South Korea’s SK Telink selects Ciena to upgrade transpacific submarine network

South Korean network operator SK Telink has selected network solutions provider Ciena to upgrade its submarine network spanning Seoul, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

The partnership is set to deliver more differentiated customer experiences by implementing Ciena’s Adaptive IP solution to build a converged packet network for SK Telink, paving the way for future IP-based services.

“Our customers are consuming data at breakneck speed, and to keep up, we deployed Ciena to build one of the first packet-based transport networks in a transpacific route,” said Jeongyeol Lee, the Director of ICT Infra Headquarters at SK Telink.

As part of the Adaptive IP solution, SK Telink will leverage Ciena’s 6500 Packet Transport System to lower its office footprint and power consumption.

“As SK Telink prepares for the country’s next wave of digital growth, Ciena’s packet solutions lay the foundation for a network that can respond in real-time to changing demands,” said Henry Kim, the President and General Manager of Ciena North Asia Region.

SK Telink and the America-based Ciena hope the upgraded submarine network will enable the South Korean network operator to achieve new levels of scale, flexibility, and programmability, delivering high-speed Internet and cloud services.

Keppel Corp and Singapore Press Holdings to develop data centers in Singapore

Subsidiaries of Keppel Corporation and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) have agreed to develop and operate data centers at Genting Lane in Singapore.

A joint venture company known as Memphis 1 was incorporated between TPM, a subsidiary of Singapore Press Holdings, and Keppel Data Centres’ subsidiaries, Keppel Griffin and Geras DC.

Memphis 1 is set to acquire a leasehold interest at 82 Genting Lane for S$50 million to develop and run data center facilities on the land. The sale is expected to be completed on July 17.

Keppel Griffin and Geras DC will hold a 60% share in Memphis 1, while TMP will hold 40% of the shares. The joint venture company will be an indirect subsidiary of Keppel Corporation.

The subsidiaries of Keppel Data Centres will contribute up to S$209 million, including S$2.1 million for the subscription price of their 60% share as well as S$34.5 million in bonds.

TPM will contribute approximately S$139.6 million, with S$1.39 million for their 40% stake, along with S$23 million in bonds.

These amounts will be paid progressively by way of debt securities, issued by Memphis 1 from time to time. The balance amount will be subscribed to nominees of Keppel Data Centres’ subsidiaries as the data center development progresses.

Upon completion, the data center will add to Keppel Data Centres growing list of more than 20 data centers owned and operated by the company.

The data center provider also recently entered into a partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to explore hydrogen-powered tri-generation plant concepts that could sustainably power data centers, including their proposed Floating Data Centre Park project.

Which data center is the best for your needs?

There is an overwhelming amount of choice when selecting the best data center for your needs. You may be asking questions about location, security, migration capabilities and sustainability.

We will answer all these questions and more at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out how to choose the best data center for your digital transformation needs.

Get involved in conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

Ingram Micro announces Advanced Solutions and growth investment strategy for Asia Pacific

Ingram Micro has announced a series of growth investments spanning the Asia Pacific region as part of its global Advanced Solutions Strategy.

The cloud and supply chain solution provider punctuated its commitment to the region by expanding its Singapore-based value-added solutions approach.

The Vice President of Global Partner Engagement and IoT at Ingram Micro, Sabine Howest, said: “The markets across Asia Pacific continue to be a growing opportunity for Ingram Micro and our channel partners.”

The investments will expand Ingram Micro’s presence in Asia Pacific and provide the technology sales channel with better support and more sophisticated solutions development. 

The team will focus on a new level of service around cybersecurity, hybrid technologies, cloud solutions as well as artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

“Building on our longstanding presence in Asia Pacific, Ingram Micro is now further differentiated by our Advanced Solutions go-to-market sales, technical and vendor management,” said Ingram Micro’s ASEAN Vice President and Country Chief Executive, Francis Choo.

The rapid expansion of their Advanced Solutions technology and value-added services portfolio across Asia Pacific will include the formation of a Center of Excellence, which will support channel partners doing business or looking to expand their expertise in cybersecurity, data center and IoT solutions.

Mr. Choo said: “The investments we’re making are impactful and will help our channel partners simplify the complexity of IT and deliver an exceptional service experience to their customers.”

Mr. Choo will expand his role to lead the expansion of the Advanced Solutions and Global Partner Engagement team, while continuing to oversee the leaders who run Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

“We will continue to invest in and expand our capabilities across all of the countries where we do business in Asia Pacific,” said Diego Utge, Group President for Asia Pacific at Ingram Micro.

The growth investments by Ingram Micro come at a time when countries across Asia Pacific, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are looking to digitally transform businesses and societies through IT spend increases and digitalisation strategies.

Image credit: Ingram Micro

Empowering your digital transformation

With new Industry 4.0 technological advancements taking place, you may be looking for a new data center or cloud provider to empower your digital transformation strategies.

But with so many providers out there, the choice can be overwhelming.

We will tackle this problem at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out how you can migrate your data effectively.

Get involved in conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

AWS expands Asia presence, making Outposts available in India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand

Amazon Web Services has expanded its presence in Asia by launching AWS Outposts in India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand, enabling businesses to gain greater native access to AWS services.

Customers can use the Outposts to help them with large projects requiring low latency access to on-premises systems as well as local data processing and storage.

“With AWS Outposts, our customers can benefit from the accelerated pace of innovation in the cloud, while securely storing and processing sensitive data on-premises,” said Conor McNamara, the Managing Director of ASEAN at AWS.

The Outposts enable businesses to work with the AWS Partner Network, assisting application migration to AWS.

“As AWS Outposts is fully managed by AWS, our customers can also focus on their end users, and driving innovation that differentiates their businesses, while leaving the responsibility of managing the infrastructure to us,” added Mr. McNamara.

Empowering hybrid cloud solutions

A number of businesses have celebrated the launch of AWS Outposts in Asia, which empower hybrid cloud solutions and transform customer user experience.

Our customers will benefit from AWS’s rapid pace of innovation in cloud infrastructure services while being able to store and process data on-premises,” said Mr. Ahmad Taufek Omar, the Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of TM ONE.

The enterprise and public sector business solutions arm of Telecommunications Company Telekom Malaysia Berhad found AWS Outposts to be an important part of TM ONE Cloud Alpha’s hybrid cloud strategy.

“It will help us in our mission to enable the Malaysian public sector and enterprises to be more agile, while delivering better and more comprehensive services to end customers. This is in line with TM Group’s commitment in enabling Digital Malaysia,” said Mr. Omar.

