Five Predictions: Relocations and Outsourcing

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We continue with our recap of the Five Bold Predictions session from AFCOM’s recent Data Center World conference:

2. By 2010, more than half of all data centers will have to relocate to new facilities or outsource some applications. An AFCOM member survey found that 71 percent of respondents see changes to their data center capacity in the next 10 years. Fifty three percent expect to expand their data centers, 5 percent expect to outsource some applications, and 13 percent expect to both expand and outsource.

For those who plan expansions, the reason cited most often was business growth (41%), followed by an aging facility. “Many data centers just can’t handle new technologies coming out,” said presenter Tom Roberts, Director of Data Center Services for Trinity Information Services.


A 2005 review of 19 data centers by the Uptime Institute found an average power consumption per rack of 2.1 kilowatts – far below the minimum 12-14 kilowatts antiticpated for a full high-density rack. Yet even at those power levels, 10 percent of those providers were experiencing problems cooling their equipment. That data suggests that most corporate data centers are a long way from being ready for serious high-density computing.

Roberts also noted that trends are shifting in the outsourcing arena. A Deloitte study found that many 6 to 10 year contracts are giving way to shorter 3 to 5 year deals. Steady downward pressure on hardware costs is a factor, as clients are wary of locking in a long-term relationship in a fluid market which might allow them to renegotiate on more favorable terms.

“Outsourcing is changing,” said Roberts. “Contracts are shrinking, and companies are no longer interested in ‘a mess for less.’”

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.