TechBeat: A nation of hosts
2 June 2016 | 0
Less than half (42%) of respondents confirmed they would change how they host their data over the next two years, compared to 37% last year. Of the expected changes, more than a quarter (28%) said they would move to a cloud solution, with nearly a fifth (19%) indicating the change would be a split between hosted data centre solution and on-premises. A further 16% indicated the change would be a split between hosted data centre and cloud solution, with the same proportion saying a split between on-premises and cloud solutions.
With the demise of the Safe Harbour agreement between the EU and the US, the survey asked if it had made respondents more or less likely to want an Irish data hosting solution. Half said it did, while half said it did not affect their intentions. Among the FDI respondents, the split was broadly similar, with a slight majority on the no effect side.
“From an Irish perspective, said Mortell, “it is very good to see that the demise of Safe Harbour has not in any way negatively impacted Ireland as a location for data hosting. Ireland has been very proactive in communicating its position on Data Protection and Data Sovereignty which makes it easy for businesses to make a decision on the location of their or their clients’ data from an Irish and European perspective.”
Delving further, the survey asked if post Safe harbour, they felt they had a clear understanding of the current state of EU-US data regulations and what they mean for business. Unsurprisingly, the majority (60%) said no.
“With six in every 10 IT professionals unsure as to the current state of EU-US data regulations,” said Mortell, “it is clear that there is a gaping information gap and businesses are struggling to make decisions about hosting strategies.”
With the relentless focus on cost now fading, green concerns are once again on the agenda. The survey asked whether green energy credentials were a consideration in choosing a data hosting solution. Only 3% said it was a primary consideration, with nearly three quarters (72%) saying it was a factor considered, but worryingly a quarter said it was not considered at all.
“The global growth of the Internet has created an enormous demand for power, most of which is provided by non-renewable energy sources,” said Mortell. “This is clearly weighing on IT professionals’ minds with seven in 10 of them factoring green energy credentials into their decisions about choice of data centre.”
“Our company, like other data centre providers, has an obligation to make all that data as green as possible and that is why our Irish data centres all benefit from extremely energy efficient designs. When you consider that research from the Global e-Sustainability Initiative shows that data centres will be the fastest-growing part of the global IT sector energy footprint, with energy demands increasing 81% by 2020, you can see why energy efficient design is critical.”
“At a national level, Ireland has been aggressively exploring the use of renewable power and for cooling data centres. We have built our data centres to benefit from the fact that our country boasts the ideal climate with no extreme variations.”
“Data centre companies use a lot of energy as part of our business — the Internet has to stay lit. But we can make a real difference when we commit to efficiency and sustainability,” said Mortell.
Finally, the survey asked if the Internet of Things (IoT) was likely to be a factor influencing decisions of whether or not to host in a data centre in the next five years. Only one in 10 said definitely, but 40% said it would be a factor, but not the decider. Under half (43%) said it would not be a factor, with 8% saying they did not know.
Overall, the survey reveals a vibrant data hosting sector in Ireland, with the top priorities remaining largely similar, but with differing emphases, as organisations experience different market pressures. While it is good to see that the Safe Harbour debacle has not undermined data hosting in Ireland, the lack of clarity indicated is a source of worry.
“Very interesting results and this resonates with what we are hearing from existing and prospective clients. Consider the evolution of our business to the interconnected world, where cloud service providers, Internet exchanges, financial services, digital media and content all converge. We can now offer access to a digital eco system that can enable hybrid cloud adoption for the enterprise right on our door step. Exciting times ahead,” concludes Mortell.