Record demand for data centre space in 2008

Take-up of data centre space across Europe reached near-record levels last year despite the late-year effects of the recession. According to data centre consultancy CB Richard Ellis, demand is now 131% higher than in 2006.

For the company’s head of technology, Andrew Jay, this marks the end of an eight-year period following the dot-com downturn in which of the sentiment towards data centre investment was “savage”. He warns that demand is likely to slip slightly during 2009 due to “fewer capital-intensive, single-let shell transactions which have a significant impact on take-up levels.”

While that would encourage caution among those selling data centre real estate, Jay adds that it would be “good news for specialist third-party developers/ operators offering opex solutions.” He also urges caution over potential over-supply of data centre space, given the large number of projects planned or currently under construction.

“While speculative development is welcome, restraint must be shown in order to ensure that supply does not accelerate away beyond expected demand in the near future,” he says.

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