Described as the “emerald bridge” between the United States and Europe, Ireland is the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone. Complementing its importance as a gateway to Europe, the country also has a highly desirable tech-savvy workforce, generous corporate tax incentives, and an energy supply that is both cheap and sustainable.
The country’s telecommunications infrastructure is deemed one of the most advanced and competitive across Europe. Fully de-regulated, investment in Ireland’s telco market has resulted in state-of-the-art optical networks with world-class national and international connectivity.
More than a dozen subsea cables connect Ireland to the United States and Europe, with the lowest latency transatlantic cable linking Cork in Ireland to the east coast of the US with a latency of 44.92ms.
Earlier this year, a report issued by Broadgroup called for the nation’s capital, Dublin, to be re-classified as a Tier I hub due to its accelerated growth which it likened to London, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.
Tiers aside, Dublin is an alpha- world city and has emerged as an important digital innovation hub, attracting the likes of Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Apple and Airbnb who can all be found on the Silicon Docks of Dublin.
Sujay Vaswa, Vice President of Business at Dropbox, has publicly described Ireland as “the heart of tech in Europe.”
Dublin has also caught the attention of tech behemoth, Amazon Web Services, who announced plans to build a €900 million data center complex 12kms out of Dublin city. With 2,500 workers already employed by Amazon in Ireland, and construction of the new campus projected to employ over 450 workers at its peak, the project is expected to drive significant investment into the area.
However, construction planned to commence in the first quarter of this year has been delayed due to two resident complaints over power supply, leaving the project in the hands of the courts.
Similarly, Apple’s plans to build a €850m data centre in Athenry are also left hanging in legal limbo due to a number of local objectors and subsequent judicial delays, which now threaten to jeopardize the project that was announced over two years ago.
Nevertheless, Dublin’s data center sector is robust and boasts a strong networking presence, particularly to the north, north-west and west. And despite having just 1.2 million residents, Dublin is the 12th largest colocation ecosystem in Europe, home to 38 data centers, 100+ service providers and four network fabrics.
Equinix and Interxion dominate the data center rankings for Dublin, with both operators occupying the top five data center positions for the capital. Using Cloudscene’s Rankings tool, we’ve taken a closer look at the top colocation data centers and can reveal that the top 10 data centers in Dublin are:
- DB2 – Equinix
- DUB 1 – Interxion
- DB3 – Equinix
- DUB 2 – Interxion
- DB1 – Equinix
- Dublin – Servecentric
- Citadel 100 – Citadel100
- Profile Park – Digital Realty
- Dublin – Eircom
- Dublin – Hibernia Networks
The ecosystem-style ranking is unique to Cloudscene’s data and calculated based on the number of known service providers and PoPs in each facility.
Ireland itself is the 16th largest data center market in Europe trailing Ukraine and the Czech Republic, and nudging ahead of Zurich and Madrid.
The country’s very attractive corporate tax rate of 12.5%, coupled with other generous economic incentives, has also aided its bid to attract entrepreneurs and foreign investment to Dublin, leading to many declaring the city the tech startup capital of Europe.
Foreign interest continued despite the sluggish economic times of 2012, with Ireland’s Industrial Development Authority reporting the expansion or launch of 140 offshore organizations into Ireland that year.
Dublin is famously home to the international headquarters of both Google and Facebook, with Google also establishing a €5.5 million Digital Innovation Centre in the heart of the city. LinkedIn, PayPal, Amazon, Twitter and Zynga also have offices in Dublin.
This year has seen Dublin make international headlines with announcements of investment, expansion and construction across the data center sector.
In January this year, Indian IT Services giant, Tech Mahindra, opened a Centre of Excellence in Dublin. The facility will employ approximately 150 engineers over the next three years and will focus on emerging technologies such as robotics and automation, business analytics, cloud infrastructure and digital services.
Just two months later, Bouygues Energies & Services announced it would design and build a $105m Tier III data center in Dublin. The facility is expected to support 22MW of IT equipment and provide 56,000 square feet of data center space.
In July, it was revealed that US data centre operator, CyrusOne, had purchased a 15-acre plot of land with reports suggesting the company plans to construct a large €300m data center facility situated near Interxion, Google and Microsoft.
Singapore’s Keppel DC, announced this month that it would acquire a second data center in the Irish capital for €66 million, citing Dublin a “key data center hub in Europe.”
Ireland has certainly emerged as the one to watch market in Europe, with Dublin showing all signs of going from strength-to-strength, embedding itself as a top tier data center hub.