The Future Of Data Centres
Data centres in various shapes and sizes have been around for decades. They used to be stand-alone buildings built for specific end users, in particular the banks. Then in the 90’s and 00’s the next gen arrived – IBM, Optus and ASX to name a few.
As computer power and needs grew exponentially, the next wave started and sparked the advent of the hyperscale data centre and the major colocation players with Global Switch in Ultimo perhaps being one of the best examples when it opened.
Fast forward to today, we have huge DC’s being developed and the property industry is scrambling to be part of it. Realistically there aren’t that many of them around because the cost to develop, build, fitout and run, limits the real players and the increase in capacity means we don’t need as many.
We have been privileged to have been directly involved with many of these and can attest to the time, energy, effort and cost to set one up. But what of the future?
Their number and capacity will continue to grow.
Can we do joint ventures where the data centre is the primary use and another use takes advantage of the energy that emanates from the centre? In the Netherlands a tulip farm harnesses the heat from a facility.
What do we do with the old ones? Do we keep them as localised smaller DC’s? Or do we convert them to vertical farming or similar uses. The structures have the energy and load capacities to cater to many different uses.
Will we see mini-data centres in vacant office buildings? We honestly believe this will occur in the next 5-10 years.
And finally, is that the end of the office comms room? Pretty much, unless required for specific uses. Gone are the days of the comms room being a costly addition to any fitout and being in a fixed position hindering flexibility for future expansion or contraction; especially in these fascinating times.