The Uptime Institute releases annual data centre findings
The Uptime Institute, one of the world’s leading authorities on data centre operations and design, released its on Wednesday. This report marks the 10th anniversary of the organisation’s annual data centre report. We’ve taken the time to break down the report’s key findings below.
"Our 2020 survey results reflect a strong, growing sector facing increased change and complexity," said Andy Lawrence, Executive Director of Research, Uptime Institute. "The growing complexity, along with the greater consequences of failure, creates the need for more vigilance and more sophisticated approaches to resiliency, performance and operations".
Outages are getting bigger and more frequent
Data centres around the world are experiencing more frequent and severe outages, the Uptime report indicated, noting that these events were happening with “disturbing frequency”, resulting in more damages to data centre operators and their clients. In the past year, the survey found that almost half of all data centre operators surveyed had experienced a significant outage, with 6% of respondents describing the event as “severe”.
The Institute noted that this represented the third year in a row where this trend increased. In each of these surveys, about a third of all respondents said they had been affected by a significant, serious, or severe outage.
According to the report, three-quarters of organisations admit that, upon reflection, most recent significant outages were preventable. With additional attention and investment, the number of outages will most likely decrease. Power problems continue to be the largest single cause of major outages.
The Enterprise data centre is still going strong
The report found that “the enterprise data centre is neither dead nor dying”, and that the rise of edge computing networks still remains a relatively fringe phenomenon. The migration of critical loads to a public cloud is happening slowly, with more than half of all IT workloads expected to remain in traditional on-premises data centres through at least 2022. Edge computing requirements are expected to increase slightly in 2020, but fewer than a fifth of all respondents expect a significant increase.
The global skill shortage is getting more severe
According to the Institute’s report, the data centre staffing crisis is only getting worse as time wears on, with fewer new entrants joining the industry’ labour pool, which is currently ageing and lacking in gender and racial diversity. The number of managers stating they are having difficulty finding qualified candidates for open infrastructure positions is rising steadily. Women continue to be under-represented. More effort is needed to address the workforce gender imbalance and take advantage of the larger and more diverse skilled talent pool, the report concludes.
Efficiency is flatlining
The findings of last year's survey showed that data centres had become marginally less efficient in the preceding year (average PUE of 1.67 in 2019, compared with 1.58 in 2018). In 2020, the average PUE (power usage effectiveness) for a data centre was 1.59, a slight improvement. (Most operators strive for a PUE ratio as close to 1.0 as possible.) Because more work is now done in big, efficient facilities, the overall energy efficiency of IT has improved.
GTR and SEGRO agree first UK data centre facility
SEGRO, a property investment and development company, has announced it has come to an agreement with the European data centre platform, Global Technical Realty (GTR) to construct its first UK-based data centre. SEGRO claims that the facility, which will span a total area of 400,711 sq ft, will be located in Slough and is to become “the largest data centre campus in the UK’s premier data centre and communications hub”.
What will SEGRO’s data centre facility be used for?
Supported by the global investment firm KKR, Global Technical Realty says it will be using the facility’s space on a 25-year term to operate bespoke data centres for high-growth global technology companies. The new facility aims to support the growing demand for third-party data centre provision amid ever-increasing growth in data usage and cloud services adoption.
Franek Sodzawiczny, CEO & Founder of GTR, said: “We are excited to be back in the UK alongside our partner KKR and look forward to working closely with SEGRO to deliver this state-of-the-art data centre campus. The data centre space is a fast-moving one. GTR was established to support its customers in providing a data centre solution wherever in the world there is a demand for it. We are delighted that the UK will become home to our flagship concept”.
James Craddock, Managing Director, Thames Valley at SEGRO, said: “We’re pleased to welcome GTR as the latest data centre operator to our thriving estate and our team of experts look forward to developing a stunning new facility for them and their customers. “Homeworking, data streaming, e-commerce and businesses’ reliance on cloud services have all grown during the pandemic, meaning demand for data centres is unabated.
“Slough Trading Estate is home to Europe’s largest data centre cluster and data centres are increasingly regarded as part of our key national infrastructure given the critical role they play in our daily lives”, he added.
The facility is expected to be delivered in two phases with operations beginning by Q4 of next year. The first phase plans to provide 132,575 sq ft of space phase two will create 268,136 sq ft of space. “Vacant possession of the site delivered to the customer by early 2022”, SEGRO said.
The project is also expected to create around 200 jobs during its construction, and a further 80 permanent roles once completed.