London: is the capital still the epicentre for data centres?

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Aegis Data has speculated that London “may no longer be the epicentre for the data centre community”. The Surrey-based co-location provider says that third-party data centre customer power grew to 713MW in 2016, despite concerns of Brexit and the rising cost of London data centres. It claims that the growth was due in part to the development of data centres outside of London, with the highest number of new developments occurring outside the London/M25 area. With over seven million square foot of data centre space now being taken on by third-party data centre providers, the growth in outside London providers is only set to continue, the co-location provider argues.

Aegis Data points out that although London still holds 47% of data centre raised floor space, secondary cities like Manchester, Birmingham, Slough and Edinburgh became strong contenders in 2016 for data centre locations. In the UK Data Centre Trends report London was shown to have the most expensive rack-space with an average of £1,000 per month.

“London is the go-to location for those looking for a data centre, but there are several considerations that must be accounted for before connecting in London,” said Greg McCulloch, CEO, Aegis Data.

“Firstly, the price. The trends report shows that London is nearly double the monthly rack-space price of other third-party data centres located in the UK. The second most pressing issue with a London-based data centre is the restriction on flexibility and growth. Space is at a premium and many of the older, established data centres don’t have the capacity or scalability to support increasingly power-hungry technologies.”

“With the growth in online technologies like social media and gaming, more people are connected than ever before. Coupled with the growing use of virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the appeal of being in the heart of London is also its downfall. High power technologies require greater cooling, something that established data centres can’t retrofit into their facilities. This in turn hinders the future-proofing and growth of a business,” continued McCulloch.

Despite the growth in third-party data centres outside of London, the capital is still a core location for large enterprises and international traffic.

“Larger organisations are always going to look to base themselves in Tier 1 locations, whether it be London, Paris, Frankfurt or New York. They might have secondary data centres throughout the country, but the central hub will usually by London. This is unlikely to change soon as the international connectivity options are simply much greater. Smaller enterprises, Tier 2 financials and SMB’s however are much better looking at the flexibility options outside of London,” concluded McCulloch.

 

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