CHINA DATACENTER GROWTH HAS CHALLENGES BUT CLOUD FUELS MASSIVE CONSTRUCTION

Shanghai – 5 November 2012 – The first regional datacenter conference held in Shanghai brought together the leadership of many of China’s key players, and forecast the significant growth occurring in the sector. An Awards ceremony at the event also recognized exceptional achievement in the sector.

Keynoting the conference, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, president and CEO of Schneider Electric, presented a vision of how datacenter growth globally can be matched with energy efficiency. Power and cooling is a critical challenge for China, together with the pricing and sourcing of energy to meet the increasing needs of datacenters estimated to be anywhere from 1.5% to 5% of total consumption in the country.

China’s extraordinary development in the datacenter sector was highlighted in the early findings of a new report by BroadGroup, the international consulting firm who had organized the event. This revealed that more than 17 provinces and municipalities were constructing 30 large-scale cloud datacenters across the country with an investment of almost USD44 billion.

“Social networking, gaming, online transactions and mobile data as well as the objectives of the 12th 5-year plan unique to China, which includes a target of 1.2 billion mobile users, are collectively driving growth in the requirement for datacenter storage and capacity,” said Philip Low, managing director of BroadGroup. “The opportunity for vertical clouds, although in its early stages is recognized as a way to drive further economic growth.”

The event also recognized the achievements gained so far in the sector. Datacentre Entrepreneur of the Year Award was given to Madam Zhou Chaonan (???) president of Range International, who is leading one of the largest cloud development projects in China. Mr William Huang, (??) CEO of GDS accepted the Datacentre and Cloud Services Award, and PowerAllNetworks CEO Steve Hui was awarded the Datacentre Energy Efficiency Award. The Awards were presented by Guest of Honour Presenter Mr Zheng Hong (? ?) Secretary General of Data Center Industry Alliance of China.

Addressing a packed audience, Terry Graham, research associate for BroadGroup and Hong Kong University, highlighted the additional challenge of the licensing regime – unlikely to change in the immediate future – the ability to raise capital and funding to expand across multi-cities, and complexity in the procurement of energy and bandwidth. Access to power is particularly challenging given the limitations of the grid and where customized solutions for higher power become very expensive.

Despite these hurdles, the conference confirmed that China remains globally the most important market and datacenter and cloud evolution figure as major contributors to economic growth in the country.