UK Data Centre Power Could Fuel 6m Homes

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UK data centres currently cover three square miles – says DatacenterDynamics Research

Data centres in the UK occupy a total area of 7.6 million square metres (81m sq.ft.) and consume enough energy to power six million homes.

DatacenterDynamics Research has been preparing for its conference at the London ExCeL International Convention Centre (ICC) by measuring up the floor-space and power consumption of the UK’s data centres. The company based its findings on data from its Global Data Center Industry Census 2011.

Predictive model sizes the market

The researchers, in conjunction with CBRE (CB Richard Ellis), built a predictive model based on its census to determine IT-based demand for data centres in a given location, and the context in which they operate. Other input factors such as organisational size and IT dependence were also considered and factored in with known and observed information about data centres and data centre portfolios.

The report makes interesting reading. Power consumption in UK data centres was estimated to be 6.4GW annually. This figure will have grown by 6.7 percent during 2011-2012, adding a further 410MW.

Worryingly, in a nation that is trying to cut power consumption, energy use is growing faster than the number of racks being installed. However, the growth is put down to increasing rack density as servers and ancillary equipment gets smallerand more powerful. The research estimates that by using a UK average of 4.22kW/rack this equates to somewhere in the region of two million racks.

George Rockett, co-founder and CMO of DatacenterDynamics, said he is not surprised by the size of the UK data centre market: “When you look at the size of the operations of just a handful of organisations, you quickly get a sense of the market’s scale.”

UK’s data centre boom

The Data Center Industry Census 2011 shows the UK’s substantial data centre potential to be one of the largest global markets. The sample data suggests a 25 percent growth in data centre investment to £2 billion during 2011-2012.This will be invested in the construction of new data centres, the upgrade of existing facilities or the use of outsourcing.

This places the UK just behind the US East and West coasts in the Data Center Development Index (DCDi); a classification system created by DatacenterDynamics Research. The index ranks markets according to their state of development, based on criteria such as the size of the economy, the number of data centres and the influence of its sector, power consumption, human resources, and technology considerations.

The DatacentreDynamics Converged conference is being held for the first time at the new ExCeL ICC venue inLondon’s Royal Docks. The conference spreads across five halls on 30 November – 1 December. Over 70 technical presentations, case studies, and panel discussions will take place during the show.

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