The Netherlands as a data centre hub

On 5 July, the leading global data centre company celebrated the opening of its massive new AM4 data centre at the Amsterdam Science Park campus, which will offer more than 11,500 square meters of space in a 13-storey tower. Equinix already operates multiple data centres in Amsterdam.

Global internet traffic is set to increase nearly threefold in the next five years, and the addition of AM4 will help meet that growing demand. “The Netherlands is one of the leading drivers of data centres in Europe,” said Nina Tellegen, the director of the Amsterdam Economic Board. “Thanks to its excellent connectivity, Amsterdam is the world's largest internet hub.”

The European Commission's Digital Economy and Society Index 2017 ranks the Netherlands as the 4th-most advanced digital economy in the EU, and the country’s role is likely to grow even stronger: on 13 June, a report by the Dutch Datacenter Association (DDA) found that the Dutch data centre market grew by about 15% in 2016, continuing a trend of double-digit growth for each of the past six years. 

Amsterdam leading the way 

That strong data centre growth rate is even more prominent in the Amsterdam region, where the sector grew by about 30% in 2016, according to the DDA report. About 98% of the planned 180,000 square meters of new data centre space is also slated for the Amsterdam area. This is due – in part – to the presence of the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), as well as the large concentration of technology and creative companies in and around Amsterdam. These are just a few of the many reasons that explain why multinationals looking to expand into Europe consider Amsterdam a top destination, offering connectivity to 80% of Europe within 50 milliseconds.

Amsterdam Science Park is a particularly attractive location, with the data centres at Science Park currently handling about 38% of Dutch data traffic. In fact, the first transatlantic email was sent from here by CWI, the National Centre for Mathematics, in 1988, and the third website ever was hosted here, for the National Institute of Subatomic Physics (Nikhef). Today, Amsterdam Science Park is rapidly developing in an area with state-of-the-art data-driven technology such as quantum software and artificial intelligence. The demand for space in these data centres is only expected to keep growing in the years ahead, due to the rise of the Internet of Things and the rapidly increasing number of companies using data centres.