Host in Ireland Partner Spotlight: An Interview with Tanya Duncan, Managing Director, Interxion

Host in Ireland Executive Committee member Tanya Duncan joined Interxion in 2001 and has since held a number of positions before becoming Managing Director in 2005. With nearly 20 years in the ICT industry, Tanya began her career in the telecoms sector with roles at KPNQwest and Esat BT.

Tanya has extensive experience in the management of complex customer environments, capital-intensive projects and strategic business development, playing a vital role in the positioning and development of Interxion in Ireland. Her customer focus, coupled with a strong understanding of business and technical requirements, has spearheaded Interxion’s success in the Irish data centre market.

Host in Ireland Founder and President Garry Connolly recently spoke with Tanya about how Interxion’s experience as a strategic partner with the initiative has evolved, the perception of the data centre sector globally, and the importance of interconnection in today’s data centre market.

Host in Ireland, Garry Connolly (HIR-GC) Question: This is the fourth year Interxion has been a strategic partner of Host in Ireland. How has your experience with the initiative changed since your company first joined?

Interxion, Tanya Duncan (I-TD) Answer: I believe that the mission of Host in Ireland has changed considerably in the last four years. Originally, I think it was very much a marketing-driven initiative and now the scale is broader. Also, the challenges that the data centre industry in Ireland are facing are different. Today, the organization is helping to drive our agenda and educate the wider community on the strategic value of data centres, and that’s why Host in Ireland is such an important voice and vehicle.

HIR-GC Q: How would you describe the perception of data centres globally?

I-TD A: There are so many perceptions or misconceptions of what the data centre sector is about. To me, it’s a very responsible industry in what we do and what we deliver to the digital infrastructure and digital economy. The alternatives to data centres are an extremely dispersed infrastructure which is inherently inefficient.

What you do by bringing your data into data centres is manage them into most efficient way. You responsibly manage power usage, you manage your clients in the way that they manage servers or infrastructure themselves. So, to me, it’s a responsible industry.

HIR-GC Q: We once discussed how the definition of a colocation facility has changed and undergone a metamorphosis. It used to be viewed as a secure place if you didn’t want to store your data on premises and now you’re the interconnection zone to the “connected planet.” Can you elaborate on that?

I-TD A: There are so many different analogies for our industry. The obvious one is the airport, with the data centre being the hub and the passengers within the airplanes being the data moving to and from the facilities.

HIR-GC Q: The advantage with working with Interxion is that your company is pan-European. For example, I read recently where Marseilles is the gateway to Africa.

I-TD A: It’s all about the interconnection, and it’s all about the networks as much as it is about the facilities. The data centres are highly-engineered, but more and more of our clients are coming to us because of the connectivity elements and the ability to connect privately to the cloud. Especially as hybrid cloud has established itself as the way to go for so many businesses.

HIR-GC Q: Is that being driven by people’s comfort level with the concept, is it financial, or are the risk-assessors saying, we need to get this critical data off the public internet?

I-TD A: It’s all three. It might be compliance. However, the solutions that are available today are more steadfast. So, for example, whereas connecting to the cloud over the public internet might not have been acceptable for some companies, now private connections directly from the data centre to the cloud are acceptable.

HIR-GC Q: Thank you for your time today, Tanya. For more information about Interxion, you can visit www.interxion.com.

To learn more about Host in Ireland, visit www.hostinireland.com.

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