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In the News: European Data Center Headlines Featuring Google, Three, Equinix, Telstra, IBM and More

Recent research released by Technavio has revealed that the European data center industry will grow steadily over the next few years, with a projected CAGR of over 10% by 2020.The global market research company also indicates that the European data center market is fragmented and intensely competitive, citing Colt, Digital Realty, Equinix, Global Switch, Interoute, Interxion and NTT as the vendors leading the sector.We’ve scoured the latest tech and data center headlines to bring you a summary of the top stories across the European market. From new data centers, to heavy fines, impending regulations and the emergence of new data center hubs. Here are the newsworthy stories that caught our attention:Google Selects Luxembourg for New €1bn Data CenterIf the rumors are true, Google has selected the small European country of Luxembourg as its new data center destination. With just over half a million people, Luxembourg borders France, Germany and Belgium, and is one of only three official capitals of the European Union.Local news is reporting that the €1bn facility is going to be built on 25-hectares of land. The new data center will be in good company, the country already has 21 data centers and 3 network fabrics with the top service providers being Colt, LU-CIX, Lux Network and Cogent. The Luxembourg data center will be the tech giant's fifth facility in Europe, accompanying Ireland, Netherlands, Finland and Belgium. Currently, Google Cloud only offers two direct connections to the cloud from Europe: Frankfurt and London.Mobile provider ‘Three’ Fined £1.89 MillionUK communications regulator, Ofcom, imposed a £1.89 million fine on mobile phone provider Three last month, after a vulnerability was discovered on the operator’s emergency services network. Ofcom requires service providers to guarantee uninterrupted access to emergency services, even when the provider is experiencing technical difficulties. The investigation found that Three’s emergency call service was exposed to a single point of failure – a data center through which emergency ‘999’ calls from Hampshire, Kent and London were routed. The issue was exposed when calls failed to automatically divert via a backup route during a temporary loss of service in October last year. Three has since implemented a new backup route for emergency calls.Calls for Ireland to Become a Tier 1 Data Center HubIreland is set to become one of Europe’s premier data center destinations with new projects forecast to deliver CAPEX of €740+ million by 2020. According to BroadGroup’s recent ‘Data Centres Ireland’ report, growth in the Dublin market could reposition Ireland as a Tier 1 hub alongside the “Big 4”: London, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Ireland’s competitive corporate tax rate has encouraged a large number of enterprises across the pharmaceuticals, gaming and content sectors to establish their technology infrastructure in the country. Microsoft and Amazon have built enormous facilities in the Dublin region, and the government continues to identify and reserve large tracts of land for future data centers. Ireland has also adopted a 40% renewable energy target by 2020, well above the 16% EU benchmark.


European Businesses Largely Unprepared for General Data Protection Regulation LawsThe European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force next year, bringing with it harsh penalties and fines of up to €20m or 4% of annual turnover for non-compliance. The GDPR will be implemented across all EU member states, substantially changing the way businesses control and store their employee and customer information. Compliance is mandatory and, under the new laws, consumers must provide consent to any use of their data which can be revoked at any time.Despite Brexit, the UK is expected to adopt the rules. However, a recent YouGov survey showed that only 29% of British organizations have started to prepare for the GDPR laws and 71% were unaware of the fines they could face for non-compliance.Equinix Launches New Frankfurt Data CenterEquinix, the world’s largest global data center operator, has announced the expansion of its German presence, opening a new $92 million state-of-the-art facility at Equinix's Campus Kleyer in Frankfurt. The new IBX data center, known as FR6, is designed to meet the demands of next-generation data-intensive applications by providing low-latency connectivity to international markets. The facility allows enterprises to extend their IT infrastructure to the network edge, enhancing performance and reducing the distance between users and digital services. Frankfurt is a key European financial and commercial hub, and Campus Kleyer is one of Europe’s most carrier-dense digital locations with more than 300 network and carrier connections from over 70 countries. Phase-one of FR6 will include more than 1,300 cabinets and over 72,000 square feet of data center floor space. It brings Equinix’s total colocation footprint in the country to over 500,000 square feet.


European Weather Center Moves Data Requirments to ItalyThe European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) intends to transition its IT infrastructure from Britain to Bologna. The decision supports the ECMWF’s ten-year strategy to develop high-resolution Earth system modeling, which specifies a 5km-grid-space forecasting target by 2025 (down from the current 18km resolution). This increased resolution requires ten times the computing capacity currently available to the ECMWF. As the Eurozone’s third-largest economy, and situated at a subsea cable crossroads connecting Europe to the world, Italy is increasingly viewed as a desirable location for global data centers. This year, Aruba unveiled a new 2 million square foot facility in Bergamo, northeast of Milan, and Cloudflare announced its 105th global data center in Rome. Italian Telco CDLAN is also expanding its Milan data center and building a second facility elsewhere in the country.Telstra Acquires Company85 and Takes Aim at Europe and BritainLeading Australian telecommunications provider, Telstra, has taken aim at the British and European markets by acquiring UK-based Company85. The British technology services provider was established in 2010 and offers data center, cloud, security and network services. With 75 staff, Company85’s customers include the Royal Mail, NHS, BBC, JP Morgan and London City Airport. Christopher Smith, Telstra’s executive director of business technology services, said the UK is an important market for expanding Telstra’s services into Europe, and that Company85 is held in high regard for its technical and consulting expertise.


IBM Unveils New X-Force Command Center in PolandIBM has announced a new $200 million command center in Wroclaw, Poland, designed to counter the rise of global cyber-security threats. The facility joins IBM’s global network of X-Force Command Centers, which is staffed by 1,400 security experts and uses IBM Watson AI cognitive computing to identity threats by analyzing over one trillion security incidents per month. IBM’s 2017 X-Force Threat Intelligence Index found that cases of illegally acquired data grew from 600 million in 2015 to four billion in 2016, with the number of data breaches predicted to double over the next five years. The average cost per incident was $4 million.Amsterdam Thriving But Battling Talent ShortageAmsterdam was recently named 2nd in the 2017 Top Ten Colocation Ecosystems in the world, with the Dutch capital setting its sights firmly on becoming Europe’s leading tech capital. Netflix is the latest of a rising number of global technology companies to establish a presence in Amsterdam which has pushed the local demand for talent to unprecedented levels. So whilst the city has an exciting inflow of global technology enterprises, experienced IT professionals are in short supply and 15,000 IT positions are currently open. Reports indicate that for every 16 mid-career vacancies, only one IT professional is available, with the highest demand being for programmers and data analysts. Amsterdam is ranked fifth in Savills’ index of desirable locations for tech companies, based on its excellent connectivity to other cities, attractive environment and proficient workforce with strong English language skills.Read our latest summary of the top headlines for Asia Pacific and the United States.

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