'Big three' datacentre power suppliers hold nearly 50% of the market

Three datacentre cooling infrastructure providers - Schneider Electric, Emerson and Eaton - held 47% of the datacentre energy market in 2011

The big three datacentre cooling infrastructure providers – Schneider Electric, Emerson and Eaton – together held 47% of the total datacentre energy market in 2011, a report has found.

The report – titled Datacentre Infrastructure Yearbook, by research and consultancy firm IMS Research – estimated power and cooling products supporting datacentres will be worth more than $15bn (£9.36bn) by 2014.

Datacentre cooling technologies – such as uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), racks and enclosures, and floor and cabinet-level power distribution – were worth around $13bn in 2011. This value will grow modestly by another $2bn in the next two years, the report found.

UPS held the largest datacentre cooling market share, worth more than $8 billion in 2011, the IMS Research study also found.

Over the past five years, Schneider Electric, Emerson and Eaton have consolidated their positions in the market via acquisition, according to Jason dePreaux, associate director at IMS Research.

“The big three have each made multiple acquisitions to enhance product portfolios and extend geographic reach,” dePreaux said. 

“Beyond this are literally hundreds of vendors that have carved out smaller niches around the world.”

In 2011 alone, Schneider Electric made acquisitions worth $3.8bn. These included Spanish software company Telvent GIT SA and Indian power systems manufacturer Luminous Power.

Higher growth for datacentre resources that promote efficiency

The report forecast the highest growth for products used to help improve energy efficiency in datacentres.

For example, the need to more closely monitor electricity use is reshaping the power distribution market with intelligent hardware. This commands higher prices than their dumb counterparts, dePreaux explained.

Cooling equipment makers are changing their products to help IT executives operate high-density computing environments more efficiently.

Even racks and enclosures are changing to better facilitate increased airflow and power cabling, dePreaux added.

The growth in the efficient datacentre-cooling resource market is influenced by several factors. The growth in digital data is driving storage needs which, in turn, requires more datacentre space.

“At the same time, new server generations offer greater performance per watt and mitigate the need for additional critical infrastructure.” dePreaux added.

“The current economic conditions play the role of a tiebreaker, curbing companies’ willingness to spend on capital-intensive projects like datacentres."

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