Posted by John VassalloVice President, EU Affairs I am very excited about an event today that marks an important milestone for Microsoft in Europe: The opening of our advanced new data centre in Dublin. As Microsoft’s first large scale data centre outside the United States, this facility is a vibrant sign of our commitment to provide the next-generation computing infrastructure that will power an incredible array of software services ‘in the cloud’ in Europe, for Europeans. I am convinced that our European customers will soon find many novel ways to leverage the speed, flexibility and bandwidth provided by the Dublin data centre and the cloud computing services it supports to transform their businesses. Europe will benefit from the new wave of innovation and new business efficiencies this will bring about. The data centre will also enable governments to reduce IT costs while improving citizen access to government services, which in turn will make the process of governance more transparent, efficient and inclusive.
But computing muscle is not the only hallmark of the Dublin data centre. Environmental sustainability has been a key priority throughout the design and construction of the centre. The facility is 50 percent more energy efficient than comparable data centres built just three years ago. By using outside air to cool the facility, recycling heat generated by the IT systems, and using energy efficient lighting and electricity transfer, we have significantly reduced the amount of energy needed to power the Dublin facility. Indeed, I am thrilled to note that the European Commission’s Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign, through the Directorate General for Energy and Transport, has granted an official “best practice” status to the Dublin data centre for energy efficiency. The Dublin data centre is also the latest manifestation of Microsoft’s strong ties to Europe and our efforts to support economic growth in Europe by advancing local R&D, innovation and the growth of the information economy. I invite you to take a look at our Microsoft in Europe overview, which details the many ways in which European investment is a long-term priority for the company. We have invested in excess of $600 million in R&D in Europe, and this investment is growing. Investments such as the Dublin data centre also enable us to further job growth in Europe. The Dublin data centre will enable us to build on our already strong team of 15,000 Microsoft employees in Europe and will support our ecosystem of roughly 250,000 local partners, which in turn employ more than 3 million people throughout Europe.