Recession has little impact on data centre expansion

Large companies are still hungry for data centre space. A survey of companies with more than 2,000 employees by data centre provider Digital Realty Trust has found that even in the grip of a recession, one in four intends to grow its data centre capabilities in the next year. A further 41% say they will expand their footprint in the 2010.

Chris Crosby, Digital Realty’s vice-president of sales, says the results were particularly surprising given the survey was conducted last October, during “one of the worst weeks in modern financial history”.

The most frequently cited reasons for expansion were disaster recovery, new applications and floor space, with cooling considered “less important” than during 2007.

Two target locations for expansion stood out: London and Paris. But companies also said they intended to grow their data centre space in Frankfurt, Dublin and New York. According to respondents, the most important factors affecting geographic location are security and accessibility for company personnel, followed by telecom and real estate costs and being within range of a major urban centre.

Energy consumption was given a different weighting in different countries. Companies in the UK and Ireland were, on average, 11% more concerned about energy costs than countries in Europe. According to Crosby “there is major education around Green IT that has to happen for IT executives in the EU.”

“The average power capacity is approximately 5.7 kW per rack,” he says. “But we know that is not what’s being used – it’s more like 2 to 3 kW. We see a lot of enterprises overbuying,” he says.

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