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Data centres, under strain, expand at furious pace

Date: 2nd June 2011

About a third to half of all data centres will be physically expanding or leasing new space in the next two years, according to recent surveys. These surveys are providing a picture of strains facing the facilities that cradle the digital economy, as well as the pressure data centre and IT managers are under to keep up with demand.

The Uptime Institute, for the first time, recently surveyed 525 data centre operators and owners, 71% of whom are in North America. Of respondents, 36% said they will run out of power, cooling and space through 2012. To meet the need, 40% of the respondents plan to build a new data centre, and 29% said they would lease additional space in a colocation centre. Another 20% said they would move IT workloads to cloud providers. Afcom, an association of data centre managers, recently surveyed 360 IT managers and other IT executives, and found 29% are expanding or building a new data centre. Another 21% said they are planning on expanding their existing data centre or building a new data in the next two years.

Keysource says: This underlines the need for businesses to have an effective IT strategy to ensure they possess appropriate data centre capacity to effectively meet existing and future demand. These findings should be a wake-up call for many companies that risk dire consequences if they don’t start to act now.

However, it is not just about investing in new space, but first ensuring any existing data centre infrastructure is fully optimised. Our recent survey questioned more than 250 data centre decision makers and influencers and found that 60 per cent believed their facilities are underperforming.

Two thirds of the respondents blamed high costs for hindering data centre efficiency initiatives. However, in many cases an inadequate understanding of performance may be preventing companies from making the most of their facilities, with only a third saying they actively undertake monitoring and measurement of their operations.

Therefore, there is an opportunity to not only reduce operating costs, but also free up additional capacity and even enable the deployment of higher density IT without the need for high levels of capital expenditure.


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