Give me e-shelter for datacentres

Despite everything demand exists for the creation of enlarged datacentre premises in the UK.

In many ways then datacentre industry follows very closely that of the general economy. The simple logic is that when times are good businesses will create much more data as they expand and so will have  a pressing need to find somewhere how they can store, process and mange all the extra data; in addition to all of the other data that they hold. When times aren’t so good, the converse should take hold.

It’s not surprising to find out that according to the latest quarterly report by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), take-up in the European datacentre market reduced significantly in the first quarter of 2009. In fact firms only took up 11,020 sq m across the five Tier 1 markets, representing an 80% fall compared with the previous quarter.

Yet despite this statistic, German datacentre provider e-shelter would certainly take issue with the notion that it was all doom and gloom. In fact it says that the current economic circumstances are a key driver for demand that is leading to the creation of enlarged premises in particular in the UK.

Founded in 2000, the company is based n Frankfurt am Main and has other optional bases in five other places—boasting 83,000 sqm data centre space(with 60,000 sqm alone) and has plans to occupy approximately 88,000 sqm more of data centre space in four other locations.

Dr. Bernd Spitz, Managing Director of Investa Holding, the holding company for e-shelter, expressed real confidence for the prospects of the datacentre industry. In a presentation to media in June 2009 he said that economic pressures were actually driving continued outsourcing trend for IT services throughout all industry segments. And as a consequence, there would be consolidation of subscale in-house data centres and increased utilisation of IT machines through virtualisation.

He predicted  a  change of computing paradigm through cloud-computing as a basis for new Internet business models—such as  SaaS – in order to achieve dominance in the cloud massive data centre construction efforts by companies such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, HP/EDS.

Moreover he saw a massive ongoing growth of Internet data volume from social network platforms, content delivery networks communing with regulatory forces with regard to mirroring and separation of data centres (Bafin, Basel II, Sarbanes Oxley etc) as adding further fuel to the growth.

But where would this growth be? To Dr Spitz it would be driven mainly through large corporates sources of data centre space take-up and expansion ambitions and the fact at due to continued technological development of IT hardware/server equipment (blade server, CPU density) where existing corporate data centres were no longer capable to cover increasing power and cooling requirements on a long-term basis.  

And all of this despite dramatic changes in the economic climate. Yet Dr Spitz suggested that more European companies were planning bigger datacentre projects compared to 2008: he said that more than 4 out of 5 surveyed companies are planning datacentre expansions within the next 12-24 and that the projected average datacentre space requirements would be in the region of 1,600 sqm with an increasing average power capacity requirement per rack of 5.7 kW.

Putting their money where their mouth is, e-shelter announced a new generation data centre campus in Buckinghamshire, inside the zone required to support synchronous backup of data but well outside the still prohibitively priced central London property region.

The need for more datacentre space has been recognised not just by industry but also government. Indeed in his Digital Britain report Lord Carter said, “The current demand for highly-connected datacentres in the UK points to constraints in supply which is of concern as these facilities can take up to two years to build from initial inception.”

The self-contained rural site in Saunderton will offer a total area of 20.234 ha (50 acres) with space for four datacentre buildings that offers 37,000m2 of lettable data centre space with an additional 2,000m2 office space, associated with the use of technical space.

It will have available TUI/Uptime for Tiers 2 to 4 specifications and a range of redundancies from n+1 to 2(n+1). Redundant fibre connectivity will run through diverse routes and there will be an average power density of 1.5kW/m2 with mains power via diverse routes.

But the important thing is that the company sees growth and demand from its customers. And in these times that has to be welcome

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