Cork gets its CIX as centre approaches


26 Sep 2007

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Cork is to get its own dedicated data centre when doors open on a new purpose-built facility early next month. It’s claimed to be the first such centre outside Dublin.

The CIX (Cork Internet eXchange) is almost complete, with ongoing construction documented online at www.cix.ie. “We’re showing people the scale of the project — it’s not just a rack in a comms room,” said Tom Raftery, the Cork-based the social media consultant who is backing the centre along with two other directors.

CIX has fully redundant telecoms connectivity, uninterruptible power supplies and backup generators for disaster recovery purposes. The centre will also house a 24m mast on its roof which will be made available to wireless internet providers and telecoms operators.

According to Raftery, this will lower the price of broadband into the building and the savings will be passed on to customers. “It’s a strategic move to put the mast in because it gets our cost down,” he said.

When completed, the facility will have 12,000 sq ft of data centre space. CIX is being developed in three phases; the first will see a 3,000 sq ft services area alongside an existing building with 3,000ft of computer floor and 4,500 sq ft of office space. Phases two and three will see a further 3,000 sq ft and 6,000 sq ft respectively come online.

Potential customers from private business and the public sector have already shown interest in locating hardware at the centre. “There’s a lot of pent-up demand from companies in Cork,” Raftery told siliconrepublic.com.

“If servers were housed in Dublin, IT managers could work on them remotely, but there’s nothing like that warm comfortable feeling when you know your server is 20 minutes away. In Dublin it’s four hours away.”

The centre is privately funded by the three directors and will not rely on early customer contracts to pay back construction costs. “We’re going to open the doors debt-free,” said Raftery.

Strictly speaking, this is not the first such hosting facility in the county: the National Software Centre in Mahon has some server rack space set aside and EMC has a large data centre, although it is no longer available to outside customers.

Siliconrepublic.com has learned that a data centre facility is also being readied at the Westpark business centre in Shannon.

By Gordon Smith

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