The power and cooling available today to support fully fitted space is in short supply but sites on the periphery of major metropolitan centres have better access to critical power supply and may be the best option for many, explains Mike Hills, director of products and services at adapt.
Constraints on power and cooling capacity are helping the market preserve its integrity. The limited capacity available is of good quality, has adequate power availability and can handle the cooling loads required. This means users can be assured that the fully fitted space on the market that remains is up to standard and, from a vendor point of view, nobody is pricing their capacity unrealistically in order to win new business. The industry has matured from the days when unprofitable customers would be signed up as providers sought to win business at almost any cost and a new maturity is evident in the business.
Right now, supply and demand is finely balanced and we expect the coming year to see a shortage of available, fully fitted capacity emerge. Such a shortage is unlikely to be acute. A number of new facilities are being planned or are already under construction. However, these are subject to phased build out and phased power delivery and will not be ready to offer power and cooling to support the demands of the entire site when they first open. A number of newly planned facilities are offering long-term property leases. In many cases the property developer requires blue chip clients to sign a long-term tenure in order to release funding for the M&E fit out. At adapt, we still have limited fully fitted space available for customers who prefer the flexibility of colocation service contracts.
This pressure on supply has made customers far more open-minded about the location of their capacity. A few years ago the data centre had to be within a major metropolitan centre with access to a large number of carrier fibre routes but now, customers are willing to consider the periphery. They recognise bandwidth price compression makes it affordable to examine new locations and that access to high power and cooling densities on the periphery makes this more feasible. In effect, moving to a data centre that has a higher power and cooling rating per square metre is far more cost effective in comparison to traditional sites in metropolitan centres. The advent of virtualisation and cloud computing also means that geography has become less important.
The e economy is still driving demand for data centre services and, although the market is cooling we do not envisage a situation where we have over supply. In fact we have more opportunities in the pipeline than we can actually service today. Although adapt is working with a number of developers planning on building out technical space these developers are cautious and taking a staged approach to development. We have examined a number of planned developments but these look more suited to the large system integrators and managed service providers that are experiencing strong demand as large corporates look to cut headcount and reduce costs through IT outsourcing.Simon Gay, CTO
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