Amazon Web Services boost their offering in Indonesia with AWS Outposts

Indonesia is set to gain more native access to AWS services with the announcement of AWS Outpost availability in the country.

Customers can use the Outposts to help them meet low latency requirements for large projects and connect to the nearest AWS Regions like Singapore. 

With the Indonesian Government’s proposed data protection and localization regulations, the AWS Outposts can assist customers in meeting data sovereignty, compliance and data privacy requirements.

The AWS Outposts can now be shipped and installed by Amazon to data centers and on-premise locations to provide a consistent AWS experience with access to AWS infrastructure, APIs and tools.

This news follows Amazon Web Services’ announcement to build several interconnected data centers in Indonesia by 2022. Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang said: “This investment can boost Indonesia to become a strategic digital hub. The AWS region in Indonesia will certainly support the startup ecosystem so it can grow rapidly.”

What is an AWS Outpost?

An AWS Outpost is a replica of hardware infrastructure, services and API that run in Amazon data centers.

Outposts enable customers to run services like Elastic Compute Cloud, which allows users to reduce demand on physical servers by running virtual servers as if they were in the cloud, and Simple Storage Service allowing the services running locally to be extended to the cloud.

Implementing an infrastructure that uses the same interface can save the hassle and confusion of using hybrid products that have different management and maintenance tools.

With cloud adoption growing at an annual rate of 48% in Indonesia, data centers may benefit from hybrid environments, connecting on-premise infrastructure with cloud services.

Indonesia takes center stage as rise in cloud adoption drives more hyperscale data center investments

New market research by Arizton shows Indonesia as a ‘hotspot’ for hyperscale data center investment within the next five years, driven by the rise in cloud adoption.

The country is expected to experience investments worth over US1$ billion and an annual growth rate of 11% between 2019 and 2025.

More than US$600 million in data center construction opportunities for contractors is projected during 2019-2025, while the colocation data center market will witness growth of around US$300 million.

The research revealed that hyperscale cloud providers like Alibaba, Microsoft, Google and AWS have been a strong boost to the Indonesian market with announcements to open their own data centers due to the rapid adoption of cloud computing in the country.

Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, said at DevCon – Digital Economy Summit 2020 in Jakarta: “Microsoft wants to invest immediately in Indonesia.”

Alibaba Cloud also announced US$28 billion worth of data center investments covering 21 regions, including Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to support digital transformation in a post-pandemic world.

New entrants like SpaceDC, Keppel Data Centres and Princeton Digital Group are also making moves to invest in hyperscale facilities.

Stephanus Tumbelaka, Managing Director of PDG Indonesia, said: “We continue to see strong market demand from our current customers and from global firms looking to enter the market. 

To keep up with demand, Princeton Digital Group is planning two additional greenfield builds, one in Jakarta and one in Surabaya as well as upgrading their five existing facilities. PDG removed a lot of uncertainty away from entering new markets by having a strong local partner, XL Axiata, which gave them a strong foundation to grow their business.

Mr Tumbelaka added: “Given the growth that we are experiencing, we continue to try to recruit and onboard new employees which can be a challenge, especially in times like now with Covid-19.”

SpaceDC will add to their vast experience of building data centers by launching their first facility in the second quarter of 2020, with a second planned for Q2 of 2021.

Carolyn Harrington, COO of SpaceDC, said: “We are already planning additional facilities in Jakarta as well as other key locations throughout Indonesia. It is a key feature in our interconnected data center platform we are rolling out throughout Asia.”

As the location of their first data center, Indonesia always plays a key role for SpaceDC. The data center provider recently announced they are making investments to implement thermal wall cooling technology in their first data center to increase efficiency and reduce plant space required to cool the data center.

Water-based cooling currently dominates the market in Indonesia, but increasing adoption of air-cooled chillers is expected to drive the cooling systems segment between 2019 and 2025.

Amongst other segments, the storage devices segment is predicted to grow at the highest growth rate with the increased adoption of all-flash and hybrid arrays in cloud data centers at the expense of solid-state drives.

It is important to keep in mind that some of the biggest challenges when developing a data center in a new market is finding the right team.

Ms Harrington said: “Your team should be comprised of key local talent who understand how to work with Government and respect local culture.”

What is driving the need for data centers in Indonesia?

The country’s data center market is fuelled by the increasing number of Internet and social media users as well as greater connectivity across the country. 

Demand for facilities is exponentially increasing with 150 million Indonesians expected to access the internet by 2023 and 20 million new social media users added in the last two years.

The Government’s 2020 Go Digital Vision and Industry 4.0 is also likely to drive the need for more data centers, as one million fishers and farmers will be given online support from thousands of tech startups along with efforts to digitise eight million SMEs.

Companies that have already embraced Industry 4.0 through digital transformation have experienced over 30% increase in productivity and efficiency. Once more organisations learn of these benefits, even more will go online and require data centers to achieve this.

The Government will also implement the Internet of Things into their public infrastructures like roads, streetlight and traffic signals, all of which will need data centers to run effectively.

These initiatives are projected to boost Indonesia’s digital economy by more than US$150 billion in 2025, fuelling the exciting growth of the Indonesian data center market in the years to come.

What is the Green Data Centre Standard in Singapore?

The Green Data Centre Standard in Singapore, or SS 564, is a set of best practice guidelines to help data center providers design sustainable facilities, improve their energy efficiency and avoid wasting water to cool the centers.

Data centers have a huge impact on the environment by consuming more power globally than the whole of Singapore.

As many industries look to be more sustainable, following the standard can be beneficial for organisations by showing their drive to be environmentally friendly.

Data centres can use the standard to track their performance and improvements based on a benchmark of metrics.

The standard, modelled after the ISO 50001, provides a framework and a Plan-Do-Check-Act methodology to encourage continuous process improvement.

Firms including Equinix, IBM, Keppel Data Centers and Resorts World Sentosa have all achieved a SS 564 certification for their effort to meet the green standards.

The Green Data Centre Standard was published in 2011 by the IT Standards Committee, Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore and SPRING Singapore. The Green DC Standards Working Group under the industry-led Information Technology Standards Committee formed to develop the standard.

What are the benefits of the Green Data Centre Standard?

Following the recommendations set by the Green Data Centre Standards to optimise your systems can help lower operational costs and energy spend by 30%. 

By reducing carbon emissions, data center providers could also avoid the Singapore carbon tax set at a rate of $5 for every tonne of greenhouse gas emitted.

By doing your part to be sustainable and tackle climate change, customers may be more interested in doing business with you, particularly if they have policies to only work with other environmentally conscious organisations.

Why is the Green Data Centre Standard important?

On top of the benefits to your business, it is important to remember that data centers are one of the biggest culprits of producing excessive carbon emissions with 2% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.

A huge 7% of all electricity consumed in Singapore comes from data centers. And this figure will likely rise, as more pressure is put on data centers to meet the demands of increasing Internet and digital application usage. 

Many data centers can waste energy by operating a higher power load than what is needed. But organisations in Singapore are moving towards greater sustainability by innovating environmentally friendly solutions, including using solar energy, cooling facilities with natural airflows and designing data centers that float on water.

Opinion: How rethinking the normal could improve sustainable data center builds

Joshua Au

Head (Data Centre) – Information Technology Shared Services, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

“The pandemic makes it increasingly hard to hold on to the idea that the business of business is merely business”. I read this quote by Harvard professor Rebecca Henderson recently and it gave me pause for thought on how to approach an article I promised months ago to write for W.Media

There is no easy way to write about the complex and nuanced relationship between the data center industry and sustainability.

Though, I am not sure what the facts are, I will share a point of view (I might even have endorsed a few white lies), and perhaps this could pique the interest of some readers to fact check and draw their own conclusions.

The data center industry responds to call for action

According to the International Energy Agency, global internet traffic has tripled since 2015 and is expected to further double by 2022, and drive up demand for data centers to process this traffic. The global data center electricity demand in 2018 was estimated to be 198 terawatts per hour, or almost 1% of the global demand for electricity.

And hence, as Gary Cook from Greenpeace puts it, it is important that people building data centers around the world build digital infrastructure in a way that is consistent with tackling climate change aggressively.

In fact, the Internet industry at large has been responsive to calls by Greenpeace.

Facebook committed in 2010 to power its operations with 100% renewable energy. Similarly, Microsoft aims to be carbon negative by 2030 and, by 2050, remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted since it was founded in 1975.

In December last year, Chindata became the first data center in China to set a target to power its operations with 100% renewable energy, and has since come top of the renewable energy ranking in Greenpeace East Asia’s report published this year. Chindata and Alibaba are now working together with the local government in Northern China for a cooperation mechanism that would allow Chinese cloud and data center operators to procure renewable energy directly from wind and solar generators.

Many groups have also come forward to advocate green data center practices (such as the likes of the Green Grid and the Infrastructure Masons), including the Open Compute Project Foundation, which seeks to promote a more efficient way of computing, and the EU-funded Boden Type DC One, which is experimenting with new and more efficient ways of compute. 

The list goes on.

Sustainability can be good for business

I do not suggest that all entities embark on sustainability efforts out of the kindness of their hearts or a conviction about the need to do the right thing. Shrewd companies and their shareholders can and do benefit fiscally from these efforts.

Jeffrey Jaensubhakij, Group Chief Investment Officer (GCIO) of GIC, told the World Federation of Exchanges general assembly in October 2019 that ‘the markets are rewarding companies with sustainable business practices’.

Singapore imposed a carbon tax in 2019 at a rate of $5 for every tonne of greenhouse gas emissions, putting additional pressure on data centers to be sustainable and avoid additional costs.

With sustainability increasingly tied with corporate governance under corporate ESG functions, sustainability is now seen as another means of creating shareholder value – think of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

We are not out of the woods yet

The problem of climate change is so big that it cannot be effectively dealt with by any one party.

But just how do you begin to describe this problem? According to (some) scientists, burning of fossil fuels leads to billions of tons of CO2 emissions yearly, and in turn rising global temperatures.

Global warming would weaken the thermohaline circulation leading to more droughts, changed weather patterns, reduced global crop production, rising sea levels making coastal areas uninhabitable and a medium ice age. In other words, apocalypse.

