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AME region data centres up 16% by 2015

A report from Tariff Consultancy is forecasting a 16 per cent average annual revenue growth for data centres in Africa and the Middle East region over the next five years.

The Africa & Middle East Data Centre Report - 2011 provides an overview of 15 of the most important data centre markets across the two regions. Although the markets are still developing, each of the 15 markets is set for a period of sustained growth for the period from 2010 to 2015. Raised floor space is set to reach 182,000 m2 across the 15 countries by the end of 2010, and is forecast to rise to over 324,000 m2 by the end of 2015 - a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 per cent.

Data centre revenue is forecast to rise from US$646m per annum to US$1,150m per annum over the same five-year period - a CAGR of 16 per cent. Pricing for space and per rack pricing is still at a discount to most pricing in Europe, but data centre pricing in the Middle East is now approaching European price levels, the study avers, particularly in countries such as Oman and Saudi Arabia, with average pricing across the region only about 30 per cent less. Pricing for African data centre space is still relatively low, however, and is at a discount on average of 50 per cent below European levels.

In many markets in Africa there remains limited data centre facilities, with the amount of space and the size per facility being especially limited. Most space is in these countries is provided by the ISP or telecoms provider, is shared with an existing switching centre, and is generally not purpose built for high-density requirements. As a result, data centre pricing is low and does not reflect the real cost of providing a high specification facility. Some countries, notably South Africa, are experiencing a boom in data centre construction and are seeing new Carrier Neutral Data Centre (CNDC) facilities enter the market. The spread of alternative network operators is also making the use of a third-party data centre location a viable alternative to a self-built facility.

Also, countries in North Africa - such as Morocco and Egypt - are also benefiting from the trend towards off-shoring as enterprises and integrators seeking to base their IT development centres in those countries in order to save costs. In the Middle east, many of the Gulf States have made investment in telecoms and data centre infrastructure a priority in order to spur overall economic development. Countries like the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia are opening high-specification data centres which can provide a myriad of telecoms, hosting and IT consulting services and applications, such as Cloud Computing.

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