According to projections by IDC, the United States is on track to have 8.6 million data centers by 2017 — operating to meet market demand. The market research firm also predicted that, within the next several years, most businesses and organizations will make a shift from running their own data centers to outsourcing those functions to colocation centers and cloud service providers.
That shift is resulting because of increasing market demand resulting from the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud adoption, reduction in capital expenditures, and improvement of data recovery capabilities, according to Markets and Markets research. Concerns about energy are also fueling the desire to use colocation centers — which have the advantage of consolidating services and allowing clients the flexibility to scale as needed.
The Department of Energy has been urging data center facilities to address energy inefficiencies resulting from outmoded and under-utilized equipment. According to the JLL Data Center Solutions, newer data center facilities will be instrumental in reducing overall energy usage by 10 percent to 40 percent over a 10-year period spanning 2010 to 2020, although the number of data centers is also expected to grow by 40 percent during that same period.
However, as pointed out in an article for Building Design & Construction, enterprise companies aren’t making the shift to colocation centers as quickly. The Uptime Institute released a survey that revealed enterprise-owned data centers still host 71 percent of enterprise IT assets.
David Schirmacher, president of the educational firm 7×24 Exchange International, said that the cost of building a data center could be equivalent to $30,000 per kilowatt hour, compared to $9,500 per kilowatt hour for colocation.
Markets and Markets also noted that colocation results in benefits ranging from reduced power, reduced cooling costs, efficient backup systems, and overall reduced cost of ownership. Those factors are among the reasons that demand for colocation centers will grow along with increased demands.