In 2019, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. More specifically, global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide would need to fall by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching net zero around 2050

However, observers might be discomforted by the lackadaisical commitment shown by some nation states in the COP25 Climate Change Conference, and in their targets declared in the Nationally Determined Contribution submitted every five years under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Suffice to say, not all nations and scientists are persuaded of the rationale and urgency to curb carbon emissions.

There is also a more immediate effect that more of us can make sense of. Burning of fossil fuels contributes to fine particulate population, and breathing in microscopic pollutants inflames and damages the lining of the lungs over time, which can make the human body more susceptible to respiratory infections and various other medical conditions.

So despite the herculean efforts of the data center industry where the burden may be not evenly shared by all industry members, I am not persuaded we should be happy with the progress we, the human race, are making.

Putting the cart before the horse by rethinking the normal

I think we should fundamentally rethink how we frame the subject of sustainability, being cognizant of the complex and evolving needs of the different stakeholders.

A good sustainability strategy is one that mobilizes industry, government and consumer. If you take out of one of the tripod legs, it’s just not going to work very well. We stand to gain collectively and individually from a more coordinated and collective response. 

Has the data center industry done enough? Is there more it should do? I leave that to you to decide. Because data centers are simply businesses, and businesses exist to continually make a profit, just as workers work to continually put food on the table. Which means they will give what consumers are willing to pay for and policy makers allow them to, on the premise they can make enough to stay afloat

Modern consumers are increasingly addicted to the convenience and reliability of the internet, and as the engine of the Internet, data centers power the way we live, work and play. It is the consumer behavior and their spending dollar that determines what is produced to feed that spending.

If we accept that some of these services (that we are addicted to) can be slower and even less reliable, would that change how we design and operate data centers? – Some might recall the triangle being referenced in the Green Grid white paper on the performance indicator.

Fast and reliable has been the normal, and we all want to return to normal. But what if normal is what got us into this mess in the first place?

Rebecca Henderson suggests three reasons why we are slow to change: Denial (“It’s not going to happen”), Greed (“My current needs are infinitely above other peoples’ needs, including my future needs”), and Overload and Incompetence (“I am too overwhelmed to act otherwise”).

Because to respond effectively would require us to reinvent the way we live, work and play. It means we have to overcome the self-denial, the greed and the incompetence that is embedded in the way we live, work, play and govern. It might even mean we need to disrupt or reinvent the way industry, governments and consumers talk to each other.

I cannot imagine what it means. What I can imagine is spending two weeks in isolation where I am forced by law to change my habits and stay indoors.

And to add salt to the wound, my Internet connection failed on me this week for nine hours. It seemed like the end of the world for me, but the morning arose again the next day.

It is still business as usual for me, even after the Internet took a nine hour break. And perhaps we might think differently of what business as usual means at the end of this pandemic.

Coronavirus and conspiracies: has the 5G market taken a hit?

Coronavirus and conspiracies: has the 5G market taken a hit?

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In an unexpected twist in the coronavirus saga that couldn’t have been predicted mere months ago, conspiracy theories linking 5G to the outbreak are spreading rapidly.

The baseless theory that originated in January claims that 5G towers transmit radiation that weakens immune systems, helping to spread the virus.

With China delivering one of the first and largest commercial launches in November 2019, the rumours were able to pick up speed. 

The theory continued to gain popularity, as the fake news was spread on social media groups and by celebrities with millions of followers, including Hollywood stars Woody Harrelson and John Cusack, singer Keri Hilson and rap artist Wiz Khalifa. 

Despite the conspiracy being completely unfounded, incidents of phone masts being vandalised and engineers harassed have been reported.

How has the coronavirus outbreak affected the 5G market?

5G is known to allow greater and faster data processing. The new wireless communication technology is seen as an integral part of digital transformation strategies and interconnected technologies in various industries. 

Before the outbreak, a number of countries looked to adopt 5G wireless communications technology. The rollout in Singapore was estimated to reach 50% coverage by 2023. This is much slower than 4G rollout, which could be explained by a lack of revenue opportunities in the consumer space. 

The pandemic could lead to slower rollouts for 5G with market analysts at Frost & Sullivan predicting a possible slow down in rollout schedules.

Miss Mei Lee Quah, Associate Director of Telecoms and Payments Strategy at Frost & Sullivan, said: “The coronavirus outbreak highlights the urgent need for upgrading digital infrastructure and for deploying 5G networks.”

But the highly anticipated transition from 5G New Radio Non-Standalone to a Standalone mode may also be delayed. A Standalone mode will eventually allow 5G to be used for both signaling and information transfer rather than relying on existing LTE networks.

Miss Quah added: “In some places where it makes economic sense, the outbreak has actually driven the market for fixed wireless access, although the bulk of the solutions are still on 4G rather than on 5G.”

Investments in 5G NR infrastructure had been ramping up, while spending in 4G LTE infrastructure had been slowing down. 

But in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, Miss Quah noticed mobile operators increasing spending on 4G LTE to support the increase in work from home and online arrangements, leading to a significant increase in the use of high-speed broadband for media and entertainment at home.

Sachin Mittal, the Head of Telecom, Media & Technology Research at DBS Bank, predicts that the outbreak’s impact could linger with a 10% decline in mobile revenues.

Research firm Strategy Analytics also lowered its forecast on global 5G smartphone shipments to 199 million from 250 million in the first quarter. The reason given was the virus had taken a toll on the worldwide semiconductor market, which especially goes into smartphones.

Smartphone giants Huawei, Samsung, and Apple are also experiencing a slowdown in the production of their 5G products.

For consumers, the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology announced a 56% drop in smartphone sales in February 2020 compared to 2019

It is unknown as of yet how the conspiracy theories could affect the 5G market, but other than some repair works to phone masts, the damage could be minimal. 

The need for 5G will continue

Despite the conspiracies and slowdowns, some countries are pushing for 5G to support the healthcare industry, much like data centers and cloud services. 

Miss Quah said: “The coronavirus outbreak will have a short term impact on 5G.”

The healthcare industry could drive early 5G adoption, but more innovative use cases will be dependent on releases 16 and 17 expected in 2020 and 2021.

She added: “Demand for 5G is expected to pick up again once the critical stage of the outbreak is over and countries are able to flatten the curve of new infections.”

In her conversations with mobile operators, vendors, and end-user companies, Miss Quah found the majority to agree that there is a clear need for 5G in their industry ecosystem.

What are the challenges in driving 5G adoption?

Miss Quah found that mobile operators’ and vendors’ biggest challenge with driving 5G adoption is the lack of sufficient industry partnerships to build solutions that capitalise on 5G. She noted that some are heading in the right direction by seeking out a deeper understanding of end-user needs.

For end-user companies within vertical industries, they are currently struggling to come up with innovative ideas that can unlock the potential of 5G. It can be difficult to find suitable best practice strategies since we are still at the early stages of 5G with few benchmarks available.

Knowledge sharing, building industry partnerships, and greater funding for innovation may help overcome these challenges.

But these barriers in no way indicate that 5G will not work.

On the contrary, Miss Quah said: “I envision that 5G will eventually drive the much anticipated innovative end to end services that have the potential to transform the world as we know it.”

Want more 5G insights?

Join 5G market and investment expert Sachin Mittal from DBS Bank at our first free digital event, ‘Inside Asia – Technology & Market Next Moves’, on 30 April at 11 am SGT.

You will get the chance to connect with a whole host of industry experts along with peers from across the world to explore the current state of the industry and future investment opportunities in 5G, data centers, cloud services, and more.

Watch Inside Asia – Technology & Market Next Moves on demand.

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Author

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Stuart Crowley

Editor, W.Media

stuart@w.media

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Prepare for a post-pandemic future with W.Media’s first digital Power Talk event

The pandemic has thrown the world into a state of uncertainty, but this is our opportunity to come together and prepare for a future where technology and digital transformation in our professional and personal lives is becoming a necessity.

On 30 April 2020 from 11am SGT at our free Inside Asia – Technology & Market Next Moves digital event you can join industry experts and peers to explore the current and future outlook of 5G, cloud services, data centers and cybersecurity.

Our first Power Talk, proudly sponsored by industry leader Keppel Data Centres, will include two panel sessions that you won’t want to miss.

The first panel will invite you to engage with a discussion on the digital economy and tech spending. Our second panel will focus on the current outlook for 5G, cloud and data centers as well as future investment opportunities.

Close to 500 key executives throughout the world have already registered across telecommunications, OTT, finance, banking and more industry verticals to experience one of the largest technology and market digital talk shows in Asia.

A new hope: The digital economy and tech spending post-pandemic

The Southeast Asian digital economy is booming and tech spending is growing steady. But how could this change now that the pandemic has forced many to work from home, increasing the demand for data centers and cloud services?

In the first panel, we will be joined by experts in the data center, cloud and cybersecurity industries to share their perspectives and answer your questions on the current value of the industry and how we can make our future brighter.

With more than 30 years of experience, the Managing Director of DC1st Wong Ka Vin will be the lead moderator for both sessions. Before DC1st, Ka Vin led a major rebranding process for 1-Net and continued to grow its revenue by expanding their customer base. He also led the development for SEA’s 1st Uptime Tier III DCCF DC in Singapore.

Supporting Ka Vin will be Anthony Lim of Fortinet, a pioneer in the Asia Pacific cloud and cybersecurity space with over 20 years’ experience. Anthony is a trusted voice on cybersecurity and governance matters, appearing on television and news publications multiple times.

Our moderators will put your questions to two key names in the industry. 

Varoon Raghavan, the Co-founder and COO of Asia’s data center giant Princeton Digital Group, will share his experience of more than 15 years in the internet infrastructure industry. 

Jason Frisch, the founder of top cloud services provider Tsukaeru Group, will be there to explain how COVID-19 can be an opportunity for you to invest in long-term strategies.

How 5G, Cloud and Datacenter Outlook have been shaped by recent events

Virtually every industry imaginable has been impacted and forever shaped by the recent coronavirus outbreak, but this doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. 

From increased internet traffic and cloud adoption to demand for greater connectivity, there are opportunities to turn this negative present into a positive future.

For our second panel, we will have three more fantastic speakers to share strategies and bold predictions for the investment outlook of our industry.

