Ireland’s cloud boom: Market on track to surpass €500m in annual revenues

6 Apr 2017

Cloudy Dublin skyline. Image: joeborg/Shutterstock

As Equinix reveals its considerable investment figures for Ireland, IDC research predicts impressive cloud growth.

Global data centre player Equinix said today that investment in its Irish data centres since it acquired TelecityGroup last year has surpassed €18.5m.

Overall, the market is growing 22pc a year and is on track to surpass €500m in revenues.

This corresponds with a flurry of investment by global data centre giants, but it also raises concerns about electricity grid infrastructure and the ongoing impasse regarding the long-overdue North-South interconnector project.

‘In order for the data centre industry to flourish, our grid infrastructure will need to keep up as demand for new builds increases’

As well as the Equinix expansion, Apple is building an €850m data centre campus in Athenry, Galway; Facebook is creating a €200m data centre in Clonee, Co Meath; and Amazon is establishing a €1bn data centre campus in Mulhuddart, Co Dublin.

Ireland’s cloud industry is growing faster than the European average

Ireland’s cloud boom: Market on track to surpass €500m in annual revenues

Maurice Mortell, managing director of Equinix Ireland and emerging markets. Image: John Ohle

Speaking on the new Equinix Cloud Exchange service for Ireland, Mortell cited IDC research that projects 22pc compound annual growth rate of Irish cloud from 2015 to 2020, higher than the average growth rate in the European cloud market.

“Ireland is growing faster than the European average when it comes to cloud adoption, and we are confident that our cloud market will continue to be an area of significant growth as businesses digitally transform and their cloud requirements become more complex,” Mortell said.

“Figures from IDC show that by 2020, the Irish cloud market will be worth €468m – up from €172m in 2015. That’s significant growth that we want to support, drive and be a part of.”

Mortell said that Ireland has many strings to its bow when it comes to being an attractive location for data centres.

“The presence of so many global cloud service providers and excellent connectivity are crucial to the success of Ireland’s data centre industry. However, as demand for cloud services grows, so too will the demand for colocation providers such as Equinix.”

Mortell warned that both skills and infrastructure need to keep pace with the growth of the cloud industry.

“In order for the data centre industry to flourish, our grid infrastructure will need to keep up as demand for new builds increases.

“In order for our digital economy to continue to thrive, businesses must embrace cloud – and we are seeing that already with many businesses. It is up to us to assure the businesses that are wary of cloud adoption that by using a platform like Equinix Cloud Exchange, their latency, security and choice questions will be resolved.

“In order for the cloud market, and therefore digital economy, to grow further, we must attract even more cloud service providers to Ireland and ensure we have the skilled workforce necessary to support all facets of the digital industry.”

Cloud exchange

Equinix acquired TelecityGroup in January 2016 for $3.8bn, increasing its data centre footprint globally to 145 sites, including three in Dublin.

This was boosted further by a $3.6bn deal in December to buy 29 data centres from Verizon in an all-cash transaction.

The company said that its investment in Ireland has gone towards improving and expanding its Irish data centre sites and rolling out more advanced business solutions.

The Equinix Cloud Exchange platform gives businesses direct access to global cloud service providers, including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Amazon Web Services, Oracle Cloud, Salesforce and IBM SoftLayer.

“In the simplest terms, Equinix Cloud Exchange was developed to bring together buyers and sellers of cloud. Equinix works with over 8,500 businesses globally who collocate their IT infrastructure in our colocation data centres,” explained Mortell.

“These are neutral sites that have a high density of network connectivity, so it’s a logical place for businesses to easily consume cloud.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years