TechBeat: Data hosting in Ireland

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21 September 2015 | 0

The survey asked whether the recent announcements by the likes of Apple, Facebook and Amazon to build or expand data centre operations here influenced decisions to host data in Ireland, producing a fairly even 49% responding affirmatively and 51% negatively. This may be interpreted in a number of ways, but as there was already a diverse range of both hosting options and organisational usage indicated, it may be that perceptions about the suitability of Ireland as a hosting destination were unchanged or merely confirmed by the announcements.

The next question asked whether organisations were contemplating changing their data hosting over the next two years. More than a third (37%) answered they were, compared to 63% saying no. This, combined with the earlier breakdown of the type of data hosting probably reflects the fact that the majority of organisations are already using some kind of data centre provider, and the remainder are those that have not yet made the move or are, due to business model, type or other constraints, unable to use such services.

03_Recent_announcements

Have recent announcements regarding the location of data centres here from Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon influenced your perception about Ireland as a data centre location?

When asked what intended change may cover, more than a quarter (26%) said they would move to a split between a hosted data centre and cloud solution, with slightly less (22%) saying they would move to a cloud and on-premises mix. A fifth (20%) indicated a move to a cloud only solution, and the same indicating a hosted data centre option. Only one in 10 indicated a hosted data centre and on-premises split, and 2% indicating changing to an on-premises data hosting solution only.

The indications here are clear, in that organisations are increasingly looking to leverage the advantages of data centre and cloud services, meaning that they manage less and less infrastructure themselves.

“More than 50% are planning to move to a data centre solution; either a fully outsourced solution or a split with on-premises or cloud,” said Mortell. “This represents a growing number of users who are increasing their spend in an outsourced hosting solution. This corresponds with what we’re seeing in our existing customer activity. Many existing customers are expanding their IT infrastructure footprint and companies that have never outsourced before are choosing a data centre as part of their IT infrastructure solution.”

With so many indicating a move to utilising cloud as part of their IT strategy, the survey asked for the top three reasons for doing so. The top reason given was increased flexibility at 78%, followed closely by disaster recovery at 75%, with driving cost efficiencies at 60%. These three were a long way in the lead of the next reason, faster time to market at 27% and security at 23%.

Data storage infrastructure spend was also probed, to include the likes of infrastructure, solutions, storage, IT staff, etc. A strong 18% spent in the €500,000 plus region in the last 12 months, with nearly one in 10 (9%) in the €200,001 – €500,000 bracket. Some 17% spent in the €100,001 – €200,000 bracket but the largest single proportion was just less than a quarter (24%) who spent in the €10,001 – €50,000 bracket.

With security being a key concern for many in moving data hosting to data centres or cloud services, standards and compliance were probed as a differentiator for service providers. A clear majority (69%) said that the likes of ISO 27001 and PCI DSS were indeed differentiators when choosing where to host data.

“This response is absolutely reflective of what we’re seeing,” confirmed Mortell, “when new or existing customers engage with us to start a new working relationship — or to increase their data centre footprint.

“PCI DSS, ISO 27001 and ISO 22301 are massively respected as they require rigorous audits to achieve. These are definitely important for customers when it comes to decision making.”

04_Nature of hosting change

If planning to change how you host your data over the next two years, what are the likely changes?

However, despite the importance of these standards, there was a clear 37% for whom they were not a differentiator. This may not be indicative of indifference, but rather that they are not seen as a differentiator and may be viewed by some as a minimum standard.

When asked to look toward influences that might impact data hosting needs over the coming 12 months, disaster recovery and business continuity was top (34%), followed by data growth (28%). Data protection was strongly represented at 19%, but interestingly in the other category, the need for increased data sharing was mentioned.

 

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