Eircom invests €100m in next-gen data centre

29 Jan 2008

Ireland’s incumbent telecoms operator Eircom said this morning that it has signed a multimillion contract to occupy a 125,000sq ft data centre in Clonshaugh in north Dublin.

The company signed the contract with Digital Realty Trust, a fast-emerging real estate company that has been buying data centres across the US and Europe.

The contract signing will represent an investment of over €100m in a purpose-built next-generation data centre.

A spokesman for Eircom said the company will be targeting the data centre to provide enterprise and business-focused services, in particular managed services solutions.

Computer systems residing in the centre will typically run essential applications that support customer’s businesses, including SAP, email, databases and transactional systems.

“Business has changed: customers today are far more reliant on their IT systems and their company network to perform vital functions,” explained Cathal Magee, Eircom retail managing director.

“Plus, the ICT skills shortage continues to bite. The new Eircom managed services data centre tackles both these realities at once – customers get the ideal environment for their critical systems, as well as access to high-value technical specialists who are skilled at managing the hardware and software that businesses require,” Magee added.

Digital Realty Trust is active in more than 26 markets worldwide and between 2006 and 2007 was responsible for spending US$466.3m on property acquisitions.

In 2006, the company acquired a 20,000sq ft data centre, the former 360 Networks building, in Clonshaugh from Hibernia Atlantic and it emerged that online retailer Amazon.com signed a 10-year contract to occupy the centre.

The company said at the time that it would be building additional data centre space adjacent to the original data centre.

In March last year it emerged that Digital Realty Trust spent €28.8m to acquire a 120,000sq ft facility in Blanchardstown.

Digital Realty Trust claims an average occupancy rate of 93.9pc for its data centres with clients such as Verizon, Fidelity, Yahoo!, eBay, Microsoft and AT&T.

In a statement last week the company indicated it had signed two major contracts: one with a “leading Web 2.0 social networking company” for an 86,000sq ft single building project in California, and the other with “one of Ireland’s largest telecoms services suppliers” for a 125,000sq ft building.

Of the building’s 125,000sq ft, some 64,500 is being leased on a powered base-building basis and the remaining 60,000 is being leased on a turn-key data centre basis.

By John Kennedy