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Data center sector set to hit new capacity high this year

data center
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Roughly 20 million square feet of new data center capacity is on the horizon this year, according to new data from research group Omdia.

After the top 35 cloud and colocation service providers opened ten million square feet of data center capacity in the second half of 2020 according to Omdia’s latest cloud and data center tracker, the firm says this figure will now double in 2021.

Of the ten million square feet capacity in 2020, 51% was brought online by colocation service providers and 48% by cloud service providers.

Data center growth 

In Omdia’s recent colocation survey, 49% 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 steady growth over the last few years, but new demand drivers created by the pandemic are accelerating long-term data center capacity expansion plans.

Alan Howard, principal analyst in the cloud and data center research practice at Omdia, said that with each update to the data center building portfolios for service providers, the research group makes 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 centers as scheduled, which is a function of meeting customer demand. Cloud data center build cycles, on the other hand, can span anywhere from 12 months to 30 months, and occasionally longer,” he added.

“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."