Cisco pushes for data centres in Scotland

The networking giant says space, data and power requirements can be more than satisfied by moving data centres north of the border, and there are green advantages too

Cisco is urging businesses to choose Scotland when they decide on a location for new data-centre builds.

The networking giant says that Scotland is more than capable of satisfying the huge demand for power and space that would be needed.

According to Cisco's director for Ireland and Scotland, Gordon Thomson, Cisco's message is coming just at the right time as companies run short of space and energy. "We see a period of opportunity now that will last for 24 to 36 months," Thomson said.

Cisco has been seeking the support of a number of politicians in its effort to promote Scotland as a suitable place for data centres, such as the SNP's John Swinney, who is also the finance minister in Scotland.

Thomson believes that two benefits of Scotland are the relative stability of the weather and renewable energy sources, including an abundance of water and wind-power generation facilities.

"I think this could be a phenomenal play for Scotland," he told ZDNet.co.uk. "We could build you a data centre that is 100 percent green. Wind and tidal energy are there in abundance. We have the telecoms infrastructure and the high-capacity networks. And we have a good, local skills base."

But for those looking for increased employment in Scotland, Thomson is more cautious. He acknowledges that data centres now need few staff. "This isn't about jobs," he said. "But it will generate wealth for Scotland."

Many global IT giants, including IBM and HP, are long-time residents of Scotland. More recently, Dell has been increasing its investments in the country.

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