Data Centres: Global Perspective

Pullinen Property Group / Technology  / Data Centres: Global Perspective

Data Centres: Global Perspective

After last week’s data centre presentation and inspection at NEXT DC we decided to get a global perspective on the booming data centre sector. We caught up with Heather Downey of Downey Digital based in Seattle. Heather is a real data centre specialist in the truest sense of the definition.

Heather founded Downey Digital to help data centre users and developers understand and identify data centre opportunities for their businesses. Her technical, real estate, and problem-solving expertise comes from decades in the CRE industry. She has held significant roles at leading hyperscale companies such as Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, and gained extensive experience in data centre development during her time at Vantage Data Centers.

During our discussion, Heather remarked that “data itself replaces carbon-based fuels as the new [oil] to drive commerce, technology, connectivity, and innovation.” This further validates the sentiment we shared last week. A couple of themes emerged as we spoke:

  • Digital assets are not going away. Our global economy demands and needs a digital world to flourish. Once in place, these are long-term assets that require expansion and ongoing investment to drive substantial economic impacts at local, national and global levels
  • In their own specific way, data centres are sustainable. The aggregation of services, computing power, gaming, streaming, social media, research and development within ONE data region eliminates the need for each enterprise to build its own secured data facility
  • The downside is the power problem; not all power grids were planned to support such massive power loads but, this problem will force the industry to explore and adopt cleaner technologies to power data centres – as long as there is no down time
  • The asset class is not for the faint-hearted

It appears the global scene is not too different from our experience in Australia except for scale. As noted recently by John Dinsdale, chief analyst at Synergy Research Group: “Generally speaking, self-owned data centers are much bigger than leased data centers and data centers in the home country of a hyperscale company are much bigger than its international facilities, though there are plenty of exceptions to these trends.” No doubt, this is why the northern hemisphere talks in much higher multiples than we do here.

No Comments
Post a Comment