The Deputy Director of Strategy for SC-Nex, Ajay Sunder, will provide his extensive investment knowledge on various industries built during more than 13 years across Southeast Asia.

Along with Ajay, we will have Kok Chye Ong, the Head of Global Strategy and Investments from our sponsors at Keppel Data Centres. Kok Chye has helped to grow Keppel Data Centres’ presence in APAC and EMEA as well as expanding into new markets such as Netherlands, Germany and Indonesia.

And sharing his vast expertise on 5G and the impact of digital technologies on banking, retail and telecom sector, we have Sachin Mittal. His achievements include being ranked as the number one telecom analyst in Asia by the Wall Street Journal in 2013.

And joining Ka Vin as supporting moderator will be me, Stuart Crowley, W.Media’s Editor. I am looking forward to welcoming you online to our first Power Talk. It will be exciting to see some fantastic engagement – asking a great question could even win you a $50 Amazon gift card!

You are encouraged to register online as soon as possible. Spaces are limited and going fast. Make sure to secure your place to join industry peers from Southeast Asia, China, Japan, India, Australia, New Zealand, UK and USA.

See you at 11am SGT on 30 April for Inside Asia – Technology & Market Next Moves!

A big thank you to our sponsors at Keppel Data Centres as well as our supporting partners OPEN-TEC, Quang Trung Software City (QTSC), iCIO Community, eBusiness Association of Malaysia (EBAM), APTIKNAS (Asosiasi Pengusaha Teknologi Informasi dan Komunikasi Nasional) and the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA).

Alibaba Cloud set to accelerate SME cloud adoption with $30m program

Alibaba Cloud launched a US$30 million Anti COVID-19 SME Enablement Program to accelerate cloud adoption and provide much-needed relief during the pandemic.

New and existing small and medium-sized enterprises around the world will be able to apply for the program between 23 April and June 22 2020.

Successful applicants will receive a $300 coupon package covering 12 key products, including Server Load Balancer, Alibaba Cloud Academic Courses and Object Storage Service, an encrypted data storage and cloud backup solution.

Selina Yuan, President of International Business, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence said: “”COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges and vulnerabilities to the global economy and especially to SMEs, who are often faced with financial constraints and limited access to technological support.”

Existing customers can receive a $500 coupon to help them upgrade their cloud applications and speed up enterprises’ digital transformation with eight advanced products. 

Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, will also reach out to SME associations to find ways to meet members’ needs.

The support package follows the news that Alibaba Cloud, the top cloud provider in Asia Pacific, will invest US$28 billion more into its infrastructure over the next three years to cope with the demand of their services during the pandemic.

Alibaba Cloud joins other tech giants to support SMEs

Alibaba Cloud is the latest tech giant to offer support for SMEs during the pandemic.

Facebook announced it will offer US$100 million in cash grants and advertising credits for small businesses. 

Facebook’s programme can help businesses cover rent, operational and marketing costs. Currently, only the eligible locations for the United States have been announced, but countries in Southeast Asia like Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand are listed as possibilities.

Google has also committed US$800 million for SMEs, governments and health organisations. US$340 million worth of Google Ads credits will be available to small and medium-sized businesses that have had an active account over the past year. 

$20 million Google Cloud credits will be offered to academic institutions and researchers identifying ways to combat COVID-19.

It is yet to be seen whether more cloud services provided by tech giants will be available to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Equinix signs second $1bn+ venture with Singapore fund GIC to build hyperscale data centers in Japan

A significant deal worth more than US$1 billion to build hyperscale data centers in Japan has been signed between Equinix and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC.

The joint venture will develop three xScale data centers, one in Osaka and two in Tokyo.

Equinix’s new developments will be designed to meet the unique workloads of the world’s leading cloud service providers like Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

The President and CEO of Equinix, Charles Meyers, said: “The new facilities will allow our hyperscale customers to streamline their continued growth, while strengthening Equinix’s leadership position in the cloud ecosystem.”

Japan thriving digital economy creates lucrative opportunities

Japan has a rapidly growing digital economy with businesses in every industry pushing for digital transformation using cloud technology. 

The country’s public cloud market was valued at US$8 billion last year and is predicted to reach US$20 billion in 2024 with an annual growth rate of 19%. Japan’s domestic data center market is also expected to reach US$17.1 billion and grow at an annual rate of 8.6% up to 2022.

Jabez Tan, Head of Research at Structure Research, said: “Japan is a strategic country for regional hyperscale expansion, and the demand for data center capacity in the Tokyo and Osaka markets has outstripped supply.”

Cloud and IT services in Asia Pacific are expected to grow at a faster pace than all other global regions at an annual rate of 50%. Interconnection bandwidth is also forecast to reach 3,825 Terabytes per second by 2022, 28% larger than Europe.

These advancements are increasing the demand for global connectivity, hybrid multicloud solutions and localised digital services at the edge. 

The new xScale data centers will provide access to Equinix’s interconnection and edge services, which will increase the speed of connectivity. The data centers enable hyperscale companies to add deployments to their existing footprints across 55 global metros.

Once fully built-out, the three facilities will provide around 138 megawatts of power.

Equinix, Japan’s top data center provider, along with the Singaporean long-term investor agreed to the limited liability partnership on 21 April 2020. Equinix and GIC previously secured another US$1+ billion joint venture to develop four xScale data centers in Europe.

GIC will own 80% equity in the agreement, while Equinix will own the remaining 20% of the venture that is expected to close in the second half of 2020.

W.Media will be watching the developments closely to provide updates as we receive them.

Singapore circuit breaker extended until 1 June. How will this affect your business?

Singapore will extend its ‘circuit breaker’ by an additional four weeks until 1 June to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, announced Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday 21 April.

The news follows a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 with more than 2,000 confirmed in the last two days. The majority of these cases are concentrated in dormitories where migrant workers live.

Tighter measures will be implemented to quell the infection rate by closing more workplaces and restricting entry to ‘hotspots’ like wet markets.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said: “Workers in essential services. This group is still working during the circuit breaker, helping to keep Singapore going.”

The circuit breaker was initially scheduled to end on 4 May 2020.

The Prime Minister added: “Some are cleaning the HDB blocks or hawker centres. Others are maintaining key infrastructure like our broadband networks.”

It is likely that data centers will remain open and operators will still be considered essential to keep the country online.

Epsilon’s Product Director Chin Woon Lee said: “Data centres are crucial for all organisations as it’s seen as a key parameter for Business Continuity Plans.”

Data centers across the world are experiencing more demand generated by higher internet traffic due to greater remote working and use of cloud services to keep businesses running.

Cloud providers are experiencing positive impacts from lockdowns, as Chief Information Officers move their priorities to adopting cloud services and potentially fast tracking digital transformation strategies. 

Alibaba even announced it will invest US$28 billion in cloud services after an increased demand in their services during the coronavirus outbreak. Alibaba Cloud Intelligence president Jeff Zhang said the pandemic added additional stress on the overall economy and hoped the investment would help ‘speed up the recovery process’.

Digital transformation and online marketing may help your business

In these unprecedented and unfortunate times, the world has almost been forced to go online to keep businesses and social lives moving. 

For many, the digital environment will be new, unfamiliar. Even before the pandemic, digital transformation can be an expensive and uncertain venture. But the outbreak has made it necessary for businesses to continue selling services, connecting with customers and increasing their brand awareness online. This requires organisations to adopt digital transformation strategies in all areas, including marketing, sales and operations.

At W.Media, we want to help you explore and enhance these digital opportunities to keep your business running during these difficult times. That’s why we are organising a digital event on 14 May 2020 for you to find out how to overcome the challenges of digital transformation.If you need help promoting your brand and services or reaching the right people for your organisation while your team is working from home, you can get in touch with us to work together on creating a digital marketing strategy that can transform your business.

Data center automation: how man and machine can work together

Automation can be a scary word. It could mean job losses, pay cuts and costly implementation for businesses – not to mention the whole ‘robots taking over the world like they do in the movies’ conspiracy.

But data center automation could increase energy efficiency, speed up data analysis, reduce errors and save costs. The data center automation market value is expected to reach $19.6 billion in 2025. The Asia-Pacific region is showing the most promise with an annual growth rate of 25.3%, so it’s no surprise that organisations like ABB, Cisco, Microsoft, Google and Facebook are all adopting data center automation.

The importance of automation will continue to grow with demand for more data storage, greater use of the cloud due to the COVID-19 outbreak and faster processing caused by digital transformation taking place in countless industries. And we may see the appetite for automated data centers grow, as 80% of enterprises predicted to close their traditional data centers by 2025.

What is data center automation?

Data center automation takes the responsibility of maintaining updates, monitoring problems, scheduling backups and producing compliance audits out of the hands of human operators and into the hands of digital systems.

Automation is split up into storage, network and server automation. It is often implemented in different building blocks, from completing security checks and application delivery, to deploying consistent workflows and analysing energy efficiency.

Why is data center automation useful?

More and more people and businesses are generating vast amounts of data through social media, cloud computing and online gaming. A staggering 80% of the data generated by these platforms is unstructured, putting pressure on data center operators to analyse and process this data. The impacts of the coronavirus outbreak may also increase pressure on data centers caused by more remote working and usage of cloud services, particularly by health services, to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak.

Data center automation can relieve this pressure and reduce the risk of human error by completing repetitive tasks and processing big data that would usually be handled manually.

 IT Directors have identified a number of benefits, including a 25% increase in productivity, 30% more efficiency in incident management and an 80% cost saving for full-time expenses on repetitive tasks.

Automation also offers higher efficiency compared to traditional data centers, allowing organisations to meet standards like Singapore’s Green Data Centre Standard and contribute to tackling climate change through automation. Artificial intelligence and machine learning technology has already been implemented to monitor energy efficiency by both Google and Equinix in Singapore. With the potential for more regulations to encourage energy efficiency, the need for data center automation may intensify.

Data center staff are still essential

While automation may be growing, data center operators are still crucial to the smooth running of the facilities. Those working in telecommunications, which likely include data center staff, are even categorised as ‘essential’ workers in countries suffering from “circuit breaker” or lockdown situations like Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.

Automation cannot completely replace human intuition and experience in dealing with complex tasks. Without qualified operators onsite, there may be an increased risk of facilities failing to react to faults and emergencies, particularly if there are many faults occurring at once.

