MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- The commercial data center market is undergoing significant growth and change, fueled by a confluence of factors, including demand for computing and storage resources, powerful next-generation computing equipment, accessibility by remote users, and power and cooling issues. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan's Stratecast division (http://www.stratecast.com), The U.S. Data Center Market 2010, finds that the third-party data center market size exceeded 108 million sq. ft. in 2009 and is expected to reach 177 million sq. ft. in 2010.
Within this environment, the research firm says that enterprises are increasingly turning to third-party providers for some or all of their data center infrastructure needs. Faced with inadequate internal data center space, they are willing to use outsourced solutions ranging from leased raw space, to co-location facilities, to dedicated hosting.
At the same time, the firm notes interest is surging in a newer model for purchasing data center infrastructure. Cloud computing has introduced a "just in time" element to data center infrastructure, allowing businesses to lease computing resources as needed from third-party providers, with pay-per-use or utility pricing. This model promises users ultimate scalability without the burden of investing in additional equipment, or the time required to set it up.
Who, then, shoulders the investment and time burden?
"The data center business is, at the end of the day, highly capital-intensive," explains Lynda Stadtmueller, Senior Research Analyst and co-author of the study. "From real estate and construction, to power and cooling distribution systems, to configuring IT and networking equipment, creating a data center requires significant investment, as well as a long time to make it user-ready."
Moreover, Stadtmueller adds, "As enterprises and service providers increasingly turn to third-party infrastructure providers, the burden of ensuring an adequate supply of data center infrastructure to satisfy their hunger for capacity falls to a handful of data center developers."
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