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Data Gravity Index™ 2.0: As Trade Flows, Data Flows

In the Data Gravity Index™ 2.0, we study the proliferation of data globally correlated with Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It features over 100 million unique data elements and over one billion calculations across 190+ countries and 500+ metros.

The report is the latest in its series, following the Data Gravity Index Report 1.5. The report predicts the intensity of Data Gravity, giving valuable insights to the enterprise, cloud providers, and network providers as they plan their data capacity strategy.

Learn the Data Gravity implications for:

  • Connectivity: Traffic is shifting to multi-directional; public cloud destined to multi-cloud destined.
  • Capacity: Data growth and movement explode, demanding new capacity types and hybrid models.
  • Communities: Public, private, and hybrid data across edge, core, and cloud participate in connected data communities.

Data Gravity Index™ 2.0 Key Highlights

  • Data Gravity’s impact on enterprise
  • The evolution of the data economy
  • 5 macrotrends influencing Data Gravity
  • Data regulation fueling Data Gravity
  • Multi-cloud and hybrid cloud adoption

The evolution of the Data Gravity Index™ 2.0

In 2020, Digital Realty published the Data Gravity Index™ 1.5. This report helped inform our customers as they shift their strategies to address complex Hybrid IT challenges underpinned by Data Gravity.

In the Data Gravity Index™ 2.0, we are continuing this mission supported by refined data sets and calculations that correlate Data Gravity with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth. This reflects the increased importance of secure data exchange and our global economy shifting from digitally powered to data-powered.

Data Gravity refers to the idea that data has mass, and as its size and importance grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to move or replicate.  

Data Gravity is the attractive force caused by enterprise data creation and exchange, drawing applications, servers, and other data. As data creation and exchange grows, it accelerates exponentially due to this attractive force. In centers of data creation and exchange, this explosion of data can be onerous for legacy servers and applications. 

Data Gravity can cause challenges that can impede the efficiency of data exchange, security, customer experiences, and innovation on a global scale. The Data Gravity Index™ 2.0  measures the impact of global data with GDP.

A large enterprise storing data with a cloud provider for a long time may face challenges associated with Data Gravity. As data rapidly accumulates and reliance on the provider's tools grows, it becomes difficult and expensive to move to another provider or on-premises, even when those changes are necessary to bring data closer to users or unlock insights from siloed data. The data's integral nature to the organisation's operations results in a significant gravitational pull, making relocation complex without affecting essential applications and services. Read the Data Gravity Index™ 2.0 to understand the effects of enterprise data across public cloud and private data centres.



The effect of Data Gravity is that it becomes increasingly challenging to move or relocate large volumes of data due to its weight and integral role in an organisation's operations. This can make it difficult and costly to change cloud providers or move data back on-premises. Read the Data Gravity Index™ 2.0 to understand the effects of enterprise data across public cloud and private data centres.


The term "Data Gravity" was coined by Dave McCrory, Global Head of Insights and Analytics at Digital Realty, in 2010. The concept refers to the notion that data attracts applications and services, similar to how planets attract objects with their gravitational force. Read the Data Gravity Index™ 2.0 to find out our predictions on the intensity of Data Gravity.


Data Gravity, driven by the adoption of emerging technologies, like Artificial Intelligence (AI), increasing data localisation, regulation, and sovereignty needs, creates a significant challenge for the enterprise. By putting data first from both a business and technology standpoint, this segment can profit from the shift to data-driven workflows and address Data Gravity where it is the highest—in major population centres. The Data Gravity Index™ 2.0  provides insight to enterprises on the growth of global data and the impact on GDP.