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  • Facebook’s Niall McEntegart, EMEA DataCentre Site Operations Director to deliver Keynote address on the 20 November
  • Delivering the keynote address on the 21 November Minister Pat Breen

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

A.1 – I founded Cork Internet eXchange in 2007 because I saw the need for a data centre in Cork.

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 believe that Brexit will cause some companies to move HQ operations out of the UK but it will encourage other companies to have a presence in the UK. I see Brexit as having a fragmenting effect on the industry.

I believe that GDPR is really good for IT services consumers. I don’t think it will have a strong effect on data centre locations. Rather, it will affect how companies manage data.

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 – The Irish data centre industry is dominated by a few hyper-scale operators that have located in Ireland because of a successful FDI campaign by the IDA. The key ingredients are a great tax policy coupled with an educated workforce that speaks English. The consumption of data centre services within Ireland is probably a few percent of the services delivered for export.

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 – Opportunities:

  1. a) Ireland can leverage its current position and cement its role as a data centre location.

Challenges:

  1. a) The current lack of connectivity from Ireland direct to France needs to be overcome.
  2. b) Investment needs to spread to other regions other than Dublin.
  3. c) Ireland is not as well positioned to benefit from Edge as we have from Cloud because we don’t have a large population.

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 – There is no doubt that Edge will grow. Edge will require the installation of much more fibre and many more mobile base stations. See Q4. Challenge C

Improvements in data storage technology will allow data storage volumes to increase without necessarily increasing power or size requirements. Moore’s law may be coming to an end for processors but storage cost, size and power will continue to shrink.

Additional Thoughts

The rate of technological innovation is accelerating. We see GPUs coming into data centres. SSDs are replacing HDDs.  We will see water cooled servers shortly. In the medium term, atom scale data storage and/or DNA data storage will appear. G5 is a game changer for mobile communications.

We will see commercial Cloud based Quantum Computers appear shortly. Already many companies such as IBM and Rigetti offer free experimental access to Quantum Computers for researchers and students. We are approaching “Quantum Supremacy”, defined as the point where no digital computer can simulate a state of the art Quantum Computer. Many observers, compare the current state of Quantum Computing to the state of digital computing around 1950. Quantum Computing, because it can defeat many existing encryption algorithms will require upheaval in the cybersecurity sector. Quantum Computing may be applied to solve problems in AI model training and in optimisation algorithms that are infeasibly with digital computers. Quantum Computing will require large expensive devices and will be delivered as a Cloud Service. Ireland would be an ideal location for such centralised services.

Name: Jerry Sweeney

Title: Managing Director

Company: Cork Internet eXchange

Date Completed: 22 August 2018

 

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