Booming cloud drives growth of Telecity's datacentre empire

Telecity is planning to expand its European datacentres over the next three years, with the internet of things and mobile payments likely to be future drivers of demand.

Telecity datacentre in construction
Telecity is in the middle of a datacentre expansion plan. Image: Jack Clark

European datacentre provider Telecity is adding capacity to its existing centres in London, Manchester, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Stockholm, Dublin, Helsinki and Milan in order to cope with booming demand.

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UK-based Telecity is intending to roll out an extra 50MW of power capacity, from 85MW to 135MW, over the next three years, and is aiming to have the expansion completed by the end of 2015, it announced on Wednesday. The additional capacity will be added gradually across the sites as new data halls are constructed and brought online.

"It will us cost about £7.5m per MW we add so this is a very substantial investment," CEO Michael Tobin told ZDNet. "We've probably spent close to a billion pounds on all our datacentres so far." 

An additional megawatt equates to around 500 square metres of datacentre space, Tobin added.

Telecity added 28 percent more capacity to its datacentres in 2012. Following the expansion, Telecity's sales for the full year grew 18 percent to £283m, up from £240m in 2011, according to its results published earlier this week.

However, further expansion is necessary due to increasing internet activity from both consumers and businesses, according to Tobin. 

"The rise of the cloud is a positive driver. We see more and more customers adopting it" — Michael Tobin, Telecity

"The rise of the cloud is a positive driver. We see more and more customers adopting it. We still see a lot of reticence from our customers to adopt it based on fears in security [but] that will pass," Tobin said.

As the number of connected devices increases there will be an even greater demand for datacentres, Tobin said. "The internet of things and mobile payments will significantly increase the bits and bytes going through the internet exchange," he added.

Other European datacentre companies have started opening facilities in new regions so they can attract more customers, but getting a new datacentre built can take time.

"Getting planning and power in the middle of a city is not easy," said Tobin. "Datacentres use the same amount of power as 25,000 to 30,000 homes. Asking [power company] EDF to deliver a small town's worth of electricity to one address in the middle of a city is really difficult."