Opinion

From permanently working from home to AI: the post-Corona world needs data centers

From permanently working from home to AI: the post-Corona world needs data centers

DDA publishes “State of the Dutch Data Centers 2021 – Roadmap to Recovery”

Amsterdam – June 1 | Thanks to the high-quality digital infrastructure, the Dutch economy stayed afloat during the Corona-crisis. And those benefits remain important, also post-Corona: the World Economic Forum recently placed the Netherlands in the top 4 of countries whose economy is recovering rapidly after the Corona crisis, thanks to its strong digital economy. The market report “Roadmap to Recovery” from the Dutch Data Center Association (DDA) shows what that important digital foundation for our recovery will look like in the coming years.

The Dutch Central Planning Bureau reported last month that it expects the amount of working hours from the home office to double, post-Corona. And McKinsey and IDC both showed in their “The Future of Work” reports that this accelerated digitization, initiated during the pandemic, will continue unabated.

Growth expected in all regions

The study “Roadmap to Recovery”, an initiative of the Dutch Data Center Association, Pb7 Research and CBRE, confirms this trend. Data center growth is taking place in all regions. DDA’s data centers participants expect growth in the coming years: an increase of 211,000 m2 of data floor, one third of which is outside the MRA. This is a 52% growth compared to the current data floor surface. The Corona crisis has accelerated this growth: in the annual survey among the DDA data center participants, almost a quarter (23%) indicated that revenue has increased for this reason.

The research also shows that regional data centers are benefiting from the cost considerations of local companies, who no longer invest in their own on-premise locations. Instead, they opt for migration to a professional data center. Currently, the Netherlands has 184 colocation data center facilities. The data floor area increased by 6% in 2020 to 400,000 m2, of which 74% is located in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (MRA).

Amsterdam as a European hub

Analysis by CBRE, the second research agency of the report, shows that the Amsterdam hub is still very attractive: after a growth of 51 MW in 2020, the sector now expects to grow by 71 MW (this concerns connection capacity), a figure comparable to 2019.

Another positive finding is that Amsterdam has acquired a leading position in the field of sustainable policy. In the long term, this offers opportunities for a sustainable, digital hub. This in comparison to, for example, Frankfurt, where they recently announced controls on future builds. Thanks to its strong connectivity, a skilled labor market and a location close to the economic hubs, Amsterdam retains its attractive position.

Climate neutral by 2030

Recently there has been quite some attention for data centers in the Dutch media, with varying sentiment. Some articles, based on incorrect facts, have been corrected afterwards. An example is the report that data centers pose a danger to drinking water. It was later shown that this is by no means the case. The research from the report shows that 39% of the data centers in the MRA experience negative effects from this type of communication. At the same time, the growing media attention offers opportunities to show what the sector is already doing in terms of sustainability. For example, 88% of the energy purchased by the DDA participants is green, and the European sector was one of the first to sign a Pact with the EU European Green Deal. The report contains an extensive update on this “Climate Neutral Data Center Pact”.

Online report publication on June 1 and free download

Today at 1.30 pm CEST, the online presentation of the report will be held by Stijn Grove (DDA), Peter Vermeulen (Pb7 Research) and Penny Madsen (CBRE). In addition, Michael Winterson, board member at the European Data Center Association (EUDCA) will provide an update on the Climate Neutral Data Center Pact.

Registration for the session is free and can be done via https://state-dutch-data-centers-2021.eventbrite.nl

The report can also be freely downloaded from www.dutchdatacenters.nl/publications

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