Thought Leadership and Insight from Viatel

Alan Millet

For this edition of the Datacloud Ireland Interview Series, we spoke to Alan Millet, Managing Director of Viatel.

Q.1 – What criteria are important for attracting data centre investment?
Key criteria include the availability of adequate grid power, having a multiplicity of communications providers onsite, being able to flexibly deploy available power (e.g. to service non-standard requests), potential to expand, and having the necessary essentials in place to give a customer peace of mind that they are deploying their assets in a secure environment.

Q.2 – How do you think Brexit will affect the current rate of IT asset deployment in Europe?
Brexit is generating uncertainty and while that situation continues, IT managers will look to manage and mitigate any potential downside risks that could arise due to Brexit policies or decisions that arise during the process. This can impact whether they should deploy or maintain assets in the UK, or whether they need to duplicate existing UK assets elsewhere in Europe to service the wider EU market.
Depending on the company and industry involved this could result in an increase of new IT deployment (ideally there would need to be alternatives in place ahead of any Brexit decisions) or could result in putting some plans into abeyance until those decisions become clearer.
For some industries where the impact of Brexit is clearer and is resulting in movement of offices to other EU locations, then there is obviously an increase in spend here too.

Q.3 – How do you think GDPR will impact the storage of data in the European Union?
GDPR is going to further heighten everyone’s appreciation of what personal data actually is. The rigour of having to review internal processes and procedures associated with handling such data is likely to increase the amount of data that will need to be stored. Further, due to the various additional requirements that arise under GDPR (e.g. faster time to respond to queries, right to be forgotten, etc.) the need for tools to be able to mine the stored data appropriately so that such queries can be answered in as complete a fashion as possible, is also going to increase. This will mean that storage solutions may get linked in with suitable applications to give a full solution to the client for a particular issue.
Customers will also be more aware of asking where exactly their data is stored, and if there are any circumstances in which that data can reside elsewhere. It will also impact any current deployments where backup or secondary nodes are located outside of the EU (e.g. UK in the future), and any cloud storage providers who cannot guarantee that the data will stay within a region.

Q.4 – What will be the main drivers of data growth in the coming decade?
Data is only growing inexorably and that is not going to decrease in the coming decade. Our digital footprints are also increasing, not just because of mobile phones and the ease with which video can be created, but also due to all the other gadgets that we use to enhance our daily lives. These feature across all age groups whether fitness trackers, sleep monitors, or medical devices.
The cheap cost of sensors and the development of flexible electronics are resulting in embedded capabilities in clothes, houses (e.g. smart bulbs), grids (smart meters), and even everyday medical items (contact lenses). These are all part of the wider Internet of Things (IoT), however all generate data, and to be useful, that data has to be stored and analysed.
Though individual data updates can be small, the frequency and the volume of devices involved, all result in a huge expansion in the amount of data that will exist.
For corporate worlds the same is true and the necessity to develop enhanced product offerings, tailored to individual use patterns, is driving many reviews of customer interaction and business processes to embed data collection capabilities and ensure it can be used thereafter.
The world is continuing its evolution with the expectation of real-time availability of information whenever it is required. As those expectation levels cross into more and more areas of people’s lives they will only be met by more and more data being available to fulfil them.

On the 21st of September, Viatel will be at Datacloud Ireland 2017 in Dublin. Meet them there!