Interxion’s Doug Loewe: Ireland uniquely positioned to be the home of big data (video)

19 Aug 2013

Doug Loewe, Interxion Ireland and UK managing director

If Ireland plays its cards right, it could be the global home of big data, said Doug Loewe, Interxion Ireland and UK managing director. Firms in the big-data arena tend to coalesce around where the data resides and forging a world-beating cluster of high quality data centres will give Ireland its edge.

In a previous interview, Loewe said Ireland is attracting a disproportionately high number of cloud and big-data players and judging by the pipeline, the trend is set to continue.

Interxion owns and operates 64,800 sq metres of co-location space within more than 30 data centres in 11 European countries.

The company recently embarked on the expansion of its Dublin data centre to bring an additional 900 sq metres of equipped space at its DUB2 data centre, bringing the total equipped space to 1,700 sq metres.

The expansion brings to €13m the capital investment in the company’s Dublin facilities so far.

According to Loewe, big-data technology will be the mechanism through which businesses and governments will better understand consumer and society trends. Understanding these trends will enable businesses to differentiate themselves from their competition.

“Because big data is so voluminous and difficult to move around, it is a proximity play. The data needs to be in Ireland because you simply can’t be transporting petabytes of data around the place.

“Because many of these companies have chosen Dublin to have their assets located here – physical assets for data centres and storage area networks (SANs), the people whose job it is to mine the data will coalesce around the data in close proximity.

“This will attract talent and capital. As well as the seed capitalists who understand the nuances of the big-data business, you will also attract people from different countries in terms of languages.

“Dublin is uniquely positioned to capitalise on some of the foundations that have been laid over the years,” Loewe said.

Cloud dwarfing other segments

Digital Ireland: Interxion Ireland MD Doug Loewe on big data and Ireland’s potential as a global hub for cloud – Part 2

Loewe said the co-operation of IDA Ireland has been invaluable in enabling the company’s Dublin data centre to win global business. “We entertained a large Chinese organisation where if we didn’t have the relationship with IDA Ireland, for example, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to engage with them. The IDA even provided a translator. It’s a great example of the combination of private sector and public sector working together to promote the interests of Ireland.”

While Stockholm is capturing the lion’s share of gaming activity in Europe, Ireland is seeing an explosion in cloud-computing activity. “It is dwarfing other segments that are also doing very well.”

Loewe believes Ireland is emerging from the recession and is making its mark on the global stage. “Ireland needs to make sure that it doesn’t dwell on the fact that it is in a recessionary environment, it is coming out of it and needs to leave that malaise behind.”

He said it is key that companies looking at investing in Ireland are well looked after in terms of quality office space and data-centre facilities.

“In the cloud computing business, people talk about these things. Word spreads if people talk about it positively. What you don’t want is misexecution or a bad experience or delays in implementing data-centre space.

“Ireland has done very well in attracting the big logo names and it is vital they are successful.

“Mass attracts mass,” Loewe said.

Interxion Ireland manging director Tanya Duncan will be a panelist at the Digital Ireland Forum: Global 2.0 on 20 September in Dublin, where digital leaders will discuss Ireland’s future as a hub for the best in internationally traded digital services.

Big data image, via Shutterstock

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