For over the past five years in data center site selection, the data center real estate market has outpaced nearly every other real estate category, driven by the expanding needs from both consumers and businesses. All reasonable projections suggest that the data center market should continue to be a leading growth category for at least the next two to three years. By the end of 2018, Deloitte Global predicts that spending on IT-as-a-Service for data centers, software and services will be $547 billion. Deloitte also forecasts that procurement of IT technologies will accelerate over 50% by the end of 2019 from a current $361 billion to $547 billion.

Consumers are demanding ever increasing social media capacity, faster downloads and more apps for their lifestyles. Businesses need capacity for initiatives such as artificial intelligence, 3-D printing and big data projects to derive value and increase revenue while providing more and more services online. Banking and financial groups, along with healthcare organizations, must meet expanding compliance obligations, including enhanced security requirements, which will only be more amplified after the recent Equifax breach.

Cloud services represents one of the biggest reasons for the increased demand in data center capacity and growth by offering significant and faster advantages compared to traditional on-site technology services. Gartner projects that by the end of this year the worldwide public cloud services market will grow nearly 20% from the prior year to over $246 billion. Market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS), with a 2017 revenue run rate exceeding $14 billion, is projected to approach $43 billion by 2022.

Where data center operators are being housed
The enterprise-class data center developers and colocation operators could not imagine how the market has changed in just the past seven years. Back then nearly all of these operators took a measured approach with facilities rarely exceeding 4-6 megawatts (MW) totaling at most 100,000 square feet of hardened building.

The market now includes massive stand-alone hyperscale raised-floor facilities that can generally exceed 1 million square feet and 100 MW of dedicated power on campuses that would allow for another similar structure. Millions of square feet of enterprise-class data centers have been developed, primarily by two groups — the wholesale colocation operators catering to corporate businesses requiring large power and pipe needs, and the technology titans like Google, Facebook, Amazon Web Services, Apple and Microsoft.

To highlight how the market has grown, the following list, while not meant to be comprehensive, shows several of the existing mammoth data center campuses, along with some recent developments and expansions, both across the U.S. and globally. It is noted that AWS is not included on this list, preferring to house its public cloud computing in a data center cluster of multiple sites across the targeted area. As an example AWS’s most important cluster in the Northern Virginia region comprises over 25 data center sites across the NOVA region, where its investment in this market is estimated to exceed $1.5 billion.

United States
Existing Data Center Projects

Company Location Size (SF) Notes
SWITCH SUPERNAP Las Vegas, NV 3,500,000 343,000 SF / 40 MW under construction
DUPONT FABROS Ashburn, VA 1,600,000 Now part of Digital Realty; several campuses
UTAH DATA CENTER Bluffdale, UT 1,500,000 Built for the NSA
SABEY DATA CENTERS Seattle, WA 1,373,000 Intergate Campus in Tukwila
APPLE Mesa, AZ 1,300,000 Several expansions globally
QTS DATA CENTERS Richmond, VA 1,300,000 Completed DC space of 500,000 SF
DIGITAL REALTY Chicago, IL 1,100,000 365 Cermak; Significant infrastructure and connectivity
CORESITE Reston, VA 1,050,000 Recent expansion of 330,000 SF
QTS DATA CENTERS Atlanta, GA 990,000 Other large facilities globally
DIGITAL REALTY Richardson, TX 790,000 Several other large campuses globally
EQUINIX Miami, FL 750,000 NAP of the Americas
CYRUSONE Dallas, TX 670,000 Similar-sized facilities in other US markets
EQUINIX Ashburn, VA 567,000 Largest colo provider with millions of SF globally
IO DATA CENTERS Phoenix, AZ 412,000 65 MW; planning a 500,000 SF expansion
New Developments/Expansions   
Company Location Size (SF) Notes
SWITCH - PYRAMID Grand Rapids, MI 1,830,000 First phase complete: 225,000 SF with 20 MWs
FACEBOOK Fort Worth, TX 1,700,000 First phase 950,000 SF, next phase under construction
MICROSOFT West Des Moines, IA 1,700,000 Total 3-location cluster of 3.2 Million SF
SWITCH - CITADEL Reno, NV 1,360,000 Designed for up to 7.2 million SF and 650 MW
GOOGLE Pryor, OK 1,000,000 Next phase to be completed in 2018
APPLE Reno, NV 1,000,000 $1 billion second phase under construction
FACEBOOK Las Lunas, NM 980,000 First 520,000 SF in 2018; next expansion under way
Just Announced
Company Location Size (SF) Notes
FACEBOOK New Albany, OH 900,000 Projected 2019 completion of first phase
APPLE Waukee, IA 400,000 Projected 2020 completion

Global Data Centers
Existing Data Center Projects

Company Location Size (SF) Notes
CHINA TELECOM China 10,700,000  Inner Mongolia Data Park
CHINA MOBILE China 7,750,000 Hohhot, Inner Mongolia; 115 MW 
CHINA MOBILE China 7,136,000  Harbin; 150 MW
RANGE INTERNATIONAL China 6,300,000 Langfang; IBM /Range Join Venture
CHINA MOBILE China 5,200,000  Forshan (Guangzhou); 115 MW
CHINA TELECOM China 3,500,000 Guangzhou; 115 MW 
@TOKYO CORPORATION Japan 1,500,000 Kotu-Ku Campus 
NEXT GENERATION DATA Wales, UK 950,000 180 MW 
TULIP DATA CENTER India 900,000 100 MW Facility 
COVILHA DATA CENTER Portugal 800,000 Portugal Telecom 
New Developments/Expansions   
Company Location Size (SF) Notes
HUAWEI China 4,300,000 Under construction
APPLE Denmark 1,494,000 Viborg; Completed 2017
LEFDAL MINE DATA CENTER Norway 1,000,000 45 MW Available. Completed Early 2017
CHINA UNICOM China 1,000,000 Total 6.4 Million SF when completed in 2024
MICROSOFT Ireland 1,000,000 Grange Castle; Multi phase expansion through 2019
FACEBOOK Sweden 900,000 Lulea Campus
GOOGLE Netherlands 600,000 Total construction over $650 million
DIGITAL REALTY Germany 344,000 Total 344,000 SF when complete in 4Q2017
TERACO DATA Africa 200,000 Africa's largest operator; 24 MW completed in 2017
Just Announced
Company Location Size (SF) Notes
FACEBOOK Denmark 610,000 Plans to construct two 300,000 SF DC buildings by 2020
AMAZON (AWS) Ireland 223,000 First phase 2019; Total 1.5 Million SF

Conclusion
In data center site selection, the rate of growth for these extra-large mission critical facilities is expected to continue stateside and globally as new inventory in 2017 has generally kept up with demand. Several different data center trends will feed this double-digit compounded growth, so the data center market can expect similar large new construction and new developments over the foreseeable horizon of the next 24 months.

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