Networks Europe March/April 2019 - Page 27

OPINION in one fell swoop once the Brexit negotiations have been completed. But it’s fair to say that the UK might become less attractive if the economy is negatively affected by Brexit, and it’s possible that other European countries might put themselves forward as alternative data storage locations. The substantial power requirements of data centres mean that the UK’s high-power costs and reliance on fossil fuels might have a negative impact on our attractiveness in relation to other locations unless action is taken to mitigate this risk. The flow of data from the UK to the rest of Europe While the UK remains part of the EU, data can be transferred freely between the UK and any EU country. However, there is currently no clear understanding of what the UK’s departure from the EU will mean in terms of data flows. And while GDPR was adopted by the UK in 2018, certain exemptions were made before it was integrated into UK law, and this may be a stumbling block in terms of coming to an arrangement that permits the same levels of free transfer of data from the EU to the UK. Resilient in the face of challenges As we head into the Brexit unknown, it’s likely that companies will be thinking more than ever about disaster recovery. It’s difficult not to think back to Y2K when we all feared that life as we knew it would end as Big Ben chimed midnight on 31 December 1999. What will happen on 29 March? Will all communication with mainland Europe end abruptly leaving us to float away into the Atlantic? The answer, most probably, is no. In reality, everything will most likely carry on pretty much as it does now, for the foreseeable future at least. There’s nothing to suggest that the colocation sector is at any greater risk than any other from the potential upheaval caused by Brexit. The vast majority of UK businesses will continue trading as normal and new ones will join the ranks. Their data storage requirements will continue to grow, and they will outgrow their existing infrastructure. The uptake of cloud services will continue to increase, as will interest in hybrid solutions to accommodate cloud services alongside the physical storage and maintenance of IT equipment and servers. In short, growing organisations will continue to require appropriate expansion strategies, and colocation will offer them precisely what they need: • • • • Efficiency: no need to maintain expensive on- site storage, access to cost-effective power and connectivity Reliability: constant and reliable power, cooling, connectivity guaranteeing permanent up-time Security: protection against theft, fire in secure locations with surveillance systems Scalability: the flexibility to scale up or down while only paying for the power used 27