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Major Cloud Space Scrambling, New Toilet Paper Issue

BRISBANE: “Datacentres are the new toilet-paper,”says the always colourful Superloop/Megaport/NextDC founder Bevan Slattery, pictured. In a post on LinkedIn he warns that the advent of the, pictured coronavirus has brought on a grab for datacentre capacity, not just in Australia, but across the world.

Slatts says that datacentre operators – presumably including Slattery’s NextDC – may have to think about rationing available power capacity to their operations in order to deal with the sudden increase in demand.

“With the absolute rush of people moving to the cloud due to the coronavirus,  cloud providers are already seeing 50-100 percent capacity spikes and are expecting 100-200 percent requirements in the near term,” he says.

Already major clouds are scrambling to grab every available MW of DC capacity and locking up future builds.

“All of a sudden, demand is massively outstripping supply and with that comes pricing pressure on the upside,” he said. “If you want to serve this rush, you need gigawatts of capacity … Once the existing capacity is absorbed, it will take 12-18 months for new capacity to be brought online.

“It’s a rush and soon DC [datacentre] operators will need to start rationing megawatts – just like toilet paper!”

The change hasn’t gone unnoticed by other data-centre operators. An Equinix Australia spokesperson told iTnews that it had “witnessed a more than 40 percent surge in Internet exchange traffic in Sydney” since the beginning of January. 

The spokesperson said: “The current shift in digital consumption patterns has never been so drastic in such a short span of time. Unified communication vendors like WebEx, Zoom and Cisco are reporting more than 100 percent increases ”

Microsoft said at the weekend that it had seen a 775 percent increase in demand for its cloud services in some regions. 

The company added: “The global health pandemic continues to impact every organisation – large or small – their employees, and the customers they serve … our top priority remains support for critical health and safety organisations and ensuring remote workers stay up and running.”

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