Friday 23 February 2018

Amazon expands Irish data centres - will energy costs suffer?

The Amazon warehouse in Dunfermline, Scotland
The Amazon warehouse in Dunfermline, Scotland

Amazon is planning a major expansion of its Irish data centre operation.

The world's biggest online store already hosts most of its European cloud computing business from this country.

Amazon uses its Irish data centres - which are essentially warehouses full of servers - to rent out data storage and computing power to other businesses. Facilities include a large centre at a former Tesco warehouse in Walkinstown, Dublin.

Ireland is emerging as a leading player in the data centre industry. The country's cold but stable climate is ideal, with air temperatures low enough to cool the centres without costly air-conditioning units.

Many of Amazon's competitors also have Irish data centres, like Microsoft's huge unit at Dublin's Grange Castle.

But detractors argue that data centres provide little employment in proportion to the space and energy they consume.

Many are connected directly to the national electricity transmission system because of their need for reliable power.

This heavy use of energy, critics say, pushes up the cost of electricity for everyone.

Sunday Indo Business

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