The IT area of Ukraine is the “heart” of the economy today, therefore it is extremely important to support it, invest in it and attract as much attention to it as possible in the world IT arena.
One such opportunity was the KickStart Europe conference, which I was able to attend in late February this year. It is an annual conference dedicated to trends and investments in technology and digital infrastructure. It is like the Oscar Ceremony in the area of data centres, which unites more than 1,500 experts from all over Europe.
The main figures of the event and the latest cases were shared by Anton Khvastunov, director of business development of the GIGAGROUP group of companies.
Main trends of the data centre market in 2023
Many experts built their speeches around the topic of trends in the global data centre market. Among the most powerful, I singled out:
- Representatives of the Equinix corporation — a network of data centres that about 96% of all world traffic passes through
- Iron Mountain data centre experts — a North American IT corporation that owns 11 data centres in 9 strategic markets and owns one of the most secure ata centres in the world: Iron Mountain Inc.
- Atman experts — the leader of the Polish data center market.
- And experts of France Datacenters, especially the speech of its managing director Geraldine Samara — a network of French data centres, which includes more than 30 critical infrastructure facilities.
In 2023, the main marker for the area of data centres will be data transfer speed, environmental friendliness and sustainability in data centre scaling and responsibility in terms of energy consumption.
Speed. The IT world is rapidly growing and changing, and at the same time, the needs of the data centre market consumers are also transforming. We are talking about the processes of digitalisation and the increase in arrays of newly created data. Today, it is important for data centres not just to be flexible, but to stay one step ahead in order to meet the needs of businesses and customers who are transforming processes in the digital world.
Environmental friendliness and sustainability. Climate change is driving everyone to action, so the most pressing issue for the data centre is energy consumption. The more powerful the data centre is, the more heat it generates, and therefore requires more energy for cooling systems.
Research by JLL 2022 states that the energy consumed by data centres doubles every four years, and the sector now accounts for up to 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, data centres consume more power than many countries worldwide and even more than entire Ukraine. According to experts’ forecasts, in 2023 the world’s data centres will consume more than 8% of the world’s power.
Today’s data centres address these challenges through the use of artificial intelligence (AI), process automation, and machine learning. According to the DeepMind study, the application of AI alone helps data centres save up to 40% of the power spent on the cooling system.
The conference presented the case of DC1-Stavanger company, which managed to save a lobster farm. The data centre of Green Mountain colocation operator, located in the bunker, began using warm water from the cooling systems to heat the lobster farm. As a result, DC1’s capital costs reduced by 25%, and the farm now saves 15% in operating costs.
The next trend is the fact that businesses increasingly prefer solutions based on the private cloud, transferring critical data from private IT infrastructures.
According to a report by Grandviewresearch, the global market for private cloud services is expected to grow at a CAGR of 29.6% over the next three years and reach USD 205.4 billion in 2025.
And finally, it is worth noting the hyperscale players trend as one of the main catalysts for the growth of the data centre market. In recent years, mainly larger players have entered data centres. They consolidate a large number of racks, as they need more and more capacities and areas to meet the needs of customers. We are talking about hyperscale players — the use of cloud services by such market players continues to grow at a rate of approximately 20% per year (in EUR). This also includes the gambling area, gamers, cryptocurrency, cloud operators and others.
FLAPD — the fastest growing data centre markets in the world
FLAPD remains one of the main data centre markets in Europe. These include such cities as Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Paris and Dublin. It is here that the largest number of data centres is concentrated. Together, they consume colossal volumes of power — 3.5 GW. These are the record-breaking regions in terms of colocation service sales in the world.
For example, data centres in London consume more than 1.088 GW. For comparison, this is 5% of the capacity of all nuclear power plants in Ukraine. Data centres in Frankfurt consume 861 MW, 579 MW in Amsterdam, 510 MW in Paris, and 264 MW in Dublin.
Experts predict that in 2023, the growth of space for hosting new arrays of data will be concentrated in Frankfurt, Paris and Dublin. In Amsterdam and London, this process will somewhat slow down, since the regulatory policy of the state is beginning to limit them in the further development of the data centre market.
The future for the Ukrainian data centre market
Some of the trends described above will also be relevant for Ukraine.
First of all, cloud operators and hyperscale players such as Megogo, Rozetka, OLX, Prom.ua, etc. will be the catalysts for the development of the data centre market. Such business will always need cloud infrastructure and a data centre.
After our victory, hyperscale players who want to enter our market will also actively invest in the Ukrainian data centre market. Until early 2014, many negotiations were conducted with such global players as Google, Amazon, and Netflix.
The trend towards reducing consumption or switching to more reasonable power consumption will also be relevant for Ukraine. The reason for this is the issues that we observe today in the energy system of our country, which are related to constant missile attacks. As well as the desire of data centre owners to reduce PUE indicators — the data centres power usage effectiveness ratio.
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