‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away,’ or so the old saying goes.
With all this talk about the Apple data centre in the past few weeks, there must be quite a few doctors checking their bank balances as the branding of the common fruit reminds people to stock up and make sure to get at least one of their five-a-day across the winter months.
One of Apple’s most profitable activities is data storage. In cloud computing, data owners host their information on cloud-based servers and users access the data from these cloud servers. Although most users of computers or smart phones understand this concept, not all users think seriously about the need for backing up their data. Data storage does what it says on the tin. It physically archives data in electromagnetic or other formats for use by electronic devices.
While reading this article you are obviously online in some shape or form. Regardless of whether you are using a laptop, PC, tablet or smart phone – somehow, somewhere the article you are reading has been stored and backed up in a data centre. The Galway Eye servers are hosted by Microsoft Azure in Dublin. This article is stored in the data centre you see in the photograph below – located at Grange Castle, near Clondalkin.
So, how important is online data to the Irish? In 2016, 87% of households had access to the Internet. That’s a jump of 10% in 7 years. The most regular activity Irish people partake of online is Email (83%) followed closely by Search (82%), Social Networking (70%) and Banking (64%). In fact, Ireland ranks second only to Malta in European usage of social media per capita!
With all that sedentary behaviour (we mostly use our devices while sitting down), maybe Ireland really does need an Apple but primarily for a spot of healthy eating, rather than a data centre.
Perhaps GPs up and down the land should be rubbing their hands together at the thought that Apple Inc. might not be coming to Athenry but there may still be a silver lining on this particular cloud?