Data centre users crave more power, are using more artificial intelligence and are increasingly going global, according to a new report into the sector.
The study by JLL, which looks at the period covering 2016 and the first half of this year, also identified some other key trends in the data centre industry, including a growing trend of large-scale cloud providers going overseas to acquire extra capacity.
And while data centre infrastructure is growing, corresponding demand for their services is also growing to keep up.
Moreover, some corporate consolidation has been taking place with numerous mergers and acquisitions, the largest of which was Digital Realty’s acquisition of DuPont Fabros in a $7.6 billion deal.
In total, says JLL, there were $10 billion worth of mergers and acquisitions in the data centre sector in 2016.
The JLL commentary in the report says: “Revenue and growth is up for data center companies in a big way, both in the United States and globally.”
The report lists US regions in which there has been most significant activity, as well as some other places in Canada.
The three types of data centre user “heavyweights” JLL interviewed included:
- technology and big data companies;
- transaction and payment companies; and
- online retailers and marketplaces.
One respondent from the technology and big data segment said: “Our investment is focused on high-performance computing, data centers, automation, and security.
“Our next step will be to start to focus on moving virtual machines to non-SAN (storage area network) products. We will still have SAN arrays for databasing but it no longer is required for VM environments.”
A respondent from transactions and payments said: “The most impactful technology changes will come about from larger investments in artificial intelligence.
“AI will help us reduce human intervention and significantly cut time to restore operations due to failures. Plus, AI will allow us to leverage a greater use of predictive analytics.”
And a respondent from the online retail segment said: “The changes in tech that will have the largest impact will be focused around AI, processor technologies and automation.”