I have had several discussions the past 7 days about data center real estateand I am beginning to wonder if a storm is brewing just over the horizon.
A lot of new construction projects got mothballed or slowed this year because the money we gave to the banks apparently had to go to bonuses first instead of funding data center builds to house the infrastructure they will need when people start making and depositing money again, and they have to start processing checks to pay back the US Taxpayer. I digress...
In my daily Tier 1 email I have noticed a lot of small data center announcements - 1,500 sq.feet here, 2,000 there and I say 'OK, that's some but what about the 5 MW or 30MW sites?' I haven't seen one of those announcements in some time.
What gets me is that there are now 12 megapixel cameras on the market and my guess is by Christmas they'll be a 30 megapixel camera for those of us who want to see past the red eye down to the retinal pattern in the back of the subject's eye. There is also the legislation working its way through the US Government about being more green and ultimately more digitally centric. So what?
That means there is more data being produced. Bigger files that will be moved, copied, stored in multiple locations, shared, viewed, and even printed (great news for loggers). The production of data never rests so the need to store it, manage it, secure it, back it up, share it and consume it grows every second of every day. All of the capacity planning we did 18 months ago evaporates - sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly.
Long story short - I believe there is an impending shortage of data center inventory out there.
Available data center inventory - the multi megawatt kind. Not the kind in Ashburn VA where Digital Realty Trust is digging up ground to expand and will need the utility company to run conduit to the facility before it is lit, not the kind in Boston where CRG West has 100K square feet and a dozen megawatts of space and power but it's I beams and concrete today an it'll be January before it is finished off. Not the kind of data center space like Dupont Fabros has but their financials are suspect if not downright shaky right down to their flywheels making it hard to attract the customers who worry about financial condition.
Shop smart and buy now - get a sublet clause in the lease as well. This has great opportunity for those of us who get it...