The data centre and server rooms/closets are no longer just the places where organisations house their IT assets. The data centre must serve as the primary point of engagement and information exchange with employees, partners, and customers in today's interconnected world. The data centre is also the foundation for new business models where leveraging large volumes of data and highly elastic compute resources are critical to delivering better insight and a superior product/user experience. This requires that data centres reliably deliver large and highly variable amounts of transaction, content serving, and analytic capacity on time, with no delays and no excuses. In this environment, building and running data centres as well as managing IT assets at the edge can no longer be a part-time or occasional job.
"Over the next five years, a majority of organisations will stop managing their own infrastructure", explained Richard L. Villars, Vice President, Datacenter and Cloud Research at IDC. "They will make greater use of on-premise and hosted managed services for their existing IT assets, and turn to dedicated and shared Cloud offerings in service provider data centres for new services. This will result in the consolidation and retirement of some existing internal data centres, particularly at the low end. At the same time, service providers will continue their race to build, remodel, and acquire data centres to meet the growing demand for capacity."
The most significant development in data centre construction is the growing importance of service provider mega data centres, which are the primary server location for large collocation and cloud service providers. By 2018, these mega data centres will account for the vast majority (72.6%) of all service provider data centre construction in terms of space while also accounting for 44.6% of all new high-end data centre space around the world (up from 19.3% in 2013).
Similarly, the number of internal high-end data centre environments, which typically require longer-term commitments of assets to build or refresh, will continue to grow throughout the forecast. Much of this growth can be attributed to continued strong data centre construction in China and construction of large data centres to replace smaller, more dispersed enterprise data centres. The continued build-out of larger data centres ensures that actual internal data centre space will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.4% over the forecast period and account for nearly one third of total worldwide data centre space (all types) in 2018.
The IDC study, Worldwide Datacenter Census and Construction 2014-2018 Forecast: Aging Enterprise Datacenters and the Accelerating Service Provider Buildout (Doc #251830), provides a census of data centres around the world by size, sophistication, and ownership. It also forecasts data centre construction driven by replacement of older data centres and expansion to support new Cloud and analytic use cases. The report provides a forecast of data centre installations and new builds by enterprises and service providers through 2018. It also assesses the impact of changing industry business models and IT developments on data centre design, build, and management.