Datacenters are declining worldwide both in numbers and square footage, according to IDC — a remarkable change for an industry that has seen booming growth for many years.

Users are consolidating datacenters and increasingly renting server power. These two trends are having a major impact on datacenter space.

The number of datacenters worldwide peaked at 8.55 million in 2015, according to IDC. That figure began declining last year, and is expected to drop to an expected 8.4 million this year. By 2021, the research firm expects there to be 7.2 million datacenters globally, more than 15 percent fewer than in 2015.

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