The top 35 cloud and colocation service providers opened 10 million square feet of data centre capacity in 2H20. Approximately 51% of the new capacity was brought online by colocation service providers and 48% by cloud service providers.
For 2021, Omdia is estimating roughly 20 million square feet of new data centre capacity, notwithstanding adjustments for data centre construction projects that may flow into later periods.
Under construction data centre physical capacity by region
In Omdia’s recent Colocation Service & Leadership Strategies N.A. Enterprise Survey-2020, 49% of colocation using respondents indicated the pandemic has encouraged them to accelerate their use of colocation services.
COVID-19 demand response actions taken
Both cloud and colocation service providers have experienced consistent growth over the last few years, but new demand drivers created by the pandemic are accelerating long-term data centre capacity expansion plans.
Noelle Walsh, a Microsoft corporate vice president who leads the team that builds and operates the company’s cloud infrastructure, said the company expects to open 50 to 100 data centres per year for the foreseeable future.
Alan Howard, principal analyst in the Cloud and Data Center Research Practice at Omdia, commented: “Cloud and colocation service providers have rather different building schedules. Colocation providers are usually right on the money opening data centres as scheduled, which is a function of meeting customer demand. Cloud data centre build cycles, on the other hand, can span anywhere from 12 months to 30 months, and occasionally longer.”
“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”.