How can I automate my data center?

If you are keen to adopt automation, it’s important to gain approval from senior staff and decision makers in your organisation. Data center automation can be expensive, so you will need to convince them of the benefits that automation can bring.

You will also need buy-in from data center operators. Highlight how automation can enhance their productivity rather than replace them by freeing up their time to focus on more complex and strategic tasks.

Once approved, you can begin selecting and rolling out automation solutions. Take your time to research vendors and find one that will offer a future-proofed solution that has the potential to be a holistic solution that brings together storage, network and server automation.

Keppel Data Centres enters into partnerships to explore sustainable Floating Data Centre Park and LNG solutions in Singapore

Keppel Data Centres has entered into agreements with Toll Group and Royal Vopak to study the possibilities for developing a Floating Data Centre Park and liquefied natural gas power solutions in Singapore.

These solutions aim to improve the power efficiency of Keppel’s data centers, decarbonise operations and save space in the land scarce country.

Keppel Data Centres and Toll Group, an Australian transportation and logistics company with an extensive network of warehouses and distribution facilities in Singapore, will explore the development of a Floating Data Centre Park based at the Loyang Offshore Supply Base.

Keppel Data Centres’ CEO Mr Wong Wai Meng said: “We see great potential in FDCPs as a commercially viable and attractive innovation that conserves land, water and energy, compared to traditional land-based data centres.”

With the growing global demand for data centres, Keppel Data Centres’ FDCP concept is an environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient way to meet the expanding needs of the digital economy. This is particularly important when 7% of all electricity consumption in Singapore comes from data centers each year.

The floating data center will use the surrounding seawater to cool the park and avoid using industrial water from cooling towers, which often results in wasting water through evaporation.

Mr Sam Eid, Executive Vice President of Global Logistics at Toll Group, said: “This initiative will allow Toll Group to take a significant role to improve space productivity and sustainability in Singapore whilst driving our primary focus.”

The FDCP will feature a modular design that can be scaled up quickly to meet customer demand. Keppel Data Centres hopes this will reduce the cost, time and carbon footprint related to constructing data centers. The older modules will also be recycled for deployment in other locations to fulfil their sustainability goals.

Powering data centers with Liquid Natural Gas and hydrogen solutions

Keppel Data Centres will also work together with Royal Vopak, an independent tank storage company, to assess the commercial viability of establishing LNG and hydrogen infrastructures that can power and cool facilities. Keppel Data Centres envisions this solution to generate onsite power and eliminate reliance on the national grid for the first floating data center in Singapore.

The President at Vopak LNG Mr Kees van Seventer said: “With our presence of 37 years in Singapore, we are committed to grow our footprint with sustainable infrastructure solutions.”

Keppel Data Centres initially entered into a partnership in 2019 with the Faculty of Engineering at the National University of Singapore and Singapore LNG Corporation to develop new prototypes that cool data centers and reduce their carbon footprint by harnessing cold energy released from the LNG regasification process.

These additional partnerships with Toll Group and Royal Vopak come at an opportune time, as Singapore is aiming to improve its environmental impact by introducing Green Data Centre Standards, a carbon tax at a rate of $5 for every tonne of greenhouse gas emissions, and a committal to ensure at least 80% of its buildings will be green by 2030.

What is next for Keppel Data Centres?

How have data centers been impacted by the recent pandemic and where will the industry look next for investment? 

Join the Inside Asia – Technology & Market Next Moves digital event on 30 April with industry experts, including Keppel Data Centre’s Head of Global Strategy and Investments Ong Kok Chye, to find out what’s next for the technology industry, the digital economy and tech spending.

Korean data centers and cloud services: friends or foes?

The Korean domestic data center and cloud market remains a fledgling market. It is expected to grow more than 20% this year with many multinational companies making moves to preoccupy the industry in South Korea. 

Today, a high number of data centers are located in various parts of the country and are continuing to expand their facilities to target large IT and public data markets. 

There are various reasons for the recent increase of data centers in the country, particularly by overseas companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google who are beginning to dominate the market share. The most significant of these is the emerging market of the cloud service industry in the Korean market. The size of the internal cloud service market is expected to exceed three trillion won next year after exceeding US$1.65 billion last year.

Among the numerous successful Korean firms, SK C&C is an IT service company that delivers global projects and runs the largest data center in the South Korean district of  Pangyo and Daedeok. SK C&C is also the de facto holding company of the SK Group, South Korea’s third-largest conglomerate earning over US$213.6 billion of revenue in 2018.

Could cloud services damage the Korean data center market?

Hyeon Seok Shin, the Vice President of Cloud Transformation Division of SK C&C, anticipates a significant shift from data centers to cloud services over the next ten years. The number of customers using data centers will decrease by time due to the recent trend of cloud migration. 

An increasing number of enterprises desire to use cloud due to the high expense of maintenance and big global players collaborating with Korean telcos, digital native and SI companies are also building flexible operations resulting in ideal cloud computing environments.

Or could data center and cloud services work together?

But Mr. Shin is skeptical that the data center will be a losing market in the future. Data centers remain a great business in the country as major customers of data centers and cloud are mostly identical and grow simultaneously. Global giants in cloud services like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are big customers for data centers and attract new types of customers to the industry.

Mr. Shin added the ideal way for the traditional data center to compete in a fast-changing market is to consolidate and adopt cloud and managed services to their existing system. In the case of Korea, the Government encourages local companies to migrate their operation into the cloud, where there are free services regarding migration and its relevant consulting services.

Korean companies make moves into Southeast Asia

Korea remains one of the most promising markets for multinational companies to invest in data center and cloud services. But much like Japanese tech companies, Korean organisations like SK Group are taking grand actions to make inroads in the overseas market, especially targeting ASEAN countries.

SK Holdings laid its foundations in Southeast Asia by opening offices in Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Their mission to expand continued when SK South East Asia Investment spent $1 billion to acquire 6.1% of Vingroup, Vietnam’s most significant conglomerate group. The investment company also paid $470 million for a 9.5% stake in Vietnam’s Masan Group. Apart from the fund, SK Holdings separately invested in Grab, a Singaporean ride-hailing, and financial services provider. The two organisations also announced a joint venture to launch a T Map providing precision and greater guidance for Grab drivers.

Mr. Shin said: “ASEAN is the key partner for Korea’s future.” 

The Southeast Asia data center market has the highest annual growth rate of 14% forecasted between 2019 and 2023. Regardless of size, Korean companies see vast potential and opportunities to expand their business and development across ASEAN regions.

Along with the economic and cultural exchanges between Korea and Southeast Asian countries are actively growing, Korea’s strategic alliances with global partners and market penetrations into the ASEAN market will continue to demonstrate high growth potential.

These breakthroughs will be used as a bridgehead to reach distant countries across the world and may see Korean organisations take a larger market share in the data center and cloud service industries.

W.Media (Singapore), in collaboration with OPEN-TEC in launching Power Talk Series to bring tech knowledge to Thailand community

17April 2020, Thailand – W.Media (Singapore), in collaboration with OPEN-TEC in launching Power Talk Online Series.  The 1st in the series will be “INSIDE ASIA- Technology & Market Next Moves”, which will cover the Current and Future after COVID-19 Outlook of the 5G, Cloud, Datacenters and Cybersecurity in Asia. It will be held on Thursday 30 April 2020, 10.00AM Thailand time. This webinar will feature renown analysts and industry experts from Asia, including DBS Bank’s Mr Sachin Mittal, SC-Nex’s Mr Ajay Sunder, and Keppel Data Centres’ Mr Ong Kok Chye. The registration can be done at https://w.media/webinar/

“With Covid-19 disrupting lives and businesses, it is important that IT professionals take this time to stay home to learn and evaluate new technology and best practices. W.Media is organising a series of digital events to bring international experts to expound on digital transformation, cloud computing, cybersecurity, gametech, Fintech, and more. There will also be specific sessions to highlight high growth markets in ASEAN so that the international market can understand their dynamics and opportunities. We are proud to have the support of OPEN-TEC from Thailand to further bridge this.” Stephanie Chiang, Managing Director from W.Media said.

“OPEN-TEC (Tech Knowledge Sharing Platform), inspired by TCC Technology, is honored to continue collaborating with W.Media to launch the tech series to drive the regional tech networking community. Our cross-country and cross-platform collaboration is aimed to amplify the positive effects on the industries, and finally contribute sustainable society.” stated by Mrs. Waleeporn Sayasit, General Manager- Corporate Communications from TCC Technology.

About W.Media (Singapore)

W.Media is a global B2B technology marketing agency that specializes in PR, Media and Events. W.Media assists in educating the public on the latest developments in the Cloud and Datacenter Industry by providing personalized experiences and engagement within the marketplace. They have successfully organized Cloud and Datacenter Conventions in ASEAN countries such as Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore, with continually expanding horizons. For more details, please visit https://w.media/

About OPEN-TEC (Inspired by TCC Technology)

OPEN-TEC is the Tech Knowledge Sharing Platform which can be applied in various aspects of benefit towards business, education, and society. OPEN-TEC was designed to be a mobile Corporate Innovation Lab that is moving forward with technology, networking of experts, and a variety of knowledge from local and international areas. Its objective is to create tools to serve three major dimensions: Learning Society, Organizational Digitalization, and Shared Value towards Sustainable Community.   For more details, please visit https://www.open-tec.com/

About TCC Technology Group 

TCC Technology Group is a Technology Solutions Partner, aiming to address customers’ requirements with Best Value Solutions through Neutral & Trusted Facilities (certified under ISO27001), Secured Cloud Platform (certified under CSA STAR and PCI DSS), supported by Strong Connectivity managed by Experienced Professionals. TCC Technology Group consists of T.C.C. Technology Co., Ltd. (TCCtech), LEAP Solutions Asia Co., Ltd. (LSA) and Shinasub Co., Ltd. (SNS). This power of Synergies among companies under TCC Conglomerates and Global Strategic Partners enhances continuous growth and commitment towards sustainability. For more details, please visit https://www.tcc-technology.com/en

Globe expands cloud portfolio with $4m investment in US-based premier AWS partner

The Philippines’ largest mobile network operator Globe Telecom has invested US$4 million to acquire ‘substantially all assets’ of Cloud DevOps firm Cascadeo.

