Equinix Plans Sixth UK Data Center

Data center services and interconnection firm Equinix recently announced plans to construct its sixth UK data center. The new facility will be located on the company's London Slough campus and is being called LD6.

Equinix said the additional UK data center is needed to support growing regional demands for financial services, content, cloud and enterprise clients. Equinix UK managing director Russell Poole said the new facility is poised to set new industry standards in data center sustainability and efficiency. 

"LD6 is a hugely exciting project; the facility will be the most advanced data center in the UK," Poole said. "We are committed to providing not just continuity but also continuous improvement for our current and future customers."

As part of the expansion efforts, the company invested an additional $37 million to extend leases at the London Slough campus, providing Equinix a 50 year campus control period. The new data center construction will represent $79 million in capital expenditures for the 86,000-square-foot facility, capable of supporting 2,770 cabinets.

Upon LD6's completion, the six facilities on Equinix's London Slough campus will combine for 388,000 square feet of data center colocation space and a connectivity network comprised of more than 1,000 dark fiber links. The company is building the data center in accordance with guidelines for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification. The data center's design will include mass air cooling technology and an indirect heat exchange system with 100 percent natural ventilation. The LD6 data center will have a lower energy consumption rate and smaller carbon footprint than comparable facilities.

IBM's New London Data Center
Equinix isn't the only organization expanding its service footprint in the UK. IBM also announced a considerable investment in several new data centers, including a new facility in London.

The company will commit $1.2 billion to projects aimed at expanding its global cloud services. With the funding, IBM will launch 15 new facilities across the globe.

Overall UK Data Center Market
Equinix and IBM's new structures are just part of recent projects that have contributed to considerable growth in the UK market. According to a TCL survey of data center providers and facilities, the UK data center market is the largest in Europe.

Overall, the sector boasts slightly more than 5 million square feet (nearly 470,000 square meters) of raised floor space. The report also predicted that this figure will expand by 35 percent by the end of 2017. This growth will also bring an increase in average customer power per facility, which is forecasted to grow from 5.5 megawatts to 7.4 megawatts.

Additionally, a new report from TechNavio analysts found that the UK data center colocation market will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 14.43 percent until 2018. Factors contributing to this significant growth include adoption of data center services by SMEs and the rising complexity of network infrastructure. The report also stated that a main challenge to this market expansion is the increasing costs of data center expertise, which could serve to hamper overall sector progress.

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