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.

“Incorporating hybrid cloud will address the need for data residency and edge computing, all accessed through our leading next generation converged network. Our goal is to accelerate cloud adoption and digital transformation journeys for businesses,” said Claire Featherstone, the Head of Maxis Technology Practices and Maxis Cloud Centre of Excellence, a leading Malaysia-based communications provider.

AWS Outposts are replicas of hardware infrastructure, services and API that run in Amazon data centers. With the availability of Outposts, customers can connect to the nearest AWS Regions in Asia, including Singapore.

InfoFabrica, a Singapore-based IT hybrid cloud consulting and managed services company, welcomed the announcement.

“Many of our enterprise customers look for hybrid cloud solutions that will allow them to move workloads and data seamlessly between on-premises assets and the AWS cloud,” said Mr. Li Wen Chi, Managing Director of InfoFabrica Pte Ltd.

The general availability in India, Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand follows the launch of AWS Outposts in Singapore and Indonesia earlier this year.

Image credit: Amazon Web Services

Looking to migrate your data to the cloud?

As more data center options become available throughout the world, you may be looking to migrate your data for optimum operational efficiency and digital transformation.

You might be overwhelmed by the amount of choices and questions you may have: Will this enable my digital transformation plans? Will my data be secure? How much will this cost?

We will answer all these questions and more at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out how you can migrate your data effectively.

Get involved in conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

Iron Mountain signs 3MW data center lease with Fortune Global 200 company in Singapore

Iron Mountain announced a three-megawatt lease with a Fortune Global 200 company at its Singapore data center.

The data center provider is also building out 2MW of turn-key data center capacity at SIN-1, Iron Mountain’s Singapore facility. The work is expected to be completed in Q4 of 2020.

“We’re pleased this fast-growing Fortune Global 200 customer chose Iron Mountain, and we are excited to welcome them into our dynamic ecosystem in Singapore,” said Michael Goh, Senior Director and GM for Asia at Iron Mountain.

Construction on an additional 2.25MW of capacity for SIN-1 is also in progress to support future demand. This consists of 1.5MW megawatts of capacity held for development and an additional 750kW added to the design of the facility.

“We look forward to supporting this particular customer’s exciting growth prospects now and in the future,” added Mr. Goh.

The multi-tenant turn-key data center facility in Singapore opened in September 2019. Following the hyperscale deployment, Iron Mountain’s existing capacity at SIN-1 will be 87% utilised and the capacity under development will be 47% pre-leased.

Located in Serangoon, Singapore, the enterprise-class purpose-built facility has nearly 7MW of capacity across four data center halls at full build-out.

The new Fortune Global 200 customer will utilise the colocation space, network services, storage and office space provided by the storage and information management services company.

Image credit: Iron Mountain

Which data center is the best for your digital transformation needs?

There is an overwhelming amount of choice when selecting the best data center for your needs. You may be asking questions about location, security, migration capabilities and sustainability.

We will answer all these questions and more at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out how to choose the best data center for your digital transformation needs.

Get involved in conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

Google opens first cloud region in Indonesia to meet growing digital demands

Google Cloud has officially opened their first cloud region in Indonesia.

The new Google Cloud Platform region in Jakarta looks to accelerate the growth of developers and enterprises embracing cloud technology to drive one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

“Indonesia is full of opportunity. You’re one of the most creative, dynamic and entrepreneurial countries in Southeast Asia,” said Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and Alphabet.

A booming digital economy

Indonesia has more than 150 million Internet users and the fastest growing digital economy in Southeast Asia, expanding by more than 40% each year.

Due to rising digitisation and Internet traffic, Indonesia’s data center market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 11%, with more than US$1 billion in investments.

“The most exciting thing about Indonesia’s booming digital economy is how you’re using it to improve lives – from a new generation of young Indonesians working on big ideas for the future to new startups, whose innovations are spreading around the world,” said Mr. Pichai.

With lower latency access to data, artificial intelligence and analytics tools, the new region aims to support organisations in industries like financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, retail and logistics.

“I look forward to seeing how the region will use Google Cloud to build new businesses and unleash new opportunities for people in Indonesia and around the world,” added Mr. Pichai.

Google recently announced a partnership with XL Axiata to drive cloud migration in Indonesia by modernising their infrastructure and migrating 70% of workloads to the cloud within the next three years.

“Our collaboration around Partner Interconnect will enable companies of all sizes in Indonesia to gain access to high-speed connectivity to create a whole new world of experiences for their customers,” said Megawaty Khie, the Country Director of Google Cloud in Indonesia.

“Advancing forward together.”

Maju Sama-Sama or “advancing forward together” is Google Indonesia’s motto. The tech giant has made commitments to develop talent critical to digital transformation journeys and build a resilient future.

Google will empower this by delivering 150,000 hands-on training labs in Indonesia this year as well as digital scholarships with Indonesia’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology to help people become GCP certified.

Johnny Plate, Indonesia’s Minister of Communication and Informatics, said: “Google Cloud’s presence will certainly be an important part of the strengthening and development of digitally-based technology in Indonesia.”

The Government of Indonesia hopes Google’s data center can take part in making the security and privacy of data stronger as well as accelerate the adoption of data analytics, AI and machine learning.

Indonesia is currently accelerating its digital transformation towards the digital society. The country is focusing on the completion of telecommunications infrastructure development, with specific attention to the middle mile and last mile networks. The country also aims to accelerate the adoption of 5G, construct national and Government data centers and develop digital talent.

“The launch of Google Cloud in Indonesia is an example of excellent synergy where the business world, private sector, join hands to support Government policy to meet the needs of state-of-the-art technology,” said Mr. Plate.

The new Google Cloud region in Indonesia adds to Google’s portfolio of nine locations in Asia Pacific, enabling Indonesian customers to localise their cloud usage rather than using services in other regions like Singapore and Sydney.

Other cloud providers like AWS and Microsoft are also looking to expand out into Indonesia to join Google and Alibaba.

Alibaba Cloud has already built its second data center in Indonesia and 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.

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.

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.”

Indonesia has a vibrant technological future ahead – it will certainly be exciting to see the innovations resulting from the rapidly growing digital economy.

Image credit: Google Cloud

Looking to migrate your data to the cloud?

As more data center options become available throughout the world, you may be looking to migrate your data for optimum operational efficiency and digital transformation.

You might be overwhelmed by the amount of choices and questions you may have: Will this enable my digital transformation plans? Will my data be secure? How much will this cost?

