Echelon points out in the report that London, and particularly the business districts of the city and Canary Wharf, are home to many global businesses whose operations are data intensive. But London’s “business focus and limited capacity” requires a tailored approach.

Echelon aims to build a European network of large-scale data centers to meet growing demand for data processing in the global digital economy. Starting movement in early 2019, the company announced an investment in two data center developments in Ireland — the two facilities combined to have a capacity of at least 184 MW.

And in September 2019, the company continued its plan to have 500 MW of capacity in five countries by 2025 with another investment of 150 million Euros in a 20 MW data center facility in London’s docklands.

“While Ireland’s climate, connectivity, relatively small geography and progressive political environment makes it eminently suited to large-scale data centre infrastructure, London’s business focus and limited capacity requires a more tailored approach,” says Echelon in the new report.

The new facility is to be located on Greenwich View and expected to be tenant-ready in Q1 2021. According to the report, this is the first new facility in the area to come on stream in almost 30 years, adding to the 22 existing data centers in the vicinity. This illustrates an area of high demand and limited availability.

But although London might be ripe for data center growth and possibilities, it’s not the easiest location to approach.

For example, “Finding 20 MW of capacity in the heart of London’s business district is not easy. It’s a scarce commodity, given the location, the availability or power and the ability to accommodate high-density racks,” the report states.

That said, according to the Echelon, it is “the right time” to be investing in data centers and their operation, regardless of any challenges. The reasoning? The wholesale adoption of electronic payments, the rise of artificial intelligence, the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual reality and more.

Echelon reminds us in the report, “The dataverse is expanding exponentially.”