Friday, 6 January 2017

Data is Money - Ireland datacentre gold rush

Data is money: investors get ready for the datacentre gold rush!
Interview with Steve Wallage, managing director for Broadgroup Research

The 1800s were all about mining – gold and iron. The 1900s were all about drilling – oil and natural gas. The 2000s are again going to be focused on mining, but of a different kind – data.

Everything in the modern world from humans to machines is a data factory. Global internet traffic will pass one zettabyte for the first time this year, after increasing fivefold in the last five years. Cisco, the networking company that supplies much of the world’s internet infrastructure, said that the total amount of traffic will reach around 1,060 exabytes, or just over one zettabyte.

Datacentres, the engine rooms of this new gold rush, were once maligned in the wake of the dotcom boom and bust of the early noughties but are arguably the fastest growing technology segment today.

Today there are many reasons as to why the datacentre and colocation markets are growing at around 10-12% a year; other IT services as a whole are growing more slowly at around 2-4%.

With low customer churn rates, predictable revenues and soaring demand for capacity, the datacentre market has emerged as a popular investment area in recent years.

“Five to six years ago, datacentres were thought of as the garbage cans of the IT industry. But several weeks ago I held a meeting with an investor who loves dealing in datacentres because – in his words – it is such a sexy area,” said Steve Wallage, md for Broadgroup Research. Some of this is down to the fact the market has proved to be recession-proof in the past, while the emergence of trends like cloud computing and the internet of things (IoT) should ensure interest in datacentre space remains high for a long time to come.