Yesterday the second annual KickStart conference was held at the RAI in Amsterdam. With over 650 visitors from 25+ nationalities, this year the event has more than doubled in size. There was a nice buzz in the event venue during the day, as existing business relations were strengthened and many new contacts were made by visitors in the lounge areas thanks to the meeting app.
Apart from networking and the occasional business deal, the day was packed with the latest insights from industry experts. During the morning 4 keynote speakers provided all the market updates one could want, while during the afternoon specific topics were addressed, such as the challenges of decentralized power generation, normalization and standardization in data center design and the scarcity of employees with the right skills. Main topics of discussion were trends and developments in the connectivity, data center and cloud markets, opportunities and challenges that lay ahead and off course Brexit. Although after yesterday’s vote it still remains uncertain what will happen when the British leave the EU, it was obvious during the day none of the speakers had a rosy perspective on the matter.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) are the main drivers
Amsterdam January 15, 2019 - The European digital infrastructure is on course to at least double in size within 5 years. Ever-increasing digitization and technical developments are fuelling this sharp growth. This is one of the results of the Outlook 2019 report, which will be presented today during the pan-European KickStart Europe conference for 650 guests in RAI Amsterdam. The annual report was initiated by Digital Gateway to Europe and co-produced by research partners PB7 and CBRE.
In the report the key growth indicators for the European data center, cloud and connectivity industries are presented. Developments that drive this growth include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cloud and Internet of Things (IoT). The number of connected devices, the explosive growth in IP traffic and the ever-growing amount of data are increasing the demand for edge computing, larger data center hubs and hyperscalers. Download the Outlook 2019 report here.
Opportunities and challenges
There are many challenges that need to be addressed to be able to support the demand for digital infrastructure and related services, including data centers. Stijn Grove, director of Digital Gateway to Europe, the organization that promotes the Netherlands as digital hub: "In addition to the pressure on technical requirements such as ever lower latencies, distributed computing (Edge) and stricter security, there are simultaneously major challenges in the areas of legislation, privacy, education & personnel, sustainability and energy. The growth of the industry has consequences for the electricity grid and there is a huge need in the coming years for technical personnel to design, build and run applications, data centers and networks.
Expectations and trends for data centers
ICT research agency Pb7 states in the report that data centers themselves expect to double in several ways within 3 to 5 years. Many expect to double energy consumption and floor space, but also see a necessity for twice as many employees.
In the report, real estate consultancy CBRE calls the outlook for European data centers "extremely strong" this year. Data centers in the FLAP region alone (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris) seem to be heading for over 1500 MW of installed capacity this year.
Business trends and Brexit
The report also discusses business trends throughout the digital infrastructure sector. It discusses strategy in times of digital transformation, the influence of geopolitical developments such as Brexit and trade wars on the market, as well as the role of 'cyberwars'.
The uncertainty that Brexit creates has numerous effects. They help the investments in digital infrastructure in the Netherlands, but also reinforce the pressure of digital growth. And especially British suppliers in the construction of data centers should expect less work in EU countries the coming years.
All visitors of the KickStart Europe Conference have received the Outlook 2019 report. The report, with key insights into the data center and digital infrastructure industry, is available online for free via www.kickstartconf.eu/outlookreport2019.
About Digital Gateway to Europe
For over a 1000 years the Netherlands has been the (digital) gateway to the European market. The Digital Gateway to Europe organization promotes the Netherlands as data hub and offers you a source of information to prepare your launch or expansion in the Netherlands with facts, links and events.
We are the official industry and government backed central and nationwide initiative to promote the Netherlands as the Digital Gateway to Europe. Visit www.digitalgateway.eu for more information, reports, events and the latest new regarding the Dutch data hub.
The Dutch market for cloud and hosting services is growing much faster than the IT market itself. The use of cloud-based services in the field of application hosting, web hosting, server platforms, as well as storage, backup, security and workplace automation is growing 5 times faster in the Netherlands compared to the total IT market. This is one of the striking results of a study into the market for cloud and hosting services carried out by DHPA knowledge partner and research agency The METISfiles. Analyst Pim Bilderbeek presented the results last week during a network meeting of DHPA.
Largest gathering of the data center industry in Europe | Blog by Stijn Grove - Dutch Data Center Association
The digital transformation is revolutionizing business and society. It has been sparked by digitization and digitalization, making data easily accessible for use across platforms, devices and interfaces. Applications that integrate these digitized data and digitalized applications all come together in data centers, the foundation of the digital economy.
The new digital reality is bringing us many good things. We have seen breakthrough innovations, new prosperity, and even regime changes all around the world. To name a few things, we can now cure diseases much faster, give more people access to knowledge wherever they are and provide people access to all the music of the world as a service. Next to that we see many negative things as the stress of being always online, cyber attacks and new ways of influencing elections.
As with any revolution, the world as we knew it, is gone. We have to adapt to the new reality. Companies and societies that are unable to keep up with the pace of digital transformation run the risk of becoming obsolete or far behind. You need to become digital.
With the digital transformation in full swing the necessity for coordinated action of the data center, cloud and connectivity industries is more pressing than ever.
As digital eco systems flourish and the demand for digital services grows exponentially, digital infrastructure providers need to lead the way.
To foster collaboration, the exchange of ideas and explore opportunities and threats, Digital Gateway to Europe for the second time organizes the Kickstart Europe Conference in Amsterdam.
On January 14th and 15th 2019, industry leaders from all over Europe will gather to discuss opportunities, current affairs and explore the emerging trends and technology shaping the digital industry and digital infrastructure of cloud, connectivity and data centers. In addition, following this edition of Kickstart Europe, the largest gathering of European data center trade associations will take place. For the first time, representatives of almost all major European data center trade associations will gather to get to know each other, learn from each other and work on a framework for pan-European collaboration and take the lead in the digital transformation.
No cause for concern
Although global political developments might cause some concern, Stijn Grove, managing director of Digital Gateway to Europe, points out this is not reflected by market developments. “In a continuously changing world with growing protectionism and an upcoming Brexit, the Netherlands' starting position as a data processing and distribution country is stronger than ever. The current state of affairs regarding the Dutch cloud, data center growth and connectivity demand shows that continuous investments are needed to match increasing demand. We believe that just as in other years, the Dutch Data Hub can shield itself from external factors and continue to be one of the most desired digital distribution points in the world.”
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!
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.