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

A.1 – I started working on the mobile phone rollouts in the 1990s. At the same time, large tech companies were also investing in small inhouse data centres. Hosting and large colo then took off. The crash of the early 2000s ended the first great wave of data centre investment.

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 it will be a positive for Ireland. Our legal system is respected. We’re committed Europeans. We’re corporate friendly. We have the dominant data centre delivery ecosystem in Europe. For UK companies, relocating here is less of a culture shock than elsewhere.

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 – As the previous answer. Our tax regime is also important.

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 – Blockchain will be huge. It could completely change data centres, eliminating the need for resilience, standby generation, etc. This is the major challenge for Ireland. Ireland needs to start attracting these projects.

Additional Thoughts

Energy availability is the huge global issue. Data centres cannot continue to consume energy at the growth rates of recent years. Free services result in infinite demand; paid for services will ration energy to best effect. I would like to think the market will sort energy out.

Name: Tom Blake

Title: Associate Director

Company: Arup

Date Completed: 24 August 2018


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