Almost overnight, Pinterest is racking up billions of page views. Instagram is touching the 27-million-member mark. Zynga wants to build its own platform. Everywhere you look, you see the web economy booming and growing like never before. And that boom is spurring demand for data centers like never before.
A new survey by Campos Research & Analysis on behalf of Digital Realty Trust, a data center real estate company, has some data about the North American market that points to a growing demand for data center services in 2012 and 2013:
- Ninety-two percent of respondents will definitely or probably expand in 2012—the highest percentage in the six years that Digital Realty has sponsored the survey.
- Of those respondents with definite plans to expand in 2012, 38 percent expect to expand in three or more locations. Fifty-four percent expect to pursue projects of 15,000 square feet or more in size.
- Of those companies planning or considering data center projects this year, 92 percent plan to expand in the U.S., approximately 50 percent also expect to expand in Europe or the Asia Pacific region, and 21 percent reported plans for projects in South America.
Other findings from the study include the following:
- The most frequently cited locations for new or expanded data center in the U.S. are New York City/New Jersey, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco Bay Area and Phoenix (in order of ranking).
- Hong Kong and Tokyo were mentioned more frequently this year than in past years as locations for international projects.
- London also continued to be a desirable location for overseas projects.
- In terms of technical specifications, 82 percent of respondents expect server density in their facilities to increase in 2012.
What about the worldwide growth? Digital Realty in a press release notes:
Eighty-five percent of respondents intend to expand their resources in the next year, compared to 82 percent at the end of 2010. In addition, the responses indicate a growing need for new facilities, with respondents now requiring an extra 15,600 square feet of space on average compared to 14,500 square feet in 2011. Just over half of organisations surveyed (51 percent) intend to spread this across at least two new sites.
Despite highlighting the increased demand for space, the results also suggest growing uncertainty in the face of the economic difficulties impacting the euro zone and other markets. Of those companies planning to expand their data centre assets over the coming year, 23 percent assert this will ‘definitely’ take place – down from the 25 percent who were certain they would expand in 2011. The remaining 62 percent say they will ‘probably’ add new facilities in 2012.
And from the way things are going, why do I get a feeling that all these projections are going to be rethought, by the time we get to end of 2012.