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No growth in global data centre markets

451 Research says demand for traditional data centres falling, hyperscale facilities on the rise

No growth in global data centre markets
Traditional enterprise data centre demand is falling, and being replaced by 'hyperscale' multi-tenant facilities.

The global install base for data centres showed very little growth in Q4 2014, as demand for traditional enterprise data centres declined, according to 451 Research.

The analyst company said in its latest ‘Voice of the Enterprise: Datacenters' report that the install base grew at 0.2% year-on-year in Q4 2014 to 4.3 million data centre and IT sites.

The weak demand for new facilities was primarily driven by a decline in traditional enterprise demand, particularly in mature markets. This decline was offset by the booming demand for large premium and hyperscale facilities from cloud, service provider and multi-tenant data centre vendors. While data centres from those organisations are typically very large, from a data centre count perspective they are still the minority, representing only 5% of the market combined when server closets and rooms are excluded.

From a square footage perspective, enterprises continue to control the vast majority of the worldwide market, at 83%. MTDC and cloud providers control 12% and 5%, respectively. The company expects that balance will continue to shift over time as enterprises invest less in their own data centre spaces and become more comfortable with relying on third parties.

"Investment in new data centre space by traditional enterprises is being propped up only by the sheer force of growing organic demand for IT resources. Almost all the overarching market trends are working against the need for enterprises to build out more of their own data centre space," said Daniel Harrington, research director, Enterprise Datacenters.

The study showed a two percent growth in data centres in emerging markets including Middl East and Africa, although demand in developed markets such as North America and Europe declined 1% and 2% respectively.

Continued enterprise consolidation led to flat to declining growth for server closets and rooms in most regions. The same consolidation trend has led to a continued buildout of centralised premium data centres. Hyperscale data centres grew at 4%, led by strong demand from cloud and service providers (15%).

Continued consolidation and centralisation of data centre and IT sites, movement to third parties, including cloud and multi-tenant data centre providers, and the increasing efficiency of IT infrastructure hardware are all working against the need for traditional enterprises to expand.

Harrington added: "The bright spot for facilities vendors being that those cloud and MTDC providers will need to accommodate the growing demand for outsourced IT resources with their own facilities, albeit fewer and more efficient ones."

Additional findings from the research show things are not changing overnight. The movement to third-party providers continues at a slow but steady pace. Enterprises will continue to maintain and upgrade their existing sites for some time as they evaluate the capabilities of third-party providers.

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