Datacenter investment soared during the pandemic

Woman using laptop in front of servers
(Image credit: Christiana Morillo / Pexels)

Businesses have amped up their investments into data centers during the year of the pandemic, a new report from global property adviser Knight Frank suggests. 

Its Data Center Report 2021, published in partnership with data center research and analytics platform DC Byte, found EMEA markets have experienced a 4% rise in takeup, reaching 120MW this year. There’s also been a 10% increase in new supply overall, totaling more than 180MW, it was said.

The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region has had a similar take-up pace this year, as it did in 2020, with total supply increasing by almost 200MW, bringing its total supply across the region to 5800MW.

The pandemic played a major role, the report further says, claiming that the “pandemic-driven data usage shift” of 2020 magnified the traditional buy cycle and led to record developments. 

While the figures do seem promising, the two companies said most of the progress was done in Tier I cities. Tier II cities reported little supply growth in early 2021.

In EMEA, for example, the core market (Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Paris, and Dublin) kept their pace. Istanbul and Warwas were described as “edge” markets that should be kept an eye on, while South Africa and Kenya were described as “poised to become a significant hyperscale region”, due to the level of supply coming online in those areas.

Dublin added 108MW (75% of 2020’s new supply), London and Moscow added 40MW, and Zurich added 33MW.

Asia-Pacific doing great

In APAC, during Q1 2021, the total IT MW consumed was up 5%, reaching 90MW, which puts it right on track to meet the 2020 take-up levels of 385MW, the report said. Mumbai, with 56MW already added this year, is expected to keep on growing, while Sydney already reached half of last year’s take-up and has more than tripled last year’s new supply.

“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,” commented Ed Galvin, Founder and CEO at DC Byte. 

“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.”

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.