We will answer all these questions and more at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out how you can migrate your data effectively.

Get involved in conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

ST Telemedia Global Data Centres makes history in Thailand with TIA and Uptime certifications

ST Telemedia Global Data Centres has made history by becoming the first data center provider in Thailand to achieve both the TIA-942 Certification Rated-3 and Uptime Institute Tier III Certification of Design Documents.

The certifications were awarded to STT Bangkok 1, Thailand’s first hyperscale carrier-neutral data center campus.

“Achieving both accreditations is a strategic milestone, as it uplifts Thailand’s data center industry standards by setting a new benchmark for design, build and operations of data centers,” said Supparat Sivapetchranat Singhara Na Ayutthaya, the CEO of STT GDC Thailand.

The globally recognised certifications ensure the highest security and reliability standards, enabling the facility to operate at the highest availability and minimal risk to operational impact, ensuring uninterrupted operations throughout.

Mr. Ayutthaya said: “We continue to see strong local and regional demand for efficient, flexible and scalable hyperscale data centres, especially with today’s accelerated digital transformation plans across businesses and Thailand 4.0’s vision of a technology-centric economy.”

ST Telemedia Global Data Centres hopes the standards will appeal to international cloud service providers and enterprises requiring high scalability and robust security.

The first phase of the hyperscale data center is expected to be completed in early 2021. The campus will span 30,000 square metres, with a capacity of 20 megawatts.

Following its full completion, the data center in Huamark, one of Bangkok’s key business districts, will have a total gross floor area of 60,000sqm and a total capacity of 40MW.

The facility looks to ride on the growth of Thailand’s digital economy that can be seen with the Government’s digital transformation plans.

Thailand is ranked in first place for the highest use of banking and finance apps and second for e-commerce adoption as well as average daily time spent using the Internet by users aged 16 to 64.

With increasing data demands, technological advancements and Internet adoption, data center providers are increasingly looking to support the rising need for secure and reliable infrastructure in the region.

Announced in 2019, STT Bangkok 1 is a joint venture by Frasers Property (Thailand) Public Company Limited (FPT) and ST Telemedia Global Data Centres. The project is worth more than seven billion baht and is expected to gain one billion baht in revenue within four years, with a 20% data center market share in Thailand.

The TIA-942 certification, issued by the Telecommunications Industry Association, covers the telecommunications infrastructure as well as other aspects of a mission-critical data center, including site location, architectural and physical structure of the facility, electrical and mechanical capabilities, fire safety and physical security.

Uptime Institute’s TIER III certification requires no shutdowns for equipment replacement and maintenance in a data center. A redundant delivery path for power and cooling is added to the redundant critical components, so that each and every component needed to support the IT processing environment can be shut down and maintained without impact on the IT operation.

Image credit: ST Telemedia Global Data Centres

Which data center is the best for your digital transformation needs?

There is an overwhelming amount of choice when selecting the best data center for your needs. You may be asking questions about location, security, migration capabilities and sustainability.

We will answer all these questions and more at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out how to choose the best data center for your digital transformation needs.

Get involved in conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

Hundreds tune in for Digital Realty’s Virtual Groundbreaking of first data center in South Korea

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Hundreds tune in for Digital Realty’s Virtual Groundbreaking of first data center in South Korea

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Hundreds from across the technology industry tuned in to witness Digital Realty’s Virtual Groundbreaking of Digital Seoul 1 (ICN10), the company’s first data center in South Korea.

Digital Realty’s expansion into South Korea looks to make digital ambitions a reality by providing a truly carrier-neutral platform.

Why did Digital Realty choose South Korea?

We kicked off the Virtual Groundbreaking ceremony with an interview from Digital Realty Korea’s Country Manager, Jay Weon Khym.

Mr. Khym highlighted key factors driving Digital Realty’s decision to invest in Seoul, including the city’s high population density with young, tech-savvy individuals who have a higher amount of disposable income and access to ‘excellent high-speed infrastructure’.

Seoul is also the fifth largest data center market in Asia Pacific and is forecast to continue to grow, driven by demands in e-commerce, social media, the Internet of Things and gaming.

“The market is at the beginning of a growth cycle and starts showing signs of installisation. However, very few true carrier-neutral data centers exist with a global operation standard,” said Mr. Khym.


Digital Realty’s hybrid cloud solutions and new state of the art facility will support domestic business growth and empower more international companies to expand their digital assets into the South Korean market, as demand and advancements in cloud computing grow to allow businesses the ability to scale up, modernise and make better use of their data.

Hybrid cloud solutions enable customers to grow as their business develops in their early stage by making use of public cloud infrastructures to minimise capital expenditure, then in later stages of growth, migrating portions of their IT workload to the private cloud minimises the expense of storing large amounts in the public cloud.

“Our investment in South Korea reiterates our commitment to powering our customers’ digital ambitions across a truly global platform,” said Mr. Khym.

Mr. Khym also shared his excitement for their aim to expand their footprint to 80-100MV within five years.

Mr Khym added: “We are humbled to have an opportunity to provide a trusted foundation for the nation’s technology roadmap.”

Breaking ground on Digital Realty’s first data center in South Korea

It was a real pleasure to celebrate the Virtual Groundbreaking of Digital Seoul 1 with the Digital Realty team who shared more on their exciting plans for the first truly carrier-neutral data center in Seoul.

> Watch the Virtual Groundbreaking ceremony on demand

Mark Smith, Digital Realty’s Managing Director, said: “Seoul is particularly interesting to us because we’re a company that listens very carefully to the needs of our customers. Our investment in Seoul is very much driven by the voice of our customers. This a response to what they have been telling us.”

Digital Realty’s customers, which include tech giants such as Facebook, Uber, IBM, Oracle and LinkedIn, told the global data center provider that they see ‘a lot of opportunity in the Korean market’.

“They are looking for a provider such as ourselves that can bring global standards and a true carrier-neutrality to the Korean market,” said Mr. Smith.

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To be truly carrier-neutral, Digital Seoul 1’s key aspect is to be not only carrier-neutral, but also fiber neutral.

Robert Davidson, the Head of Network Strategy at Digital Realty, said: “We are the first international data center that is going to come into the market and be able to offer a global experience in Seoul that allows you to interconnect with any of the carriers that are local to the Korean market without any intermediary restrictions.”

Digital Realty will have their own set of carrier licenses whereby they will control all of their ingress points and the fiber within those points for the data center, without the need for a third party. 

