image alt tag

Report: Microsoft says data center construction will rise by 2020

By Max Burkhalter
March 23, 2011
The growing demand for cloud-based services and products will cause a more significant increase in spending on data center construction than had been previously predicted, Microsoft researchers found recently

While $15 billion per year is already being spent on new data centers, the company said that figure will rise by 20 percent - reaching $18 billion - by 2020 in the U.S.

The study, according to general manager of data center research Christian Belady, was prompted by the apparent lack of overall industry projections for new construction. Despite the fact that the power footprint of data centers has doubled every five years, construction trends have not followed the same trajectory.

Much will depend, Belady said, on what happens to the price per megawatt of power data centers need to keep their servers running. His estimates vary wildly based on this figure, from $50 billion by 2020 given $15 million per megawatt, all the way down to the figure of $18 billion if power trends follow his predicted course.

Additionally, according to Belady, the global market will rise more sharply than the U.S. alone. The rest of the world's data center construction expenditure was triple that of the U.S. as long ago as 2000, and Microsoft's research indicates that this could increase to quadruple the American level by 2020.

Belady cautioned, however, that his research was intended to provide only a preliminary sizing of the market and that significant changes in any number of factors could render the predictions invalid. Nevertheless, he asserted that it seems relatively clear that capital outlay on data center construction will increase significantly, despite the continual advance of more efficient data center technology that will eliminate the need for some new facilities.

The rate at which businesses and individuals adopt cloud-based solutions will have a massive effect on data center construction, experts say, since those technologies rely heavily on an efficient system of centralized servers to deliver their products remotely. The continued upturn in the use of mobile services should prove to be a spur to this, given the relatively anemic computing power contained in even high-end mobile devices.


Have a Question? Chat with a live Product Specialist!

Have a Question?

We can provide more information about our products or arrange for a price quotation.

email-icon Send an Email
contactus-icon Send an Email callus-icon Call Us

Send us an Email