Together with Israel, the UAE and Saudi markets now account for 70 per cent of all Data Centre space in the 8 countries analyzed by TCL (including all the 6 Gulf States plus Israel & Jordan) in the new report.
And with the sharp increase in new Data Centre capacity entering the market, there has been inevitably pressure on Data Centre price levels, with standard rack space rates falling by an average of 5 per cent since 2012 even as new higher quality facilities are launched.
New high quality facilities continues to enter Data Centre markets in the Middle East, with new providers in the UAE (including Khazna Data Centers, Gulf Data Hub & Equinix), Israel (including IT services company Bynet – who is building an underground Data Centre facility of up to 14,000 square metres near Jerusalem). The continued increase in high quality Data Centre space will continue to present a challenge for all Data Centre providers in the region.
However, in the Gulf States in particular there remains a limited choice of Telecoms Provider infrastructure, which means that the Data Centre facility can only offer a reduced number of network options, unlike the Carrier Neutral Data Centre provider in North America or Europe.
Instead, Data Centre providers in the region are focusing on the introduction of IT services, including application services, managed services and increasingly cloud computing services for enterprises in the region, rather than offering the traditional portfolio of independent Data Centre space and connectivity.
But in the UAE, there is major expansion of Carrier Neutral Data Centre space which is most clearly signified with the appearance of Equinix, which launched its Dubai IBX in Dubai in 2013 – its first Data Centre investment in the region. The UAE has also been helped by the introduction of the regions first Internet Exchange (called UAE-IX) in 2013, which is managed by the German DC-CIX Internet Exchange.
The TCL Data Centre Middle East 2015 report finds that the Telecoms Provider still accounts for the majority of Data Centre space in the region, with providers such as Mobily (Saudi Arabia), Bezeq International (Israel), Ooredoo (Qatar) and Etisalat (UAE) all having a substantial Data Centre presence in the Middle East.
But new services are required in order to allow the Data Centre provider to avoid competing on price given the amount of new space being created. Also, Data Centre providers in the Gulf States are finding that enterprises need to be encouraged to outsource their IT applications in a 3rd party Data Centre facility. The Middle East Data Centre facility also faces the challenge of attracting new hosting customers from outside the country – as part of an inward investment campaign – if its Data Centre utilization goals are to be successfully met.