Host in Ireland to Explore Economic Impact of Regional Data Hosting at Datacloud Ireland

Host in Ireland Founder and President, Garry Connolly, to Discuss the Role of Data Centres on the Growth of the Irish Economy

DUBLIN – 14 September, 2017 Host in Ireland, a strategic global initiative created to increase awareness of the benefits of hosting digital assets in Ireland, and winner of the Datacloud Europe 2016 award for Innovative Data Center Location, today announces its participation at Datacloud Ireland, taking place 21 September, 2017 at the Convention Centre, Dublin.  Addressing an often-misunderstood subject, Host in Ireland Founder and President, Garry Connolly, as a Special Intelligence Session moderator, will join industry experts to explore the economic benefits associated with an increase in digital assets hosting throughout Ireland.  In addition, Mr. Connolly will chair a panel session discussing the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on organisations throughout the region.

“More than a quarter of the gross domestic product of Ireland is from software and data-related services, underpinned by Irish data centres and colocation facilities,” shares Mr. Connolly.  “The data hosting industry plays a critical role in Ireland’s economic development, creating a wealth of new employment opportunities as Ireland continues to attract major multinational companies seeking an optimal location to host their digital assets.  As the data hosting sector continues to grow throughout the country, this conference will provide an opportunity for the industry’s most influential players to work in tandem to advance the data hosting industry, while educating the greater community on why digital assets hosting is important to the growth of the Irish economy.”

“Unfortunately, many people throughout Ireland don’t grasp the full value of digital hosting as it relates to job creation and economic development, failing to see beyond the mere physical construction of data center facilities,” Mr. Connolly adds.  “To judge the data industry from that perspective would be akin to measuring the effect of the agricultural industry based on a field of hay.  Similarly, the economic and job multiplier effects of data hosting extend well beyond the tangible infrastructure.”

On Thursday, 21 September, at 9:40 a.m., Mr. Connolly will join an esteemed group of national and international data protection specialists as the moderator of the Special Intelligence Session, “GDPR Mastered.”  This session will explore the overall impact of the GDPR on the creation, retention and distribution of data, as well as the effects that it will have on data hosting throughout Ireland and the European Union.

In addition, later that morning, at 10:15 a.m., Mr. Connolly will chair the panel session “The Brave New World of GDPR,” featuring Ireland’s Deputy Data Protection Commissioner and representatives from NetApp, Frontier Privacy and Compuware.  As companies evolve to comply with GDPR legislation, these changes bring about a host of new concerns, as well as opportunities.  During this session, panelists will discuss the opportunities and challenges that the GDPR will have on all global companies and their relationship with the data of EU citizens.

“At its core, the GDPR is designed to help organisations gain increased focus on the privacy and security of EU citizens’ data,” remarks Mr. Connolly.  “I am very much looking forward to joining other industry leaders as we explore ways to increase awareness of the implications of the GDPR, as well as educate attendees on how companies will need to ‘up their game’ in advance of when the regulation goes into effect on 25 May 2018, to ensure compliance before it’s too late.”

Alongside premier partners CBRE, EdgeConneX®, Equinix, Future-tech, Keppel Data Centres, Mercury Engineering, Primary Integration and Siemens, Host in Ireland will also be a featured organisation in the “Irish Pavilion,” an exhibit focused on the advantages of the Irish hosting ecosphere.

Datacloud Ireland will bring together international enterprises, local providers, investment agencies and power supply companies as a platform for networking, education and collaboration among hosting industry professionals.  The forum highlights the unique value of data centre, cloud and IT infrastructure across Ireland, which has become the gateway to Europe for multinational businesses.

If you would like to set up a meeting with Host in Ireland at Datacloud Ireland 2017, please email  To learn more about Host in Ireland, visit

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About Host in Ireland

Host in Ireland, winner of the Datacloud Europe 2016 award for Innovative Data Center Location, is an industry-led marketing initiative that provides timely and accurate information about Ireland’s digital asset hosting ecosystem at all times including demonstrating why Ireland is more cost-effective, efficient, reliable, secure and accessible than most other regions across the EU.  There's a reason companies like Microsoft, Zendesk, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Adobe and beyond have sought to host their solutions in as well as to/from Ireland.  Many of these reasons are immediately realized due to access to affordable power, redundant network and bandwidth capacity along with a variety of data center providers that offer an array of services sustained by the “5 Ps”: Policy, People, Pedigree, Pipes, and Power.  On top of that is a very attractive business management structure, implemented by Ireland, which is keenly interested to bring new businesses into the market.  Ireland supports this initiative through attractive fiscal structures, access to a skilled workforce and full support of the U.S. Safe Harbor and Patriot Acts - ensuring data asset compliance for companies large and small.  For more information about Host in Ireland, visit


