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UK Data Centres market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Data Centres market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this Report

This report addresses the following key questions:

  • Is the modernisation of existing data centres offsetting demand for new centres?
  • Will out-of-town developments challenge the early domination of city centre models?
  • Will the sector continue to attract private equity funding?
  • Will the fragmented sector increase in concentration?
  • How are company strategies changing to accommodate market developments?


A data centre (sometimes spelled datacentre) is a centralised repository, either physical or virtual, for the storage, management, and dissemination of data and information organised around a particular body of knowledge or pertaining to a particular business. A data centre is a dedicated space where companies can keep and operate most of the ICT infrastructure that supports their business. This comprises the servers and storage equipment that run application software, and process and store data and content. For some companies this might be a simple cage or rack of equipment, for others it could be a room housing a few or many cabinets, depending on the scale of their operation.

The space will typically have a raised floor with cabling ducts running underneath to feed power to the cabinets and carry the cables that connect the cabinets together.

The environment is controlled in terms of areas, such as temperature and humidity, to ensure the performance and operational integrity of the systems within. Facilities will generally include power supplies, backup power, chillers, cabling, fire and water detection systems and security controls.

Data centres can be in-house, located in a company’s own facility, or outsourced with equipment co-located at a third-party site. Outsourcing does not necessarily mean relinquishing control of equipment; it can also include a facility to house that equipment.

A private data centre may exist within an organisation's facilities or may be maintained as a specialised facility. Under such a definition, virtually every organisation has a data centre, although it might be referred to as a server room or a computer closet. This report is concerned with centres that are used for rental to other companies. These are typically referred to as a colocation centre (also spelled co-location, or colo). In this definition, the data centre has equipment, space, and bandwidth available for rental to customers.

All values quoted in this report are at current prices unless otherwise specified.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Terry Leggett, a leading analyst in the B2B sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The data centre sector remains highly fragmented in the UK as it is worldwide. Growth in the number of data centres is slowing, but demand for services continues to grow. This is encouraging widespread modernisation of the legacy infrastructure to increase capacity and gain greater cost efficiency. Eventually there will be a strong trend to concentration, encouraged by the barriers to entry created by this modernisation, but the attractiveness of the sector is such that venture capital/external finance will continue to be attracted to the industry. Terry Leggett
B2B Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Executive Summary

      • The market
        • Figure 1: UK market for colocation data centres, 2015-2022
        • Figure 2: World location and management of IT infrastructure, 2016-2020
        • Figure 3: Segmentation of the UK market for IT services by industry, 2017
        • Figure 4: UK data centre usage, by industry, 2017
        • Figure 5: UK data centre usage, by size of company, 2017
        • Figure 6: UK analysis of colocation data centre locations, by, country, 2018
        • Figure 7: Major data centre locations in England, 2018
      • Market factors
        • Companies
          • What we think
          • Key Issues

              • What modernisations are taking place?
                • So why is the industry so fragmented?
                  • Why is the UK a European leader?
                  • Introduction

                      • Definitions
                        • Methodology
                          • Abbreviations
                            • Market positioning
                              • Figure 8: World analysis of colocation data centre locations, 2018
                              • Figure 9: UK role in the Western European market for colocation data centres, 2018
                          • UK Economy

                            • Overview
                              • Figure 10: Forecast GDP development 2017-22
                              • Figure 11: UK GDP quarterly development, 2004-18
                            • Inflation
                              • House prices
                                • Figure 12: UK House price changes, 2007-2018
                              • Interest rates
                                • Consumer spending
                                  • Manufacturing
                                    • Figure 13: UK manufacturing, 2014-18
                                  • Business investment
                                    • Figure 14: UK GFCF 2003-17
                                  • Imports
                                    • Exports
                                    • Market Factors

                                        • Market factors
                                          • Internet access and usage
                                            • Figure 15: Worldwide internet usage, by region, 2010-17
                                            • Figure 16: Proportion of businesses with Internet access, by size of company, 2012-16
                                            • Figure 17: Proportion of businesses with Internet access and type of connection, by size of company, 2012-16
                                            • Figure 18: Proportion of businesses by maximum contracted Internet connection speed, by size of company, 2012-16
                                          • Cloud computing
                                            • Figure 19: UK cloud computing market, 2013-17
                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                            • Market size and forecast
                                              • The context
                                                • The UK market
                                                  • Figure 20: UK market for colocation data centres, 2015-2022
                                                  • Figure 21: World location and management of IT infrastructure, 2016-2020
                                              • Market Segmentation

                                                  • Market segmentation
                                                    • Types of data centres
                                                        • Figure 22: UK analysis of data centres, by type, 2017
                                                        • Figure 23: UK analysis of data centres, by raised floor space, 2017
                                                      • Data centre functions
                                                        • Figure 24: UK analysis of data centres, by revenue function, 2017
                                                      • Type of end user
                                                        • Figure 25: Segmentation of the UK market for IT services by industry, 2017
                                                        • Figure 26: UK data centre usage, by industry, 2017
                                                      • Size of end user
                                                        • Figure 27: UK leading web hosting operators, 2018
                                                        • Figure 28: UK data centre usage, by size of company, 2017
                                                      • Geographic breakdown
                                                        • Figure 29: UK analysis of colocation data centre locations, by, country, 2018
                                                      • England
                                                        • Figure 30: Major data centre locations in England, 2018
                                                      • Scotland
                                                        • Figure 31: Major data centre locations in Scotland, 2018
                                                      • Wales
                                                        • Figure 32: Major data centre locations in Wales, 2018
                                                      • Northern Ireland
                                                      • Market Trends

                                                          • Market trends
                                                            • Trend to modernisation and all-flash solutions
                                                              • Trend to modernisation and converged technologies
                                                                • Trend to modernisation and software defined storage
                                                                  • Energy consumption and cooling facilities
                                                                    • Security
                                                                      • Regional development
                                                                      • Industry Structure

                                                                          • Industry development
                                                                          • Company Profiles

                                                                            • Colt Technology Services

                                                                                  • Figure 33: Financial Analysis of Colt Technology Services, 2012-16
                                                                                • Company strategy
                                                                                • Equinix

                                                                                    • Figure 34: Equinix data centre portfolio, 2018
                                                                                    • Figure 35: Financial Analysis of Equinix (UK), 2012-16
                                                                                  • Company strategy
                                                                                  • Global Switch

                                                                                        • Figure 36: Financial Analysis of Global Switch, 2012-16
                                                                                      • Company strategy
                                                                                      • Interxion

                                                                                            • Figure 37: Financial Analysis of Interxion Europe, 2012-16
                                                                                          • Company strategy
                                                                                          • Iomart Group

                                                                                                • Figure 38: Financial analysis of iomart Group, 2013-17
                                                                                              • Company strategy
                                                                                              • Next Generation Data

                                                                                                    • Figure 39: Financial analysis of Next Generation Data, 2013-17
                                                                                                  • Company strategy
                                                                                                  • Pulsant Group Holdings

                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Financial analysis of Pulsant Group Holdings, 2015-16
                                                                                                      • Company strategy
                                                                                                      • Telehouse International Corporation of Europe

                                                                                                            • Figure 41: Financial Analysis of Telehouse International Corporation of Europe, 2012-17
                                                                                                          • Company strategy