Minister opens new Blacknight data centre

Pictured left, front, are Paul Kelly, Blacknight, Minister Sean Sherlock and Michele Neylon, Blacknight. Left back Edward Brennan and Patsy O'Keefe. (Source: Blacknight)

5 February 2014

The Minister for State with responsibility for Research and Innovation, Sean Sherlock TD, has opened a new €1 million environmentally friendly data centre for Blacknight Solutions at its headquarters in County Carlow.

The company is a domain registrar and hosting specialist founded in 2003, by CEO Michele Neylon and CTO Paul Kelly.

With an organisational emphasis on cutting edge technology, Blacknight sought an environmentally friendly solution to maintain the temperatures required by today’s data centres. The resulting system draws ambient air from outside, reducing power consumption and the constant need for chiller units.

Blacknight partnered with a local company to build the data centre, helping to create local jobs. Currently employing 35 people, the company said that it will be making further job announcements later this year.

The expansion plan includes initiatives to break into new markets, which will allow the company to bring more processes in house and create additional jobs. Among the new roles to be added are software developers, e-commerce specialists, web designers, computer engineers and sales and marketing staff.

“We aim to continue to grow Blacknight to its fullest potential,” said Paul Kelly, CTO, Blacknight. “Building an on-site data centre is cost effective and increases efficiency. This streamlining allows us to pass significant savings on to our customers. The data centre will also create jobs which allows us to fuel the local economy further.”

Minster Sherlock praised the company, drawing parallels between Carlow and his native Mallow, another town that lost its indigenous sugar industry.

“We need to disrupt the current thinking in this country that says that most foreign direct investment has to come into the larger urban centres. There is a perception that the skills only exist in those centres, while Blacknight shows there is a massive talent pool in this region and that in towns like Mallow and Carlow, there is a reinvention or a renaissance going on, where local people are coming together and committing to create jobs, drawing from an excellent skillset. That’s something that is an important takeaway for myself as Minister for Research and Innovation.”

“Blacknight is a 100% Irish owned and operated business and we are very proud to house our data centre right here, at our company headquarters in Carlow,” said Michele Neylon, CEO, Blacknight and winner of the 2013 Ireland Net Visionary Award. “This also allows us to maintain a 100% Blacknight controlled network, which ensures that we will continue to offer a PRISM free service. It has always been our goal to become fully operational from our own facility and Paul and I couldn’t be more pleased that this day has finally come.”


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