Ilissa Miller

iMiller Public Relations

Tel: +1 866 307 2510

Host in Ireland Now Accepting Partners for 2017

Garry Connolly, Founder and President of Host in Ireland, Reflects on the Growth of the Initiative and Looks Forward to 2017

DUBLIN - December 13, 2016 Host in Ireland, a strategic global initiative created to increase awareness of the benefits of hosting digital assets in Ireland, today announces the release of their 2017 Premier Partner Prospectus Video, highlighting the initiative's 2016 accomplishments, while also looking forward to what lies ahead in 2017.  As demonstrated in the video, the growth Host in Ireland has experienced in the last year should encourage more industry leaders to consider joining as a partner. Read more

Host in Ireland Announces Support of Temple Street Foundation

Host in Ireland to Fund Production of Video to Help Raise Charitable Contributions to the Temple Street Children’s University Hospital and Awareness of Techies4TempleStreet

DUBLIN – June 15, 2016 Host in Ireland, a strategic global initiative created to increase awareness of the benefits of hosting digital assets in Ireland, today announces its charitable support of a video to be produced on behalf of the Temple Street Foundation and Techies4TempleStreet.  Filming will take place on Saturday, June 18, between 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. in the Lansdowne Room at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) and coincides with the CoderDojo Coolest Projects’ Launch’d event, Ireland’s largest innovator and evolving technology summit. This year, Techies4TempleStreet’s goal is to raise €250,000 to help fund a new Neurology and Renal Outpatients Unit. Read more

Host in Ireland to Unveil ‘Irish Pavilion’ at Datacloud Europe 2016 in Monaco, June 8-9

Event Coincides with Host in Ireland Being Recognized as the Only Non-Governmental Nominee for the Data Center and Cloud 2016 EMEA ‘Location of the Year’ Award

Host In Ireland LogoDUBLIN, IRELAND – May 31, 2016 Host in Ireland, a strategic global initiative created to increase awareness of the benefits of hosting digital assets in Ireland, today announces its participation at Datacloud Europe 2016, taking place June 8-9 at The Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. Host in Ireland will be a Gold Sponsor of this year’s conference and alongside partner companies Future-Tech, Cork Internet Exchange, IDA Ireland, Primary Integration, and CBRE will be a featured organization in the “Irish Pavilion,” an exhibit focused on the advantages of the Irish hosting ecosphere.  In its 12th year, Datacloud Europe 2016 is the Continent’s premier global IT infrastructure and cloud event. Read more

Interview with Gary Keogh about Digital Realty’s Dublin expansion

logo-digital-realtyDigital Realty sales director Gary Keogh explains why Digital Realty is expanding its data centre facilities at Profile Park in west Dublin as part of a major €150m investment. As part of a €150m investment, which was first announced last year, Digital Realty will add approximately 10,000 sq ft of data centre technical space to complement its current and fully-occupied approximately 10,000 sq ft data centre hall at Profile Park in Dublin. Read more

Why Ireland? We ask Adroll…

AdRoll is a Silicon Valley start-up with technology that has gone down a storm in the fast-changing world of online advertising. Such was its success that it began to look for a base outside of North America to expand its operations. Marius Smyth, managing director for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, explains….

What exactly do you do?

We provide the number one retargeting technology for advertisers globally. Retargeting is when a company re-engages with customers after they have visited their website. It works by keeping track of people and displaying retargeting ads to them as they visit other sites online. With only around 2 per cent of people converting into a sale when they visit a web site, it’s a way for our clients to reconnect with the other 98 per cent as they go off somewhere else. It’s a platform where clients only pay for what they use and it’s becoming as ubiquitous as Google AdWords.

