Protecting data by operating data centers internally and using redundant power sources remain key criteria for corporations when selecting a data center, according to a survey co-authored by Newmark Knight Frank and CoreNet Global.
The survey asked 30 multinational corporations about their data needs, and 50 percent of respondents said they intend to invest in expanding the data centers they manage, whether due to company growth or a lack of existing capacity.
Michael Morris, senior managing director of Newmark Knight Frank’s global corporate services, said while some find the New Jersey market saturated with data centers, there is still room for opportunity for the industry to take advantage of the growing need for data center operations.
“Many financial service firms need (backup) service due to safety from all types of events,” Morris said, ranging from flooding to terrorist events. “Additionally, the power and real estate are significantly less expensive in New Jersey” than in Manhattan.
Reducing energy consumption is another long-term goal of the survey’s respondents. While 5 percent of the executives said housing data center in a LEED-certified building is a priority now, 57 percent said a green data center will be important in the future. LEED, short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the U.S. Green Building Council’s set of standards governing efficient building practices.
“There are no real guidelines established for LEED data centers, so the parameters are based on LEED buildings,” Morris said. “It’s not that easy to translate those to data center needs. Also, there are limited opportunities for data center opportunities that have the power density and fulfill the business continuity requirements that many organizations have. If you have limited choices that actually fulfill your business requirements, if none of them are LEED certified, it doesn’t dovetail well into what’s the need or driver for lean buildings.”
Morris said he’s aware of regulations in the works to create LEED guidelines for data centers.
The need to internally protect data and services is another driver in the way corporations make their data center plans, according to Bryan Loewen, senior managing director of data centers for Newmark Knight Frank.
“A lot of the cloud services are applications that are not mission critical — if your e-mail goes down, it’s not going to cause massive cost to your business,” Loewen said. “If your building to process ATM transactions or to process a trade goes down, that can have huge implications to your corporation. So the truly mission critical applications in most cases are not being outsourced.”
Nearly a quarter of respondents said they do not trust any of their data to the cloud, or an outsourced data center, and manage their own computing equipment, whether the center is within their own building or at a co-location center.
“The cloud does not in any way displace the need for data centers,” Morris said. “The only question is, who will be managing the data center and providing that virtual service?”
“I think a lot of what this survey points to is that we are still at the early stages of the data center industry,” Loewen said. “This is still a young industry, it’s highly evolving and there’s becoming more and more (businesses) dependent on technology and the ability to secure that technology — which are ultimately being put into data centers around the world.”