Digital Realty completes €70m development of Clonshaugh DC

Digital Realty's Jeff Tapley (Image: Digital Realty)

Third major facility opens to support global service, interconnect platform

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5 March 2020 | 0

Digital Realty has completed a €70 million investment in its Clonshaugh facility that represents its third major data centre site in greater Dublin.

Building upon its €200 million investment in the Profile Park campus in 2019, the Clonshaugh facility further extends the company’s ability to provide hosting, platform and interconnectivity services to its clients here and globally.

The company said that it is now well placed to support and capitalise upon the expected “multibillion-euro technology boom over the next decade” in Ireland.

Digital capitals

Citing the findings of its commissioned report “Digital Capitals Dublin Report” which examined the value that innovative technologies will deliver to the city’s economy over the next decade through new jobs, businesses, industries and efficiencies in public services, Digital Realty expects there to be significant growth in the sector in near and longer term.

The report initially ranks Dublin 39 out of 60 digital cities studied by Development Economics. However, it goes on to say that, adjusted for size, Dublin moves up to 8th place overall. The report predicts that Dublin will climb four places higher by 2029, due to the rapid growth of the technology sector in the city.

The report focuses on four technology innovations as key drivers for this growth: artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT), blockchain and 5G.

These four innovative technologies, says the report, added approximately €1.23 billion to Dublin’s economy in 2019, with IoT contributing the most at €630 million (51% of the total) primarily through improvements in operational efficiencies.

AI will have the second greatest impact, with an estimated contribution of €390 million in 2019 (32% of the total) through applications such as those that combat money laundering. Blockchain generated approximately €180 million in value (17%), and 5G, still in its early stages, added an additional €30 million (2%).

By 2029, these new technologies are primed to contribute even more growth, the report states, with an estimated €6.37 billion added to Dublin’s economy, €5.14 billion more than in 2019.

The greatest growth is expected to come from 5G, with an economic contribution to Dublin’s economy set to increase by approximately 1,000% over the next decade, from €30 million in 2019 to €1.12 billion in 2029, as 5G becomes the foundation for the deployment of many other innovative, data-led technologies, according to the report.

AI is predicted to be the biggest driver with an estimated 46% increase in value. IoT is predicted to contribute a further 22%.

DC capital of Europe

“Over the past few years, Dublin has firmly cemented itself as the data centre capital of Europe and our investment in Clonshaugh comes as a direct result of the increased demand we’re seeing there,” said Jeff Tapley, EMEA managing director, Digital Realty.

“Dublin is on the cusp of a technology revolution that could drive substantial economic growth for the city for years to come. However, in order for this to become a reality, businesses need to ensure that they’re investing in secure digital infrastructure that’s both flexible and adaptable. Businesses can rely on our secure platform to connect to and deliver the critical technology they need to succeed, from AI to IoT, from one city and country to anywhere in the world in order to efficiently scale and grow.”

Speaking to TechPro, Tapley confirmed that customers are increasingly asking questions about sustainability, and both for their own goals, and their vendors.

Sustainability agenda

“For most customers that we are in discussions with these days, sustainability is high on the agenda and they are all asking us what our sustainability plan is.”

Tapley said that Digital Realty has generally been ahead of the curve from a data centre standpoint on this front.

“We were the first to issue green bonds in 2015, and again in 2019. In EMEA, 100% of power [used]is renewable, and we are constantly on the lookout for new tech, whether it is new sensors, or upgrading cooling technology,” he said.

He said the company was always “pushing the envelope in terms of our sustainability”. 

Efficiency progress

Tapley said there had been success in this area, as supported by a recent study published in the journal Science.

It found that between 2010 and 2018, the number of applications run in data centres had increased by 550%, but in the same period, data centre energy consumption had only risen 6%.

This, Tapley argued, was proof that vendors and data centre service providers were working hard to ensure that data centres are run efficiently.The investment in the Clonshaugh facility, said the vendor, is designed to underpin the growing importance of these data-led technologies to Dublin’s economy, by ensuring the city’s businesses have a digital-ready infrastructure to adopt and deliver on complex technology. Through the company’s PlatformDIGITAL offering, it said customers will be able to connect their entire digital ecosystem together with one data centre provider while simultaneously solving complexities such as increased demand, global coverage and additional capacity requirements.

“We want to be the provider who allows global companies to enhance their ecosystems to be able to connect both to single cloud and hybrid cloud environments, and we feel that the PlatformDigital Project enables that,” said Tapley.

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