Cork becoming a global hub for cloud services

22 Nov 2011

As well as being home to the operations of major computing and cloud giants like EMC, VMware, IBM and Apple, Cork Internet eXchange (CIX), which serves 20,000 homes and business, plans to take on the might of Amazon and Microsoft’s Azure.

CIX has begun a new cloud computing infrastructure strategy geared at supporting SMEs. The new service will initially lead to the creation of eight high-skilled post-graduate jobs in software, networking and technical support, with the potential for further growth in the future.

The people behind CloudCIX believe that over the next 12 months the service will mature into a world-class, cost-effective offering capable of competing with Amazon and Microsoft Azure.

On foot of cloud ventures like the EMC, VMWare and Cisco launch of cloud enterprise VCE (which is now also partnering with SAP), it seems Cork is fast becoming a global hub for data storage and other centralised server services.

Bob Grantham, business development manager with CloudCIX in Hollyhill, Cork, predicts exciting times ahead for this initiative, its partners in Dell and MPSTOR, and for any enterprises in need of data-management solutions.

“With the cloud, our SME customers do not need to have computer server hardware on their own premises. We provide them with higher compute power and highly resilient networks, so they don’t need a large IT staff, and no great IT capital outlay. They also get to focus on their core business.”

All of the major fibre network providers are linked into CIX’s centre in Hollyhill — Eircom, BT, eNet and ESB Telecom. So, too, are most of the main telecoms companies.

CIX connects 20,000 homes and businesses

Cork Internet eXchange delivers communications infrastructure for the Munster region. It is currently the internet connectivity hub for 20,000 homes and businesses in the region.

Dell and MPSTOR are equally enthusiastic about the future of cloud services in the region. The platform is based on Dell PowerEdge C–Servers, the OpenStack Cloud Platform and Dell Crowbar deployment software and is specifically focused on density and energy efficiency.

“CIX has made an excellent partner with whom to develop and test Orkestra – MPSTOR’s cloud service provider platform,” MPStor’s co-founder and CTO William Opperman explained.

“CIX’s attention to detail and customer-centric culture has focused our development on a platform that can deliver what’s important for our customer’s customer – a reliable, flexible and cost-effective cloud computing service.”

CIX is now able to leverage this same technology that powers 21 out of 25 of the world’s largest cloud environments and can pass on these efficiencies and technology gains to their customers.

Between them, CIX’s 56 current clients employ more than 1,800 employees. CloudCIX has been running for a few months with selected customers, such as and SharpView. operates an online marketplace for Irish businesses within CloudCIX. SharpView has built a SaaS CRM solution on the platform for resale to its customers using CloudCIX.

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