UK data centres are facing a ‘data crunch’ unless more than £1billion is invested in this critical IT infrastructure over the next 12 months according to Alex Rabbetts, Managing Director of data centre specialists, Migration Solutions.

Recent unparalleled growth in online services, cloud computing, lean organisation initiatives and the rise of data on mobile phones is seriously risking a melt down in available data centre capacity to the UK.

“Like the credit crunch, there’s an international dimension to this problem," says Rabbetts. “Worldwide the amount of digital information created last year was 800 billion gigabytes. This year it will grow by a factor of 67 – that’s over a Zettabyte! Simultaneously, the economic downturn has led to a prolonged under-investment in data centre infrastructure at a time when demand is soaring.”

In the public sector the Cabinet Office has published an IT strategy calling for the G-Cloud, a massive consolidation of the 130 government data centres into 12 super-centres. In the private sector similar initiatives are under way to save money by consolidating and sharing data centre infrastructure.

Rabbett’s says: “I’m pro modernisation – new, well designed data centres are much more efficient, consume much less power and are better for the environment than legacy solutions. However, in the rush to modernise the UK data centre industry, we have to ensure that we maintain the overall volume of capacity we need today and will inevitably need tomorrow.”

Migration Solutions calculates that £1billion of new investment in UK data stock will provide 216 Petabytes of additional capacity – that’s just enough to accommodate less than 10% of Google’s Gmail users; or less than 1% of all the video stored on YouTube.

Alex Rabbetts will be presenting ‘Data Centre 2.0: Managing the Data Crunch and the Power Surge’ at the 360° IT Infrastructure Event in London on 22-23 Sept.

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