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Published in Industry on 12/12/2017

Ireland’s Data Hosting Industry Report 2017


CNI reports

Host in Ireland,  a strategic global initiative created to increase awareness of the benefits of hosting digital assets in Ireland, and winner of the Datacloud Europe 2016 award for Innovative Data Center Location, today announces the release of a new report, “Ireland’s Data Hosting Industry 2017.”  The research study, created in collaboration with Bitpower and partly-funded by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), examines the opportunities and challenges associated with the digital asset hosting industry in Ireland.

In an analysis of Ireland’s data hosting industry, the report focuses on large, purpose-built data centres over 1MW in size, including hyperscale data centres, colocation and wholesale data centres, as well as private data centre facilities.  Noted in the study, in 2016, hyperscale data centres comprised 75 percent of the total digital hosting capacity in Ireland.  With €71 billion of ICT services exported last year, including products and services hosted in its data centres, Ireland clearly continues to be a leading “Digital Gateway to EMEA for Global Commerce.”

In a survey of colocation providers about why they choose to locate in Ireland and specifically Dublin, participants cited six decades of association with Foreign Direct Investment; continued investment in off-island fiber to Europe and the U.S.; the T50, Dublin’s diverse and resilient fibre ring; common law legal framework; pro-business fiscal policies; increasing awareness within Irish government for time-certainty on planning and energy applications; and an educated and native English-speaking workforce.  When compared to other European cities, another key advantage of Dublin cited is the proximity of colocation, managed services and Internet exchanges to Google, Amazon and Microsoft who are also based in Dublin.  Ireland’s combination of colocation and hyperscale data centre facilities is unique in Europe. Significantly, the report indicates that Ireland’s temperate climate has little or no effect on decisions to locate data centres in Ireland.

“Ireland has evolved as a Tier 1 hosting location to become the ‘Digital Gateway to Europe’ and the ‘Home of the Hybrid Cloud’ amongst other recognitions, as major multinational companies prioritise their online presence and aggressively launch digital-first initiatives,” states Host in Ireland Founder and President, Garry Connolly.  “The combination of Ireland’s pro-business approach, attractive corporate tax, common law based legal system, continued investment in off-Island fiber cables to the U.S. and Europe, and continued financial support for data centre energy efficiency make it uniquely attractive to global operators, including international pharmaceutical, biotech and software companies seeking an optimal location to host their digital assets.  Over the past 12 months, the market in Ireland has seen unprecedented demand for its product from colocation, hyperscale and wholesale providers, with similar demand only seen in Data Center Alley in Loudoun County, Virginia, USA.

The report also attempts to establish a baseline of the size, by category and sustainability, of Ireland’s data centre industry, addressing the scale of energy in use, requested and predicted over the period from 2017 to 2024.  In 2016, the total energy use for all operational data centres in Ireland was estimated to be 1.40 TWh.  Ireland’s total electricity use in 2016 was 27.6 TWh.  By way of illustration, the world’s data centres used 416.2 TWh in 2016, of which Ireland’s data centre energy use represented 0.34 percent of the industry total.  By analysing the different types of data centres, and documenting the energy efficiency and best practices in data centre design and operations, the report will act as a useful reference for policymakers when looking to provide context to the growing global requirement for data centres, as a “Connected Planet” becomes a reality.

“Data has a much higher economic value than the energy that powers it, and all stakeholders should recognise this when trying to evaluate the sustainability of the data centre industry in Ireland,” comments David McAuley, Founder and CEO, Bitpower, and Host in Ireland Advisory Council member.  “As ‘Ireland’s Data Hosting Industry 2017’ report indicates, collaboration between data centre operators, state utilities and agencies, and renewable energy developers will be key to maintaining Ireland’s position as a Tier 1 global location for hosting and participating in the next wave of growth.”

To download a copy of “Ireland’s Data Hosting Industry 2017” report, click here.