 2013 shows a slower rate of spending (14.5 per cent) — equivalent to US$15 billion.

“Much of the increase in investment in the [data centre] sector is being driven by growth in less developed markets-- regions such as Asia Pacific and Latin America are the ones really fuelling global investment levels,” she said.

For example, Asia Pacific data centre investment was up 24.2 per cent from 2011 to 2012.

Power consumption

The survey found that global power consumption was up 63.3 per cent to 38 gigawatts (GW) with another 17 per cent increase forecast for 2013.

Asia Pacific was one of the largest regions in terms of power requirements with a 48.6 per cent increase over the past 12 months compared to 5.3 per cent growth in power requirements in North America.

“These [APAC] figures reflect the significant build that has occurred in the region over the past 12 months as the market moves towards a more mature level as well as highlighting a potential issue in terms of power provisioning over the next few years,” Hayes said.

According to the findings, there was also an increase in the average kilowatts (kW) per rack.

Globally, the proportion of high density racks -- over 10kW per rack -- as a proportion of total racks increased from 15 per cent in 2011 to 18 per cent in 2012. In addition, the percentage of medium density racks (5-10kW per rack) rose from 30 per cent to 33 per cent.


Data centre outsourcing and co-location investment saw rapid uptake, from $US16 billion last year to $21 billion in 2012. According to the census, this was due to the second global financial crisis and need for CIOs and IT managers to reduce capital expenditure.

Outsourcing is expected to continue into 2013 with a further $5 billion to be spent on co-location. Asia Pacific was cited as a significant data centre outsourcer due to the growth in large scale state of the art co-location facilities operated by Australian vendors such as Next DC and US-based companies including HP.

This investment was encouraging companies to outsource rather than lease or buy their own space.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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