Data Center News Roundup: Construction Boom Continues, New Subsea Cable for Africa

In this week's top data center news, record supply levels are expected in Europe’s secondary markets, and a new cable will connect Africa with Australia.

James Walker

May 24, 2024

6 Min Read
Data center knowledge data center news roundup
Image: Pichetw / Alamy

With data center news moving faster than ever, we want to make it easy for industry professionals to cut through the noise and find the most important stories of the week. 

The Data Center Knowledge News Roundup brings you the latest news and developments across the data center industry – from investments and mergers to security threats and industry trends. 

To keep up to date with all things data centers, subscribe to the Data Center Knowledge newsletter to get content straight to your inbox. 

Supply and Demand 

A data center construction boom is occurring in smaller secondary markets across Europe, with a record 273 MW of new capacity expected this year, according to fresh insight from CBRE. This includes 56 MW of capacity already delivered in the first quarter and exceeds the previous record of 228 MW set in 2022. 

According to the real estate services firm, the growth is driven by cloud service providers seeking to serve local markets directly. Eight of the 10 secondary European markets tracked by CBRE are expected to see double-digit growth in data center supply, with five markets projected to exceed 100 MW of capacity by year-end.  

“Growth of data center supply in secondary markets is expected to almost triple the European growth rate this year, with Milan set to become the largest secondary market in Europe by year-end with 211 MW of data center supply,” said Kevin Restivo, head of European data center research at CBRE. 

“Providers are looking to meet strong hyperscaler demand and grow relatively young data center markets with greater returns in mind,” he added 

Africa Developments 

In other news this week, Google is building out the first undersea fiber optic cable that will directly connect Africa with Australia, helping to shore up internet access in one of the least-connected parts of the world.   

The cable, called Umoja, follows the construction of Google’s Equiano cable that connects Africa with Europe. The new line will start in Kenya and travel overland through Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa before crossing the ocean to Australia, the company said.  

The announcement came just days after several nations in East Africa, including Kenya,  experienced slow internet connections after at least one subsea cable serving the region was cut. Damage to four subsea cables off the west coast of Africa also disrupted internet services across the continent in March. 

Staying in Kenya, Microsoft and G42, the UAE-based AI firm, are joining forces to build a $1 billion geothermal-powered data center in the Olkaria region –, the initial phase of a multiyear plan to dramatically increase cloud-computing capacity in East Africa. 

Meanwhile, the US is proposing to make Kenya the first country in Africa to benefit from funding in the Chips and Science Act, according to White House officials, underscoring the countries’ desire to cement tech industry relationships. 

New Projects Unveiled 

Among the new data center developments unveiled this week, Cologix has announced the completion of its fourth data center in Columbus, Ohio. The COL4 facility is pegged as the first AI-ready colocation data center in the region, laying the groundwork for “seamless AI integration with cloud services.”  

Cologix’s portfolio of four data centers in Columbus now spans 500,000 sq.ft and 80 MW of power. 

In Europe, CapitaLand Ascendas REIT (CLAR) has completed the €19 million ($20.5 million) refurbishment of the Paul van Vlissingenstraat (PvV) data center in Amsterdam, Netherlands. 

The refurbishment was undertaken to enhance the efficiency of the development and meet the growing operational demands of customers. PvV now has a power capacity of 1.4 MW to 2.3 MW, a PUE of 1.25, and an expanded floor capacity to accommodate 450 racks across 16,500 sq.ft. 

Prime Data Centers has outlined plans to develop a 26,000sq.m data center in Madrid, Spain. The company has secured 7.6 acres in Alcobendas with plans to develop a facility that will be able to deliver 40 MW of critical power. 

The news came as Reuters reported that Amazon Web Services (AWS) would invest €15.7 billion in data centers in Spain’s northeastern Aragon region.  

Further north, Google is planning to spend €1 billion ($1.1 billion) to build out its main data center in Finland because of its easy access to green energy.  

The expansion will increase staffing by a quarter to 500 people, a spokesperson told Bloomberg this week. Google declined to disclose what impact the investment will have on data capacity at the site.  

Scope 3 Spotlight 

Our expansive coverage of this year’s Data Center World continued this week, with Scope 3 emissions taking the spotlight. 

“We face a dilemma: How do we sustainably answer soaring demand to build more data centers while minimizing the carbon footprint?” said Bill Hassel, data center sustainability program manager at Turner Construction, during this year’s DCW. 

The data center construction industry is witnessing a steady transition to greener practices. The latest wave of building innovation is largely being driven by a desire to reduce Scope 3 carbon emissions. 

“There are another 502 data centers in the planning or construction pipeline from 55 operators,” explained Alan Howard, principal analyst at Omdia. “That means 22.5 GW more of IT load and 115 million more square feet of new data center capacity is coming online in the next couple of years.”   

Thus far, much of the attention on Scope 3 has largely bypassed the data center industry. Find out why this is changing in our special feature.  

Other Great Reads on DCK This Week 

The Move to Improve: Why the Midwest is Housing More Data Centers. The Midwest's lower costs, renewable energy, and improved tech infrastructure are luring data centers away from traditional tech hubs like Silicon Valley. 

What Is a Data Center Site Negotiator, and Do You Need One? Data center site negotiators can be the key to securing your ideal physical location – from small setups to the largest hyperscale facilities. 

Microsoft Build 2024 Links Past Innovations to an AI-Driven Future. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella discussed the company’s AI-driven future, connecting its technology legacy with new advancements in AI infrastructure, developer tools, and more. 

ASML and TSMC Can Disable Chip Machines If China Invades Taiwan. ASML has reassured officials about its ability to remotely disable its chipmaking machines, Bloomberg reports. 

Critical Bug Allows Data Leaks in All Major Cloud Platforms. An on-by-default endpoint in ubiquitous logging service Fluent Bit contains an oversight that hackers can toy with to rattle most any cloud environment. 

About the Author(s)

James Walker

James Walker is the Senior Editor of Data Center Knowledge. He has more than 16 years of experience writing for business and technology publications, with a focus on translating technical issues to make them more accessible and engaging.

Before joining DCK, James was editor of The Daily Swig, an award-winning cybersecurity news website, and his work has been featured in The Times and BBC Online, among other publications. His first full-length book, HIT: Once Upon a Field, was published in 2023.

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