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May 13, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 11:45am

Microsoft given go ahead for €900m Irish data centres

News: Hubs will have a total floor space of over 750,000 sqf once fully built.

By Joao Lima

Microsoft has been given permission to build four new data centre sites in Dublin, Ireland, with investment estimated to top over $1bn.

Each data centre is going to measure more than 188,400 sqf and will be named DUB09, DUB10, DUB12 and DUB13.

Overall, the site at Grange Castle Business Park, Clondalkin, will cover 70 acres of land, according to the Irish Independent.

Clondalkin Council has now given the permission for construction works to start. In total, 1,800 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase, with 140 full time jobs being created following completion to keep the data centres running.

Microsoft’s decision to expand its footprint in the Irish capital comes following high demand from cloud-hungry businesses and everyday users.

This has meant that today’s facilities are approaching their maximum capacity "ahead of the most conservative predictions of five years ago".

One of the factors that has led the company to opt to build in Ireland was the region’s temperate climate.

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The company said: "The selection of Ireland as the preferred country location for this development was based largely on climatic conditions and strategic business considerations."

The investment in four new sites will nearly double Microsoft‘s Irish data centre investments to $2.2bn. The company is also currently building a €134m campus in the Dublin region for 1,200 staff which will support its European services.

The first Microsoft data centre was built in 2008. Three other hubs have come online between then and 2014.

In the planning application filed with the Clondalkin Council, Microsoft said that these data centre facilities were originally designed to meet Microsoft Ireland’s data centre server requirements based on projections completed in 2007.

"Since that time, the demand for online services has expanded exponentially and additional data centre development is required to allow Microsoft Ireland to meet an ever-growing worldwide demand for the services it offers over the internet," it reads.

Microsoft is not alone in investing the Irish data centre market. In Galway, for example, Apple is awaiting a final decision from Galway’s council on whether it can build its €850m, 263,000 sqf data centre. The project has been under public backfire with locals formally complaining about its environmental impact in the Athenry region.

Facebook has also recently started to built out a €200m data centre in Clonee, Co Meath, which covers an area of 227 acres. Amazon and Google are also looking at expanding their data centre’s portfolio in Ireland.

According to research from CBR, data centre investment in Ireland has reached over $8bn since 2008.

Jon Leppard, director at Future Facilities, told CBR: "The Irish data centre environment provides advantages in tax structures, has lots of space that is cheaper than the UK, and offers a good power infrastructure. It also has a good climate to take advantage of free cooling.

"All of this helps manage the cost of compute. Being the closest point of communications to the US, there are latency and bandwidth advantages, which support improved performance."

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