Dublin, Ireland: focus on the European capital of Big Data

Dublin, Ireland: focus on the European capital of Big Data

Dublin, the capital of Ireland, is also the European capital of Big Data. It is this city that most tech companies choose to erect their Data Centers where the Cloud and personal data are hosted.

Whether for data storage , the use of virtual machines, streaming or different types of services, the Cloud is increasingly used . For businesses and individuals, it is one of the most revolutionary technologies of the turn of the century.

However, contrary to what its name might suggest, the Cloud is not located in the clouds . This technology is based on powerful servers connected to the Internet, operating continuously and hosted in Data Centers : huge warehouses fitted out to accommodate these machines safely.

However, if data centers are popping up all over Europe, there is a city that stands out particularly for the number of Data Centers it hosts. This is Dublin, the Irish capital.

According to official figures, the amount of investment made in the construction of Data Centers in Dublin should reach nine billion euros by 2021 . Currently, the sector employs 5,700 full-time people, including 1,800 data center operators.

Dublin attracts businesses from around the world, including giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook, for several reasons. First of all, this city has great connectivity with Europe and America . In a way, it represents the bridge between the two continents.

In addition, the country has many qualified experts to ensure the proper functioning of the Data Centers. More importantly, the Irish government is opting for an incentive policy that allows companies to pay less tax than anywhere else in Europe. For multinationals deployed throughout the old continent, this is a major choice criterion.

Dublin, Ireland: Data Center boom also causes concern

However, the proliferation of Data Centers in Dublin is not all good. Some people are particularly concerned about the massive energy consumption of these facilities . According to national energy supplier Eirgrid, Data Centers can require the same amount of energy as a big city.

By 2027, he estimates that these centers could account for 31% of Ireland’s energy needs . It was these concerns that forced Apple to cancel the construction of a Data Center on the west coast of the country at 875 million euros in May 2018. Opponents of the project estimated that it could increase energy demand on the local network by 8%.

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Others are also concerned that Ireland will support illegal or unethical data processing practices like those brought to light by the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica case in 2018. For example, Dublin researcher Paul O’Neill City University confides to AFP its fears concerning the hosting of Amazon Web Services Data Centers in Ireland. He recalls in particular that AWS provides the American police with very controversial facial recognition technology.

Although data centers represent many opportunities for Dublin and Ireland, it will be necessary to ensure the confidentiality and security of the data hosted there. At a time when Google has just been fined 50 million euros for violation of the GDPR, these issues can no longer be ignored …

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