Traditionally, international players entering the market would need more than one location to access all of the connectivity footprints required.

“Now for the first time, there will be one hyperconnected data connectivity hub in Seoul, where you will be able to use your global MSA, your global contract vehicle with Digital Realty to enter Seoul and get access to everyone in one spot,” said Mr. Davidson.

Digital Realty chose the location of Digital Seoul 1 to give customers a ‘solid footprint for fiber connectivity and positions you well to interconnect with other data centers’. 

“This is really a game changer from a connectivity standpoint. As a network guy by trade, this is what I would have always wanted in all of my markets,” said Mr. Davidson.

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Digital Seoul 1 will be built on a 22,000 square foot land parcel in the Sangam Digital Media City in Seoul, which is a newly developed urban planning zone with a high concentration of technology and media companies aiming to promote South Korea’s digital economy, much like Digital Realty itself.

The data center is also set to be equipped with Korean Telecom Licensing and ISMS Certification as a Tier 3 Green Grid Data Center, by complying with local regulatory requirements.

Once the facility is completed in approximately 2021, the tallest purpose-built data center that Digital Realty has ever constructed will include up to 2,200 cabinets, a target PUE range of 1.32 to 1.4 for cooling, and a twelve-megawatt IT load for 50% Scale and 50% Scale-lite/enterprises.

The move into the South Korean market also marks a significant expansion of PlatformDIGITAL across Asia Pacific, enabling customers to rapidly scale digital transformation.

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Empowering the Fourth Industrial Revolution

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The South Korean Government is set to invest billions in Fourth Industrial Revolution technology, with a focus on DNA: Data, Network and Artificial Intelligence.

We were joined by Professor Yunmook Nah from the Korea Data Center Council, who emphasised the critical importance of data centers to support the upward trend of technological advancements in the country.

“The data center market is growing fast because of enabling technology like big data, AI, cloud and smart cities,” said Professor Nah.

The COVID-19 pandemic was also identified as an accelerator of cloud computing adoption and opened a new market of cloud services.

‘This is the first step of several’

Mr. Mark Smith expects this will be just the beginning of Digital Realty’s investments in Korea, as the global provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data center, colocation and interconnection solutions’ continues to listen to their customers.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with where we are in this exciting moment in terms of virtually launching the facility in Seoul. We have a large number of people dialing in, which shows really well the amount of interest and demand.

“I couldn’t be more excited to enter the Korean market,” said Mr. Smith.

> Watch all the celebrations of Digital Realty’s Virtual Groundbreaking on demand now

Which data center is the best for your digital transformation needs?

As digital transformation continues and we enter into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, you may be looking at data centers for the first time or migrating to a different facility to enable your businesses’ growth.

But there are likely a lot of choices and questions: Will my data be secure? Is the connectivity reliable? How much will this cost?

We will answer all these questions and more at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out how to choose the best data center for your digital transformation needs.

Get involved in conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

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Stuart Crowley

Editor, W.Media

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COVID-19 forces OCP to go digital, but Virtual Summit a resounding success

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Open Compute Project Foundation was forced to go digital by transforming their Global Summit into their first OCP Virtual Summit.

All the content was ready to go, organisations were ready to make big announcements at the show, flights had been booked and the stages were set for the Global Summit in San Jose, California.

But in a tense and difficult decision, OCP cancelled their largest event of the year on the Friday before it was planned to start on Tuesday 3 March.

“It was really beyond our control. Many members of OCP, sponsors and content providers received edicts from their organisations that said they can’t go to large meetings as a result of the pandemic,” said Dirk Van Slyke, Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer of OCP.

To find an alternative, the OCP team still met in San Jose with their production partner to strategise a plan.

Mr. Van Slyke said: “It was out of necessity to recoup all this wonderful content and this interest and momentum within the industry.”

The collaborative Community, which strives to optimise all parts of a data center, found a solution in hosting a Virtual Summit between 12 May and 15 May.

“At the end of the day, we are the enablers of collaboration, so we’ve got to provide a framework by which that can happen,” said Mr. Van Slyke.

OCP kept the collaborative nature of the Virtual Summit alive with panel discussions, live question and answer sessions as well as engineering workshops.

Collaboration on a massive scale

Originally, OCP forecasted between 3,800 and 4,000 attendees for the Global Summit. The Virtual Summit attracted more than 11,000 delegates, with a greater global reach across more than 100 countries.

The collaborative organisation received mostly positive feedback and a better understanding of the limitations of going digital.

“What was missing was those powerful 1-on-1 conversations where a lot of collaboration happens,” said Mr. Van Slyke.

At this time, there is no perfect solution to enable 1-on-1 connections in a virtual space. Mr. Van Slyke identified that there are still difficulties with ensuring privacy of delegates, as ‘you can’t just make everybody’s contact details available’, and the ability to opt-in to a meeting can be cumbersome and difficult on online platforms.

Like many organisations, OCP was concerned that offering virtual elements like live streamed keynotes during their Global Summit would cut back on physical attendance.

“At the end of the day, what we’re hearing from the community is that nothing can replace a 1-on-1 in-person meeting. But if we want to bring a broader audience to the table as well, I don’t think we would sacrifice too much on the attendance side by live-streaming some of those sessions and keynotes,” added Mr. Van Slyke.

Moving forward, OCP will look to incorporate some of the virtual components back into their live events to empower remote collaboration.

“We’re just optimistic that by March of 2021 we will be through this enough to be able to hold our in-person Summit,” said Mr. Van Slyke.

OCP is actively working to figure out their schedule between now and March 2021.

“That’s a ten-month chasm that we’ve created that we’ve got to fill, so we are polling the Community to find out what their needs are,” he added.

OCP is looking at some interesting ideas and applications to make it feel like there are even more people tuning in virtually during an in-person event.

The biggest takeaways from the OCP Virtual Summit

OCP’s VP of Channel Development, Steve Helvie, identified three key takeaways from the Virtual Summit. The first was the ability to consume more content.

“When you’re at a physical event, it is great for the personal connections, but many times you miss a lot of the great content. When you get back to the office and your workday resumes again, you lose the ability to go back and listen to all the great content,” said Mr. Helvie.

The second was the ability for OCP members to convey the right type of message by organising the content in a way that was tailored to a cohesive theme. And third was the sheer audience reach enabled by the online event.

 “The number of countries that are able to consume this now is something we would never achieve at a physical event,” he added.

In the future, OCP will look to expand on this reach and drive awareness in markets that may have been more difficult to penetrate without the power of a digital platform.

