Sydney and Singapore rank among the world’s premier data centre markets, claiming the third and fifth spots in a top 10 dominated by US cities, according to research by Cushman & Wakefield.
For its study, the property consultancy evaluated 1,189 data centres around the world, using a weighted methodology to rank 48 global markets. Northern Virginia (suburban Washington DC) and Chicago took the top two spots, while Silicon Valley came in fourth.
Sydney, labelled as an emerging market and alternative in last year’s ranking, soared to third place after a year of development announcements and an ongoing transformation of much of Australia’s government IT infrastructure.
And while Singapore has put a moratorium on data centre development out of power usage concerns, the island nation still landed in the top five on the strength of its existing market, network infrastructure and array of available services, Cushman said.
Todd Olson, who leads C&W’s APAC data centre advisory group from Japan, said Asia Pacific markets continue to perform well as data centre destinations, given the region’s overall growth potential and the rapid development of technology platforms and networks locally.
“As e-commerce continues to flourish and cloud connectivity becomes a primary business driver, we expect the data centre market growth to intensify in the region with secondary markets gaining prominence and new markets emerging in this space,” Olson said.
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Sydney earned high marks for sustainability and political stability, while Singapore scored well in terms of environmental risk, market size, taxes and smart-city status. Both markets were recognised for their strong development pipeline and cloud availability.
Just last December Macquarie-backed data centre developer expanded Singapore’s network capacity by opening a 60 megawatt facility in the Loyang area of the city’s east coast. The Aussie data centre developer opened a 20 megawatt project in Hong Kong on the same day.
Seoul’s Strong Start
Of the new markets breaking into the ranks this year, Seoul received the highest overall score, although the South Korean capital failed to make it into the top 10. Although a secondary market, South Korea’s capital has nearly 300 megawatts of capacity, a solid development pipeline and all major cloud services available, Cushman said.
UK fund manager Actis helped add to that Seoul pipeline last September, when it announced a $314 million joint venture with Korean conglomerate GS Group. The partners are developing a 21 megawatt facility near Seoul, and said at the time that the venture was announced that they expect to add at least two more data centre projects to their portfolio within short order.
“The 2020 pandemic accelerated the change in corporate IT strategy, as companies rapidly shifted to the cloud,” said Dave Fanning, executive managing director and data centre advisory group leader at Cushman. “Continuation and optimisation of this shift will continue throughout the next several years, creating further emphasis on cloud services availability and connectivity across platforms.”
Fanning said construction of new product has skyrocketed, with the 1.6 gigawatts under construction across markets studied last year swelling to 2.9GW in this year’s study.