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Growth in the data center industry has calmed, according to market analysis, but there are powerful undercurrents that could disrupt many of the existing players.

The worldwide data center market almost flatlined in the last quarter, according to data compiled by 451 Research. Its latest market report, Voice of the Enterprise, measured growth by examining the total installed base across the globe, which stands at 4.3 million datacenters and IT sites. This represents growth of just 0.2 percent, year-on-year, comparing Q4 2014 with the same period in 2013.

The analyst said weak demand for new facilities was primarily driven by a decline in enthusiasm among traditional enterprises, particularly in mature markets.

Temporary blip?

However, this may be a temporary blip as the decline was offset by a number of developing undercurrents that may become more significant. There is booming demand for large premium and hyperscale facilities from cloud, service provider and multi-tenant datacenter vendors, said the analyst. Though these sectors contain massive data centers, they make up a small portion of the market, however.

Meanwhile enterprises continue to control the vast majority of the worldwide market, in terms of their square foot print, since of occupancy in this sector represents 83 percent of total footage. Currently, multi tenant data centers (MTDCs) and cloud providers represent 12 percent and five percent of the aggregate total of data center space around the world.

Those proportions are shifting, said 451’s research director for enterprise datacenters Daniel Harrington. Enterprises are investing less in their own datacenter spaces as they get used to relying on third parties.

“Investment in new datacenter space by traditional enterprises is being propped up only by the sheer force of growing organic demand for IT resources,” said Harrington. “Almost all the overarching market trends are working against the need for enterprises to build out more of their own datacenter space.”

Other news from the Voice of the Enterprise: Datacenters study included the revelation that while developed data center markets in North America and Europe declined by one percent and two percent respectively, emerging markets in Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East and Africa all grew at two percent year-over-year.

Consolidation in the US and Europe will continue as server closets and rooms decline in numbers while the extent of centralised premium data centers will increase. Hyperscale datacenters grew at four percent, led by strong demand from cloud and service providers (15 percent).

“The bright spot for facilities vendors is that cloud and multi tenant data center providers will need to accommodate the growing demand for outsourced IT resources with their own facilities, albeit fewer and more efficient ones,” said Harrington.