Other big news coming from the OCP Virtual Summit was the announcement that Google had become an Executive Member and will hold a seat on OCP’s Board of Directors.

“Google’s new board participation further represents how fundamental open hardware continues to be within the industry, and the only way we’ll continue to drive innovation within the industry is together,” said Mark Roenigk, Chair of the Board of Directors for OCP.

The new Director will be Dr. Parthasarathy Ranganathan, a distinguished Engineer at Google.

Dr. Ranganathan said: “We look forward to extending our involvement with the OCP Community to help drive greater choice and agility for the industry.”

Virtual until further notice

All OCP events are virtual until further notice, when Members and participants in the Community are able to release restrictions on the types of meetings employees can attend and travel to, advised Mr. Van Slyke.

That’s why on Wednesday 8 July, you are invited to take a look at an OCP-Optimised Data Center in Southeast Asia at our next digital Tech Talk event.

We will be joined by Steve Helvie, as well as Darren Hawkins, the CEO of SpaceDC, and Resul Altinkilic, the Project Manager Global Key Accounts IT at Rittal.

Register for free to discover how an OCP-Optimised Data Center can be achieved

Keppel and Mitsubishi Heavy to explore hydrogen-powered data center concept in Singapore

Keppel Data Centres and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are set to explore how hydrogen-powered data centers can accelerate Singapore’s journey towards a more sustainable energy future.

The two organisations signed a memorandum of understanding to study how hydrogen-powered tri-generation plant-supported data centers can meet expanding needs of the digital economy.

Mr Wong Wai Meng, Chief Executive Officer of Keppel Data Centres, said: “The exploration of hydrogen infrastructure is part of our strategy to work towards decarbonisation.”

Hydrogen as an energy source has the potential to be more environmentally friendly when it is burned because it does not produce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Hydrogen will be a key energy carrier in the global effort towards decarbonisation,” said Mr Yoshiyuki Hanasawa, Executive Vice President and Chief Regional Officer for Asia Pacific and India at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group and Managing Director of MHI-AP.

A tri-generation plant works by producing heat, power and cooling, supporting data centers to access the electricity as well as the chilled water produced by the plant to cool the facility. By tapping on the electricity provided by the plant, a data center relies less on the national grid.

Keppel Data Centres and Mitsubishi Heavy will look to produce hydrogen fuel for the plant through a steam methane reforming process that is carbon neutral by incorporating carbon capture and storage capabilities.

“With Singapore set to become a global data centre hub, we look forward to partnering with Keppel Data Centres to support Singapore in creating a sustainable energy future,” said Mr Hanasawa.

One of the projects that might benefit from the hydrogen-powered tri-generation plant concept is the Floating Data Centre Park project in Singapore that Keppel Data Centres is currently pursuing (pictured above).

Keppel Data Centres partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy is well timed, 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.

As Singapore looks to continue in its digitalisation efforts and boost the digital economy, sustainable data center infrastructures will be essential in empowering this. 

Digital Realty breaks ground on first data center in South Korea

Digital Realty has officially broken ground on their first carrier-neutral data center in South Korea, following a Virtual Groundbreaking ceremony hosted by W.Media.

The Digital Seoul 1 (ICN10) twelve-megawatt facility will be built on a 22,000 square foot land parcel in the Sangam Digital Media City in Seoul.

“The groundbreaking of Digital Seoul 1 (ICN10) is a significant milestone for us at Digital Realty. Our investment in Korea reiterates our commitment to powering our customers’ digital ambitions across a truly global platform. We are humbled to have this opportunity to provide a trusted foundation for the nation’s technology roadmap,” said Jay Weon Khym, the Country Manager for Korea at Digital Realty.

Making digital transformation a reality

The current pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformation and adoption of cloud services across the world. South Korea is also a leader of innovation, with big data, AI, 5G and the Internet of Things quickly gaining momentum.

“Customers in the Asia Pacific region are set to gain from our new ICN10 facility, as they ramp up their own digitalisation efforts,” said Digital Realty’s Chief Executive Officer, A. William Stein.

The move marks a significant expansion of PlatformDIGITAL across Asia Pacific, enabling customers to rapidly scale digital transformation.

“Our investment in South Korea is an important milestone on our global platform roadmap, adding coverage, capacity and connectivity capabilities to enable our customers’ digital transformation strategies while demonstrating our commitment to supporting customers’ future growth on PlatformDIGITAL,” added Mr Stein.

PlatformDIGITAL is Digital Realty’s platform that hosts critical infrastructure and interconnect digital ecosystems.

Once the facility is completed in approximately 2021, the tallest purpose-built data center that Digital Realty has ever constructed aims to support domestic business growth and broaden opportunities for more international companies to expand their core digital assets into the South Korean market.

South Korea is a perfect place to set up a data center and is one of the fastest growing markets in APAC.

Mark Smith, the Managing Director of APAC for Digital Realty, said of the market: “[It is] a strategic market for us to enter as the first global provider to build from the ground up.”

The Digital Realty data center in South Korea will add to the global provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data center, colocation and interconnection solutions’ portfolio of Asia Pacific facilities located in Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Melbourne.

More than 500 registered to discover more about the 162,000 square feet, twelve level facility at Digital Realty’s Virtual Groundbreaking event hosted by W.Media.

Watch this space for highlights from the event and more details on Digital Seoul 1.

And you can still get involved on social media using the hashtags #DigitalRealtyLaunch, #CongratsDigitalRealty, #DigitalSeoul1 and #WMediaEvent.

The Philippines updates Cloud First Policy in transition to ‘new normal’ amidst COVID-19 pandemic

The Philippines has amended its Cloud First Policy to transition to a “new normal” brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has recognised the vital role of ICT by providing clearer instructions on policy coverage, data classification and data security to meet global standards.

“We are paving the way to an ICT policy environment that is more responsive to current needs, further filling gaps in our country’s digitalisation efforts,” said DICT Secretary, Gregorio B. Honasan II.

The Cloud First Policy looks to promote cloud computing as the preferred technology for the Philippine Government’s administration and delivery of services to efficiently serve the public.

Mr Honasan said: “The shift to a truly digital government is much more pressing today.”

This shift is expected to empower greater flexibility, security, innovation and cost-efficiency.

“The DICT is committed to cover all aspects of this, primarily policies that would enable government digital transformation to ensure that we maximize ICT during this transition to the new normal,” said Mr Honasan.

Clarifying ‘Cloud First’

The amendments made to the Cloud First Policy clarify which institutions in the Philippines will be covered, and which are only encouraged to adopt cloud technology.

