Eir Business is the trading name of the largest communications company in Ireland, Eircom Limited. It is a specialised division that provides cloud, colocation and dual-site colocation services to Irish and British corporations, multinationals and the public sector. Eir Business also offers managed services and access to its own high speed fibre optic network.

Eir Group, the new brand name for Eircom Limited, owns the largest high speed fibre optic network in Ireland and is in the process of rolling it out to more than 1.4 million homes and businesses. Eir Group also maintains two submarine cables between the UK and Ireland and was part of a partnership with Hibernian Atlantic to bring fibre connectivity to Dublin over transatlantic submarine cables.

Eir Group brings 15 years of experience in the data centre industry, opening its first dedicated data centre in 1997 at Internet House in Crown Alley.    All of its data centres offer the latest in access and data security, including CCTV, biometric readers, N+1 and N+2 in cooling and power. There is also UPS, a 10.5Kv ring main supply and N+1 emergency back-up generators. Dual power feed servers may access power from two separate substations.

Colocation and cloud services are offered on a bespoke basis, with a dedicated engineer working with clients to configure the services to their exact needs. Customers may choose anything from single racks up to full cages. Eir Business do not offer space under one full rack, so the service is unlikely to be cost-effective for small and medium sized businesses.

Customers of Eir Businesses may also take advantage of Amazon’s Direct Connect Node hosted at the Clonshaugh data centre, where the latency between Clonshaugh and the Amazon cloud is just 1 millisecond.

Location

Eir Business (Eircom Limited) is incorporated in Jersey and registered as a branch in Dublin, Ireland. Eir Business operates four data centres in Dublin at Citywest, Clonshaugh, City Centre (Crown Alley) and Dundrum.

Energy

Eir Business strives to make all of its data centres as energy efficient as possible. It has a dedicated operational team based in each data centre that is tasked with reducing energy use and power usage effectiveness (PUE).

All data centres benefit from the latest energy saving measures and technologies. These include running the data centres at a slightly higher temperature than usual to reduce cooling demand and free air cooling and blanking panels in free rack space to reduce energy consumption.

Funding/business model

US hedge fund Anchorage Capital Group LLC is the single biggest shareholder in Eircom Limited with an almost 40% stake in the company. As of 2014 it owned 8% but has gradually increased its position by buying 25% from Blackstone (who retain 5%).  Eir Group was planning an IPO to relieve some of its debt but that is now unlikely to happen in 2015/16. A new IPO would be the third time Eir Group has been listed on a stock market in just 15 years. In early 2015, Eir Group rejected a takeover bid for EUR 3.3 billion.

Eir Group has had a turbulent few years and only recently emerged from ‘examinership’ in 2012 under the control of its lenders. Eir Business’ current strategy is to capitalize on business demand for ultra-fast fibre internet and reliable, high-tech data centre services and is investing roughly EUR1.5 billion in infrastructure upgrades over the next 10 years. In total, Eir Group’s capital investment commitment over the ten years to 2025 is almost EUR 2.5 billion.

Eir Group’s total revenue for the year ending June 30, 2015 was €1.3 billion. The adjusted EBITDA was €481 million. Eir Group is expecting revenue growth from the third quarter of 2015. As of late 2015, Eircom is undergoing a major rebrand to Eir Group.

Customers and partners

Eir Business boasts a good range of high profile Irish and European clients and actively attracts and host US clients, thanks to good flight connections and the Hibernia transatlantic submarine fibre network.

Its Clonshaugh clients include Amazon Direct Connect and Hibernia Atlantic, and the data centre is also an Amazon Web Services (AWS) consulting partner.

Citywest is host to the Department of Transport’s Motortax Online service and also hosts important applications for three major global software companies.

Conclusion

It is clear that Eir Group is a major player in the data centre market. Despite its financial and ownership difficulties in recent years, Eir Business still offers a service that is comprehensive and stable enough to attract some of the world’s most important companies as customers.

Eir Business data centre services are not aimed at small and medium sized companies and are unlikely to be in the near future. It does offer broadband, mobile and landline packages to that market but no colocation services or smaller rack spaces. For larger customers looking to situate hosted services in an important global hub alongside prominent neighbours, Eir Group data centres are reliable colocation and cloud option.

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