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Energy, Healthcare Drive Data Center Demand In Houston


Unprecedented demand for online content such as movies, videos, apps, social media and photos have become a staple part of the digital diet. And according to JLL’s latest data center report, the adoption of cloud services to store all this content is expected to double the size of the North American data center industry by 2021.

The JLL report covers 17 North American markets for data center facilities, and reveals the top trends influencing US data center locations, including:

Cloud adoption will double the data center industry over the next five years. Cloud adoption is racing ahead at breakneck speed and even this year, JLL has seen record absorption of data center space totaling 274.2M MW. This is spurring a development surge across the country, especially in markets like Northern Virginia, where 1.1M SF is under construction and a further 2.7M SF is planned.

Data center users are disbursing data across locations, aligning with smarter data management strategies. Data center providers and users alike are getting smarter about location planning and load management, while pursuing shorter, more flexible lease structures. 

Data sovereignty laws are redrawing the global data center location map. From Brazil to Russia, the industry's biggest players are expanding internationally faster than ever to meet growing demand and help users stay compliant with regulations designed to keep data inside a nation’s borders.

Climate change is shaping data center legislation and technology. The realities of global climate change have spurred effective energy-efficiency solutions, from refrigerant-based cooling systems to the continuing rise of data center micro grids.



Houston's data center market is overall healthy. Although inventory has been absorbed at a slower rate in 2016 due to the cascading effect of the energy sector, it remained positive at 1.45 MW year-to-date. Even a weakened energy market is still driving data usage, and healthcare sector demand is growing.