The policy will cover all departments, bureaus, offices and agencies of the Executive Branch as well as state universities and colleges. The Congress, Judiciary, Independent Constitutional Commissions and Ombudsman will only be encouraged to adopt the cloud services.

The amendments in the Cloud First Policy also clarify the Government’s position on data sovereignty, which was ‘confused with the concept of data residency’ in the previous version.

In the new version, the application of Philippine laws over foreign counterparts will be asserted over the data owned or processed by the Government or any entity that has links to the Philippines. 

This means that most data passing through the Philippines will be subject to the Data Privacy Act of 2012, which ‘protects the human right to privacy of communication while ensuring free flow of information to promote innovation and growth’ and the inherent obligation of the state to ensure that data is secured and protected.

Additional provisions on ICT capacity building and development of essential skills to meet international and local standards in the Philippines are also included in the Cloud First Policy.

The Philippines fell from 9th in 2018 to 11th in the 2020 Cloud Readiness Index by the Asia Cloud Computing Association. But there may be renewed optimism for a strong cloud future in the Philippines with these amendments, along with the Philippine Digital Transformation Strategy and more connectivity coming from DITO’s new data center.

Adapting to the ‘new normal’ in the Philippines

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, various governmental departments in the Philippines have adopted cloud technology to adapt their services.

The Department of Education recently partnered with Microsoft to provide a virtual ‘graduation-in-a-box’ to students in schools nationwide.

“The future of the Philippines lies in the hands of the brilliant young minds sitting in its classrooms today and we are privileged to empower not just their learning experience, but also their future,” said Andres Ortola, Microsoft Philippines Country General Manager.

The Supreme Court in the Philippines has also worked with Microsoft to continue legal proceedings through cloud-based videoconferencing hearings for the first time.

Mr Ortola said: “I am so proud to be a part of this historic moment in the Philippines.”

Enabling migration to the cloud

In the original Cloud First Policy in 2017, the Philippines encouraged migration to the cloud to enable greater automation and agility. The DICT recommended a three-step process to achieve migration.

First, take stock by defining objectives, determine data classifications and map security considerations. 

Second, plan migration by defining responsibilities, identifying skill gaps and choosing a suitable cloud environment. 

And lastly, migrate and manage through testing workloads, tracking performance and training staff through service level agreements with cloud vendors.

If you would like to find out how you can successfully migrate to the cloud, register now for our free ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Get involved in conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

Image: jopetsy, Flickr

Global consortium ADC building high-performance submarine cable across Asia

Asia Direct Cable (ADC), a global consortium of leading communications and technology companies is building a high-performance submarine cable across Asia.

NEC Corporation, a Japanese multinational information technology and electronics company, announced today the 9,400-kilometer ADC cable will connect China (Hong Kong and Guangdong province), Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

ADC Cable Network

“This new system will contribute to drive the Asian ICT business growth as one of the core infrastructures in the region and to meet the evolving marketplace,” said Mr Koji Ishii of SoftBank and Co-Chair of ADC.

The cabling, constructed by NEC, is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2022.

Mr Ishii added: “As a leading submarine cable system vendor, NEC has successfully provided many trans-Asia submarine cable systems, making the company the most reliable choice for the ADC supply partner.”

Optical fibers make up the ADC cable, which is designed to carry more than 140 Terabits per second of traffic. This will deliver necessary diversity for Asia’s key information hubs and high-capacity transmission of data across regions in East and Southeast Asia.

“The ADC system … will enable carriers and service providers to better plan their networks and services for sustainable development,” said Chang Weiguo, one of the ADC Co-Chairs from China Telecom.

As technological advancements in cloud computing, 5G, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things increase across Asia, the high-capacity allows the cable to support the increasingly bandwidth-intensive applications.

“This advanced optical fiber submarine cable system will provide seamless connectivity to the countries it lands in and the regions it services,” said Atsushi Kuwahara, the General Manager of the Submarine Network Division at NEC Corporation.

The ADC cable system hopes to enhance the expansion of communications networks in the East and Southeast Asian regions.

Mr Kuwahara added: “NEC is impressed by the level of commitment from members of the ADC Consortium, and will fully capitalize on our regional expertise to support ADC and ensure the successful completion of this project.”

The ADC is a global consortium of leading communications and technology companies, including CAT, China Telecom, China Unicom, PLDT Inc., Singtel, SoftBank Corp., Tata Communications and Viettel.

“The new cable will enhance our infrastructure and also our ability to harness new technologies for future growth,” said Mr Ooi Seng Keat, Vice President of Carrier Services, OTT and Satellites, Group Enterprise at Singtel.

According to Research and Markets, the submarine cable systems market in Asia Pacific is expected to expand at an annual growth rate of 9.8% from 2018 to 2027, increasing from US$5.6 billion to US$14.7 billion over the nine-year period.

Image credit: NEC

Microsoft and NTT DATA announce cloud alliance to accelerate enterprise digital transformation

Microsoft and NTT DATA have announced an alliance to accelerate enterprise customer’s digital transformation using Microsoft Azure as their preferred cloud solution.

The partnership will bring together NTT DATA’s global IT services and Microsoft’s cloud platform and AI technologies to help accelerate business and increase workplace productivity.

“Together, we will continue exploring new solutions opportunities and added value for our clients,” said Alex Simons, the Corporate Vice President of ID Program Management at Microsoft.

The key initiatives of the strategic collaboration include innovating workstyle, transforming NTT DATA’s organisational culture and enhancing solutions for customers to digitally transform.

Plans to support digital transformation by developing around 10,000 employees worldwide who are qualified with digital technologies and Microsoft cloud certifications are being drawn up by NTT DATA.

“NTT DATA is committed to helping enterprises realise their digital transformation,” said Yo Honma, the President and CEO of NTT DATA.

The companies will look to streamline business operations and increase productivity by enhancing NTT DATA’s everis knowler, their knowledge management solution and WinActor, a robotics process automation tool.

Microsoft Azure’s migration and managed services will be implemented for mission-critical systems such as SAP and support the acceleration of digital transformation across industries.

Both companies will propose workstyle changes to clients in all industries through focused security offerings and collaboration tools.

NTT DATA, a leading Japan-based global IT services provider, will also explore Microsoft’s AI for Health philanthropic program to tackle some of the toughest global health challenges and support the United Nations’ sustainable development goals in the areas of AI imaging.

