Report: Data center capacity to increase by 20 million sq ft this year

June 14, 2021
Omdia reports that the top 35 cloud and colocation service providers added 10 million square feet of data center capacity in the second half of last year.

By STEPHEN HARDY -- Omdia predicts that major cloud and colocation services providers will add 20 million square feet of capacity in 2021. That figure comes about in part due to a major wave of new capacity expansion initiatives launched during the second half of last year, the market research firm indicates in its latest Cloud & Colocation Data Center Building Tracker.

The top 35 cloud and colocation service providers added 10 million square feet of data center capacity in the second half of last year, Omdia reports. Colocation service providers accounted for about 51% of this new capacity, with cloud service providers bring on 48%.

As the figure above illustrates, the last six months of 2020 saw a boom in capacity expansion projects. While the current estimation of new capacity projects for the first half of this year trails that of the first half of 2020, estimating how much capacity will be added and when via new or previously inaugurated building projects can be tricky, making comparisons difficult, Omdia points out.

“With each update to the data center building portfolios for service providers we track we make adjustments to their anticipated opening date if needed. Cloud and colocation service providers have rather different building schedules,” noted Alan Howard, principal analyst in the Cloud and Data Center Research Practice at Omdia.

Howard added, “Colocation providers are usually right on the money opening data centers as scheduled, which is a function of meeting customer demand. Cloud data center build cycles, on the other hand, can span anywhere from 12 months to 30 months, and occasionally longer.”

With COVID-19 having spurred increased demand for colocation services, its little wonder colocation services providers have accelerated investment in facility expansion.

Omdia's Howard concluded, “Colocation, of course, is a critical piece of the puzzle as enterprises of all kinds need not just rack capacity for IT infrastructure, but also the broad interconnection capability needed to reach their multi-cloud providers and partners. This is a requirement for digital transformation initiatives that is difficult for many enterprises to achieve on their own based on its complexity and cost."

STEPHEN HARDY is Editorial Director and Associate Publisher of Lightwave, CI&M's close co-brand in Endeavor Business Media.

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