As part of our series on industry bodies relevant to European data centres, we now look at the Dutch Datacenter Association(DDA).

It’s mission is to strengthen economic growth and represent the Dutch data centre sector to government, media and society – Like eco, the DDA sees a key part of its role as representing its members’ views to policy-makers, especially around regulation. It also works to raise awareness of data centres and the industry in government and the media, as well as in society more generally, by promoting a positive image of the industry.

The DDA was founded in 2015, launching with a new report on the state of Dutch data centres – The DDA appears to have aimed to start with a bang, not a whimper, by launching a report on the state of the Dutch data centre industry at Interconnect in Amsterdam. This reports sets out the size of the data centre sector, its impact on the economy in the country, and the regional distribution of data centres.

Although a relatively new body, the DDA clearly has strong intentions to grow and develop – Linked to its recent foundation, the DDA currently has fewer than 10 employees. Although such a new organisation, it is punching above its weight in becoming part of the European Data Centre Association (EUDCA) within its first six months, showing that it has serious intentions to influence the development of the data centre industry in Europe.

Stijn Grove is the Managing Director of the DDA – He is also Managing Director of the EUDCA, ensuring that the DDA has connections at the very heart of the European data centre industry. EUDCA is the only non-profit association at European level that represents the whole data centre industry.

The DDA is a foundation governed by a Board of Trustees drawn from its member organisations – At present, the president, Michiel Eielts, is from Equinix, Eric Boonstra, the secretary, from EvoSwitch, and Michael van den Assem, the treasurer, from Interxion. There are three other board members, Alexandra Schless from TelecityGroup, Gerben van der Veen from Dataplace and Patrick Eshuys from KPN. This Board runs the organisation for its members.

The DDA currently has 28 members – These include well-known and lesser known data centre providers, including Equinix, Interxion, TelecityGroup, Digital Realty and The Datacenter Group. Its members’ datacentres are spread throughout the Netherlands, the majority in the West of the country, with a cluster around Amsterdam and The Hague, and another near Antwerp.

It promotes best practice in data centres in the Netherlands and beyond – We have noted before that standard-setting and promotion of best practice can be one of the key roles of industry bodies. The DDA facilitates its members to improve their operations by sharing best practice, promoting relevant education and training, and contributing to the development of technical standards for the data centre industry. All its members are signed up to the Association’s Code of Conduct.

The DDA has already started to make its presence felt, with a report on green IT published in November 2015 – The DDA may be a relatively new player in the data centre world, but it has certainly not been backwards in coming forwards. It has already produced a report on Green IT, setting out opportunities for data centres to become more environmentally friendly in their operations. This report was published in November, as part of the Green IT Leaders Live 2015 Event, held at Dell’s headquarters in Amsterdam.

It also runs an active partnership programme with key sector suppliers – The DDA has four main partners, currently Huawei, Socomec, Minkels and Stulz, and ten partners, including Lenovo and Arcadiz Networks. It also has four ‘knowledge partners’, including Ictrecht and Pb7, and five media partners. The partner programme is aimed at high quality suppliers of technology and services with a focus on the Dutch data centre sector, and aims to promote interactions between data centres and suppliers, to grow the data centre market.

The DDA’s work stretches well beyond the Netherlands – We have mentioned the DDA’s work with EUDCA, but it also participates in international trade fairs, and has been involved in trade visits within Europe, such as a recent trip to Barcelona, and also, as part of Digital Infrastructure Netherlands, to Silicon Valley and to Canada, to promote the Dutch data centre industry around the world.

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