Data centres: the digital space race

Data centres cover

Exponential growth in data is driving demand for ever-higher-capacity data centres.

Last September, Barking and Dagenham council granted planning permission for NTT Communications Corporation to build two 258,000 sq ft sheds on the former Sanofi site, which will form the basis of an “industry-leading data centre campus” according to NTT.

When fully operational the facility will connect to five data centres in Hemel Hempstead and Slough and be capable of supporting more than 100 megawatts of IT load.

While the latter part of this statement will be meaningless to the uninitiated, in layman’s terms it is a helluva load – and a load that global capital cities such as London desperately need. The rate at which the world’s rapidly expanding population produces data is growing exponentially.

A 2018 report commissioned by computer software company Domo, titled ‘Data never sleeps’, estimated that by 2020, 1.7 megabytes of data will be created for every person on Earth every second. In storage terms, that is equivalent to about 210 old CD-ROMs per person per day. That is why data centres like London 1 are needed.

So how many centres are needed and where? And how can the industry meet that rapidly growing demand?

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