The aim of this agreement is in line with Globe’s aim to build a robust ICT portfolio and provide solutions that help businesses stay competitive in a future driven by digital transformation.

Globe’s President and CEO Ernest Cu said: “The joint venture with Cascadeo will further strengthen our ability to invent, innovate, and experiment.”

The Filipino telecommunications giant hopes to further solidify their credibility as a cloud solutions provider. Leveraging on Cascadeo’s cloud-native consulting and managed services, Globe will deliver upgraded cloud-based products and service offerings to Philippine and US enterprises.

Jared Reimer, CEO of Cascadeo, said: “We continue to be amazed by the talent of the Filipino workforce and partnering with Globe will be instrumental in helping us become an employer of choice as we broaden our footprint in the Philippine market.”

Cascadeo supports customers in the US and the Philippines through a Cloud Operations Centre of Excellence in Manila.

Mr Reimer added: “We’re excited to have a partner like Globe in the next stage of our growth journey. Their commitment to cloud-first and speed of adoption is rare to see in large organizations. We also admire that Globe has balanced achieving business goals by taking care of their people.”

Both Globe and Cascadeo, one of few premier consulting partners for Amazon Web Services in North America, agreed to make more investments into entities that will propel growth capital and fund Globe’s expansion strategies.

This news came after Globe announced it would offer business continuity and telecommuting solutions to enterprises during the coronavirus outbreak. This included access to their cloud solutions and upgraded bandwidth to deal with heavier traffic caused by remote working.

How are ‘essential’ data centers dealing with coronavirus lockdowns and circuit breakers?

As countries enter lockdowns and Singapore begins a circuit breaker to stop the spread of COVID-19, the pressure on data centers is rising.

Many employees have been forced to work remotely. To keep the world online, data center operators are categorised as essential staff in Singapore, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Canada, many states in the USA and more.

Jon Curry, VP Operations for APAC at Digital Realty, confirmed that as of 17 April 2020, both of their operational facilities in Singapore are approved by the Ministry of Trade and Industry to continue to operate as essential services during the country’s enforced ‘circuit breaker’.

In a statement from A. William Stein, the CEO of data center provider Digital Realty, he said: “With the rapid spread of COVID-19—and our increased reliance on technology and the infrastructure it runs on, in an era of social distancing—Digital Realty’s responsibility is more critical than ever.”

Data centers deal with demand

Data centers across the world are experiencing more demand generated by higher internet traffic and use of cloud services to continue business and communication. Services using cloud-based technology like the video-conferencing software Zoom and video game distributor Steam both witnessed unprecedented usage during the outbreak.

Global connectivity provider Epsilon experienced much higher demand for interconnection, direct connection to the cloud and for peering at internet exchanges.

Epsilon’s Product Director Chin Woon Lee said: “Data centres are crucial for all organisations as it’s seen as a key parameter for Business Continuity Plans.”

Many companies have invested in cloud and hybrid technology over the past few years to keep up with the speed of digital transformation. These advancements are made possible by the efficient running of data centers.

Ms Chin added: “Data centre staff will play an even more crucial role to ensure that all services are at the highest standards and all Service Level Agreement offered to customers are met.”

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and provide uninterrupted services, many data center providers like Epsilon, Digital Realty and Keppel Data Centres are sanitising facilities, screening customers, rotating engineers and enabling remote working where possible.

Ms Chin said: “Data centre operators have to be even closer to their customers, assuring these customers are at ease and focus fully on delivering services to their end users.”

With increasing demand, data centers run by Equinix and Netflix are quickly seeking to complete upgrades. 

Ms Chin believed there should be exceptions made if construction work is required to support greater capacity and ensure infrastructures are not disrupted for those that rely on their services.

Ms Chin added governments can help by establishing more specific guidelines on operations with feedback from industry players to ensure the continuity of services while keeping their workers safe.

Despite the increasing spread of COVID-19, data centers in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are currently expected to continue operations, as strict lockdown measures and guidance on essential services have not been put in place as of yet.

What will the post-coronavirus future look like for data centers?

Has our outlook on the industry changed after we have been forced to work from home? 

Could the outbreak speed up digital transformation? 

Once the pandemic situation calms, will spending on data centers and cloud services increase now that it is seen as more essential than ever before?

Join us online at our free Inside Asia – Technology & Markets Next Moves webinar to explore these pressing issues and more on 30th April.

Do you have questions of your own? Register now to have yours answered by industry experts from Keppel Data Centres, Princeton Digital Group, Cloudmatika, DC1st, Fortinet, DBS Bank and SC-Nex.

Did Zoom do enough to prevent their plague of security breaches?

Zoom’s boom in popularity has left the video-conferencing platform vulnerable to cybercriminals exploiting the fear, uncertainty and rise in remote working driven by the coronavirus outbreak.

The vulnerabilities include user’s data being shared with Facebook and Zoom calls from non-Chinese users ‘mistakenly’ routed through Chinese data centers.

The word ‘Zoombombing’ has even been coined, as conferencing streams are being hijacked by unwelcome guests. 

Reports have surfaced of an online geography lesson in Singapore that was allegedly hacked by two men who shared explicit images. The Ministry of Education has since suspended the use of Zoom for teachers.

Security and privacy concerns over Zoom led organisations like Google, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, the US Senate, the Philippines’ telecom giant PLDT and the Taiwanese Government to ban their workers from using Zoom.

The video-conferencing tool has also been hit with a class action lawsuit by a shareholder who accused Zoom of overstating its security measures and failing to disclose the service was not end-to-end encrypted. The lawsuit came after Zoom’s shares fell by 25% in recent days, despite a huge stock spike of more than 100% since January.

With the plague of security issues facing Zoom, it begs the question of whether Zoom did enough to prevent it.

Zoom’s vulnerabilities identified as early as last year

In June 2019, Check Point disclosed a security flaw where their researchers were able to predict a Zoom Meeting ID with a high chance of success to gain unwanted access to a call. 

While the IT security specialists said Zoom made changes to mitigate the flaw, this is identical to what is now known as “Zoombombing”.

Check Point’s Head of Security Engineering for APAC Gary Gardiner said: “We would never have disclosed vulnerabilities to the wider audience if we didn’t feel that the company, and Zoom in this case, had actually gone through the appropriate checks and balances and made the changes that we would have said they needed to make.”

Zoom is making a number of changes, including upgrading their encryption and hiding meeting IDs.

Mr Gardiner added applications can still be vulnerable during a product’s development. These flaws can be exploited by threat actors particularly when a platform gains popularity very quickly like Zoom during the coronavirus outbreak.

Zoom’s daily usage went from 10 million meeting participants in December 2019 to a massive 200 million in March 2020.

To add another vulnerability to Zoom’s growing list, Mr Gardiner said he is seeing numerous copycat domains posing as the video communications provider. During the past week alone, Check Point witnessed a huge increase of more than 1,700 in domains with the word “Zoom” in the URL.

Zoom is not the only platform exploited by cybercriminals. Mr Gardiner discovered that Office 365 is a prime example of where threat actors are replicating websites which look like the real deal to steal corporate organisations’ credentials. 

He added that cyberattacks on mobile devices are increasing. This is because the URLs are much smaller and applications by organisations like OTT providers are easy to replicate.

As a security professional, Gary said he would like to see organisations like Zoom provide more online education for users to understand how to protect themselves.

How can you stay safe when using Zoom?

To stay safe online, some of the responsibility comes down to the user.

Mr Gardiner said: “From what we have seen with Zoom, there have been some basics that end users haven’t done very well.”

To stay safe when using Zoom and similar platforms, consider the following recommendations:

  1. Password protect your meetings and do not use the same password twice
  2. Use a randomly generated meeting ID provided by Zoom
  3. Lock your meetings once everyone has joined
  4. Only allow authenticated users from the same domain as your own  to join sensitive meetings
  5. Beware of copycat domains – check for spelling errors in the URL

Join in the cybersecurity conversation

The coronavirus outbreak has put into question the present and future state of the cybersecurity industry. With the threat of global attacks rising, the need for a strong cybersecurity plan is more important now more than ever.

Join industry experts for the free W.Media Inside Asia: Technology & Market Next Moves Power Talk on 30th April to explore the impacts of the pandemic on data centers, cloud, 5G, and cybersecurity. And discuss how we can survive and thrive in the post-coronavirus world.

Coronavirus outbreak causes delays for Philippines’ third telco launch, but data center opening may go ahead

The Philippines’ newest player in the telecommunications space has been forced to delay its commercial launch until March 2021 because of shipping restrictions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Originally, DITO Telecommunity was scheduled for public consumption by the second quarter of 2020, but the country’s third telco is still committed to a technical launch in July 2020.

As part of this technical launch, regulators at the National Telecommunications Commission will conduct an audit to make sure DITO has reached its commitment to providing 27 megabits per second to 37% of the population.

The teleco’s Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity could be withdrawn if these commitments aren’t met. But the company is confident they will meet the NTC’s requirements. 

Is the Philippines third telco on track to meeting their targets in time?

DITO, which secured a US$500 million from the Bank of China, has currently built 600 out of the 1,600 towers to be completed by July. 

DITO’s Chief Administrative Officer Adel Tamano said: “The data centers of DITO are very close to completion.”

The US$406 million data center at Clark Global City plans to bring up to 4,500 new jobs into the country.

Mr Tamano added the center will ‘bring innovative and cutting-edge technologies, from high-end 5G capabilities to top-tier data center infrastructure systems’.

If the telco failed to meet the commitments, it could receive penalties in the next five years, from US$170 million in the second year to US$42 million in the fifth year.

The Filipino Government suggested it would give the third telco some breathing room to meet their requirements.

Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan said: “Of course we will give them some leeway, we are not that strict.The law, the regulations are not that rigid”

DITO has already found some success with its fiber network by signing an agreement with the League of Municipalities of the Philippines to directly connect by providing services and free WiFi to different districts.

The Philippines’ third telco promised to provide 55mbps internet speed to 80% of the population by its fifth year of operation.

