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These are the world’s top 10 data centre markets

Written by Tue 9 Feb 2021

US loses control of top three positions, but still dominates global rankings

Cushman & Wakefield’s Data Center Advisory Group has updated its index of the world’s top 10 data centre markets, in which Sydney has ousted Silicon Valley at number three and ended US control of the top three positions.

Northern Virginia maintained its number one ranking, with Chicago at number two and Silicon Valley dropping to fourth. Singapore, Dallas, London, Seattle, New York/New Jersey and Amsterdam filled out the remaining positions.

Together these leading markets pipped 38 others measured by Cushman & Wakefield for its Global Data Center Market Comparison, which considered factors such as development pipeline, environmental risk, land price, connectivity, power cost, taxes and political stability.

1189 facilities around the world were evaluated as part of the study, during a year in which data centre construction skyrocketed.

US appeal

In the report, published last month, the real estate services firm said despite increases in land cost, Northern Virginia still ranked highest across all factors, due to its market size, development incentives, lower cost power and robust fibre connectivity, with second-placed Chicago sharing much of the same advantages.

Sydney, Seoul and secondary surge

Third-placed Sydney rose through the rankings due to a flurry of data centre development plans announced since the previous year’s report, buoyed by the Australian government’s investment into its own digital transformation and strong connectivity links nationally and to other markets.

Seoul missed out on the top 10 but received the highest ranking of all the new markets Cushman & Wakefield evaluated this year, with the report questioning the perception of the South Korean capital as a “secondary market” given its sizable 300 MW of capacity, strong development pipeline and cloud service availability.

Secondary markets Zurich, Melbourne and Madrid sustained last year’s momentum. Looking ahead, the report identified Jakarta and Queretaro as future high-growth markets. Nairobi, Stockholm, Cape Town, Moscow, Athens, Abu Dhabi, Santiago, Chennai, Kuala Lumpur and Vienna were also named as “ten markets to watch.”

Amsterdam and Singapore ride development discontent

Moratoriums on data centre development in Amsterdam and Singapore were not enough to impact their top 10 positions, due to existing market strength, dense fibre and an array of availability services.

Though Cushman & Wakefield warned “new solutions” to break the development deadlock in those markets were required and earmarked new forms of power generation and multi-storey construction as potential solutions.

“The 2020 pandemic accelerated the change in corporate IT strategy, as companies rapidly shifted to the cloud,” said Cushman & Wakefield executive managing director Dave Fanning.

“Continuation and optimization of this shift will continue throughout the next several years, creating further emphasis on cloud services availability and connectivity across platforms.”

The report noted the top 10 markets ranked highest across the greatest array of factors and urged readers not to neglect other markets that ranked high in specific factors, if not all.

“Continued development will enable the growth of all markets covered in this report and all have their own strengths and weaknesses,” it concluded.

Written by Tue 9 Feb 2021


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