Google is beefing up the infrastructure it needs to run G-Suite applications, with a €150m expansion of its data center in Dublin’s Grange Castle business park.
This means Google invested a total of €1bn in Ireland since 2003, when the company first entered the country.
Where all the cool kids are
The Grange Castle business park is home to a number of major data center operators including Microsoft, Interxion and EdgeConneX, with CyrusOne planning to join the fold, as well as AWS, which recently gained permission to build a €1bn campus in the area.
Ireland is one of Europe’s most popular locations for data center projects. It is an English speaking EU member state with low latency access to submarine cables, connecting to both the European continent and the United States.
It also enjoys affordable electricity, often from renewable sources. In fact, Ireland is aiming to produce 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
And although the local grid in major cities – most notably in Dublin – has struggled to support the many data center projects put forward each year, companies have found inventive ways to deal with the issue, including natural gas-powered generators such as those used by Microsoft and South Dublin Routing 4.
The country’s complex planning policies are often raised as a potential drawback to building in Ireland, but all signs – at least as far as hyperscale providers are concerned - seem to indicate to the contrary.
Following several project delays, including Apple’s indefinitely postponed mega campus in Athenry, the Irish government reclassified data centers as “strategic infrastructure developments” – a title shared by transportation and healthcare infrastructure, as well as by residential properties offering more than 100 housing units - in order to speed up the planning process.
In effect, this means that instead of applying to a local authority for a planning permission, companies can now refer directly to An Bord Pleanála, the body usually responsible for dealing with appeals to local planning decisions.
While this may not have affected Apple’s case, as most of the delays were caused by the High Court and a shortage of judges, the measure aims to show the country’s willingness to take legislative measures in order to attract data centers.
Meanwhile, Google’s investment in the wider EMEA region continues to increase. Yesterday, the company announced that it would be launching a Swiss cloud region, in addition to existing plans to build facilities in Finland and Saudi Arabia, as well as scheduled expansions in Belgium and the Netherlands.