Q.1 – How did you first become involved with the Data Centre Sector?

A.1 – My own background is in IT managed services where I ran the Managed Services division of a small-midmarket service provider for a number of years. With over 20 years working in the IT sector as a Data Centre customer, I had a reasonable knowledge of the requirements, concerns and challenges that clients have in relation to Data Centre engagement.

Q.2 – How do you think Brexit and GDPR have impacted the storage of data and the future locations of data centres?

A.2 – I think that GDPR in itself will have little effect in the long term on location of Data Centres. To date, European data tends to be retained in European locations as far as possible and with the “common EU data economy” coming into play, GDPR will allow free movement of this data across the EU.

Brexit will obviously impact on the rights surrounding British data held in the EU and vice versa. We have definitely seen more activity around organisations based in UK that retain personal data of EU residents. The UK has made its intention clear that is plans to leave the EU digital economy and I believe that this creates an opportunity for the Irish Data Centre economy as personal data and corresponding digital resources are relocated to the EU.

Q.3 – Ireland punches above its weight in Data Centres Investment, in your opinion, “What factors have driven this/will continue to drive this?”

A.3 – I think there are a number of factors that help Ireland punch above its weight in relation to Data Centre investment. Our location in an economically, socially and geologically stable environment at the westernmost point of Europe makes us a natural gateway for joining Europe to the Americas with low latency availability in both directions.

In addition, our foreign investment and taxation policies, along with our educated workforce have allowed us to attract some of the worlds largest tech giants to set up in Ireland over the past number of decades. We now have an unrivalled pedigree in the global IT development market and this feeds directly into the local Data Centre economy.

Historically, our relatively temperate climate may have contributed to the choice of building Data Centres in Ireland, but with modern and innovative cooling technologies, this is no longer a factor.

Q.4 – In Your Opinion, “What are the opportunities or/and challenges facing the Data Centre Sector over the next few years? and for Ireland in particular?”

A.4 – As a result of IoT and ubiquitous access to Internet services, data growth is going to continue to be exponential.  The requirements to move, store and process this data in a meaningful way is going to continue to present opportunities in the Data Centre space. Additionally, as more organisations embrace digital transformation, the on premise landscape will see a demise as workloads are migrated to cloud based, SaaS and managed hosted environments and services.

The challenges are the same ones that the sector has faced for a number of years: Planning and Power. Planning processes obviously need to be properly streamlined to accelerate the process of development of new or extended facilities. In tandem, creating sustainable and environmentally sound sources of energy for new Data Centres is a challenge that needs to be addressed if we are to continue to successfully retain our edge as a digital economy.

Q.5 – IOT, AI, 5G, Smart buildings, The Edge, Autonomous Cars/Assisted Driving and the overall amount of Data stored will affect DataCentre Infrastructure? and the Data Centre Sector in particular?

A.5 – As IOT and AI exponentially increases generated data, storage technology will similarly improve, and the footprint and power required to store this data may not deviate greatly, or certainly not exponentially. However, getting this data to and from Data Centres, between Data Centres and the Edge and ultimately processing this data in a meaningful way will require massive distributed compute and connectivity capacities which will result in greater connectivity and more distributed Data Centre Infrastructure.

For example, in the case of Autonomous Driving, the data created needs to be, in cases, processed and returned in very short times with absolute reliability. I believe that as a result, organisations in these spaces will require distribution of their resources across a greater number of facilities and their services.


Name: Brian Roe

Title: Commercial Director

Company: Servecentric

Date Completed: 12/9/18

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