Despite the setbacks caused by the coronavirus outbreak, DITO looks to achieve a 30% market share in the Philippines and compete with the existing duopoly held by Globe Telecom and PLDT, Inc.

But Globe and PLDT have increased expenditure this year with both planning to spend more than one billion dollars, while DITO looks to invest more than US$2 billion.

Watch this space for how each of the Philippines’ telcos manage the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak and compete in a post-coronavirus world.

Can Vietnam power their very own Silicon Valley?

The data center market in Vietnam is certainly growing, but in most discussions there is always one point of concern. Is the country equipped with enough electricity to power its own ‘Silicon Valley’?

There are around 30 data centers in Vietnam and more may be on their way, as the Government has invested $1.4 billion in new facilities as well as millions in local startups.

The country’s new Cybersecurity Law requiring data to be stored locally by international companies is also expected to drive demand for more data centers. 

With a growing focus on cloud computing and 5G services to establish a Vietnamese Silicon Valley. The country is experiencing a year-on-year growth rate of 17% in the cloud sector, bringing in US$2.4 billion. Vietnam was also one of the first countries to trial 5G with a vision to launch the technology commercially this year.

The need for more data centers will increase to keep up with these advancements.

Last month, Apple announced it would build a data center in the country, confirming plans to invest $1 billion in Vietnam three years ago. The tech giant will join established data center players like CMC Telecom, Viettel IDC and FPT Telecom.

While low startup costs and natural gateways for undersea cables make the country’s potential immense, the power shortages impacting the country are a growing concern.

Power problems could be unsustainable

The threat of blackouts is typical of most fast-growing economies like Vietnam. 

The rising demand for electricity and delayed electricity projects are increasing the risk of power outages in the country. This may not be a good sign for data centers, as any downtime could cost the country around US$260,000 per hour.

The Executive Vice President for International Operations of Schneider Electric, Luc Remont, said: “We provide energy with high reliability to ensure no outage for hospital surgeries. The same goes for data centres where we can’t afford even one second of power loss.”

Vietnam’s reliance on fossil fuels and also puts the country at risk of falling behind. And the country’s likelihood of using renewable energy supplies for data centers in the next 15 years is very slim.

How is Vietnam solving their energy shortages to power their data centers?

Data centers in Southeast Asia have started to look towards clean energy with the increasing global pressure of lowering carbon footprints.

Vietnam is following suit by aiming to produce 23% of its energy through renewables by 2030. Data centers in the country are also doing their part with Delta Electronics and HTC-ITC signing a contract to build Vietnam’s first green data center.

Viettel IDC also celebrated being the only data center service provider in Vietnam to be awarded with a prestigious data center certification by Singapore’s Enterprise Products Integration. The certification acknowledged that the data center provider met environmental control and electricity standards set by the American Telecommunications Industry Association.

Investors should be ready for Vietnam to power up

The country’s rate of digitalisation is growing rapidly with 75 million expected to be using the internet by 2023 and a young, tech-savvy talent pool driving the market.

Vietnam’s digital economy grew by 40% in 2019 and could add US$162 billion to its GDP by going digital. The Government is supporting this campaign by increasing investment, speeding up reforms encouraging businesses to adopt new technology, committing to building smart cities and providing universal internet connectivity.

Despite the energy challenges, data center providers and investors should keep on the lookout for opportunities in Vietnam. There is no doubt that Vietnam is making great strides to power up as a leader in the IT and data center industry.

ICO: Worldwide Fundraising via Blockchain Technology

ICO (Initial Coin Offering) is a new way of fundraising in Thailand, now becoming a trend. It is different from the well-known IPO (Initial Public Offering), a fundraising via The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), with ICO offering an easier means to obtain investment.

In order to issue an IPO, companies are required to comply with Thailand’s regulatory requirements in terms of business value and continuous growth of revenue. 

The regulation of each country is different, thus IPO is limited to only in Thailand. However, ICO trading is much broader, and still being new, thus there are unclear related rules and regulations as yet.

It is widely available throughout the globe. Any business with an interesting project plan could launch ICO since it only requires project whitepaper as a financial prospectus. Moreover, ICO can also be traded by digital coin, which derives from blockchain technology. This technology can collect data from the same computing network. Every single transaction will be recorded and updated to all parties, this can prevent the possibility of counterfeiting since the whole network is holding the same ledger.

Regarding return on investment, IPO investors will be compensated with share dividends while ICO investors can choose different forms of benefit. For example, the investors may either earn company tokens used for product or service discount or earn profit sharing, or dividends, based on company policy.

Under blockchain technology, verification procedures could be applied to ensure its operation, for example customer identification procedure or KYC (Know Your Customer), and laundering protection policy or AML/CFT (Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism).

For ICO risks, failure of fundraising for the project could result in the tokens being worthless, or there are other risks in terms of security. No one can guarantee that the possible risks in digital currency will be avoided.

Mr. Thanawat Lertwattanarak, Chief Executive Officer of J. Ventures Co., Ltd. (JVC) stated that blockchain technology helps eliminate the middleman, reduce financial transaction costs, and enhance convenience. Transactions will be transparent and secure since they cannot be deleted once recorded. The technology has enabled ICO fundraising, which created more opportunity and accessibility to a great source of funds, a usage that has gained widespread acceptance at global level. However, investors should be aware of risks and study white papers and token rights clearly.

ICO fundraising is still a brand-new issue in Thailand. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has already launched a digital asset regulatory framework for ICO and digital currency while many countries are still working on clear control. It will take some time to find out whether it will be popular or not.

This content was originally published by OPEN-TEC on 4 July 2018.

A slow start for ICOs in Southeast Asia

Since publication, Thailand saw its first legal ICO, as SE Digital looked to raise between US$65-98 million through virtual currency.

In the data center industry, ICOs have also been used to fund construction of facilities. Golden Fleece in Georgia aimed to raise US$40 million through their ICO to build a green data center, while an American cryptocurrency mining platform listed an ICO to build the ‘largest cloud mining data centers in India and Canada’.

Organisations in the cloud services space have also seen some success in ICO funding. An Australian venture known as Perlin, which looks to provide an alternative to the dominant cloud-computing providers, successfully funded a test version of their product in late-2018.

Telegram, a cloud-based instant messaging service, raised more than US$1.7 billion in digital tokens before the ICO was halted by the Securities and Exchange Commission, as it is alleged that the company failed to register the offering.

Moves towards ICOs are slow in Southeast Asia due to a lack of regulations and uncertain legalities. But it is important to remain aware of new fundraising opportunities, as these could allow for new players to join the competition in the data center and cloud services market.

Relaxed data regulations won’t prevent Indonesia’s huge growth in the data center market.

The data center market in Indonesia is seeing tremendous growth, despite the country relaxing its data sovereignty regulation.

Introduced in 2012, the Implementation of Electronic Transactions and Systems law required various data to be stored domestically in Indonesia. Now, the relaxed laws allow private sector data to be stored abroad.

It was feared that this would damage the local data center market. Alex Budiyanto, chairman of Indonesia Cloud Computing Association, said the change would kill local businesses’ prospects because they are smaller in capital size compared to global organisations.

But there is hope for the Indonesian market. Growth is expected to be fuelled by established data center organisations including Space DC and Princeton Digital Group as well as tech giants in the cloud services space. 

Tech giants to move Indonesia into the clouds

Indonesia is predicted to witness the fastest growth among the ASEAN countries in the cloud computing market. 

In the past five years, cloud has grown at an annual rate of 48%, which is much higher than the global annual growth rate. This is likely why tech giants are taking an interest in expanding their cloud services in Indonesia.

While mainstays like Alibaba Cloud has already built its second data center in Indonesia, Google has announced it will open a data center in the country this year to provide reliable cloud infrastructure for its local customers. 

Microsoft, one of Indonesia’s major cloud service providers, is also eying up the possibility of building a data center by investing US$2.5 billion to develop cloud-computing systems.

Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, said at DevCon – Digital Economy Summit 2020 in Jakarta: “Microsoft wants to invest immediately in Indonesia.”

The largest public cloud provider in the world, Amazon Web Services, has announced plans to build several interconnected data centers by 2022. Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang said: “This investment can boost Indonesia to become a strategic digital hub.The AWS region in Indonesia will certainly support the startup ecosystem so it can grow rapidly.”

To provide a regional alternative to these global tech giants, Telkom, Indonesia’s largest telecommunication service provider, is also looking to shift its main source of income into the data center and cloud computing space. Construction of these cloud data centers costing Rp 1 trillion is slated to begin this year.

This is just the beginning for the rise of Indonesia’s digital economy

There is no doubt this is just the beginning for Indonesia’s booming digital economy when 150 million Indonesians are expected to access the internet by 2023.

Google’s managing director in Indonesia Randy Jusuf said the country’s ‘digital economy has become the largest in Southeast Asia’ and is projected to reach US$124.1 billion by 2025, triple the Rp 548.2 trillion it recorded in 2020.

The Government’s proposed data protection law and recent data localization regulations, which will once again require companies to store their data in Indonesia may positively impact both the local data center and cloud services market.

With global interest in Indonesia’s digital infrastructure and changes in regulation, it is no surprise that over US$1 billion of investment is expected in the country’s data center market within the next five years.

It is an exciting time to watch Indonesia’s growth in the digital industry, and investors should take note of the potential opportunities.

Solving common problems and achieving greater opportunities with open source hardware

Sharing knowledge between organisations to achieve a common goal is a crucial part of any business. 

Particularly in times of hardship, we can come together and find solutions that solve future problems. This is exactly what the Open Compute Project founded by Facebook in 2011 aims to do in the hardware space.

In the first of three Tech Talks by OCP, in partnership with W.Media, we discovered how open source hardware drives the reinvention of data center efficiency and why demand for their solutions is growing in Southeast Asia.

Here are some key takeaways from the webinar that make us excited for the future of data centers.

Harnessing the power of open source hardware to solve future problems

In conversation with Steve Helvie of OCP and Dharmesh Jani of Facebook, the two experts in data center design identified three major challenges facing the industry in the next ten years:

  1. The ‘cambrian explosion of workload’ caused by developments in artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics
  2. Pressures on machine-to-machine bandwidth
  3. Tapering of the Moore’s Law.

Dharmesh, who chairs OCP’s Incubation Committee, shared three OCP projects aimed at solving these problems.

