Zurich Emerges as Data Center Hotspot in Europe

Zurich Emerges as Data Center Hotspot in Europe

by September 11, 2020

Zurich is emerging as a hotpot for data center development in Europe. The city is on track to becoming one of Europe’s top ten largest data center markets within the next five to ten years, according to a new study by consulting firm Cushman & Wakefield.

In its European Secondary Markets: The Growth Story for the Next Decade report, Cushman & Wakefield looks at data center development across Europe and identifies new locations foreseen to join in as the region’s biggest data center hubs.

According to the study, the computing capacity of all data centers in the greater Zurich area currently stands at 62 megawatts but is expected to nearly double to 117 megawatts within the next decade, presenting a 89% increase.

Startup Competition venture

A major financial center and the largest city in Switzerland, Zurich has a thriving data center market with a mix of global operators (Equinix, Colt), pan-European firms (Interxion, NTT’s e-shelter) and local firms (three locations for Green Datacenter, among others), the report says.

Last year, both Google Cloud and Microsoft opened the doors to their data center regions in Switzerland – the former in Zurich, the ladder in both Zurich and Geneva. US computer technology firm Oracle has been ramping up its global data centers capabilities, launching in 2019 new facilities in Zurich, but also Sydney, Sao Paolo, and Mumbai.

US pure-play wholesale data center leader Vantage Data Centers has embarked into a US$2 billion expansion push into Europe with plans to develop hyperscale data center campuses in Berlin (64 megawatts), Frankfurt (55 megawatts), Milan (32 megawatts), Warsaw (64 megawatts) and Zurich (40 megawatts).

According to the Cushman & Wakefield research, Zurich will be recording the fifth strongest growth among the secondary data center markets in Europe after Berlin (+342%), Reykjavik (+308%), Olso (+150%) and Warsaw (+100%).

Europe’s data center market

In Europe, data center development had been centered around the so-called FLAP markets: Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris, before expanding to FLAP-D with the addition of Dublin. These five locations currently lead the market and over 500 megawatts of construction is still underway, the Cushman & Wakefield research says.

The emergence of the five new locations comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating companies’ digital transformation and changing working patterns.

In Europe, the data center market is forecast to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 15% between 2020 and 2024 to reach US$70.95 billion, fueled by increasing adoption of cloud-based storage services, according to research by Technavio.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that investment in infrastructure as a service (IaaS) across European organizations will grow by 21.4% year on year in 2020 on the back of rising demand for cloud computing.


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