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2021 Data Center Predictions

By Mike Netzer · 12/28/2020

If you’re short on time, below are some of our thoughts from the above video.

2021 Overview

Based on the conversations we at datacenterHawk have had with people in the data center industry, we feel as though 2021 will be a solid year for the market.

Ultimately a lot of the growth will depend on larger hyperscale deals being completed, but those companies are looking to add to their footprint all across Northern America and the world.

The hyperscale companies that are going to be responsible for the majority of the growth in the industry are looking for flexible deals with data center operators. It’s not just about turn-key capacity anymore. Powered shell and build-to-suit developments are becoming more common.

We feel confident that the demand seen in 2020 will continue at least through the first half of 2021. The persistence of the impact of COVID19 as well as the continued growth of secular tailwinds already in place pre-COVID may drive demand through the entirety of 2021.

Enterprise demand in 2021

In 2020, enterprise demand was a bit on the lower end than we expected. We think that it will increase in 2021 from where it was in 2020.

Many companies delayed IT projects to focus on supporting their employees as they began to work from home. Additionally, financial constraints further constrained directors' ability to get funds for IT projects.

We believe that even if the COVID pandemic is not fully solved, it has at least stabilized such that these companies will look to reboot in 2021 and start working on previously-shelved IT projects.

How will the edge grow in 2021

In 2020 we saw edge-focused partnerships between large data center operators and smaller companies, such as Flexential and American Tower, Digital Realty and Vapor IO, Switch and FedEx. While the edge is still very nascent, these partnerships point to the increasing focus it is becoming among large, traditionally core data center operators.

These companies believe there will be a more spread out infrastructure approach with higher demand moving forward. We see these data center operators are positioning themselves to handle that demand when it comes. Expect additional operators to enhance their edge capabilities through new product development or acquisition in 2021.

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