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Scalability and growth forcing firms to look beyond traditional data centre hubs

Scalability and growth forcing firms to look beyond traditional data centre hubs

The successes of new-age data centre communities, such as Ireland, are forcing organisations to think past the bubble of traditional hubs, including areas like London. This is according to Greg McCulloch, CEO of Aegis Data.

A recent report from the data centre consulting group BroadGroup, has revealed Ireland to be the best place in Europe to set up a data centre facility, citing several benefits including connectivity amongst cities, taxes and active government support. Both Amazon and Microsoft have facilities in Dublin, with Microsoft’s being one of the largest in Europe. Now, Apple is looking to build an €850 million data centre in Athenry, outside of Dublin.

As the data centre community continues to thrive in Ireland, the IDA Ireland – the agency responsible for the attraction and development of foreign direct investment – has been tasked with identifying new land banks within the country which are suitable for developing large-scale data centre projects.

McCulloch states that the need to new identify land banks remains one of the biggest obstacles amongst existing data centre communities, reinforcing why so many operators are starting to look past traditional Tier 1 hubs, such as London.

For a long-time London was often seen as the de-facto location to establish your data centre in Europe, but as considerations such as rent, scalability and data growth continue to creep higher on operators’ agendas we are starting to see a much bigger pull towards alternative locations.

— Greg McCulloch, CEO of Aegis Data

“Ireland’s burgeoning attractiveness is very much a testament to this. The combination of strong connectivity, buoyed by its international cable, and low taxes has seen it gain many admirers, with many US firms making it their European headquarters. Rightly, the country is capitalising on this and is actively looking for new land banks with the potential to support new facilities, which it shouldn’t have any problems filling. This also reinforces why many are starting to look past more traditional data centre locations.”

McCulloch continued: “Taking London as an example, the monthly rack-space price is nearly double that of other third-party data centres located in the UK. Additionally, restrictions on space often means that data centres in established communities don’t have the capacity or scalability to support increasingly power-hungry technologies.

With the growth in online technologies like social media and gaming, more people are connected than ever before. Coupled with the growing use of virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the draws of London are increasingly becoming a double-edged sword. High power technologies require greater cooling, something that established data centres can’t retrofit into their facilities. This in turn hinders the future-proofing and growth of a business.

— Greg McCulloch, CEO of Aegis Data

McCulloch concluded: “London is and will remain a key location for the data centre community, but its USP of proximity to key exchanges and connectivity are no longer the driving forces for a lot of organisations. As data volumes continue to grow the need for greater flexibility and scalability amongst facilities and their infrastructure are becoming increasingly important. This is why upcoming data centre communities such as Ireland have fared so well, and ultimately why we are starting to see a pull towards alternative locations.”

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