Soben forecasts change in the golden age in latest data centre trends report

Soben forecasts change in the golden age in latest data centre trends report

Soben’s Top 10 Data Centre Trends 2024

In the fight to meet the demand for new data centres, the path ahead is far from simple. From power problems and skills shortages, to soaring material costs and lead times that refuse to return to pre-COVID dimensions.

But for those who successfully navigate the rapidly evolving landscape, there will be reward aplenty. That’s why it’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the curve. Soben’s second annual data centre trends report delves deep into these trends, shedding light on the transformative shifts and technological advancements expected to shape the future of data centres.

The Glasgow-based construction consultancy takes a global view of the ten trends that are shaping the trajectory of the industry and beyond.

Top of every industry agenda is the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and that’s where Soben’s report starts. Although forecasters may not agree on exactly how much AI will add to demand for data centre space, everyone concurs that its contribution will be significant. And it’s not just about capacity. Data centres built for High-Performance Computing and AI will be different from their standard cousins. They need faster processing equipment, which requires more power than a standard facility – perhaps 8x more – which, in turn, kicks out a lot more heat, requiring liquid cooling and its increased power demands. Exactly what this new generation of data centres will look like is not yet clear. 

“Everybody sees it coming, but nobody is sure where they want to build, how they want to build, where they need space. So, they are all waiting for the move,” said Pieter Schaap, Director, Soben.

The paper goes on to explore the industry’s second hot topic, cooling, and the challenges of designing for a technology that is still evolving.

“Technology is changing, but you can only work with what you know at that point of time. You have to press the button. Be decisive but be aware of the risks, design a data centre that is adaptable,” added Robert McQueen, Operations Director, Soben.

Exploring 10 trends in all, Soben’s report takes a global view of everything from power challenges and sustainability to navigating global supply chains and addressing the industry skills shortage. The report serves as a comprehensive guide for industry professionals navigating the evolving landscape of data centres.

The report concludes that whilst the rapid rise in data consumption is creating a golden age for the sector, adaptability and innovative thinking are critical. The unrelenting demand for space continues against a backdrop of land and power constraints, skill shortages, procurement issues and accelerating technological change. Knowing how to navigate this perfect storm will be the key to success.

Read the full report at

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