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Following explosion in demand, global data center market to grow 14% in 2021

28 Jan 2021

After a year in which more was asked of data centers than ever before due to the great shift to remote working, the global data centre market is set to grow considerably, according to CBRE, which predicted last year that 2021 will have a 14% year-on-year growth in the market. 

And according to a report released today from ABB, a massive 96% of surveyed data center professionals confirmed that demand on their facility increased last year. 

The study from ABB revealed that this vast increase in demand also led 53% of these professionals to say they were likely to consider power system upgrades this year.

“The impact of COVID-19 fundamentally accelerated the concept of ‘mission critical’. Overnight, businesses became even more reliant on the cloud to enable operations, processes and remote collaboration,” says ABB Power Conversion president Jeff Schnitzer. 

“This immediate transition would not have been possible without data centers backed by efficient and reliable power systems.

“Power is the ultimate enabler. Not only for rapidly scaling data center operations to meet exponential demand, but for energizing the ongoing digital transformation that’s the beating heart of technology and smart societies of the future. And data center power architectures are core components of this.”

While there is no denying the explosion in demand, there is more disagreement about how to address and respond to it.

53% of data center professionals favor upgrading power systems, while 49% say they are likely to consider building new space.

Leaders in the industry were most concerned about service and maintenance (34%) becoming more of a burden with increasing demand, followed by power usage  (32%) and scalability (30%).

In its report, ABB Power Conversion says managing power systems and building the capacity to scale up power architecture are necessary in an era where remote business continuity is reliant on data center uptime.

Data center professionals also disagree on the best avenues to realizing improved power architectures. 52% of survey respondents are likely to consider direct current (DC) power architectures as right-fit upgrades to supplement existing power systems.

Unlike a centralized alternating current (AC) UPS architecture, a distributed DC power architecture is scalable at the cabinet level, allowing power capacity to be purchased and added, as well as allowing power levels to be adjusted, with each cabinet as needed throughout its life cycle.

“A distributed DC power architecture is designed to scale, which is precisely what’s needed in a world where rapid, unexpected spikes in data and customer demand is the new norm,” says ABB Power Conversion wireline and data center segment leader Vito Savino.

“And having a trusted team in place that knows and understands the nuances and criticality of data center power can help put minds at ease in 2021 and beyond as demand continues to balloon — especially with the rollout of 5G and the interconnectivity it enables.”