Going back a year, 2017 was EvoSwitch’s best year ever, but we found ourselves thinking “what about the next five years?” We had a great position in the market, but we needed more funds for build-out, more scale, and we needed to expand in the high-growth FLAP (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Paris) zone. So I started talking to people about partnerships, and a large number of US and Asian companies were interested in landing in Europe, but nobody wanted just a partnership, they all wanted to buy us!
The Right Match
If acquisition looked like the way ahead, we had to define what the EvoSwitch business needed. We did not want to be swallowed up by an overly-political organisation, and we did not want sector-agnostic investors with a questionable strategy. What we were after was a good cultural and strategic match, enough capital to expand, and the freedom for our team to take part in this expansion.
We found all this with Iron Mountain. With $4bn in revenues from customers in 54 countries they have a hugely impressive and trusted business proposition since 1951, with a fast-growing customer base that needs sustainable cloud-rich European data center services. Their specialty over 20 years has been secure storage and digitisation, but distributed digital facilities – offering neutral hybrid cloud, advanced infrastructure for IoT, dense interconnection - is the natural next step. From the EvoSwitch perspective the fit was great. So at the end of May Iron Mountain paid $235 million to buy the business - 14 times 2018 Ebitda.
I am now responsible for the data center business in Western Europe and we are all set to grow the business. The data center division of Iron Mountain is it’s high-growth team and they have a great deal of independence within the group. While it was launched only a few years ago, it has already taken off in a big way. Two years ago Iron Mountain Data Centers were generating $20 million, and now that figure has gone up to $250m. The company now owns and operates over 2.5 million square feet (that’s 230,000 square meters) of prime space with 285 MW of power. We have data centers in three continents. Iron Mountain’s ambition is to be one of the world’s top five data center players.
So I’m very excited, as are the rest of the leadership team in the US, Europe and Asia. And what this brings to our customers on both sides of the Atlantic is just as exciting.
We now have 12 data center locations, most of them spread across the US, but also including London, Amsterdam and Singapore. In Europe we will be building on and combining our retail and wholesale propositions and expanding fast where we stand (new builds in London and Amsterdam ) as well as looking for opportunities to buy or build bigger data centers in other hubs in Europe. This will bring a raft of expansion opportunities for our customers, both the large ones and the ambitious smaller ones. We will soon be in a position to deliver major new dispersed services for customers across multiple locations. This is vital – for the last couple of years larger prospects loved our EvoSwitch Amsterdam facility, but several went elsewhere because they wanted multiple hubs and we didn’t have that footprint at that time.
The other key synergy Iron Mountain brings to its European data center portfolio is the sheer scale of its customer base and the potential that delivers for partnerships, collaborations and new revenue generation, not just for us but for our 1100 data center customers. With 225,000 customers, the Group has a billing relationship with 95% of Fortune 1000 businesses. We are already talking to many of these customers about what connection-rich European data centers can bring to them, and some deals have already been closed.
Go to www.ironmountain.com/digital-transformation for more information.
For the expected COBRAcable, international collaboration is key
The COBRAcable lands in Eemshaven, a great location for data centers, partly due to its perfect connectivity to the Dutch digital infrastructure with Amsterdam as global hub. To strengthen this special bond between the two countries, Digital Gateway to Europe invited a delegation of 40 Danish stakeholders from Esbjerg to Amsterdam-based Switch Datacenters.
90 percent of operational expenses are spent locally
The Netherlands data center country
The Netherlands is the most connected country in the world and Amsterdam is an important international digital hub. Combined with a reliable and favorable energy network, all of this makes the Netherlands an ideal country for data centers. It explains why we are on our way to becoming the number 1 data hub in Europe. This growth is also noticeable in the Holland above Amsterdam region, where the North Amsterdam data center campus is being created.
Digital Gateway to Europe, in collaboration with research agency Pb7, has carried out research on the economic impact of data centers in the region on behalf of Ontwikkelingsbedrijf NHN, the municipality of Hollands Kroon and Agriport A7. The research shows that data centers produce a major economic spin-off. For direct and indirect employment and infrastructure, these developments put the region on the map nationally and internationally as an attractive business climate.
Investment of € 2 billion
"Our earlier studies have already shown that the economic impact of multi-tenant datacenters in the Netherlands is considerable," says Stijn Grove, director of Digital Gateway to Europe, "In total, Dutch data centers contribute € 941 million to GDP, and companies such as Microsoft and Google have not even been included in these studies yet. "
In the 'North Amsterdam Datacenter Campus' report, the current situation is assessed, and two additional growth scenarios have been developed. An analysis of the status quo shows that a total of € 2 billion is invested by Microsoft in North Amsterdam: to build a datacenter of such size, over a period of 7 years an average of 900 construction workers are busy every day, says the report.
