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On The Digital Frontline....

We are living in an unfamiliar world as our lives are upended from the coronavirus pandemic. Companies rapidly shifted to a “work from home” environment wherever possible. Teachers and students turned on virtual classrooms and online learning in a matter of days. E-commerce sites have been overwhelmed with orders for groceries and other household goods as the reality of a prolonged lockdown sets in.

At the heart of this transition is the data centre. From the moment we get up in the morning to the last thing at night, data centres help us with everyday activities, such as paying bills, playing virtual games with friends and video chatting with family. Now, we are looking to data centres to help us maintain our livelihoods, feed our families and build community bonds in a time of social distancing. We depend on data centres to deliver the data we need in the same way we depend on the electric company to ensure the lights go on when we flip the switch. It comes as no surprise that, like every other utility, data centre personnel are part of the government’s essential workers list.

Engineer Images provided by Host In Ireland Partner Companies

Growth in data traffic is reflected in these changes. Here in Ireland, as reported by INEX, internet traffic has increased 30% during the first two weeks of the travel restrictions put in place by the Irish government. Globally, Telecom Italia has seen internet traffic grow by 70% since the country was locked down on 9 March 2020. In China, where they have been dealing with this pandemic longer than any other country, Cisco’s WebEx video conferencing traffic has increased 22x since the outbreak began.

Data centre operators are acutely aware of their responsibility to keep the networks running. Planning for contingencies is the foundation of a data centre build. Resiliency and redundancy are key metrics to ensure a data centre is up and running 24/7. Business continuity plans are standard to not only their business, but in how they guide their customers to ensure the mission critical infrastructure is always available. Never before has the importance of this been more apparent when so much of our lives is disrupted. This is the digital front line of the pandemic as availability of data is one thing that continues to give us a sense of normalcy amidst the uncertainty.

The true heroes are, of course, the healthcare workers and those doing all they can to keep us fed and supplied with our household necessities. They have our unending thanks for the long hours, personal risk and commitment to our community each and every one of them is demonstrating.

If there is one thing this pandemic has taught us, it is to appreciate those around us. Be it family or friends, coworkers or colleagues, we all need to take care of each other in times like this. Hat tip to the digital infrastructure designers, builders and engineers and all employees in the data centre industry who continue to turn up everyday to make sure our new normal is robustly connected in these challenging times.

Garry Connolly

President & Founder - Host In Ireland


Michelle Wallace & Garry Connolly - Host In Ireland





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