The Open Domain-Specific Architecture initiative has made significant progress in developing a chiplet-based architecture that will tackle the challenge of rapidly changing workloads and enable applications like machine learning to function at high performance.

Another new project by OCP is the Open Accelerator Infrastructure, an open source solution to the various hardware accelerators for machine learning and deep learning caused by the rapid evolution of AI. 

Dharmesh said the OCP community is working really hard to solve these problems by looking at hardware and software in a holistic manner.

The third solution in its infancy is an exciting new plan to come up with a common solution to the entire software toolchain that can solve issues concerning booting up systems, tests and validations, and beyond into deployment and provisioning. Dharmesh expects these to become common problem areas for every user.

What’s in it for the vendor community?

Simply put, common goals solve common problems.

There is still room for vendors to differentiate where it matters and come up with designs supporting their end customer and producing healthy competition. But by working together, we can comply with standards and deliver products faster for everybody.

Dharmesh said: “You don’t want to go and realign every last screw or every last design principal because nobody is going to deploy that kind of differentiating device at scale when there is only one of its kind.”

Steve, OCP’s VP of Channel, listed four reasons why big names such as ING and PayPal are adopting solutions like OCP’s tool-less cubby servers:

  1. Cost reduction
  2. Energy efficiency
  3. Standardisation
  4. Reliability

CTC who provide IT solutions across Asia have been contributing to open source software communities for a number of years. They have seen their customers save on labour, time, procurement and power costs after using OCP solutions.

Sachin Thakur, the Lead Project Manager for CTC, believes that open source momentum for hardware is coming in the near future. This is why they chose to contribute to the OCP and became the first OCP solution provider in Japan, exemplifying how being part of a community gives you bigger opportunities.

Watch ‘Open Source Hardware to drive Reinvention of an efficient Data Center’ again

If you missed the first of our three Tech Talks with OCP or would like to share with your friends and colleagues, you can register to watch the whole webinar and download the slides to discover how OCP is changing the way we use hardware in data centers here.

Join us for our next Tech Talk with OCP to explore Open Networking

With the move to disaggregated hardware and software solutions, open networking is accelerating.  According to IHS Markit, the growth in the bare-metal switch segment is due to several factors, including data center capex reduction directives, an increase in software-defined networking (SDN) deployments and rising adoption of merchant-based and programmable switch silicon. 

OCP Accepted™ and OCP Inspired™ network switches are sold in the data center market and garnered $221 million in revenue for the second quarter of 2019, which gave OCP switches a 55% share.

Discover more about OCP’s Open Networking solutions and have your questions answered by logging in to our next Tech Talk on 21 May 2020.

Malaysia wages war on cybercrime

Incidents of cybercrime are rising at an alarming rate in Malaysia and the Southeast Asia region with organisations seeing more cyber attacks in the past year.

Cybercriminals in Malaysia exploiting the fear and uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. CyberSecurity Malaysia identified a spike in cyber attacks during the first phase of the Movement Control Order imposed by the Malaysian Government. 

A total of 20 different coronavirus-related malware was detected in Malaysia by cybersecurity specialists Kaspersky, while Forbes reported that Malaysia is one of the top five countries in the world targeted by cybercriminals during the outbreak.

Before the outbreak, the rate of cyber attacks were still increasing. Microsoft revealed in a 2018 study that Malaysia could suffer a shocking US$12.2 billion in economic loss due to cybercrime.

In February, cybersecurity startup Technisanct discovered more than 35,000 credit cards from a number of banks had been breached in Malaysia and sold on the dark web.

In the future, cybercrime incidents may continue to increase with the advent of 5G technology as well as growing opportunities in the Internet of Things.

Home-grown talent make moves to combat cybercrime

The concerning cybersecurity threats have encouraged many organisations and government bodies to act on tackling the problem of cybercrime in the country.

In an attempt to solve security concerns while many Malaysians are forced to work from home due to the coronavirus outbreak, a tech company in the country has offered a solution. Linkdood launched a Communication Platform designed by cybersecurity experts to enable employees to store files and collaborate securely using private cloud technology.

In March, LGMS, a home-grown cybersecurity company, launched a Cybersecurity Lab with Austrian service provider TÜV Austria. 

The Austrian Ambassador to Malaysia Dr. Michael Postl said: “This partnership has the potential to establish Malaysia as a hub for cybersecurity testing and certification for the Asia Pacific region.”

In the same month, Malaysian data firm Strateq also found success recently when Singaporean telco StarHub announced it will pay up to SG$82 million for an 88% share in the firm. 

StarHub CEO Peter Kaliaropoulos said: “Our existing ICT managed services and cybersecurity capabilities in Singapore and Asia Pacific will be strengthened and diversified following the addition of Strateq to our portfolio.”

Last year, the Government-linked organisation CyberSecurity Malaysia also signed an agreement with Blackberry to protect some of Malaysia’s most important and sensitive data from cybercriminals.

The Malaysian Government joins the battle

While there is no single legislation for cybersecurity in Malaysia, the National Cyber Security Agency is tasked with implementing the National Cyber Security Policy to ensure a strong culture of security and achieve the Government’s Vision 2020 plan.

On Safer Internet Day in February, The Ministry of Education also revealed plans to introduce a National Cyber Security Awareness Module to 300 schools across the country.

During the announcement, Prof Dr Mohamad Fauzan Noordin, Head of Cybersecurity Cluster at the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation, agreed that cybersecurity laws should be tightened.

Malaysia shows signs of improvement in the war against cybercriminals

A recent study by Cisco found that companies in Malaysia received 3% less cyber alerts in 2019 compared to 2018, which was better than the average in Asia Pacific. The study also reported that breaches costing companies US$1 million or more fell from 50% in 2018 to only 23% in 2019.

But the battle isn’t won yet. Malaysia and the Asia Pacific have a long way to go. The region still receives more alerts on a daily basis than other regions surveyed by Cisco, while the number of investigated alerts also saw a decline across the region since 2018.

How can you prevent cybercrime and help fight this battle?

One way for businesses to promote a culture of cybersecurity. This can be done by increasing representation and encouraging discussion of cybersecurity in board meetings. A Chief Information Security Officer could be employed to achieve this.

Malaysia CyberSecurity Leader Jason Yuen said: “The role and function of the CISO is relatively new in Malaysia, with Bank Negara leading the way in mandating the establishment of the CISO role in financial institutions. CISOs should focus on building a common understanding of cybersecurity, risks and their value proposition.”

As consumers, customers and Internet users, there are a number of ways we can help to prevent cybercrime:

  1. Remember to use a different password for each account that you own
  2. Avoid accessing sensitive information and saving your details when using public WiFi
  3. Read emails carefully to avoid phishing attacks. Look out for poor spelling and grammar
  4. Review website URLs and check if they are secure

If we all practice better cybersecurity, the battle against cybercriminals becomes easier.

Singapore data centers save space and stay efficient by looking to the sea and sky

Singapore is one of the smallest countries in the world, yet it is the leading hub in the ASEAN region with more data center capacity than any other country.

The ‘Little Red Dot’ consumes more electricity per person than any other country in Southeast Asia with 7% of this coming from data centers. 

With accessibility to more advanced technology and internet-connected devices, this energy consumption and demand on data centers is only going to rise.

Singapore established a Green Data Centre Standard with the aim of encouraging organisations to improve the energy efficiency of their centres. Firms including Equinix, IBM, Keppel Data Centers and Resorts World Sentosa have all achieved a SS 564 certification for their effort to meet the green standards.

The Singapore carbon tax imposed in 2019 to reduce the country’s environmental impact by setting a rate of $5 for every tonne of greenhouse gas emissions is also expected to put pressure on data centres to become more efficient.

The challenges to improve efficiency have led to new innovations with the increasing need for space-saving data centers and sustainable technologies.

The future of energy efficiency is a floating data center?

Keppel Data Centres, a data center provider in Singapore, announced plans to develop a floating data center park off the coast of the ‘Garden City’. The conglomerate aims to self-power the floating data centre park and take advantage of the surrounding water to cool the park. Keppel believes a modular approach to build floating data centers, coupled with sustainable usage of natural resources, will reduce its carbon footprint compared to land-based data centers.

In partnership with the Faculty of Engineering at the National University of Singapore and Singapore LNG Corporation, Keppel Data Centres is also developing new prototypes to cool data centers and reduce their carbon footprint by harnessing cold energy released from the LNG regasification process.

Harnessing the power of solar energy

Facebook started using solar energy to power its Singapore data center after signing a 20-year deal with Sembcorb in 2019, forming Facebook’s first renewable energy partnership in Asia.

The social media organisation’s Head of Global Energy, Bobby Hollis, said: “This agreement represents our first step towards supporting our Singapore data center and local offices with 100% renewable energy.”

Singapore’s hot and humid climate causes greater power consumption for data centers. To avoid this problem, Facebook’s huge 170,000 square-meter data center implements a liquid cooling system using air from outside the complex to chill the water needed to cool the equipment.

Data centers reaching for the sky

To save space in the ‘Little Red Dot’, many data centers are building upwards.

Equinix recently opened its fourth data center in Singapore known as SG4. The new build is seven storeys high and will house 4,000 cabinets once it is fully complete. 

Equinix implements a number of methods to achieve its long-term goal of using 100% renewable resources like recycled rainwater, solar power and artificial intelligence to identify improvements.

In 2011, Google looked to make sure internet users in Asia had fast and reliable access to their services by building its first Asian data center in Singapore. 

The tech giant was inspired to try something different by building a data center up rather than out to create their first multi-storey data center in 2013. 

Since then, Google is planning to open its third data center, which will use recycled water to cool the systems and machine learning technology to increase energy efficiency.

The future of sustainable data centers in Singapore

The Singaporean Government is committed to achieving sustainability and energy efficiency. In the country’s Sustainable Development Goals, Singapore aims to increase solar energy usage and ensure at least 80% of its buildings will be green by 2030.

Much like the carbon tax, data center organisations should remain aware of future regulations and green policies to avoid costly penalties or even being shut down in extreme cases. Data centers should also investigate new technologies to achieve efficiency, meet standards, gain certification and build a respectable reputation as being part of the climate change solution.

