Data Centre Infrastructure

Dublin to enter top five of data centre cities in Europe

Report reveals capital needs to increase data processing by 20% by 2024
Image: Stockfresh

29 September 2020

Europe is the world’s enterprise data super-power, outpacing North America, according to new research from Digital Realty.

According to recent research from McKinsey and the World Economic Forum, comes as the world readies itself for growth brought about by the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). According to recent research from McKinsey and the World Economic Forum, Industry 4.0 has the potential to create $3.7 trillion in value by 2025. As digital transformation accelerates, Europe’s place as one of the world’s primary centres of enterprise data puts it in a strong position to capitalise on this growth.

The Data Gravity Index (DGx) – which measures the creation, aggregation and private exchange of enterprise data across 21 metropolitan areas – found that regions with strong global connectivity and an abundance of data-led industries, such as a thriving technology scene or prominent financial services sector, create so much enterprise data that they produce a ‘data gravity’ effect, exponentially attracting more data to the region.




Europe’s pre-eminence is the product of a wide range of knowledge economy industries, such as financial services and complex manufacturing, that create vast amounts of enterprise data.

According to Digital realty, the volume of enterprise data being created, aggregated and exchanged among European cities is the largest in the world; a lead that is expected to grow even further by 2024.

Europe’s data lead

Dublin will be the amongst the top five European cities that will contribute to Europe’s lead, following London, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. On a global level, Dublin will also outpace cities and data centre hubs like Mexico City, San Paulo and even Shanghai to be amongst the top 20 cities to experience annual data growth by 2024.

However, it’s not only the abundance of enterprise data that’s putting European cities in the lead, but the flow of that data between them. According to the Data Gravity Index DGx, Europe is home to several of the world’s most interconnected city pairings, helped by the regulatory ease of doing business with one another, as well as the cities’ thriving financial centres. These include London and Amsterdam (1st overall), Paris and London (2nd overall), Frankfurt and Paris (5th overall), London and Frankfurt (6th overall), as well as Dublin and London (10th overall).

Despite the benefits of having a thriving data economy with strong, open data exchanges with other cities, being in a city with a strong data gravity effect is a mixed blessing for businesses. Many businesses are accruing increasing amounts of enterprise data in a bid to transform their businesses through digital transformation, but are overwhelmed by volume, weighing down digital transformation efforts instead of enabling them.

By 2024, Forbes Global 2000 Enterprises will have accrued enough data to need a quantum computer to effectively handle it. They will need an additional 8.96 exaFLOPS of compute power and 15,635 exabytes of private data storage annually to effectively manage their enterprise data. Comparatively, the next quantum computer at Oak Ridge National labs will run at just 1.5 exaFLOPS by 2021. In fact, Dublin will need to grow its data processing capacity by an additional 20% or 25.6 exaFLOPS to process new digital flows which are expected to reach 152.87 exaFLOPS by 2024

Tony Bishop, senior vice president at Digital Realty, said: “Data is growing at stratospheric rates due to the growth of IoT, AI and social mobile analytics. There’s a good story there. But there’s another side to the story too, with growth resulting in the compounding force of data gravity.

“Unchecked, data gravity can result in limited innovation, poor customer and employee experiences, increased costs, information silos, compliance issues, security concerns and slow decision-making for the enterprise.”

Chris Sharp, CTO, Digital Realty, said: “Most enterprises and service providers are just at the beginning stages of understanding data gravity’s potential impact on their innovation, customer experience, and profitability, but they need to be designing for it now. The study is designed to give CIOs, chief architects, and infrastructure leaders insight into the phenomena causing architecture constraints as well as a blueprint for addressing them.”

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