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Iceland tops list of low-risk datacentre locations

Europe nabs six out of the top 10 spots in Cushman & Wakefield's list of low-risk locations to build or buy up datacentre capacity

Iceland has been named the most low-risk place in the world to build or buy up datacentre space, based on the findings of Cushman & Wakefield’s 2016 Datacentre Risk Index.

The 24-page report is designed to help IT decision-makers weigh up the risks of building out or buying up datacentre space in 37 countries across the world, including both established and emerging markets.

The locations are ranked according to the cost of electricity, bandwidth availability, ease of doing business and the amount of corporation tax companies are liable to pay there.

European countries secured six placings in the top 10 alone, with Iceland topping the list, followed by Norway, Switzerland, Finland, and Sweden – in second, third, fourth and fifth place respectively. The UK, meanwhile, came in ninth.

“European countries continue to offer a low-risk environment for datacentres, securing all top five index positions,” the report states.

“[The] top five offer politically stable environments for doing business while offering a low-risk location in terms of natural disaster risk and strong fundamentals in terms of energy security and share of renewable resources.”

The remaining places in the top 10 were taken by Canada, Singapore, Korea and the US. Ireland, despite emerging as a major hive of datacentre investment and building activity of late, came in at 20.

“Market realities are also reflected within the index with Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong all featuring highly – the latter two evidence that proximity to market, ease of doing business and IT infrastructure can offset the risk of locating within a natural disaster zone,” the report continues.

Read more about datacentre investment trends

Areas of investment concern

The report featured responses from more than 4,000 of the firm’s clients, who cited political instability, the threat of natural disasters and energy shortages as growing areas of concern for their datacentre investments.

So much so, the report claims they have now surpassed cost and connectivity – in terms of importance – for IT decision-makers working out where best to invest their datacentre budgets.

“Whether these risks outweigh the proximity picture, and corporate begin to realign their real estate accordingly, is yet to be seen and is not always the case, with individuals weighing up the risks against the pressure of being able to server consumers within the markets in which they operate,” the report concluded.

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