QTS Realty Trust is known for building massive data centers, like this huge facility in Suwanee, Georgia. (Photo: QTS Realty)

QTS Realty Trust is known for building massive data centers, like this huge facility in Suwanee, Georgia. (Photo: QTS Realty)

IDC: Amount of World’s Data Centers to Start Declining in 2017

The number of data centers being built around the world will continue growing until it peaks at 8.6 million in 2017, at which point it will begin to decline, according to a recent report by IDC.

As the data center becomes a strategic asset to more and more companies, viewed as a way to generate more revenue rather than a back-office support asset, more companies will outsource data center management to service providers, the market research firm said.

“They (companies) will make greater use of on-premise and hosted managed services for their existing IT assets, and turn to dedicated and shared cloud offerings in service provider data centers for new services,” Richard Villars, vice president of data center and cloud research at IDC, said in a statement. “This will result in the consolidation and retirement of some existing internal datacenters, particularly at the low end.

“At the same time, service providers will continue their race to build, remodel, and acquire datacenters to meet the growing demand for capacity.”

The report points out the rise of mega data centers service providers are building around the world. These facilities will account for more than 70 percent of all data center construction by 2018, IDC said.

It’s unclear what IDC’s definition of a “mega data center” is, but the Data Center Institute, an AFCOM data center industry think tank, defines it as a facility that yields space for more than 9,000 racks or has more than 225,000 square feet of compute space. (Disclaimer: AFCOM is a sister company of Data Center Knowledge.)

IDC isn’t saying there will be less need for data center space. Rather, the analysts are forecasting that the amount of data center space in the world will continue growing, but since it will be growing within large facilities, fewer data center buildings will be constructed.

The company estimates that the amount of data center space worldwide will grow from about 1.58 billion square feet total in 2013 to 1.94 billion square feet in 2018.

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About the Author

San Francisco-based business and technology journalist. Editor in chief at Data Center Knowledge, covering the global data center industry.

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