Inside the future of Ireland’s subsea cable landscape
On Tuesday, June 15, 2021, experts from Aqua Comms, GTT, euNetworks, the IDA, and European data centre leader Interxion will take part in a virtual panel to explore the evolving relationship between subsea cabling, digital transformation, Data Gravity and the future of Ireland’s digital economy.
You can tune in to the event, which is taking place between 10:30 PM - 11:30 PM JST on Tuesday, here - or view it later on-demand. The hour-long panel will also conclude with a 20 minute Q&A session with the audience, moderated by Interxion’s Senior Director of Market Development, Mike Hollands.
The Gateway to Europe
Since the first transatlantic cable was laid in 1858, briefly connecting Newfoundland and Valentia Island in County Kerry, Ireland has served as a critical gateway for North American organisations looking to gain access to Europe.
Today, some of the largest firms in the world, like Pfizer, Janssen, Zurich, Metlife, Google and VmWare use Ireland for their European Headquarters. The combination of an English-speaking workforce (a boon made all the more important as Brexit makes the UK and the north of Ireland an increasingly complex environment that provides diminishing opportunities to access the rest of Europe), a cultural and regulatory landscape that welcomes foreign investment, and world-class connectivity makes the country an unparalleled choice for firms looking to establish a foothold in the EU.
As a result, Ireland has become one of the world’s leading data centre hubs. And, thanks to the exponential growth of Data Gravity, and the increasingly essential nature of digital infrastructure, Ireland’s role as a launchpad into Europe is only likely to grow more prominent.
The future of Ireland’s digital economy is, experts from Interxion argue, closely linked to its ability to provide connectivity between Europe and North America. The further development of the country’s subsea cable industry will form the keystone of the discussion being held on Tuesday, as experts from throughout the industry share their insights into the challenges and opportunities that face operators working towards a more connected future for Ireland.
Meet the Experts
On Tuesday, speakers from the IDA, Aqua Comms, GTT Communications, euNetworks, and Interxion will discuss key themes, including key facts about Ireland’s existing subsea infrastructure, plans for the future of the industry, the challenges that need to be overcome, the interaction between subsea and terrestrial networks, and the next steps in Ireland’s role as the gateway to Europe.
Ciarán Delaney has served as the VP of Operations and Optical Engineering at GTT since 2017. With more than 10 years worth of experience in the telecoms industry, he’s a leading expert on transatlantic connectivity, with an in-depth knowledge of both submarine and terrestrial cable systems.
Currently serving as the CEO and Director of the Board at Irish submarine cable firm Aquacomms, Nigel Bayliff has more than 30 years of experience in the telecom infrastructure market. His past roles have granted him unique perspectives gained from buying, building and running international submarine cable networks as an operator as well as developing and implementing cables as a constructor.
As the Head of Infrastructure Investment at euNetworks, Toby Williams has spent over a decade developing digital infrastructure throughout Europe, Ireland, and the UK. He has also done extensive work developing dark fibre networks, which are a key component in providing the agility and capacity necessary for operators to overcome the challenges posed by Data gravity.
The Irish Investment Development Agency (IDA) is one of the key drivers of overseas investment in the country, and is responsible for the attraction and development of foreign investment in Ireland. Shane Nolan has worked in various roles throughout the IDA for more than 18 years, and is currently serving as the organisation’s Head of Technology & Emerging Business.
Interxion: A Digital Realty Company, is one of Europe’s leading data centre operators and, as part of Digital Realty’s Platform DIGITAL, is taking a leading role in raising awareness of the threat posed by Data Gravity. Mike Hollands has served as Interxion’s Senior Director of Marketing Development & Strategy since 2017, and is a 15 year veteran of the industry. At Tuesday’s event, he will serve as moderator, guiding the discussion surrounding the evolution of Ireland’s role as a gateway to Europe and regional data centre and subsea cabling hub.
Digital Realty, Zayo lay foundations for ‘fabric-of-fabrics’
As the world continually shifts towards cloud and hybrid cloud models, organisations are increasingly looking for better ways to support their needs for next-generation colocation solutions and secure, software-defined interconnection.
Global data centre leader Digital Realty has taken its next step towards fulfilling the promises laid out earlier this year in the company’s industry manifesto. The document solidifies Digital Realty’s objectives surrounding Enabling Connected Data Communities through interconnection, allowing them to leverage data assets more effectively than ever before.
This morning the Austin, Texas-headquartered firm announced a new collaboration with bandwidth and interconnection services firm Zayo Group Holdings. Together, Digital Realty and Zayo will create “next-generation interconnection and security capabilities and build the largest open fabric-of-fabrics interconnecting key centres of data exchange.”
What is a Fabric-of-Fabrics?
Data centre fabric, generally speaking, refers to the way in which the layout of the various computing, networking, and software components of a data centre conspire to deliver IT services. The term was originally coined by Facebook back in 2014 as the social media firm unveiled its new state-of-the-art campus in Atlanta.
Alexey Andreyev, one of Facebook’s network engineers, explained that “we challenged ourselves to make the entire data centre building one high-performance network, instead of a hierarchically oversubscribed system of clusters.”
Flash forward seven years and that methodology has become de rigueur throughout the data centre industry - particularly when it comes to hyperscale design.
Digital Realty’s “Fabric-of-Fabrics” takes the concept one step further, delivering the kind of deep interconnectedness across multiple data centre fabrics. The new partnership between Digital Realty and Zayo will, according to Chris Sharp, CTO of Digital Realty, “serve as a force-multiplier in building the industry’s largest open fabric-of-fabrics to effectively address the growing intensity of enterprise data creation and its gravitational impact on IT architectures.”
Battling Data Gravity
Digital Realty has put data gravity (the concept that supposes data, like “a planet or other object with sufficient mass” attracts other things towards it first coined by Dave McRory back in 2010) at the heart of its global strategy in the past year, officially launching its Data Gravity Manifesto in March of 2021.
The essence of Digital Realty’s approach is that, by removing legacy barriers in the interconnection industry, the challenges of exponentially growing amounts of data can be overcome. With the launch of the manifesto, Digital Realty already spoke out about its plans for the industry’s largest open fabric of fabrics.
Now, however, Zayo’s expertise and extensive global fibre network are expected to be a crucial step towards the plan’s success. The partnership, according to Digital Realty’s statement to the press, aims to unlock trapped value and remove legacy barriers to digital transformation by more closely aligning with the hybrid IT and security considerations of multinational enterprises.
“As businesses continue to shift globally towards hybrid IT to control costs, enable new digital workplace models and create new lines of business, Zayo and Digital Realty are in an excellent position to enable customers’ growth through a shared interest in globally secure, software-defined interconnection,” said Brian Lillie, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Zayo.
He added: “We look forward to working together to power next-generation interconnection and security capabilities that will unlock the true potential of digital transformation.”