What Trends Will Impact the Future of Data Center Site Selection

Hey, everyone. AJ Byers here, president and chief development officer for Compass. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what will be the biggest impact on data center site selection in the coming years? What we’ve seen is that a large percentage of data center land development over the last five to 10 years has been based on proximity to existing data center deployments around the world. And a common challenge has been that both land and power availability have become extremely scarce in most major markets near these deployments.

So what’s that going to mean for the location of data center deployments in the coming years? Because I think there’s a number of factors at play. Will people be talking more about environmental concerns and will that play a stronger role? Will places like the Nordics, Montreal, Canada, or Oregon in the US, with clean, renewable energy see higher demand? Will we see more renewable installations being built immediately adjacent to these data center deployments or will we see new market deployments being placed further from major cities?

We’ve seen a common deployment issue play out in many markets where new market entry sites are located within the city limits, and then within a few years, both land values and scarcity along with limited power and distribution play havoc on those expansion capabilities. Will we see this trend stop and more new regions being deployed 50 to a hundred kilometers outside of the city limits? And then what impact will tech have? We’ve seen an increased look at liquid cooling by many major providers. Will that have an impact on site selection and how soon will that become a mainstream cooling technology for the industry?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on where you think data center deployments are heading and please share your comments. Thank you.