For the second year running, the UK has been ranked as the lowest-risk European destination to locate a data centre – according to a report by international consultancies Cushman & Wakefield, hurleypalmerflatt and Source8.
Published today, the Data Centre Risk Index 2013 (DCRI) evaluates risks likely to affect the successful operation of data centre facilities in the 30 most important global markets.
The UK remains second globally in this year’s table – just behind the US – but ranks as the highest-placed European country. The nation’s high scores relating to international internet bandwidth and ease of doing business helped maintain its place above all other locations surveyed in Europe.
But it is the Nordics, powered predominantly by hydroelectricity and with comparatively low energy unit costs, which are becoming an increasingly attractive global data centre location. Consequently, the region dominates this year’s global top 10: Sweden is ranked as the third safest place worldwide to base a data centre, rising from eighth last year, while Iceland (seventh), Norway (eighth) and Finland (ninth) all feature in prominent positions. The only other European country in the DCRI’s global top 10 is Germany, which is ranked fourth.
Data centres house business-critical IT systems – any downtime has the potential to threaten an organisation’s viability and impact significantly upon revenues and customer services. The aim of the DCRI is to help companies make informed investment decisions about where to locate their data centres to increase efficiency, lower costs and to develop strategies to mitigate anticipated risk.
In the report, factors such as energy and labour costs, internet connectivity, ease of doing business and the likelihood of natural disasters or political instability are all taken into consideration and individually weighted to reflect different risk levels.
The US maintains its place at the top of the DCRI and is considered the lowest-risk location for building and operating a data centre in the world. Specifically, it maintains a top-three position across the primary factors of energy cost, international bandwidth and ease of doing business.
Canada remains in fifth position overall while Hong Kong has maintained its position as the location with the least risk in Asia for setting up data centres – it moves up the index from seventh place into sixth.
Keith Inglis, partner in the EMEA Data Centre Advisory Group at global real estate consultants Cushman & Wakefield, said: “The UK remains the safest location for a data centre in EMEA and consequently continues to see a reasonable level of activity supported by its status as a major economic global hub. However, the Nordics must be seen as legitimate locations in the global arena where the latency and regulatory arguments are less important when considering where best to site operations. Going forward we would reasonably expect the region to secure an increased market share but to improve further investment is required in international connectivity. If the Nordics fail to address this then Germany, the Netherlands and the UK will continue to see the most activity in EMEA.”