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August 27, 2015

Colo competition heats up amidst Emerson, Schneider power struggle

Research suggests colocation data centre spending will rise in 2016.

By Alexander Sword

The already fragmented colocation market is set to become more competitive as organisations up their investment.

Many organisations are looking to invest in colocation in 2016, with 42 percent expecting to spend 15 percent more with colocation providers compared with 2015.

In addition, 14 percent of organisations claim that they are likely to switch from or use a different colocation provider for new capacity.

The colocation market, which grew 11 percent year-on-year by square footage in Q1 2015 and is expected to maintain the same rate through 2018, was revealed to be fragmented and competitive. This is despite high-profile acquisitions of Telx by Digital Realty Trust and Telecity by Equinix.

Globally 451 Research identified over 1,036 providers globally, while only three vendors were used by more than 10 percent of survey respondents. These were Equinix, AT&T and SunGard.

Dan Harrington, Research Director at 451 Research, explained that value was determining the market.

"Equinix leads the pack when it comes to doing what a colocation provider should do best: providing reliable, highly connected and secure facilities. Providers that were ranked lower received poor marks due to aging facilities and poor value for the money."

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"Colocation providers will need to keep their eye on the ball when it comes to modernising their facilities and delivering core competencies to remain competitive," said Harrington.

Schneider Electric, however, maintained its lead in the power and cooling market for data centres. The provider is used by 64 percent of enterprise customers, with Emerson Network Power following at 33 percent, according to Vendor Window surveys by 451 Research.

"While the 2015 Vendor Window for Power Equipment shows Schneider is the clear leader in market adoption for power equipment, Emerson is well positioned to challenge their market penetration," said Harrington.

"Emerson is seen as providing market competitive products and high promise, but needing to work on fulfillment attributes."

For cooling equipment specifically, Emerson was the most commonly used vendor with 59 percent.

"Emerson Liebert has a strong brand presence among enterprise IT buyers as a cooling supplier and are viewed as having highly reliable and efficient CRAC and CRAH equipment, especially among large organisations. Our respondents put them far ahead of competitors in terms of both market offerings and their ability to follow through on expectations."

The findings were based on 1,036 Web-based surveys and 25 hour-long in-depth interviews with IT professionals.

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