As the data centre industry comes to maturity it faces new and ever increasingly difficult challenges. Data centres are often referred to by Governments and other public bodies as ‘pariahs’, using huge amounts of electricity and therefore guilty of causing huge amounts of CO2. This is, of course, true. Data centres do use very large amounts of electricity and are therefore significant contributors to the world’s CO2 emissions, but, (and it is a big but), what is not often considered is the amount of CO2 emissions that are saved by data centres which far exceeds that which is caused by them.
There are lots of organisations and associations that represent data centres either locally, or sometimes nationally, but this is often just not enough. Over the last few years it has become apparent that there is no one association that represents the industry at a European level and no association that represents all aspects of the industry from data centre operators to data centre users, suppliers, consultants and manufacturers.
The concept of a European association was proposed at a meeting in Brussels in September 2011 to an invited group of representatives from all aspects of the data centre industry. There was unanimous support.
The mandate of the EUDCA is simple:
- To create a professional and sustainable association that provides a collective voice for the industry with respect to regulation and policy issues that may affect it;
- To provide a European voice in the forward development of data centres internationally;
- It is sensible, or even vital, in the complex governmental, official, and business world of today for those who have similar interests or goals to join together to create a strong industry body. An Association has more strength than individual companies acting alone, coalescing into a group that can represent them effectively and defend their interests where necessary.
- The EUDCA will also proactively generate ideas that influence debate at technical, environmental and political level. Local and national bodies exist that represent the industry within their own borders, but it is only when they come together under one voice that their message is at its strongest. The data centre industry needs a body that can provide a coherent voice to both the media and the institutions that impact its future development, the EUDCA provides this collective voice.
Nicola Hayes steps down as Managing Director to concentrate on lecturing at South Bank University. Existing Board Member Alex Rabbetts takes on the role of Managing Director on an interim basis. The association gains in strength representing 180 facilities in 37 cities and 23 countries across Europe. Now the association represents some 5,000 megawatts of power and over 1,000,000 square metres of raised floor space.
The EUDCA elects a new Chairman – Apostolos Kakkos. Along with a new Chairman comes a new Managing Director in Nicola Hayes. The strength of the Board of Directors is improved with the appointment of senior executives from the three major industry operators; Equinix, Digital Realty and Interxion.
The EUDCA evolves to support the needs expressed by its members and the industry. There is recognition that members needs are not all the same and, whilst political challenges face many of the larger operators and the NTAs, commercial challenges are more important to some of the smaller operators and investment authorities.
The EUDCA sharpens it’s mandate to reflect the wishes of it’s members. During 2014 it became clear that the members and potential members of the EUDCA wanted it to be possible for in-country organizations to become affiliate members and benefit from the wider European reach of the EUDCA. Terms were drafted and an affiliate scheme was launched.
2015 also sees the launch of the newly created EUDCA website which reflects the fresh approach that the EUDCA brings to the industry.
EUDCA has a clear mandate to bring data centres together across the European geographic region and to work with the European Commission on initiatives, as well as cross-border activities including legislation, Cloud networking, infrastructure and data protection.
The EUDCA grows, starting with the a group of founding members, obtaining the required Royal Assent. Foundations are put in place and activities are launched to canvass the views of the members as to what the most pressing issues facing the industry might be. These emerge as being a mixture of political and commercial challenges.
The official launch of the European Data Centre Association, (EUDCA), is made during Data Centres Europe 2012 in Nice. The EUDCA will formally be a non-profit association registered in Brussels, (for which Royal Assent is required), with a mandate to bring data centres together across the geographic European continent.
A smaller initial team works together to prepare the constitution and articles that will be the foundation of a formal non-profit association to be registered in Brussels. An initial road-map of objectives is agreed that gives the European Data Centre Association direction.
A group of Data Centre industry professionals and companies, (colocation, hosting, engineering, legal, and systems vendor organisations), came together to agree whether there was a need for a European Data Centre Association and, if so, what the objective of the association would be. It was agreed that there is a need for an association and that it should be an international reference point for the industry throughout Europe.