Saturday, November 25, 2017

Mega tech giants Facebook, AWS to expand Ireland data centre footprints

Country is on the verge of topping a combined data centre investment of €4.6bn, as construction continues across the island.

The world’s largest social media company and the world’s largest public cloud operator are both set to invest in their data centre footprints in Ireland.

First, Facebook is reportedly readying to “double down” on its Irish data centre infrastructure by expanding its €200m building in Co Meath, in the northeast of Ireland.

The first facility in Clonee – Facebook’s first data centre in the country measuring 31,000 sqm – is still under construction, however, Facebook is said to be reaching out to neighbour landowners to acquire more land around the Clonee campus.

It is also believed that Facebook is currently sourcing construction groups regarding a data centre.

Mark Zuckerberg’s multinational is also carrying out talks with Irish national electricity grid operator, Eirgrid, about power capacity.

And power is also driving the world’s largest public cloud AWS to invest more money into Ireland as the company’s €1bn Dublin data centre gains traction.

AWS is working to establish an electricity trading unit in the Irish capital, named Amazon Energy Eoraip, the Irish Independent has found.

The paper said it is unclear what type of electricity trading the unit will be used for, however, it is clearly planned to be used in relation to AWS’ data centres.

AWS operates today in Dublin alone nearly ten facilities. In January this year, the provider acquired more land and put forward a building plan to the Fingal County Council in which seeks permission to build a €1bn data centre park also in Dublin, set to be powered resourcing to renewable energy.

The project has however faced opposition from a member of the public, also behind the delay of Apple’s €850m data centre in Galway.

Ireland has in the last decade become one of the hottest data centre destinations in Europe, with most web scalers, colocation and wholesale providers building out medium to large footprints across the country.

There are currently several sites under construction or about to break ground, totalling more than €2bn in investment. Third party data centre projects are expected to contribute €740m until 2020, according to BroadGroup’s latest report on the country.

Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, AWS and JDC Group are currently the companies investing the most in Ireland.

If Apple is given the go ahead to build its data centre in Galway, and AWS also breaks ground on its Dublin site, the combined amount of data centre investment in Ireland under construction could reach nearly €5bn (€4.6bn).