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Datacentres have experienced tremendous growth rates over the past five years, and now represent the most critical component of the Internet economy. Without datacentres, the emerging Cloud opportunities for agility and IT efficiency and increased competitiveness would not be possible to realise.
Datacentres involves the end users, operators and service providers, telcos and companies providing national and international fibre connectivity, managed services, systems integrators, content owners and distributors, ISPs, energy firms, as well as the vast range of supplier companies offering innovative technology solutions.
Key city markets in Central and Eastern Europe are now perceived as growth areas for datacentres as metro areas in western Europe have matured.
Driven by massive growth in content over video, mobile and social media, hosted applications, and the vast corporate and financial capacity needs for storage and security, datacentre expansion has outpaced other industry sectors even during the recession. Many of the challenges of datacentre growth over the past few years will now confront developers and operators in CEE which include:
From containerized solutions to pre-fabricated units, modular data centres appear to be an increasingly popular option available across a range of budgets as well as options for long term strategy. As modular offerings become increasingly differentiated, vendors are offering best-in-class power usage effectiveness (PUE) and energy efficiency without the higher build out cost of establishing a fixed data centre. With the lowest corresponding capital and operating expenditures in the industry, these solutions also have the quickest return on investment (ROI) and allow for expansion flexibility to align with the growth of business.
Cloud is becoming not only the critical infrastructure for the future of IT and delivery of video and content but also for business agility and competitiveness. With sustained growth of data intensive applications, and infrastructure virtualisation, cloud will bring gamechanger service benefits to a wide range of IT user organizations. Enterprises will need to plan and execute a successful cloud strategy and understand the criteria for selecting a vendor.
Power and Cooling
The Green Grid estimates that 15% of servers in datacentres are consuming power but not running any useful application or service. The cost of energy and the source of energy – ideally renewables – present fundamental challenges to all datacentres. The converse is how to maximize efficiency in cooling inside the datacentre to ensure reduction in cost as well as mitigate the carbon footprint. New methodologies for cooling data centres can provide both efficient solutions that reduce waste and cost, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
Data Centre Infrastructure Management
The data centre is becoming an increasingly complex environment with more pressure being placed on datacentre managers to streamline and simplify operations as well as optimize space, reduce energy costs and increase operational efficiency. Real time monitoring of the interdependent and critical systems can be achieved through the implementation of specialized software, hardware and sensors.
Finance and Investment
With an average new fully fitted datacentre costing in the region of USD150m, funding and investment in the sector is a key dependency for continued growth. Consulting firm BroadGroup* recently reported that more than USD 6 billion globally had been raised in funding datacentres in 2011, and that the outlook for 2012 suggested the trend to continue.