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January 12, 2018updated 12 Jul 2022 10:19am

London one of top areas for colocation data centres

London is the only EMEA metro area in the top revenue ranking.

By Sabrina Dougall

Colocation data centres are becoming increasingly concentrated in key metro locations, withcolo market growth steadily increasing in all major metros in Q3 2017 – but wholesale growth stands out as the frontrunner.

Just 20 metro areas account for 59% of worldwide retail and wholesale colocation revenues, according to data released by Synergy Research Group. New figures rank the five most significant global metro areas in terms of revenue as: Washington, New York, Tokyo, London and Shanghai, meaning the UK’s capital continues to fly the flag for the European tech market on the world stage. These five metros alone account for a quarter (26%) of the global colo market.

Over the last four quarters, the rise in colocation revenue among the top five metro areas beat worldwide growth by two percentage points, showing the global market is becoming increasingly concentrated in this direction.


The next 15 largest metro markets account for a further third of the worldwide total. Of the most prominent 20 metros on the globe, ten are in North America, six are in the APAC region and four in EMEA. Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Washington/Northern Virginia all had annualized growth rates of 15% or more, adjusted to the local currency. In these regions, growth in wholesale tended to be stronger than in the retail segment.

Significantly for enterprise managers, retail colocation made up a notable 72% of Q3 revenues last year, with wholesale coming in at 28% of the total. During that quarter, Equinix was the market leader by revenue in eight out of the top 20 metro areas. By comparison, Digital Realty would be the leader in five more if a full quarter of the acquired DuPont Fabros operations were included in its numbers.

“One number that jumps out is the wholesale growth rate in the Washington/Northern Virginia metro area,” said John Dinsdale, Chief Analyst and Research Director at Synergy Research Group. “It is by far the largest wholesale market in the world and for it to be growing at 20% is particularly noteworthy.

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“The broader picture is that data centre outsourcing and cloud services continue to drive the colocation market, and the geographic distribution of the world’s corporations is focusing the colocation market on a small number of major metro areas.”

Other colocation operators featuring prominently on the metro leaderboard this year include: 21Vianet, @Tokyo, China Telecom, CoreSite, CyrusOne, Global Switch, Interxion, KDDI, NTT, SingTel and QTS.

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