Cybersecurity market value has nosedived. It will takeoff again

The cybersecurity market has nosedived with the threat of a global recession looming. But advancing technology and a move to more remote working due to the COVID-19 outbreak may cause the value of cybersecurity to soar.

Stock markets across the world experienced one of their worst months from the fear of a recession caused by the coronavirus. Leaders in cybersecurity like Palo Alto Network, Splunk and CrowdStrike were not immune, as they suffered stock price drops of over 15% in March.

Cybersecurity companies Palo Alto and FireEye have supply chains in Asia and are said to be closely monitoring the situation. Representatives at FireEye wrote: ”The recent coronavirus outbreak or the spread of a pandemic influenza, could impair the total volume of components that we are able to obtain, which could result in substantial harm to our results of operations.”

Cybersecurity will rise from the ashes

Despite plunging stocks, the threat of cyberattacks is not going away. In fact, more remote working caused by stay-home notices and unrest from the outbreak may leave companies vulnerable and in need of stronger cybersecurity.

A huge increase of more than 600% in cyber threat indicators related to the pandemic was identified by CYFIRMA through research into the dark web and hackers’ forums. The cybersecurity firm based in Singapore found that hackers are looking to target governments and businesses by taking advantage of public fear and uncertainty.

The World Health Organisation recently reported it was the target of elite hackers DarkHotel operating in East Asia. The organisation also warned of criminals posing as the WHO to steal money or sensitive information via email.

While COVID-19 may be one of the largest security threats the world has seen, cyber threats in Southeast Asia are far from new and will exist long after the coronavirus calms down. 

Vietnam suffered more than 6,200 cyber attacks in seven months and 94% of Vietnamese enterprises were victims of information breaches, while the Philippines ranked the 7th most attacked country in the world by Kaspersky’s report from October to December 2019.

Regulations require reactions

Countries across Southeast Asia are implementing laws to crack down on cyber threats and ensure firms are compliant, making cybersecurity even more valuable to avoid financial and criminal penalties.

Thailand will join Singapore and Malaysia in enforcing a Personal Data Protection Act, coming into force on 27 May 2020. This will require firms to prevent breaches or face a fine of up to THB500,000, six months imprisonment or both. 

Along with data protection laws, many countries have implemented cybersecurity acts to allow commissioned bodies to investigate cyber threats.

Companies are advised to adapt to varying regulations and perform cybersecurity audits to stay compliant and future-proof. Firms should also expect revisions to current acts as well as new acts by governments where laws are currently more relaxed like Indonesia.

Cybersecurity investors look to Southeast Asia

Spending in the ASEAN region is rising by an average of 15% per year.

Malaysia recently launched a Cybersecurity Lab with Austrian service provider TÜV Austria. The Austrian Ambassador Dr. Michael Postl said: “This partnership has the potential to establish Malaysia as a hub for cybersecurity testing and certification for the Asia Pacific region.”

Successful funding rounds by two Singaporean cloud-based cybersecurity organisations also provided an optimistic outlook for the industry. CYFIRMA raised $8 million to accelerate their business expansion and Horangi gained US$30 million to fuel its expansion into Southeast Asia and Indonesia in particular.

Organisations with weak cybersecurity measures should revise their processes and business continuity plans to remain future-proof and protected against cyber attacks as well as pandemics that may damage your market value.

And with the potential for greater adoption of cloud-based platforms and digitisation encouraged by more remote working and technological advancements, investors should consider the potential value of innovative cybersecurity startups taking off in the near future.

Japanese companies to capture cloud and data center market share in Southeast Asia

Japan is placed at the most significant and largest data center services market in APAC. The country remains the world’s third largest national economy after the USA and China. Japan is highly urbanized with rich infrastructures and an Internet literacy rate of 93%.

Japan is the birthplace of many global powerhouses in the technology industry, including NTT, Sony, Fujitsu, and Mitsubishi. These successes accelerated the country to be equipped with one of the world’s most advanced telecommunications networks.  

Over the past few years, apart from the rising demand in the usage of cloud services, the market size and demand of domestic data centers are also growing at a fast pace. The size of the domestic data center market in 2022 is expected to reach ¥1,797.6 billion, with an annual growth rate of 8.6% from 2017 to 2022.

ASEAN seen as an attractive hub to expand your data center business

Following decades of domestic expansion, Japanese companies are now seeking to invest in the APAC region, and especially into ASEAN. In contrast to the slowing economy of Japan, Southeast Asia is progressing rapidly, which attracted Japanese corporations to expand to ASEAN. The annual growth rate of the datacenter market in ASEAN countries is estimated at 13% between 2019 and 2024.

In 2013, ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC), a Japanese IT systems integration company, expanded their various IT businesses for data center in ASEAN, by acquiring ​CSC Automated Pte. Ltd. (Currently known as: CTC Global Pte. Ltd) in Singapore. Keita Koizumi, CTC’s Senior Business Development and Account Manager, anticipates standard office systems to witness a shift towards cloud services over the next five years due to competitive pricing and flexibility in operation.

Growth is also expected from many data centers and managed services for giant IT companies, such as Google, Facebook, Alibaba and Tencent. While Japanese IT services continue to emerge, the demand is unable to keep up with the growth. For Japanese companies to remain economically sustainable, they would need to expand their business and services outside of Japan towards countries where the economies are growing steadily. As ASEAN work towards the goal of achieving regional economic integration, it greatly boosted investment confidence, making ASEAN an attractive hub for IT services companies. 

In the past, Japanese trademark products were known to be the best and exports from Japan were very costly. But in recent years, businesses across ASEAN are moving forward rapidly and creating products mirrored to Japanese products due to technological advancements. These products are similar to that of Japanese products but could be at a fraction of the price. Mr. Koizumi suggested Japan needs to start working with ASEAN countries to lower their production cost and to gain an international foothold to compete globally. 

The challenges of expanding into ASEAN

Expansion into ASEAN comes with its difficulties. With diversified cultures across ASEAN, adaptability and manpower management poses a great challenge. Ask questions and immerse yourself in these cultures to understand these cultures and manage the people working for you in different regions.

Firms looking to expand into ASEAN should also be aware of the various building and data protection regulations in each country. Along with the globally recognised Uptime Institute and ISO 27001, there is also Singapore’s Threat and Vulnerability Risk Assessment (TVRA), Hong Kong’s Outline Zoning Plan and Philippines’ Data Privacy Act. If you wish to expand your datacenter or cloud services in any country, you should comply with all laws and regulations during build and operational phases.

To ensure a smooth transition into the ASEAN market, be aware of these challenges and make decisions with prudence when selecting a country in Southeast Asia to successfully expand into.

Connect with the right people and get advice before you expand into ASEAN

At W.Media, we have a strong presence in the ASEAN cloud and datacenter industry. Bridge the gap to building relationships with these firms in ASEAN by connecting with us today. We can help you leverage on our extensive marketing offerings and networks. For more information and advice, email partner@w.media or call our friendly consultants on +65 8769 3412.

Open Source Hardware to drive Reinvention of an efficient Data Center

Data centers have been springing up at an accelerated rate since the rise of Internet and Cloud based companies storing billions of gigabytes of information. In Southeast Asia, the rise in demand has been matched with a rise in supply, and what we see today is a competitive market with both international and homegrown data center providers. This leads to cost reduction and power efficiency becoming the key drivers of adopting new technology and best practices. 

Open Compute Project (OCP) vanity free open source hardware has been adopted by the world’s Telecommunications Service Providers to “Cloudify” their infrastructure for supporting tomorrow’s technologies of  5G, IoT and Smart Cities. This transformation to open source technologies has produced 70% CAPEX reductions and more than 50% OPEX reductions.

OCP servers also use 50% less energy than traditional proprietary enterprise servers and we will highlight how companies are aligning energy efficiency targets with their use of open source hardware.  Furthermore, the drivers of adoption of OCP are growing more diverse – cost reduction and power efficiency are still the biggest reasons why, but the market is now realising that feature flexibility and conformance to those specifications approved by OCP provide a measure of “comfort” to the market.

Bringing OCP benefits into Southeast Asia

OCP benefits have been realized especially in Europe, the US, Japan, South Korea and more. In line with sustainability efforts being encouraged in Southeast Asia, OCP and W.Media will jointly run a series of webinars to educate innovators further on the technology developments and benefits founded by the OCP communities in the world, and the current projects going on in Southeast Asia. 

In the first webinar session of the three-part series, Steve Helvie from the non profit Open Compute Project (OCP) Foundation will tell the story of how the open source model is being used for servers, storage and network hardware, plus highly optimised low cost energy-efficient data centers. Steve will also provide an overview of the OCP Foundation which started in 2011 and now has a worldwide community of thousands of engineers working on common solutions within the data center, and beyond. 

More information about the speakers

Steve is currently the VP of Channel for the Open Compute Project (OCP).  In this role he helps to educate organisations on the benefits of open hardware designs and the value of “community-driven” engineering for the data centre. He works closely with Solution Providers and Manufacturers to help organisations adopt Open Compute across all regions and segments of the market.

Dharmesh Jani (‘DJ’) has been an active member of OCP since 2012. DJ has over 20+ years of experience in various roles spanning engineering, product management, and business strategy. He started his career at Rockwell Science Center designing ultra-high speed circuits in CMOS, subsequently as a system designer he designed the first terrestrial FEC based optical transmission system at Corvis Systems. As a product manager at Semtech, he introduced the world’s first coherent 100G MUX for ultra-long-haul transport systems. Prior to joining Facebook, DJ led the cloud transformation for the biggest business unit at Flex. He was instrumental in bringing Flex into OCP and via founding of CloudLabs team, building core competencies within Flex to launch a cloud business unit. In his current role at Facebook, he is responsible for leading OCP and other open technologies, working with stakeholders inside and outside Facebook. Earlier in his career, he held roles at Infinera and Intel among others listed above. DJ is based out of Menlo Park, CA and is looking forward to working with the OCP Community and leadership team to continue the drive towards more open infrastructure.

Join the 45-minute webinar session, titled “Open Source Hardware and the Creative Destruction of the Data Center”, that will take place at 11am (Singapore time) on 8th April 2020. Pre-registration is required, and limited slots are available – register today via this link.