Continually rising demand for data, combined with ongoing improvement in computer performance under Moore’s Law may cause a ‘bottleneck’ in facility construction if supply chain disruption continues – says a sector expert.
According to Greger Ruud, Data Centre Specialist for Aggreko, the continued doubling of computer speed and capabilities under Moore’s Law is putting the data centre sector under strain as stakeholders look to upgrade existing facilities. With September Statista reports demonstrating data consumption growth, and real estate experts JLL predicting persistent supply chain delays causing delivery challenges into 2024, Ruud is warning of a potential ‘bottleneck’ in construction if action is not taken.
“The ongoing boom in worldwide data centre markets is undoubtedly something to be welcomed, but it does give rise to additional challenges construction stakeholders need to plan around,” he said. “Specifically, the supply chain must keep pace with this level of growth and improvement in computer performance, which is putting pressure on existing data centre apparatus.
“It is now not uncommon to see facilities that were brought online as early as 18 months ago needing to upgrade entire halls to deal with this perfect storm of factors. However, a lack of availability for key equipment, including solutions required for loadbank testing and utility provision, is causing a bottleneck at the least opportune time. This supply chain disruption must be worked around if the market is to continue meeting ongoing demand and accounting for increasingly powerful computers being developed and used by data consumers.”
With refurbishment works a key priority across Europe and taking immovable project completion deadlines into account, the need for new strategies and thought-around equipment procurement is becoming pressing. According to Ruud, facility construction stakeholders should explore alternative approaches to the ongoing scarcity of loadbank testing and utility provision solutions, if further disruption is to be avoided.
“Issues experienced sourcing key equipment is already well-known to the market, with these challenges expected to continue into the short-to-medium term,” he concluded. “Consequently, those involved in retrofitting existing facilities cannot afford to stand still and be subject to delays that may result in additional financial costs and reputational damage.
“Testing, power generation and temperature control provision must therefore be immediately available to facilitate this boom, especially if energy provision requirements are continually changing in line with Moore’s Law. Temporary equipment hire could provide contractors with an effective way of keeping this disruption to a minimum, and I would encourage key stakeholders to get in touch with their suppliers and explore this option.”