Data center growth: Cloud means more capacity in fewer hands, says IDC

Summary:By the end of 2016, more than a quarter of all data center capacity will be owned by service providers, said IDC.

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Enterprises need less racks these days. Credit: Jack Clark.

The footprint of data centers is shrinking as more capacity is being added by cloud computing service providers, according to International Data Corp. The shift to the cloud means that internal data center growth is out even as capacity grows.

Bottom line: By the end of 2016, more than a quarter of all data center capacity will be owned by service providers, said IDC.

IDC said it expects the total number of data centers to fall from 2.94 million in 2012 to 2.89 million in 2016. The drop will be due to internal server rooms and closets and a decline in mid-sized data centers. Total data center space will grow from 611.4 million square feet in 2012 to more than 700 million square feet in 2016.

Based on data center trends, the news isn't all that surprising. Among the moving parts:

  • Server virtualization is consolidating servers. Fewer servers means a smaller footprint for datacenters.
  • Applications are being moved to large centralized data centers and that makes facilities on the fringe expendable.
  • Midsized and large data centers are growing largely due to storage deployments.
  • A shift to the cloud means that companies will build fewer data centers overall.

Also see:

Inside Facebook's lab: A mission to make hardware open source

Topics: Data Centers

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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