European data centres to reach record supply growth in 2017
Colocation supply capacity across Europe is set to reach a record high by the end of 2017.
A new report from CBRE examining the first half of 2017 has revealed that colocation data supply capacity from the European data centre hubs of London, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, will reach its biggest growth in history, with close to 20% of all supply coming online this year.
The first half of 2017 delivered a combined supply growth of 74MW, with a further 120MW of supply expected to be brought online by the end of 2017.
One sixth of all colocation supply in the last 12 months have been brought online.
The report suggests that this growth signifies a “strong confidence towards future take up” across Europe.
Looking at take-up across Europe, London was the top performing market with a “notable number” of transactions singed by enterprise and tech companies, providing a “balance to the continued wave of demand from the hyperscale cloud companies.”
70% of take-up in Amsterdam came from sales in retail facilities, while Frankfurt and Paris both saw an upswing in demand from hyperscale cloud companies.
Mitul Patel, Head of EMEA Data Centre Research, EMEA at CBR, said: “Confidence in the European colocation sector is higher than ever and Q2 delivered another blockbuster performance. The cloud companies that are driving recent growth in Europe show no signs of decelerating in their procurement of colocation space and developers are responding in-kind with an unprecedented level of build activity.
“The continued increase in our use of IT and reliance on the digital world, and thus the increased need for processing power, has led to record-breaking levels of new supply and take-up since 2016.
“In context, in the six quarters prior to 2016 we saw 90MW of new supply and 91MW of take-up. In the six quarters since, we have seen 204MW of new supply and 212MW of new take-up.”
You can read the full report at www.cbre.com.
Amazon test new technology to improve employee safety
At the Amazon Robotics and Advanced Technology labs in Boston, and Northern Italy, team members are testing and developing new technologies in order to help to make employees’ jobs safer, these include technologies that help move carts and packages through Amazon facilities.
Recently the safety of Amazon's warehouses has drawn scrutiny. On June 1, the Washington Post's Jay Greene and Chris Alcantara published findings from an analysis of Occupational Safety and Health Administration data showing Amazon's serious injury rates are nearly double those at other companies' facilities.
A spokesperson from Amazon said the company spent more than $1 billion last year on safety measures, and hired more than 6,200 employees to a group dedicated to workplace health and safety.
One innovation being tested by Amazon, which is in early development, is the use of motion-capture technology to assess the movement of volunteer employees in a lab setting. These employees perform tasks that are common in many Amazon facilities, such as the movement of totes, which carry products through robotic fulfillment centers.
The motion-capture software enables Amazon scientists and researchers to more accurately compare data captured in a lab environment to industry standards rather than other modelling tools traditionally used by ergonomists.
“With this data, visualisations, and employee feedback, we are looking to identify relatively simple changes that can make a big impact,” said Kevin Keck, worldwide director of Advanced Technology at Amazon. “Something as simple as changing the position of handles on totes may help lower the risk of injuries to our employees at a massive scale.”
Autonomous Robots creating new paths to safety
In order to reduce the need for employees to reach up or bend down when retrieving items, Amazon is testing a new workstation system called “Ernie.” According to the company Ernie takes totes off of a robotic shelf and uses a robotic arm to deliver it to employees, so they can remain in a more comfortable and stable position.
“We’re known for being passionate about innovating for customers, but being able to innovate with robotics for our employees is something that gives me an extra kick of motivation each day,” said Keck. “The innovation with a robot like Ernie is interesting because while it doesn’t make the process go any faster, we’re optimistic, based on our testing, it can make our facilities safer for employees.”
“Bert” is one of Amazon’s first Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), and is being tested to autonomously navigate through facilities with Amazon-developed advanced safety, perception, and navigation technology. In the future, it is thought that an employee would be able to summon Bert to carry items across a facility.
‘Scooter’ and ‘Kermit’ are two other robots that also operate autonomously, and are both transport cars. The carts are used to carry empty totes and packages through our facilities.
In a blog post the company said: ‘By having Autonomously Guided Carts (AGCs) like Scooter and Kermit perform physical tasks, we believe we can make our facilities safer and enable our employees to focus on jobs that require their critical thinking skills. In addition, using an AGC like Scooter to pull carts through our facilities reduces the risk of strains on our employees, or even collisions. We currently plan to deploy Scooter to at least one Amazon facility this year.’
Amazon began using robotics in its facilities in 2012, and since then they have added more than 1 million jobs worldwide while simultaneously deploying 350,000 mobile drive unit robots.
“The role robotics and advanced technology can play in not only innovating for customers, but helping make our facilities safer, is a massive motivation for me and my team,” said Keck. “The health and safety of our employees is our number one priority. By listening to them, innovating on their behalf, and driving new technologies into our facilities over the coming months and years, I’m confident we’ll make a big contribution to our goal of reducing recordable incidents by 50% by 2025.”