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Datacentre capacity demand remains strong, fuelling continued growth of secondary colo hubs in EMEA

Latest quarterly datacentre market tracker report from DC Byte and Knight Frank shows demand for capacity across EMEA is holding firm and fuelling growth of secondary hubs

Demand for datacentre capacity across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) remained strong during the first quarter of 2021, fuelling the continued growth of up and coming colocation hubs.

That’s according to global property consultancy Knight Frank’s first-quarter datacentre market tracker data, which was compiled with support from analyst house DC Byte.

The accompanying report states that the EMEA market has seen a 4% uptick in take-up of datacentre capacity during quarter one to 120MW, with a 10% increase in new supply overall, totalling 180MW.

“In EMEA, the core markets of Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Paris and Dublin [FLAPD] continued their momentum, yet the trend is towards expansion outside of these markets,” said the companies in a statement.

Despite mounting concerns about the possible introduction of restrictions on datacentre developments in Dublin, the city is flagged in the report as seeing the most notable amounts of growth during quarter one.

A total of 108MW of datacentre capacity was added in Dublin, with London seeing the second highest amount of development with 40MW, followed by Zurich with 33MW.

“Dublin continues to be a leading target for hyperscale cloud providers and other segments, with 17% share of the aggregate supply across EMEA,” the report stated.

And there is no sign of any slowdown in demand for datacentre capacity in the region, with Knight Frank confirming that both Amazon and Microsoft have each secured the green light to build two new facilities in Ireland. 

The report also points to the continued development of secondary datacentre hubs, as hyperscalers look to expand their presence outside of the FLAPD markets as demand for cloud and internet services continues to soar across EMEA, including places such as Istanbul and Warsaw.

“On the hyperscale horizon, 2021 will see facilities in seven markets come online – Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Finland, adding capacity in addition the core markets of Amsterdam and Dublin. This is a record for a single year,” the report continued.

In reference to this trend, Stephen Beard, partner and co-head of the global datacentres division at Knight Frank, said the development of these secondary hubs is being driven by a number of different factors.

“The increase in datacentre facilities is becoming more widely distributed, as providers expand into new territories to add political and geographic diversity as well as meeting new data protection legislation requirements,” he said.

“Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Zurich and Warsaw, for example, have been recent targets for cloud availability zones. Meanwhile, there is industry consolidation to also consider.”

The reports also predicts that Nairobi is on course to become a “significant hyperscale region” in the years to come due to changes in the region’s data protection regulatory landscape creating more favourable market conditions for the development of wholesale colocation facilities.

“New data regulations for enterprise electronic records has amplified demand in the past three years and the city is poised to be a significant hyperscale region,” the report stated.

“Current capacity is small at 8MW of live power and 5MW under construction, but Nairobi will soon see a shift to wholesale (and likely) hyperscale as [colocation provider] IX Africa adds 12MW of power in three phases.”

Looking ahead, DC Byte founder and CEO Ed Galvin said his firm’s data suggests there is little sign of a slowdown in demand for datacentre capacity across EMEA on the horizon.

“Our data suggests that the accelerating take-up rates will only continue to rise, quickly absorbing the 2020 supply. This will prompt continued commitments to bring new datacentre facilities online in 2022 and beyond, further reflected by new developments that have already been committed to,” he said.

“The sector is extremely fast moving and the level of competition to source new sites is increasing exponentially. We have never seen such rising demand for comprehensive intelligence in this space.

“The pressure on all suppliers – consultants, operators, developers – to have detailed information, almost at their fingertips, reinforces how responsive investors need to be in making fast, well-informed decisions,” he added.

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