€35m float­ing data cen­tre to cre­ate 124 jobs

Irish Examiner - - News -

A rev­o­lu­tion­ary €35m float­ing data cen­tre is set to be moored on the banks of the River Shan­non, in a move which could cre­ate 124 jobs.

Lim­er­ick Docks beat a num­ber of lo­ca­tions across Europe to the multi-mil­lion euro in­vest­ment, with minister of state Pa­trick O’Dono­van hail­ing it as “yet an­other el­e­ment of the city and county’s re­ju­ve­na­tion”.

With cen­tres pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy power for busi­nesses be­ing very sought af­ter, the Shan­non Foynes Port Com­pany has teamed up with Cal­i­for­nian firm Nau­tilus which plans to moor a float­ing ves­sel pro­vid­ing com­mer­cial data stor­age at Ted Rus­sell Dock, just out­side Lim­er­ick city cen­tre.

A new con­cept, Nau­tilus Data Tech­nol­ogy em­ploys wa­ter cool­ing tech­nol­ogy in data cen­tres, mean­ing they op­er­ate more ef­fi­ciently and less ex­pen­sively than tra­di­tional land-based fa­cil­i­ties.

The data cen­tre, it is an­tic­i­pated, will be able to ser­vice a num­ber of com­pa­nies, or a sin­gle firm, with Nau­tilus pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive Jim Con­naughton say­ing: “We will be able to serve a small com­pany, to one of the larger so­cial me­dia op­er­a­tions — and ev­ery­thing in be­tween.”

Ac­cord­ing to the pro­pos­als, the dock off James Casey Walk will be trans­formed. The for­mer ESB sub­sta­tion will be de­mol­ished, and re­placed with a new in­dus­trial build­ing com­pris­ing stor­age and of­fice space. The ex­ist­ing clock tower, a pro­tected struc­ture, will be re­tained.

Mr Con­naughton, speak its ing from Wash­ing­ton DC, said that the de­vel­op­ment, if it gets plan­ning per­mis­sion, will cre­ate around 24 per­ma­nent po­si­tions, as well as 100 roles dur­ing con­struc­tion to be de­liv­ered in “the skilled trades” in­clud­ing de­sign, ar­chi­tec­ture, and civil con­struc­tion.

In terms of the size of the data cen­tre, Mr Con­naughton said it will match that of cur­rent ves­sels at the docks.

Ac­cord­ing to plan­ning doc­u­ments, the barge will fea­ture four data halls com­prised within two floors above the barge deck, with sup­port­ing cool­ing and elec­tri­cal sys­tems be­low the wa­ter­line.

Mr Con­naughton hopes in the event of plan­ning per­mis­sion, the de­vel­op­ment can be com­plete by 2020.

A de­ci­sion on the pro­pos­als is due on Jan­uary 26.

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