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European Data Center Growth with the CFO & EVP of Strategy at Digital Realty

By Rhett Gill · 2/23/2021

This is an episode of HawkTalk, datacenterHawk’s series of candid one on one conversations with executives and leaders in the data center industry. If you enjoyed this episode, you can check them all out on our blog. If you’d like to know when we release future episodes, you can subscribe here.

Check out our video above with Andy Power and Giuliano Di Vitantonio of Digital Realty to get their take on the state of the European markets.

Or if you’re short on time, check out the summary of the conversation below.

Secondary European markets experiencing healthy growth

When evaluating demand patterns in European data center markets, it’s usually a safe bet to analyze trends in North America because those changes typically follow in Europe 18-24 months later. Initially these trends start in the FLAPD markets and then cascade into the secondary markets across Europe.

The largest trend the European markets have seen over the past 6-7 years has been the demand growth from hyperscale users. Starting in 2014, hyperscale users began to establish their presence in the FLAPD markets and now we’re seeing those users want to get closer to their end-users.

Data sovereignty and improving the customer experience are the two main reasons hyperscale users are expanding in Europe which is why we’ve seen growth in markets like Madrid, Zurich, Stockholm, and Vienna.

Increasing emphasis on global maturity

As the data center industry continues to mature markets in North America continue to grow. But recently other markets around the globe, specifically in Europe, have been growing at a faster rate than the larger North American markets.

One reason for this is the US-based multinational hyperscale companies wanting to expand and ramp up their growth closer to their international users.

The tech divide between North America and Europe

The US has consistently had a lower GDP than Europe by more than 100%. But because the US has been an early adopter and investor in the tech space, Europe’s tech spend has been about 75% of that in the states. To take that even further and more specific to data centers, Europe has invested about 50% of what the US has on data centers and IT infrastructure.

These figures indicate there is still room for growth in the European data center industry. Which is another reason the growth in the European markets has been at a higher percentage rate than the US growth recently.

We'll continue to track Digital Realty as they continue to grow across the globe.

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