Congratulations to Enterprise Ireland
It was great to be back in Dublin recently to attend the Dublin Web Summit and in particular the “Beyond the Cloud” data centre stream organised by Enterprise Ireland. Hats off to Enterrpise Ireland for such an impressive event both in terms of the quality of speakers and indeed attendees; a really useful opportunity to catch up with the industry great and good from across Europe.
Does “cloud” need Tier3 standard data space?
As for the summit itself two themes stood out for me. The first was Yahoo!’s presentation where Niall McEntegart, Head of Data Centre Operations explained how they are now selecting the specific tier or standard of data centre to support particular applications. Niall said that with many of their applications now, where resilience can be built into the software layer, a growing proportion of Yahoo! applications were being hosted in lower tier standard data centres ie Tier1 or 2. Clearly lower standard data centres are both cheaper to build and operate. At the same time though Niall explained a small proportion of applications will need higher availability, so ensuring higher uptime for those apps that need it.
This is one of the first public instances I’ve heard where someone has said the market may not simply need masses of Tier3 standard space; rather we need more variety, ie Tier2 or even Tier1 capacity as well as Tier4. Obviously for a large user like Yahoo! they can build their own data centres, so this flexibility can be achieved. But in contrast I feel there is a strong belief in the data centre industry that the shift into cloud applications will drive data centre demand and I agree with this, but what Niall was saying confirmed some of my own thinking, that cloud may not necessarily need premium (expensive) Tier3 data centre capacity. What’s interesting is that I can’t think of a new colocation or data centre facility in the market that doesn’t claim to be at least Tier3 in standard! We certainly are getting more choice in the data centre market today, as I have oft written about, in terms of new locations and new operators, but all are essentially delivering the same standard of capacity (supposedly of course!) at least for now.
Build data centres next to power stations!
The other interesting theme was from Christian Belady, Head of Data Centre Advance Development at Microsoft. In fact he had a couple of interesting points. Firstly Microsoft found they were using their chillers so little time of the year in their massive Dublin data centre that besides not bothering to fit them at all on their last three halls they are now removing them from the first two halls where they were originally installed (so a positive for Dublin as a data centre location – besides the tax advantages)! The second theme he had was the idea that as data is so much cheaper to transport than power (ie fibre versus massive copper power cables) surely it makes more sense to build our data centres where the power stations are. In other words computers can be seen as a means to convert power into data. Hard to argue with these common sense ideas and I think we are beginning to see more of this, for instance with data centres being built in Washington State to access cheap hydro power or indeed in Scandinavia here in Europe.
- Its all a matter of perspectives: colocation oversupply or surging demand?!
- Telehouse secure land to expand Docklands campus
- UK Wholesale data centre market opens opportunities for colocation users
- CBRE Q2 European Data Centre Viewpoint – including guest column by Colo-X on colocation pricing in the UK
- Dublin’s Web Summit October 2011