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Rising importance of data centres

Data centres stocks have surged as the pandemic highlights the importance of a digital infrastructure as the world shelters at home and online

Data centres - a physical facility where (open) data can be stored and processed - will play a more important role in the future data economy. As the world moves increasingly to the web, users and businesses demand quick information. The closer a business is to a data centre, the higher the performance of the service. The distance between a data centre and the businesses or users can differ. Some data centres are close to the user or business, such as in the gaming or in the (financial) trading sectors. Other data centres are located in the arctic circle and the north of Scandinavia because it requires less power costs to cool.

Data centres host computing and storage systems to enable the delivery of web services. The design of the facility depends on the computing and storage resources. The key components of the design include routers, switches, firewalls, storage systems, servers, and application-delivery controllers. Different types of data, including open data, is stored in data centres.

The increase in use of data centres also shows through the recent rise of the stock prices of data centres. The stock market - especially the rising stock prices and high investments - shows the importance of the digital infrastructure since the outbreak of the pandemic. The need for data centres has risen steadily across the globe, even before the pandemic. For example, the number of data centres in Africa has doubled in the past three years. The pandemic and lockdowns have only accelerated this existing trend. It is expected that data centres will continue to play a crucial role in the data economy of cities and countries across the world.

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