Does the data centre industry lack definition?

If you were to attend one of the many data centre focused events, or read some press reports, you could be forgiven for thinking that the data centre industry consists only of the large co-location and hosting companies.

Certainly, these companies are those that are talked about – the large operators with tens of thousands of square feet of data centre space. But they are really only a minor part of a much bigger industry.

Co-location and hosting companies represent only around 5% of all data centre space in the UK. The other 95%, which is rarely talked about or considered, is made up of the data centres, computer rooms and server rooms that exist inside most organisations whether private or in the public sector.

Nearly every business relies (at least in part) on IT and a very large proportion house this IT in their own computer room. This is the often forgotten majority of the data centre industry. We must better define that industry in order to understand some of the challenges ahead in 2009.