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Italian cloud provider banks on Brexit to fill country’s largest datacentre campus

Campus will be powered by on-site renewable energy sources as Aruba sets sights on securing tenants displaced by the UK’s EU departure

Italian cloud services provider Aruba is hoping Brexit will help it sell floorspace in its newly opened datacentre in Italy, which currently lacks an anchor tenant.

The 40,000m2 datacentre is part of a wider campus development the company says it plans to build over the next “five to 10 years”. When completed, it will cover a total area of 200,000m2, making it the biggest site of its kind in Italy.

The 90MW datacentre will be 100% renewably powered, drawing on the output of an on-site hydroelectricity plant and solar panels.  

It has also been designed to meet the telecommunications industry’s networking infrastructure standards for uptime and availability (ANSI/TIA 942-A Rating 4).

Speaking at the launch event for the facility, Aruba CEO Stefano Cecconi said the first phase of the project had been built “on its own legs”, with no anchor tenant needed for it to go ahead.

“We were able to run the investment without any guarantee or any pre-signed contract,” he said. “Because the customers enjoyed what they found here, now we are starting to discuss to build on request.”

Aruba is targeting companies looking to enter the Italian market for the first time, and says Brexit is prompting more overseas firms to consider colocating their IT assets to its datacentres.

“We received a bit of help by Brexit because many companies are moving some of their IT or all of their IT out of the UK if they have to serve different countries within the European Union,” he said.

Read more about Brexit and datacentres

The company is also looking to attract medium to large enterprises from its home country that are looking to outsource their IT and move to the cloud.

Aruba is a founding member of the trade association Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers in Europe (CISPE), which has issued a code of conduct to mark its members’ cloud services as complaint with the EU’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

The GDPR, which comes into force in May 2018, is attracting increasing interest in Aruba’s services as organisations grapple with what compliance with the regulation involves, said Cecconi.

“The GDPR is pushing even more of our customers to outsource,” he said. “To be compliant with the new rules and with all the certifications they need on-premise…every day is a bit harder to achieve that goal. So they prefer to outsource to be sure that, from an infrastructure perspective, they did everything right or someone else is doing it right.”

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