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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

“Big Data” Trend to Increase Demand for High Powered Data Centers in Northern Virginia

by Dan Gonzalez

The high tech trend of “big data analytics” on the part of the federal government and industry is creating demand, especially in Northern Virginia, for data centers capable of supporting the required mega-storage, higher power, and cooling densities.

Major growth drivers for this type of analytics are the proliferation of government-generated intelligence, the digitization of documents previously on paper, growth of scientific-research data, mobile devices, and social networking.  According to the latest Avison Young Data Center Newsletter, “There are 50 wholesale options in the US that can accommodate [big data needed 1 megawatt plus users] immediately and those are located in Virginia, Texas and California.”   For example, Facebook is currently leasing big data center space in Ashburn.

The federal government and a wide variety of industries are investing heavily into big data analytics.  In addition to “big government,” other private sector major users are:

   Social media and e-commerce, where user behavior is analyzed to generate marketing intelligence

   Healthcare, where patient data is analyzed to make diagnosis or treatment decisions

   Financial services, where qualitative analysis of data is important, i.e., stock-trading trends.

   Manufacturing and design

What all of this will mean is there will be an increased demand in Northern Virginia for powerful data centers AND analysts to read the data being generated.  It is the area’s good fortune to already have the necessary work force and culture in place to make “big data” generated meaningful and understood. 

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