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

A.1 – I first became involved in the Data Centre Sector in 2007 when I joined Avocent, a specialist in Out-Of-Band management of Data Centre Equipment. I have since then held a range of Sales and Development roles within the Data Centre and Enterprise Software sector for companies and technologies including Emerson Network Power, Aperture, Server Technology, Trackit Solutions and Nlyte Software

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

A.2 –The rules and regulations of transparency compliance about data use and security measures to protect the data have greatly impacted organizations to remain GDPR compliant.

With storage points being the critical focus of GDPR compliance, data centers have had to secure the compliance of third parties to protect them against a GDPR compliance breach when it comes to storing the personal data of their enterprise customers.  Many data centers have used Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software solutions – like the Nlyte GDPR solution – to mitigate specific GDPR compliance, monitor the physical computing infrastructure that maintains organizations’ sensitive data and gain full transparency on how those physical assets are managed and maintained, and who has made changes to those resources.

GDPR compliance has led organizations and data centers located in Europe (Germany, France) or the EEA (Norway) to co-locate or build in locations that offer a bit of ease on GDPR compliance – this includes Ireland.

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 – Ireland is a bridge between the United States and Europe, and the fastest-growing economy in the Eurozone. Ireland stands as the #28 globally ranked country on Cloudscene based on data center density with “42 colocation data centers, 114 cloud service providers and 3 network fabrics.”

Ireland’s tech-savvy workforce, corporate tax incentives, and affordable and sustainable energy supply are the top driving factors for this growth.  Not to mention that Ireland is totally unaffected by the restrictions on the “transnational transfer of data on EU citizens given transfers can occur among any of the 28 EU member states.” 

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 – Gartner’s report – The Data Center is Dead, and Digital Infrastructures Emerge – by David Cappuccio in April of this year underscored the emerging digital infrastructure where data centers will become:

  • Relegated legacy holding areas, dedicated to very specific services that cannot be supported elsewhere, or supporting those systems that are most economically efficient on-premises.
  • Interconnect services – with the proliferation of cloud providers, IoT, edge services and SaaS offerings – limiting the traditional data center topology.

Specifically for Ireland, the 2017 Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) report indicates: The large, purpose-built data centers (over 1MW in size) make up 75% of Ireland’s total digital hosting capacity. And €71 Billion of ICT services export (products and services hosted in its data centers) – position Ireland as a Tier 1 hosting location and coined as the “Digital Gateway to EMEA for Global Commerce.”  A 50% growth is expected for Irish managed service and colo data center providers, while wholesale and hyperscale colo providers expect a 100% increase.

Furthermore, Dublin’s advantages for colo providers include Off-island fiber to the U.S. and Europe.

The challenge facing Ireland is the energy supply as the government recommends including the data center “asset class in the Strategic Infrastructure Act.” In 2016, total energy use for all operational data centers in Ireland was estimated as 1.40 TWh – Ireland total electricity use in 2016 was 27.6 TWh. In comparison, the world’s data centers used 416.2 TWh in 2016, of which Ireland’s data center energy use represented 0.34 percent of the industry’s total.

David McAuley, Founder and CEO, Bitpower, and Host in Ireland Advisory Council member summarized the challenges facing Ireland best: “As ‘Ireland’s Data Hosting Industry 2017’ report indicates, collaboration between data center 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.”

Q.5 – How 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 – With the scale, complexity and required optimization of today’s modern Data Centers, they can’t be managed using traditional rules and products. The introduction of AI is helping data center operators with preventative maintenance, incorporating “equipment within equipment” information to predict failure while optimizing IT equipment as well as accurately predicting future trends of racks and servers.

Name: James Stuart

Title: Director of EMEA Sales

Company: Nlyte Software

Date Completed: 06/09/18


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