Read more

Interxion in €170M Expansion in Four European Data Center Markets

PrintBY YEVGENIY SVERDLIK  European data center services giant Interxion announced plans to expand capacity in four key markets, expecting to invest about €170 million total. Plans include new data center construction in Amsterdam, where the company is headquartered, Dublin, and Copenhagen, and an expanded build-out plan for a previously announced facility in Frankfurt. In a statement, Interxion CEO David Ruberg said the provider saw “solid demand” across key European markets and was expanding in response. Read more

Irish tech companies raise €307m in funding in first 6 months of 2015

Originally posted on Silicon Republic by Colm Gorey Irish tech companies had a rather successful first six months of 2015, with a new survey revealing €307m was raised by start-ups and SMEs in that period. The VenturePulse survey of Irish tech companies was undertaken by the Irish Venture Capital Association (IVCA) and also marks a significant jump of 45pc on the same period in 2014 when €211.9m was raised, and in 2013 when €164.9m was raised. Among the findings, the survey of Irish tech companies found that a total of €187.1m was raised during the second quarter of 2015 alone. Early-stage companies were able to raise €7.6m in Q2 alone – or 4pc of the total funds raised – while the total half-year amount was €19.4m in funds. Read more

Interxion: Blacknight Case Study

Interxion-Logo-300x51Since its foundation in 2000, Blacknight Internet Solutions has grown continuously, serving customers from lobbyists to multinational corporations. Its services include web hosting, colocation and domain registry. As Blacknight’s operations expanded over time, it needed to engage more directly with a dedicated data centre operator. “Data centre services that we take from third parties are more than mission critical. In the case of a company such as us, all of our services are online. We have thousands of customers from all over globe – in some cases running multi-million euro businesses,” explains Blacknight founder and CEO Michele Neylon. Having evaluated several operators, Blacknight chose Interxion as its primary data centre provider. “We liked the fact that Interxion has two data centres in Dublin, and it offered a level of services that would work for us,” Neylon says. “We had done a certain degree of due diligence, and we liked the profile of other companies that were using Interxion’s centres. It’s important to know that another company whose judgment you trust is happy with the services,” he adds. Blacknight houses its hardware at its own private suite in Interxion’s DUB facility. As it is constantly adding new servers to meet a growing customer base, and carrying out regular maintenance work on existing equipment, it leases office space from Interxion where a member of Blacknight staff is permanently based on site. “Having staff physically close to the data centre, considering the amount of work we’re doing, makes sense. Otherwise we would be sending staff from Carlow every day. This saves cost and time,” says Neylon. For the full story, click here to download the pdf.

Google’s new Irish head has his gaze fixed on innovation

Originally posted on Irish Times

googleRonan Harris brings a vision for change to his new role after 10 years with the tech giant

It’s a wonder that Ronan Harris gets anything done. Google Ireland’s new head has a corner office with a breathtaking view of Dublin city that would distract even the most focused person. It’s a clear day, you can see right across the city, taking in everything from the Aviva Stadium to the Dublin mountains and more.

But when you are the head of one the biggest tech companies in the country – and vice-president of its EMEA operation too – the view is just a nice extra.

“It’s great, even on a bad day,” he admits. “All of the offices no matter which side of the building you happen to be on have an amazing view. We’re all pretty lucky I think here.”

On the day we meet, he has already had somewhat of a star-studded morning, with Amy Schumer and Bill Hader delivering one of the company’s “Fireside chats” at Google’s Foundry building across the street. Harris was there to perform the introductions before heading back to his office in Google Docks.

It’s been a hectic few weeks for Google as a company. The company has restructured and rebranded as Alphabet, with Google forming a wholly-owned subsidiary of the new Alphabet, alongside other ventures such as Nest and Calico, the company’s longevity product. The announcement was live streamed to Google’s offices around the world.

The new structure is something that may take the rest of a little longer to get used to, but Harris has taken it all in stride.

“Google never sits still. I think it’s one of the things that makes us such an exciting company, whether it’s in terms of our products or organisation or some of the experiments we do in Google X. We’re a company that is built on innovation – if you build on innovation, you build on change,” he says. That certainly can be seen in Google’s operations over the years.

For a company that started out as primarily focused on search, things have changed considerably. Google has moved into mobile devices with Android, the internet of things with Nest, and has dabbled in driverless cars and wearables, with Google Glass.

Even in Ireland, things don’t stay still. The Dublin team has grown from its humble beginnings to be an important part of Google globally. Rather than simply sales and marketing, the company has a considerable engineering function here too, from hardware and data centres with site reliability and search quality.

“We are where the rubber hits the road for our users, publisher and advertising partners for EMEA,” says Harris.

“We provide the supports, the sales support, the research and innovation out to each of those groups from here. For me it’s really important that we stay at the forefront of that, that we continue to be the fountain of insight for Google across each of those groups and the innovation associated with it.”

While Google’s change to Alphabet may mostly be a rebranding, the appointment of a new head of Google Ireland is not.

Harris has only been in the role since May, when John Herlihy stepped down after 10 years at the helm, but he’s a company veteran and determined to make his mark.