The expectation is that 350 to 400 employees will be required to keep the data center operational afterwards. These jobs will mainly be filled in locally, and contain an interesting mix from catering and cleaning to engineers. If we delve deeper into the operating costs, personnel costs and the investments to run the data center, we see a strong local influence: more than 90% of the costs are spent locally. In addition, there are induced revenues for the region; all these non-Dutch employees will live and eat somewhere during their long stay in the Netherlands, which benefits local services. For example, the Hotel Van der Valk in Hoorn has been occupied for years with people working on the projects in Middenmeer.
90 procent van de operationele uitgaven wordt lokaal uitgegeven
De Amsterdamse datacenter industrie groeit de laatste jaren gemiddeld 18% per jaar, en er wordt dan steeds verder buiten de stadsgrenzen gekeken. Ook Holland boven Amsterdam is inmiddels ontdekt: op het Agriport A7-terrein in Middenmeer, slechts 30 minuten rijden van Amsterdam, heeft naast Microsoft inmiddels ook Google een perceel aangekocht.
In opdracht van de regio becijferde Digital Gateway to Europe de impact van deze Noord-Amsterdam datacenter campus op de Nederlandse economie. En deze impact is groot; de totale investering wordt nu al geschat op €2 miljard.
Vandaag wordt dit rapport gepresenteerd bij het NHNext event van de regio Noord-Holland Noord. Download het rapport hier - de Engelse & Nederlandse versie.
Amsterdam, July 31, 2018 - Cloud adoption grows, IoT networks are rolled out globally and the European data center markets continues to show strong growth. Just a grasp of the insights that visitors received last January at the first edition of KickStart Europe. Approximately 300 C-level executives from 15 countries, attended the strategy summit focused on European trends and investments in data centers, fiber networks and cloud. Due to its success, the second edition of KickStart Europe will again be held at the international conference center Amsterdam RAI, on January 14-15, 2019.
"We want to ensure that we have options to continue to expand our data center presence in Europe if our business demands it," Google spokesman Mark Jansen said Thursday.
Google already owns a data center in the northeastern town of Eemshaven in the Netherlands, and announced earlier this year it would invest 500 million euros ($582.2 million) to expand it, after initially spending 600 million euros.
Google didn’t disclose how much it spent on the plot of land outside of Amsterdam. Other tech firms, including Microsoft Corp., have built data centers in the area, which offers a relatively cheap supply of sustainable electricity, according to the Netherlands’ foreign investment agency.
The report reflects the growth and developments that have taken place in the data center sector over the past 12 months. The 198 multi-tenant data centers have a gross surface area of 546,000 m2 of which 308,000 m2 is net data floor. The power capacity of the single and multi-tenant data centers is estimated at around 1350 MW. Stijn Grove, Director of the Dutch Data Center Association, said: “We were not surprised to see that the industry also grew strongly in 2017. And the prospects for the entire industry are still excellent due to the ongoing digitization.”
The report is freely accessible for download here
If you’re looking for a great tech city to find your next job in, then stop looking at Silicon Valley and start looking at Amsterdam. The Dutch capital was named the best European Tech City to work in by Hubspot, which recently did a study into Europe’s tech scene.
This comes as no surprise if you consider that 578 international ICT (information and communications technology) companies have offices in Amsterdam, with 170 of them picking Amsterdam to establish their headquarters.
By the industry, for the industry
"Only by collaborating we can prepare for the extensive growth in demand for data", says Stijn Grove, Chairman of KickStart Europe. "It is the only way in which the cloud, connectivity and data center industry is able to continue servicing the economy." To help the industry to work together, KickStart Europe was launched to kick-off the year 2018. Around 300 C-level executives, coming from 15 different countries, the industry came together to discuss future trends and investments in technology and digital infrastructure.
The Outlook 2018 report goes further where the event ended; what does the industry have to know about what is heading our way, and how can we as the industry prepare?
Growth, Growth & Growth
One thing we can expect for the future is growth. In relative numbers, such as 155% growth in XaaS spending in 2022, but most definitely in absolute numbers. Mobile data traffic in Europe is expected to grow to over 5700 PB per month in 2022. On a global scale, the revenue of AI will go towards $24 bln in 2022, compared to the $2,1 bln that was generated for AI in 2017.
According to IDC, the amount of zetabytes created on an annual basis will grow with almost 300% over the next five years. Mobile data creation is even growing faster, with video being the main driver. So there is a lot coming our way.
Download the 2018 Outlook report
The 2018 Outlook report by KickStart Europe is available for download here.
For more information on the KickStart Europe summit, please consult www.kickstartconf.eu or follow us on Twitter @KickStartEur.
The KickStart Europe Summit Conference is an initiative by Digital Gateway to Europe events.
Digital Gateway to Europe is the organisation promoting the data center industry in Europe. We organise events, trade missions, trade shows, launchpads and other meetups to share information about the digital infrastructure and data hub. Scale-ups, start-ups and enterprises who would like more in-depth information can consult our Digital Gateway to Europe knowledge database.
Visit www.digitalgateway.eu for more information on our events, publications and upcoming trade missions. Stay up to date by subscribing to our newsletter.