MEA data centers set to soar
I stumbled on some interesting predictions for the data center market in Middle East and Africa over the next five years, while doing some tentative research into the UK government’s plans to log details of web browsing and online communications for up to a year.
The forecasts were released by UK-based Tariff Consultancy (TCL) in February, and point to growing competition from data center operators in both regions between 2012 and 2017.
TCL predicts data center revenues in the Middle East will grow 40% to $410 million (€310 million) over the next five years, and those in Africa to increase 84% to $373 million – equivalent to growth of 17% per annum between 2012 and 2017. The consultancy also forecasts an increase in raised floor space in each region over the same period. The Middle East is tipped to grow from 116,300 square meters in 2012 to 165,000 square meters in 2017, and Africa from 84,000 square meters currently to 115,000 square meters in five years.
Both markets currently offer lower per rack prices than European counterparts. The average fee of $819 per month in the Middle East is around 38% less, while Africa’s $737 is roughly half the cost. That said, TCL points out rack space pricing in Africa is subject to a wide spread, with some firms charging $974 per month.
Despite the spread, Africa is shaping up to be a competitive market for data center operators. TCL notes there are already multiple providers in the nine markets it researched, and that the arrival of new subsea cables is spurring development. The only potential black spot is irregular power supplies in many African countries – something that definitely doesn’t affect Middle Eastern operators, where power costs are typically lower than in Europe.
As for the UK government plans, I’m still looking into whether it is even feasible to store so much data as would be required by the amended law. More on that when I get it.