Etix Everywhere, a Luxembourg-based modular data centre specialist, has announced plans to open a €120 million (~£110m) data centre campus outside Frankfurt. As investment in Frankfurt continues to increase, the city is on track to strip London of its crown and become Europe’s data centre capital.
According to the Europe Data Centre Trends Tracker 2018, Frankfurt is set to overtake Greater London to become the biggest data centre cluster by early 2019. The report states that during 2018, the total Frankfurt area data centre space is forecast to grow by over 34,0000 m2 of raised floor space – or approximately 60 MW of DCCP (Data Centre Customer Power).
Citing favourable IT infrastructure and ample land to build on, the German city is set for ‘significant growth’ in the next year. This growth is powered by 11 data centre expansions by providers such as Colt Telecom, Digital Realty, Equinix, Interxion and Maincube. This year’s notable investments include data centre services provider Zenium, which plans to open a 296,000 square foot facility in the city.
Frankfurt is alluring for data centre providers for several reasons. Firstly, it’s an attractive international connectivity hub. As of September 2017, the main German Internet Exchange (DE-CIX) reports daily IP traffic of over 5.9 TB. Located in the heart of both Germany and continental Europe, it acts as a convenient hub for connectivity in the CEE region. In contrast with London, Frankfurt offers more space for data centres to build and expand. Furthermore, unlike its British counterpart, the city isn’t engulfed in political uncertainty.
More generally, Europe’s data centre industry is on track to keep growing. According to research by real estate specialist CBRE: ‘Society’s reliance on digital devices and cloud services – and consequent need for data storage and processing – will only increase as the world gets smarter and more connected’. CBRE’s research suggests the amount of data that Internet of Things (IoT) devices generate each day is doubling every 40 weeks, which is having a profound effect on data centre activity in Europe.
This means that cities beside London and Frankfurt are going to benefit from the data centre boom. Paris, Dublin and Amsterdam are already hotspots and clusters are emerging in countries like Latvia, Lithuania and Denmark. For example, London-based data centre management company, Viderium, has recently secured multi-million pound agreements with data centres in Rotterdam and Latvia to expand its Blockchain and High Power Computing (HPC) installations.
Viderium is looking towards Europe for several reasons. “Europe offers favourable energy costs, as well as the long-term stability provided by a connected European market,” said Ross Archer, Viderium’s CEO. “This grants our business-enhanced profitability in the short-term paired with a more predictable longer term outlook.”
Etix Everywhere – whose 15MVA facility opens in 2019 – agree: “This data centre will offer unique expansion capabilities at only a few hundred metres from the main IT hub of Frankfurt,” Marc Fröse, the firm’s Country Manager for Germany, told Data Economy. “Our clients will benefit from an ideal location with excellent connectivity.”
So, while stylish technologies like cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence seize the spotlight, it’s worth remembering the data centres that are working diligently to power the future. With global data centre investments hitting US$20 billion in 2017 and only set to increase, Europe is on course to become a bigger and brighter cluster of data centres.