Together with edge data centers and the right sustainability governance, satisfying the world’s insatiable demand for connectivity must meet overarching legislations

According to a report by a global commercial real estate and investment management firm, hyperscaler data centers (predominantly the global cloud service providers) and edge data centers (smaller facilities located close to the populations and infrastructure they serve) are the fastest growing segments of the data center industry.

However, the growth will be accompanied by challenges. Globally, 53% of data center operators are struggling to find qualified candidates, and 42% are facing challenges in retaining staff. Meeting sustainability expectations and laws is now also a top priority for data center developers, operators and investors, including addressing energy use and emissions.

Other statistics offered by the report include:

    • Estimated grow of the hyperscale market by 20% from 2021 to 2026
    • With over 300 new hyperscale sites in development globally today, more than surpass 1,000 such sites can be expected by the end of 2024: up from around 500 sites just five years ago.
    • Sustained social media usage in China (938m users) and India (467m users) are expected to fuel data center uptake in Asia despite economic headwinds
    • In addition to the current regional hubs of Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney, other hubs and edge markets from Jakarta and Mumbai are expected to come online due to growing mobile phone usage
    • Compared to campus build sizes of around 50MW in 2018, builds of 100MW or more are now common. The Asia Pacific region constituted a 26% share of global hyperscale data center capacity in 2022.
    • In mature markets such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai and Sydney, huge gaps in capacity are being bridged quickly with large new builds. Furthermore, emerging edge markets are receiving strong interest from cloud providers and hyperscalers.

According to Glen Duncan, Data Center Research Director (Asia Pacific), JLL, which released the data center outlook report: “Encouragingly, many Asia Pacific businesses have embarked on purpose-driven sustainability programs to deliver impact on climate action for sustainable real estate. With more operators looking to use innovative solutions for energy efficiency, we are confident that the sector’s green ambitions would further advance… Those who react the fastest to the twin challenges of talent and sustainability stand to benefit from cost and operational-efficiencies perspectives.”