APAC to lead global datacenter spend

Datacenter infrastructure outlay will reach US$128 billion in 2012 and grow 5 percent per annum to 2016, spurred on by Asia's businesses investing heavily in building resilient infrastructure, study shows.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Datacenter infrastructure investments will grow by 6 percent to reach US$128 billion by end-2012, and is expected to expand steadily for the next four years, aided by increased focus by companies in Asia-Pacific's emerging markets such as China and India on building resilient infrastructure to run their businesses.

Canalys released its research on Wednesday identifying datacenter transformation as one of the three key trends--the other two being consumerization of IT and enterprise mobility--driving IT growth in 2012. As such, the market for infrastructure products including servers, storage, networking, security, and virtualization will reach US$128 billion this year--up 6 percent from 2011's US$120 billion, it noted.

This growth is also expected to continue for the next four years, with the analyst firm projecting total investments will grow 5 percent on average per annum to reach US$152 billion in 2016.

Asia-Pacific main growth driver
Among enterprises, large data centers will lead this expansion, posting an average annual increase of 8 percent over the time period. Much of this investments will be used to form the backbone of cloud services for both consumer and commercial customers, it elaborated.

Analytics is another driver of investments among enterprises, it noted. Alex Smith, senior analyst at Canalys, said: "Different organizations, with different interests spanning commerce, the environment and a spectrum of scientific disciplines will require large data warehouses and the ability to analyze vast quantities of information. The need to routinely process exabytes of data will become common."

He added that on the consumer end, everything from social networking platforms to online banking services will require resilient infrastructure to run smoothly with little to no downtime.

"This is particularly evident in the Asia-Pacific region, where businesses in China and India are investing heavily in infrastructure to provide online services to their customers. The size of the populations in these markets presents a huge potential demand for datacenter infrastructure," the analyst said in the study.

Asia-Pacific will be the fastest-growing region over the next five years and will account for a quarter of worldwide datacenter infrastructure expenditure by 2016, Canalys stated. That said, North America will remain the biggest datacenter infrastructure market although its share of total investments will drop from 43 percent in 2011 to 41 percent in 2016.

Matthew Ball, director of enterprise services at Canalys, called on leading U.S. vendors to focus resources on expanding their channel coverage in key Asia-Pacific markets in order to capitalize on these growth opportunies.

"They should [thus] not underestimate the challenge presented by local vendors such as Fujitsu, Hitachi, Huawei Technologies, and NEC," Ball cautioned in the study.

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