The Market for Data Centers in Frankfurt is booming

It is no longer inside information that Frankfurt has become a leading location for data centers in recent years. The reason for this is quite obvious: because Frankfurt is located in the middle of Germany and the geographical center of the EU is only about 40 kilometers east of the banking district. A fast data connection for many people is ensured in this way.

Frankfurt as the Capital of Data Centers

Strictly speaking, the development of data centers is also not limited to the urban area of Frankfurt am Main itself. Data center clusters are springing up all over the Rhine-Main Region, with these always preferring proximity to DE-CIX (the world’s largest Internet peering point). Hotspots for data centers in the greater Frankfurt area are in particular the East of Frankfurt, Sossenheim, Gallus, the Kaiserlei area in Offenbach, Hattersheim and Rüsselsheim. The reason for the regional distribution of data centers is that, for example, a cloud provider such as AWS distributes and couples three locations for reasons of risk diversification. There is usually a distance of at least 20 kilometers between the individual sites so that a nearby data center can take over in the event of a service interruption.

Neckermann becomes a Data Center

In July 2020, Interxion announced its intention to develop the former headquarters of the mail order company Neckermann into a large IT site. Accordingly, several data centers will be built on a large part of the Neckermann site from the first quarter of 2021. More than one billion Euros is to be invested by 2028, said Jens Prautzsch, managing director of Interxion Germany. The company already operates 15 data centers in Frankfurt, where it hosts the world’s largest Internet node, DE-CIX. Interxion is now part of Digital Realty.


Interxion data center in the east of Frankfurt

Growth Market Data Centers

In its latest report on European data centers, Cushman & Wakefield’s Global Data Center Advisory Group confirms the view that the data center market will continue to grow. The Corona lockdown had proven the need for a robust IT infrastructure, because of home offices and because people were using more video streaming and online gaming in their free time. Corresponding spikes in Internet traffic performance would reflect this new reality. DE-CIX reported a world-record throughput of 9.1 terabits per second in spring 2020. This data flow included a 50 percent increase in video conferencing and a 25 percent increase in both online gaming and social media usage.

In addition, an expansion of well over 100 MW is well underway in Frankfurt am Main, he said. Global providers Digital Realty and Equinix, each of which is active at several clusters, as well as competitors Cyrusone, Iron Mountain, Colt, Interxion and Etix have contributed to this in particular. Many of these providers expect to attract additional hyperscalers as anchor tenants. These hyperscalers include, in particular, Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft Azure, which in turn are increasingly being used as platforms by companies in the financial sector.

DSGVO helps Frankfurt

But it is not only the Corona virus that is contributing to the growth of the data centers in Frankfurt. Data protection considerations due to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) also continue to ensure that capacities are built in Germany and not in other countries.

In July 2020, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) also overturned the so-called Privacy Shield Agreement between the EU and the USA. This meant that previously legitimate data transfers were declared illegal and incompatible with European law in many cases. As a consequence, data will increasingly be stored in Germany in the future to prevent transfers to areas with a different legal situation.

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