This year, 2019, marks the fifth anniversary of Host in Ireland. To kick off the festivities, we took several of our partners to New York City and Northern Virginia to collaborate with like-minded individuals from the world’s leading data centre cluster regions. We brought the party home to Dublin with a final celebration at the inaugural Cloud, Content and Telecoms Summit (CCT 2019) where important conversations about global connectivity and infrastructure continued.
While these events gave us a chance to greet old friends and make new ones, it provided an opportunity to think back about the past five years. Host in Ireland’s journey began over a coffee, when five key stakeholders in the Irish hosting community - Tanya Duncan, Bernard Geoghegan, Eddie Kilbane, Maurice Mortell and Garry Watson - accepted my invitation for an informal chat about hosting digital assets in Ireland. What quickly emerged from that conversation was a strong sense there was more to be gained from talking even while competing in the market. This group was able to see the long term vision a project like Host in Ireland held for the industry beyond the tactical details within their own companies.
This spirit of “co-opetition” is at the heart of Host in Ireland and is, what I believe, makes us unique. Not only do our partner companies share best practices and develop new standards for the Irish data centre industry, but they engage in creative collaboration for the sake of the industry. For all the times I’m asked by other international trade associations if they could replicate what we do with a “Host in Country X” initiative of their own, I come back to this as a key success metric. The mechanics of what we do could certainly work in another country, but I’m not sure you’d get the same people buy-in or the commitment to co-opetition that our partners have. Their lack of fear in giving away the “secret sauce”, so to speak, demonstrates the respect and trust each company has for one another. That trust has been earned by every member of the organisation as they have collectively shared the story of why Ireland makes such good business sense for international companies seeking to host their digital assets in Europe.
The approach is paying off. Last quarter, it was revealed that the Dublin Metro Area accounted for 25% of the overall European industry market share by year end 2018, 1% greater than the nearest competitor, London. This was a staggering achievement for Europe’s “Data Isle” and a strong endorsement for Ireland’s capability to supply the expertise, skills and overall regulatory environment needed to sup Want to add a caption to this image? Click the Settings icon. port the growth of the hosting industry. This is the definition of success through collaboration from all those involved in the Irish data centre industry, from hyperscalers to colocation providers to those providing the infrastructure support. I am pleased we have been able to play a part in this evolution of the Irish data centre industry.
What started a small group willing to set competitive differences aside and come together in conversation, has grown into something much bigger than we ever expected. Host in Ireland now comprises of 22 partner companies, and an Executive Committee of 16 C-level industry executives. Each partner company is an integral part of the data centre ecosystem, working across various sectors designing, building and operating data centres globally from Ireland. Their commitment to our mission is unparalleled.
Please join me, and our partners, in raising a glass to say “lá breithe shona duit” (that’s Happy Birthday in Irish) to Host in Ireland. We look forward to what the next five years brings!