As originally written and published by Rich Miller on Data Center Frontier
In the western suburbs of Dublin, as you cross the M50 highway that rings the city, the housing developments thin out and yield way to large industrial estates. This is where the cloud meets the earth.
This area of Ireland is one of the best places in the world to use fresh air to cool servers. That’s why it is home to a cluster of huge data centers that bring cloud services to European users, including server farms for Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and Google.
And now Facebook as well. On Sunday CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed that Facebook will build a huge new data center in Clonee in County Meath. Describing the company’s data centers as “some of the most complex machines ever created,” Zuckerberg said the new facility would be fully powered by renewable energy.
Ireland’s supply of renewable energy has also attracted Apple, which opted to bypass the Dublin cluster and build a massive data center near Galway on Ireland’s west coast. Ireland has 229 wind farms spread across its 27 counties, with total generation capacity of more than 3,000 megawatts of electricty.
“Ireland’s ability to generate and distribute energy from the wind banks to the data centres clustered around Dublin is cited as one of the attractive points when hosting from Ireland, for sure,” said Garry Connolly, President of Host in Ireland, an industry group seeking to boost data center development. “In the case of Apple, they have built in Galway, which is closer to the wind farms themselves.”
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