The partnership between NTT DATA and Microsoft is an expansion of the tech giant’s alliance with the parent company NTT Corporation announced in December 2019.

The multi-year strategic alliance aimed to form a Global Digital Fabric, which combined Microsoft Cloud and NTT’s public cloud, global data center and network infrastructures. This initiative looked to create a highly sustainable and robust environment for enterprises to focus on their digital ambitions around the world.

Which data center is the best for your digital transformation needs?

As cloud computing continues to drive digital transformation, you may be looking to at data centers for the first time or migrating to a different facility to enable your businesses’ growth.

But there are likely a lot of choices and questions: Will my data be secure? Is the connectivity reliable? How much will this cost?

We will answer all these questions and more at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out how choose the best data center for your digital transformation needs.

Get involved in conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

Legacy data protection technology is severely hindering digital transformation say global enterprise CXOs

Almost half of global organisations are being hindered in their digital transformation journeys by legacy data protection technology and IT skills shortages.

The latest industry data in the Veeam 2020 Data protection Trends Report revealed that 40% of organisations rely on legacy systems to protect their data, with 95% of enterprises suffering unexpected outages lasting almost two hours on average.

“Legacy solutions were intended to protect data in physical data centers in the past, but they’re so outdated and complex that they cost more money, time, resources and trouble than realized,” said Danny Allan, the CTO and SVP of Product Strategy at Veeam.

Downtime and outages can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, pointing to an urgent need to modernise systems including data protection and move to focus on business continuity to enable digital transformation.

Mr Allan added: “It’s great to see the global drive to embrace technology to deliver a richer user experience, however the Achilles’ Heel still seems to be how to protect and manage data across the hybrid cloud.”

The appetite for digital transformation certainly exists at the top of most CXOs agendas, as spending is expected to hit US$7.4 trillion between 2020 and 2023. Respondents in the study also reported that data delivered through IT has become the heart and soul of their business.

But Veeam believes leaders must move data protection beyond outdated legacy systems for real digital transformation to happen.

“Data protection is more important than ever now to help organizations continue to meet their operational IT demands while also aspiring towards DX and IT modernization,” said Mr Allan.

Data is often spread across data centers and cloud through file shares, shared storage and Software-as-a-Service platforms like Google Cloud, AWS, Alibaba Cloud and more.

Mr Allan believed that legacy tools designed to back up on-premise file shares and applications can’t succeed in the hybrid or multi-cloud world, as they cost companies time and money while putting data at risk.

The report by Veeam also discovered half of businesses recognise that cloud has a pivotal part to play in today’s data protection strategy. The Cloud Data Management provider argued that a company needs a comprehensive solution that supports cloud, virtual and physical data management for any application and any data across any cloud in order to achieve a truly modernised data protection plan.

What is the data protection situation like in Asia Pacific?

In Asia Pacific and Japan, the research by the backup solutions provider found that 22% of organisations did not back up their data, which is higher than the global average of 14%.

“Many CIOs are increasing their data protection efforts, but the reality is that systems can easily fall prey to unplanned outages. When this happens, organisations scramble to put their systems back online,” said Shaun McLagan, the Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan at Veeam.

One in ten organisations also report an “availability gap” between how fast they can recover applications compared to how fast they actually need to recover them, and 90% have a “protection gap” between how frequently they back up their data versus how much data they can afford to lose after an outage.

Mr McLagan added: “To solve this, organisations should modernize their data protection solutions, which goes far beyond backup.”

Businesses are advised to prevent security breaches and ransomware attacks by having offsite and offline backups as well as adequate training for staff, particularly as cybersecurity threats continue to grow.

To prevent attacks, local governments should also advocate for legislation that ensures a strong culture of security like Malaysia’s National Cyber Security Policy.

Ben Chua, a young cybersecurity pioneer in Singapore, said during W.Media’s first Power Talk: “The only way we can do security well is to educate every single citizen of the nation where the whole nation becomes digitally resilient together.”

According to Veeam, ransomware and cyberthreats is the number one challenge faced by organisations, costing an average of US$80,000 to restore data.

The Veeam 2020 Data Protection Trends Report surveyed more than 1,500 global enterprises to understand their approach toward data protection and management. They were surveyed on how they expect to be prepared for the IT challenges they face, including reacting to demand changes and interruptions in service as well as more aspirational goals of IT modernization and digital transformation.

> Rewatch our digital event on Digital Transformation Through the Lens of CXOs

Google Cloud partners with XL Axiata to drive cloud migration in Indonesia

Google Cloud has entered into two strategic partnerships with XL Axiata to drive cloud migration and further digital transformation strategies in Indonesia.

As a leading telecommunications provider, XL Axiata aims to migrate 70% of workloads to the cloud within the next three years.

“XL Axiata is committed to the modernization of our infrastructure to get more business agility and increase application deployment velocity,” said Yessie D Yosetya, the Chief Information and Digital Officer at XL Axiata.

The Indonesian cellular provider will adopt Google Cloud’s Anthos to securely and consistently automate, manage and scale workloads across its hybrid- and multi-cloud environments.

Ms Yosetya added: “Anthos was a natural fit as it lets us adopt containers while letting Google, a leader in Kubernetes, manage our container infrastructure for us.”

The app modernisation platform known as Anthos will enable XL Axiata to extend its cloud capabilities across on-premise data centers and various cloud-based resources by using Google’s Kubernetes Engine.

“With Anthos, we’re providing a consistent platform for XL Axiata to deploy workloads both on-premises and in the cloud so they can accelerate their own digital transformation,” said Megawaty Khie, the Country Director of Google Cloud in Indonesia.

Transferring data between XL Axiata’s five data centers and Google’s global network

As part of the second partnership, XL Axiata has become a Google Cloud Interconnect Partner, which will bring high-speed connectivity, cloud services and digital growth opportunities.

Customers in Indonesia will be empowered to reliably transfer data between XL Axiata’s five data centers and Google’s global network.

Ms Khie said: “Our collaboration around Partner Interconnect will enable companies of all sizes in Indonesia to gain access to high-speed connectivity to create a whole new world of experiences for their customers.”

As part of the Interconnect partnership, Google’s Dedicated Interconnect service provides physical connections between XL Axiata’s data center network and the Google Cloud network through a private network rather than public Internet.

“This is indeed a win-win collaboration with XL Axiata,” celebrated Ms Khie.

A private network typically delivers ‘fewer points of failure where traffic might usually get dropped or disrupted and offers the added benefit of increased security and management functionality’.

