TechBeat: Data hosting in Ireland
Ireland has now emerged as a major destination for data hosting, with not only international service providers citing data centres here, but increasingly the web giants are building facilities too, with recent announcements from Apple, Facebook and Amazon. This is all combined with local providers, who tend to specialise in more bespoke solutions with value added services.
To gauge usage and perception of data hosting in Ireland, TechBeat, in association with Telecity Group Ireland, conducted a survey among 132 Irish IT professionals, across a range of organisation size and type.
More than a quarter (26%) came from very large organisations of 1000+, a small number (5%) from the 500-1000, but around a fifth (19%) coming from the 100-500 bracket, and the rest coming from smaller organisations. Of these, there was a broad spread of sector. The largest proportion of more than a quarter (26%) described themselves as service providers to business, followed by government bodies (16%), cloud/technology companies (9%) and financials (including online payment companies) 9%. There were also small proportions from healthcare and telecoms. Under the other category (17%) the largest group was education, but manufacturing and engineering also featured.
So with this cross section of Irish enterprise, the first question was regarding the type of data hosting used. Nearly two fifths (38%) said that they host data on premises, with 31% indicating they use a data centre, and the same proportion reporting they use a mix of both.
For those that indicated they use a data centre, they were asked for the top three reasons for doing so. The clear leader was guaranteed uptime (59%), followed by the ability to expand as needed (47%), and increased security (44%). Also of note were 24×7 data centre teams (34%) and reliable connectivity (30%).
“Some 62% of respondents use a data centre to ensure high availability for their mission-critical IT infrastructure, whether a fully outsourced data centre solution, or a split between a data centre and the cloud, or on-premises,” said Maurice Mortell, vice president developing markets and country manager Ireland, Telecity Group. “The obvious trend of using a data centre to host IT infrastructure, as an entire solution or as part of a broader solution, is likely down to the high levels of resilience and security provided by a data centre — and their ability to maintain the highest level of uptime.”
Respondents were asked for their top three reasons for hosting data on-premises. Control over assets and data was the clear lead here at 73%, followed by security concerns (53%) and prior investment in on-premises facilities (49%). Notably, operational cost reduction was cited as a top three reason by just over a third (35%), quite a way behind the other reasons.
Mortell was not surprised by the fact that cost reduction was ranked behind the other parameters. “The total cost of an in-house data centre can be misleading,” he said, “because it includes the initial capital expenditure (CapEx), such as the cost to design, build, test and commission it, but also because of the on-going operational expenditure (OpEx).”