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Digital Realty’s Results of North American Data Center Demand Survey

March 15, 2012

Digital Realty Trust, a data center solutions provider, has released annual study of the North American data center market. The research was conducted by Campos Research & Analysis, which surveyed senior decision makers at corporations in North America who are responsible for shaping their companies’ data center strategies.

The following highlights from the survey indicate increased growth for the data center industry in 2012 and 2013:

92 percent of respondents will definitely or probably expand in 2012—the highest percentage in the six years that Digital Realty has sponsored the survey.

By comparison, 70 percent of respondents reported having built or acquired a data center project in the previous 24 months, indicating increased demand for data center space in 2012 – 2013.

Of those respondents with definite plans to expand in 2012,

38 percent expect to expand in three or more locations.
54 percent expect to pursue projects of 15,000 square feet or more in size.

49 percent expect their data center projects to be supported by at least 2 MW of electrical power, including 12 percent reporting data center projects that will have 5 MW or more of electrical power, illustrating the significant scale of projects being planned in 2012.

Of those companies planning or considering data center projects this year, 92 percent plan to expand in the U.S., approximately 50 percent also expect to expand in Europe or the Asia Pacific region, and 21 percent reported plans for projects in South America.

4 percent of companies reported having no plans for data center expansion in 2012 or 2013.

“This is our sixth annual study of the North American data center industry. These results are consistent with what we are seeing with our customers across our portfolio,” said Michael F. Foust, CEO of Digital Realty. “There are a number of factors that we believe are driving the increase in demand for data center space as reported in the survey. These include the continued adoption of public, private and hybrid cloud computing solutions, pent up demand from enterprise customers that had deferred expansion plans in previous years due to economic uncertainty, an improved economic outlook, and the proliferation of data requiring appropriate computing and storage environments.”

Other findings from the study include the following:

Of those respondents with definite plans to expand in 2012, 78 percent say they intend to use a partner (wholesale data center provider or design/build partner) for one or all of their projects.

41 percent reported plans to use a containerized module as part of their expansion.

The most frequently cited locations for new or expanded data center in the U.S. are New York City/NJ, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco Bay Area and Phoenix (in order of ranking).

Hong Kong and Tokyo were mentioned more frequently this year than in past years as locations for international projects. London also continued to be a desirable location for overseas projects.

45 percent of respondents expect to finance their projects with both capital and operating budgets.
24 percent will use their capital budget only.
30 percent will use their operating budget only.

Respondents reported an expected increase averaging 7 percent in their IT budgets for 2012.

In terms of technical specifications, 82 percent of respondents expect server density in their facilities to increase in 2012.

Maximum power across respondents’ data centers averaged 9.0kW per rack.

35 percent reported a maximum of 10kW or more per rack.
89 percent of respondents are aware of their data center PUE rating, which averaged 2.8.

19 percent reported a PUE of less than 2.0.

87 percent of respondents are now measuring power usage with metering equipment and 84 percent currently use DCIM software.

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