Digital Planet’s Brian Larkin on how the cloud infrastructure firm plans to go global (video)

22 Oct 2012

Brian Larkin, group operations director, Digital Planet

Cloud infrastructure services company Digital Planet is planning to launch its services into the US, UK and mainland European technology markets in the coming months, the company’s operations director Brian Larkin told

Digital Planet was formed when Irish IT firm HiberniaEvros revealed a €1.6m investment in a new cloud computing division that will create 50 jobs over the next three years, including a €500,000 infrastructure platform deal with HP.

In an interview with ahead of the upcoming Cloud Capital Forum on 23 November, Larkin pointed out that a legacy of deploying core IT infrastructure is vital in terms of cloud computing. He said the infrastructure model is still the same and what has really changed is the business model that cloud enables in terms of getting computing resources on demand.

“A history of building these environments is vital. In Digital Planet, we’ve 20 years of experience. We’re a tier 1 provider of HP infrastructure and we’re also a tier 1 provider for VMware and Microsoft in terms of hypervisors and we’re also tier 1 with IBM and Cisco in terms of infrastructure.

“The next natural step for Digital Planet as we move towards building our own solutions is to move to the international market.

“I believe that Digital Planet is in a fantastic position to actually become the cloud infrastructure service leader in Ireland. That’s not going to be good enough for us. We need to go international and create our brand in the UK and the US.”

Larkin said the key to moving into the US, UK and European markets has been to build up a reference base of customers in terms of providing cloud infrastructure services.

“We’ve established that now with a substantial amount of customers on our cloud and so our next step is to drive this out of the Irish market and into the UK, Europe and the US.”

Larkin added that one of his ambitions is to use the substantial cloud infrastructure Digital Planet has created to offer services to Irish start-ups and software companies initially for free.

“You can’t build a cloud buying one server or NAS box at a time. You need to build a huge environment up front. We have lots of capacity and I’d love to see Digital Planet become a facilitator for Irish companies to get into the global market,” he said.

Debunking myths around cloud computing

Straight-talking Larkin admitted he finds it frustrating at how the term ‘cloud’ has been bandied about as if it’s a technological evolution, when in reality he and others see it as an evolution of a business model.

“There is no new technology in cloud computing – what cloud computing is, is it is an evolution of a business model. It’s how we consume our IT requirements.

“To give you an example, who would you call the biggest cloud companies in the world? And if you ask that question some people would say because it was at the front end of the cloud terminology and so on. is a CRM solutions company. They develop software, they deliver their software under a different model, a remote model. That’s what cloud computing is, the delivery of your technology remotely.

“In the past this was called computing on demand. Look at Office 365 from Microsoft. People say Microsoft is a big cloud company. They are not. Microsoft is again a big software company. They deliver their solutions remotely and online so when people talk about cloud as an evolution of technology they should be talking about an evolution of a business model – how we consume our technology in a different fashion.

“This is no different from 10-15 years ago when you looked at the travel industry, you walked in, you bought your holiday from the local travel agents. That industry is now gone, it’s been usurped by people going online and buying their holidays online.

“So what cloud is: it is a different business model, not a different technology model, it’s an evolution of a business model,” Larkin said.

Join Brian Larkin and Ireland’s digital leaders who will gather to discuss cloud computing and the big data revolution at the Cloud Capital Forum on Friday, 23 November, at the Convention Centre Dublin

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