Having trouble finding power supplies? You are not alone • The register

Power and heat management equipment critical to building data centers is in short supply, with months-long delays in shipments — a situation that is expected to persist through 2023, Dell’Oro Group reports.

The analytics firm’s latest report on data center physical infrastructure – which tracks an array of basic but essential components such as uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs), thermal management systems, IT racks and power distribution units – revealed that manufacturer shipments accounted for only one to two percent of data center physical infrastructure revenue growth in the first quarter.

“Unit shipments, for the most part, were flat at low single digit growth,” said Dell’Oro analyst Lucas Beran. The register.

He blamed difficult supply chain conditions and strong demand from hyperscalers – which are expected to open at least 30 more regions this year – for the delays.

Customers hoping to get their hands on what Beran calls long-sell-cycle products – large centralized three-phase UPS systems, thermal management and cabinet power distribution systems, for example – may have to wait between six months and a year before even boat.

And the story isn’t much better for products that are generally readily available. Things like single-phase UPSs, rack power distribution units, and computer racks have seen delivery times drop to between four and six weeks depending on the vendor.

“Supply chain disruptions are by no means going away,” Beran said, adding that while he expects a higher volume of unit shipments in the second half of 2022, the improvement is likely to be marginal.

A bright spot of liquid cooling

While supply remains tight, Beran notes that some emerging technologies are gaining momentum.

He expects liquid and immersion cooling to see robust growth over the next few years as customers become familiar with the technology. While liquid and immersion cooling combined accounted for just 5% of total thermal management spend in 2021, it is a rapidly growing market, up about 50% from the previous year.

Moreover, interest in technologies is at an all-time high, accelerated by investments from major OEMs and chipmakers. Last month, Intel announced a $700 million lab in Oregon to develop new liquid cooling technologies.

“When Intel throws its weight behind something like this, and not just a little something, but $700 million – almost a billion dollars – that’s a pretty big signal for the data center ecosystem. that this is serious technology,” Beran said.

Inflation hits the data center physical infrastructure market

Despite austere supply chain forecasts for physical data center infrastructure, industry revenue jumped 6% year-over-year in the first quarter as pent-up demand was met by unit costs higher.

“When I look at the physical infrastructure of the data center as a whole…four to five percent of that was due to price increases,” Beran observed, adding that vendors pass on higher costs to channel partners. and customers.

Most of this growth was realized in the North American, Asia-Pacific and Chinese markets, where Eaton Riello and Schneider Electric gained the largest shares during the quarter.

Short-sell-cycle products like single-phase inverters felt the brunt of inflationary pricing pressures in the quarter, according to Beran, who expects higher prices to start hitting longer-sell-cycle products. long at the beginning of 2023.

Looking ahead, Beran expects data center physical infrastructure revenue to grow 9% for the full year of 2022 as improving supply chain conditions in the second half of 2022 faces higher prices.

This growth will be fueled, in large part, by increased spending at scale and in the cloud this year. The analyst firm predicts that cloud providers will spend up to 25% more, or $18 billion, on data center infrastructure in 2022, after record investments in the first quarter. ®

Rosemary C. Kearney