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Ireland’s clouds a computing advantage

Ireland’s clouds a computing advantage

Image credit: Allen Higgins

Several recent articles announced Microsoft's completion and commissioning of a major European data centre in Dublin West to service the growing use of cloud computing services and applications. Dublin was well placed to be selected to be one of Microsoft's key hubs for these growing services due to geographical and environmental factors, in addition to Ireland's previously acknowledged advantages for basing high technology industries here (education, language, cultural aspects, access to Europe, clustering of other high tech industries).

It is interesting to note that Ireland's climatic conditions are now seen to offer specific advantages for the operation of computer server farms - large, conditioned, secure facilities housing thousands of rack mounted computer servers - due to Ireland's relatively low ambient temperatures. Annual temperature averages for Ireland hover around 9°C, with coastal areas experiencing a relatively smaller range around the average than inland areas due to stablising influence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea. Coupled with Ireland's stable temperature profile, its relatively high average annual rainfall raises the efficiency of geothermal heat pumps, which in combination help to minimise one of the principle cost drivers for data centres, the cost of cooling computers.

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