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2022 Global Data Center Market Comparison

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Explore a unique way to assess and score 55 global primary and emerging data center markets utilizing 13 criteria.
The last two years have been remarkable in many ways. Industries across the board have been confronted with change and disruption—and the data center industry has been no exception. In early 2020, many businesses faced a sudden and heightened need for greater cloud technology to connect a dispersed workforce and enable people to do their jobs in a work-from-home environment. The trend continued in 2021 as cloud migration accelerated, the need for data centers continued to grow and as major data-producing platforms—hyperscalers like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, Apple and others—spread their data center footprints throughout the world. Today, the question is no longer whether the largest hyperscale data center users will expand to new regions each year, but how many will expand and how quickly.  

It’s in this time of both great demand and prolific expansion—but also amidst an increasing focus on sustainability in parts of the world—that we publish this third annual edition of Cushman & Wakefield’s Global Data Center Market Comparison External Link.

Overall Rankings: The Top Ten

01/ Northern Virginia 07/ Phoenix 
02/ Silicon Valley* & Singapore*                       08/ Sydney
04/ Atlanta* & Chicago* 09/ Dallas
06/ Hong Kong 10/ Portland* & Seattle*

*Ranking tie

In the 2022 edition, we evaluate 1,333 data centers in 55 markets across the globe within 13 different categories to determine the Overall Top Ten as well as the top performers in each category. With near-universal growth expected across most markets in 2022, this report sheds light on potential locations for investing in, owning and operating data center facilities.

We scored each data center across 13 weighted categories; read in further detail about all 13 in the full version of the report.

Preview of three categories:

Markets that offer multiple cloud services have become increasingly important, as early adopters are now diversifying their workloads to create true hybrid IT strategy. Of the 55 markets profiled in this report, 28 now offer all three major cloud services, with considerable further expansion planned and land already acquired in several locations. 

Source: Structure Research

Well-established markets have access to all major cloud services, allowing for high performance and peering opportunities. There are also known operators in these markets, with corresponding experienced staff for hire and knowledgeable sales representatives to assist with filling buildings. Local governments understand the planning approval process and utilities are not surprised when operators inquire on large power requirements. The largest markets are thus positioned for continued growth, at least until the power grid is maxed out or political imperatives change. 

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research 

Analysis of data center costs often focuses on the initial capital expenditure, which includes costs of planning, permitting, acquiring land, and the construction of the building and potentially substations and fiber extensions. These initial costs end up as a small fraction of the overall operating expenditure over the life of the building, as the consistent need for increasing power over several phases of expansion can lead to spiraling power needs. Power costs can tally well into nine figures over the life of the largest assets, providing an operational cost advantage to markets with cheaper power. 

Source: Cushman & Wakefield Research 
2022 Global Data Center Market Comparison
Explore the report to assess and score 55 global primary and emerging data center markets utilizing 13 criteria.
Read the full report
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