He joined Google as the company was packing up from its former home in Harcourt Street and making its way to Barrow Street, where it now dominates the heart of Dublin’s Silicon Docks. “We were one of the first tech companies to arrive in this part of town,” he says. “We had taken two floors of Gordon House and it was a huge space, and we were wondering what the future held.”

Data centre

A bit of crystal ball gazing would have revealed some good news for the company. Back then, it was only getting started in Europe, with between 2,000 and 2,500 employees globally. Now, between full-time staff and contractors, Google Ireland employs double that. At the last head count in October last year, the Irish arm employed 2,500 people on a permanent basis, and it’s set to grow further with the introduction of second new data centre in west Dublin.

An electronic engineering graduate, Dublin-born Harris had a stint overseas, putting in a few years as an engineer with Mitsubishi before moving into consulting. From there, he moved on to be a director of Truscom, before taking up the role of chief operations officer of e-learning firm Skillspro. His entrance to Google came in 2005, and the rest, as they say, is history.

“I’ve always been working in the tech area, so to see this blossoming tech scene building in Dublin and for us to be a major part of that is great,” he says. “It’s a huge source of personal pride for me.”

It’s a nice way to mark a decade at the company, taking over the top job. But Harris is modest about the achievement.

“What made me right for the job?” he laughs. “You have to ask somebody else that question.”

Building the operation

Despite his modesty, being appointed to the job is one of his proudest moments in his career, he says, particularly because he was involved in building the Irish operation over the past decade.

“Being asked to lead the site is both a humbling moment and also one I’m very proud of,” he said. “There’s an amazing amount of people who have put a huge effort into building the success of Google in Ireland and building its reputation within Google globally.”

It’s the people that form a major part of the culture at Google. The company is known for its less-than-staid work environment, with employees enjoying perks like an in-house gym and swimming pool, fully stocked fridges and snacks throughout the building, and themed days where staff dress up or bring in baby photographs.

“It can be [long hours and hard work], but it’s fun. Google is well known for having an amazing work environment,” he says. “The most fun thing we have on the list that we like is the people we have here. We’re lucky to be able to attract the talent that we do. Maintaining that culture is very important to us.”

One thing that may have made Harris stand out above other candidates for the top job is his focus on innovation – a major consideration for a company in such a fast-moving sector.

“I’ve always had this huge focus on innovation, and trying to constantly change and constantly look for the next thing – don’t always get it right but part of being at Google is that we expect people to try things and to fail,” he says. “Hopefully over 10 years I’ve demonstrated that the focus on innovation is important in terms of leadership at Google.”

His focus over the years has been on where the company can innovate and change to do things better for its customers, build new services and products for partners and change how it operates internally to be one of the more efficient parts of Google. That, he says, is key.

“In the world of technology, in the world of internet, you can’t afford to stay still. You have to be constantly challenging and thinking about what’s next,” he says.


Sitting still certainly doesn’t seem like it’s in Harris’s character. He is, he admits, somewhat of an adrenaline junkie. In his office, there’s a certificate that acknowledges he’s climbed Kilimanjaro. He took the trip in 2007 with a few people from Google - something he did for a bit of fun. “It was great,” he said. “I like some interesting and crazy stuff.” His family also keeps him busy, with two children to balance with the demands of his current role. “That’s a busy part of life that time has to be made for,” he says. “You make the best of it, you figure out how to balance it and get the quality time. That’s so important.”

In his spare time – something he has a little less of these days with the travelling that comes with the VP role – he likes kite surfing, sailing and other water sports, a throwback to his days at UCD. His typical haunts are Dublin Bay or Roaring Water Bay near Skibbereen, although his regular trips to California might yield more temperate conditions for scuba diving.

But for now, his professional focus at least is on cementing Google Ireland’s place in the global organisation.

“I think Ireland Inc has got this tremendous position where it’s now got nearly all of the top 20 largest internet companies with their European headquarters based here,” he says.

“I think it’s a huge opportunity for Ireland to build around that and for Ireland to play as an increasingly important role as a data hub for Europe. We just need to keep fuelling that ecosystem.

“Hopefully we can sustain the growth.”


Name: Ronan Harris

Position: Head of Google Ireland, VP of Google EMEA

Age: 43

Family: Married with two children aged 5 and 7

Something you might expect: Most of his career has been with tech companies since he graduated from UCD

Something that might surprise: He is a bit of an adrenaline junkie, and counts kite surfing and scuba diving among his hobbies. He has also climbed Kilimanjaro