Cloud demand prompts Microsoft data centre expansion

$130 million investment in Dublin DC to support growing regional demand

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23 February 2012 | 0

In a joint announcement from IDA Ireland and Microsoft, the IT giant has confirmed that it is expanding its Dublin data centre (DC) in a $130 million (€98 million) investment that is driven by demand for its cloud services.

Peter Klein, chief financial officer, Microsoft Corporation, said "This investment shows where we are placing our bets for the future," as demand for Office 365, Windows Live, Xbox Live, Bing and the Windows Azure platform grew.

The investment is a further development on the existing $500 million DC infrastructure.

"We are delighted to build on the long history of Microsoft investment and partnership in Ireland, starting in 1985. As we expand our Dublin data centre, we remain committed to efficiency and sustainability. Our expanded facility will be 50% more efficient than traditional data centres, and will use renewable wind energy when available. I would like to thank the Irish government and its agencies, particularly the IDA, for its continued support for Microsoft as we grow and invest here," said Klein.

Both Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and Minster for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD welcomed the investment and the confidence it demonstrates in the Ireland.

"We welcome this significant announcement from Microsoft as Ireland continues to regain its international reputation for investment and business," said an Taoiseach. "Now central to our Action Plan on Jobs we are delighted that our strategy to become the country of choice for data centres is coming to fruition. We very much recognise the role that cloud computing can play in transforming our public sector as well as being a catalyst for economic growth. Through the Action Plan on Jobs we will continue to make the necessary changes to make Ireland more attractive to companies such as Microsoft. As a long term investor we welcome this commitment by Microsoft to Ireland."

Minster Bruton said that the government had targeted cloud computing "as a sector with potential for significant job-creation and economic growth for Ireland," and that the announcement endorsed the direction being taken.

Microsoft Ireland managing director Paul Rellis said that the investment deepens the company’s roots here and allows it to provide governments and businesses throughout the region with high impact cloud services.

"Investments like this, by a company of Microsoft’s calibre, reinforce our growing reputation as a leading world-wide location in cloud computing," said Barry O’Leary, CEO, IDA Ireland.

The new DC "will use renewable wind energy when available," said Klein, and will be up to 50% more efficient than "traditional data centres".

"Microsoft has turned up the dial on efficiency in power optimisation of the entire infrastructure of our data centres, enabling us to reduce our carbon footprint and minimize waste," said Christian Belady, GM of Data Centre Services, Microsoft. "This expansion will add a 112,000 square foot Generation 4 facility and create approximately 400 construction jobs over the next 12 months. Once complete, we will employ approximately 50- 70 people to manage the needs of both the existing and expanded facility."

The company said that DC makes extensive use of outside air economisation to cool the facility year round, resulting in greater power efficiency with a resultant reduction in carbon footprint and an annual Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) average of 1.25 across the entire facility during peak usage hours. Approximately 99% of all waste at the facility is recycled, including packaging, pallets, crates, and cabling, and it uses only 1% of the water used by other similarly sized data centres in the industry, said Microsoft.

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