Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Monday, July 15, 2024

Datacenter Construction Expected To Boom 

Datacenter construction is forecast to boom over the next four years as demand for datacenter colocation facilities grows and energy regulations prompt upgrades. However, the rise of modular and containerized datacenters could eventually slow growth, a report found.

The global market for datacenter construction is expected to register an annual compound growth rate of 21 percent through 2018, according to a new market survey. The growing complexity of datacenter operations, including network infrastructure and energy usage, is expected to push more enterprises to bypass internal datacenters and opt for co-location facilities.

The survey also found that co-lo datacenters are springing up around the globe that cater to the very different requirements of customers in terms of network infrastructure. All are facing regulatory restrictions on energy usage, hence the shift to "green" datacenters is also fueling the buildout of co-lo datacenters.

To comply with new regulations, new datacenters are incorporated renewable energy sources like solar power. They are also providing multiple datacenter customers with other infrastructure designed to reduce power consumption for datacenter cooling.

The trend toward green datacenters means more co-location facilities will increasingly be built in regions where outside temperature is sufficient to cool all the gear, the survey found.

Among the leading datacenter construction companies identified in the report are DPR Construction, Holder Construction Group, Jacobs Engineering Group, Skanska, and Structure Tone.

The construction report covered North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as the Asian Pacific and China markets.

Among the challenges faced by datacenter construction companies is the "introduction of containerized datacenter solutions that is lowering the demand for traditional datacenter facilities." The report found that containerized datacenters "enable faster scaling of datacenter facilities and are also equipped with the required powering and cooling solutions."

The trend is expected to hinder the growth of traditional datacenter construction services, the study found.

An earlier survey of the containerized datacenter market forecast a compound annual growth rate of 29.9 percent through 2015. While the market for containerized facilities has flourished with the emergence of high-density computing and compact, modular designs, standard datacenter architectures could eventually slow growth, the survey found.

Among the key vendors for containerized datacenters are Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies, SGI, and Cisco Systems.

Market researcher TechNavio last year forecast that the U.S. datacenter construction market would grow at a compound annual growth rate of 7.6 percent through 2016. U.S. growth is tied to datacenter expansion and the growing adoption of high-density facilities.

Long term, datacenter consolidation could slow the growth of construction in the United States, TechNavio predicted.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).