XL Axiata also has plans to implement Google Cloud’s scalable data analytics platform to enhance customer experiences through data- and AI-driven technologies.

Leveraging on Indonesia’s cloud boom

Indonesia’s cloud market is booming, with a number of new hyperscale data centers announced by organisations, including Princeton Digital Group, Google, Alibaba Cloud, AWS and Microsoft.

“Service providers worldwide are embarking on transformation journeys centered on the cloud in order to drive new services, revenue opportunities and experiences,” said Ms Khie in a press release on Tuesday 9 June.

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

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.

XL Axiata’s partnership with Google Cloud looks to ‘serve the evolving needs of millions of companies across Indonesia’s rapidly digitizing economy’ by empowering cloud migration and digital transformation.

Last year, Princeton Digital Group, a leading investor, developer and operator of Internet infrastructure, acquired a 70% stake in XL Axiata’s data centers to give them a strong foundation to grow their business in Indonesia.

Following this acquisition, PDG looks to develop two new hyperscale greenfield builds that are slated to be ready by 2022.

Looking to migrate your data?

As more data center options become available throughout the world, you may be looking to migrate your data for optimum operational efficiency and digital transformation.

You might be overwhelmed by the amount of choices and questions you may have: Will this enable my digital transformation plans? Will my data be secure? How much will this cost?

We will answer all these questions and more at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out how you can migrate your data effectively.

Get involved in conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

Princeton Digital Group targets untapped potential for hybrid cloud data centers amid rapid cloud computing growth in Indonesia

The data center landscape in Indonesia is growing exponentially, as industry players like Princeton Digital Group look to tap into a market full of large domestic enterprise customers, SMEs and a broad swath of global  multinational corporations.

To keep up with demand, Princeton Digital Group, a leading investor, developer and operator of Internet infrastructure, is developing two new hyperscale greenfield builds that are slated to be ready by 2022. One will be adjacent to their Cibitung facility in Jakarta and the other new build will be interconnected to their existing site in Surabaya.

Stephanus Tumbelaka, Princeton Digital Group’s Managing Director of Indonesia, said: “This market is quite dynamic and it has a significant amount of upside growth potential.”

Due to rising digitisation and Internet traffic, Indonesia’s data center market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 11%, with more than US$1 billion in investments.

Mr Tumbelaka said: “As you look across the entire country, Indonesia has many metro markets outside of Jakarta that have limited data center facilities and overall capacity.”

Along with the new facilities, Princeton Digital Group plans to upgrade their five existing facilities.

PDG has the most carrier neutral facilities in Indonesia, covering both Java and Sumatra islands and servicing customers across four different markets: Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung and Pekenbaru. 

Mr Tumbelaka added: “Indonesia is the world’s 14th largest country by land mass, therefore operators who only operate in a single metro or perhaps a single facility have a limited view of customers throughout Indonesia.”

Cloud computing boom creates untapped potential for hybrid solutions

Indonesia is projected to witness the fastest growth for cloud computing among the ASEAN countries, with tech giants like Alibaba Cloud, AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure entering the scene.

Mr Tumbelaka said: “The growth of the cloud computing market should help facilitate the growth of the data center infrastructure sector. This has been seen in other markets throughout Asia Pacific that PDG operates in.”

The Government’s proposed data protection law and recent data localization regulations may also positively impact both the local data center and cloud services market, as companies will be required to store their data locally in Indonesia.

This uptake in cloud computing reveals untapped potential for hybrid cloud solutions that require third party data center facilities like Princeton Digital Group’s to provide enterprise customers with global leading operational support and flexible commercial structures.

“We don’t feel that PDG competes with cloud service providers, rather they are our customers,” said Mr Tumbelaka.

Princeton Digital Group noticed more enterprise and public sector customers are active in all metros they operate in, indicating that customers are considering migrating infrastructure into third party colocation facilities.

Princeton Digital Group takes a proactive stance to overcome the challenges of rapid growth 

A rapidly developing market like Indonesia’s requires Government support to help investment climates. 

Data center operators should deploy to multiple metro markets to capture a significant amount of the domestic business.

Mr Tumbelaka said: “As the largest carrier neutral data center operator in Indonesia with facilities across four different metro markets, we have a unique perspective.”

PDG takes a proactive stance in the industry by reaching out across many different government agencies and industry groups to ensure their perspective is heard and that they are engaged in various discussions.

He added: “In addition to the hyperscaler cloud providers, we feel that we are well positioned to also be able to assist local enterprise customers and MNCs with their data center infrastructure requirements.”

Operators should look to enable the entire ecosystem of the data center community to achieve long term success since Indonesia’s market is less established compared to other countries.

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.

The challenge of having sustainable sources of electricity to cope with the scale of the market may also impact Indonesia’s market

To overcome this, Princeton Digital Group focuses on building data centers towards global standards of energy efficient building codes such as BREEAM and LEED.

“Princeton Digital Group operates data centers across Asia Pacific and we align our operations and construction processes to meet or exceed local regulations and building codes,” said Mr Tumbelaka.  

PDG has conducted operations optimisation programs focusing on energy efficiency within the core mechanical and electrical systems in their five existing facilities since taking over operations in December.

Their new developments in Jakarta and Surabaya will look to meet or exceed local regulations and building codes by working with technology and construction partners to ensure compliance with PDG’s practices during the entire life cycle of the project.

Princeton Digital Group aims to continue their strategy to deliver high-quality data centers to both the Indonesian enterprise market and the global hyperscale community with their new and existing facilities.

> Find out more about Princeton Digital Group

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

Vietnam sets ambitious plans to become a digital society and develop the IT sector

The Vietnam Government is looking to become a digital society by experimenting with new technologies and setting a target of having 10 big IT businesses with revenues of over US$1 billion.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister, Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, approved the National Digital Transformation Programme, which strives to completely renovate Government operations and stimulate a digital economy by 2030.

Developing a truly digital society in Vietnam

The Vietnam Government believes to truly achieve a digital society, access to Internet and mobile networks must be accessible by all communities. 

Plans have been developed to provide fiber optic network infrastructure reaching out to more than 80% of households and 100% of communes nationwide by 2025.

The Government also aims to make 4G and 5G mobile network services and smartphones universally accessible as well as enable an Internet of Things infrastructure.

> Discover the best digital infrastructures to enable your digital transformation needs

Vietnam is predicted to be amongst the top 50 countries in the information and communication technology development index within the next five years as well as ranking in the top 50 for global competitiveness and top 35 for global innovation.

As a result, the digital economy is forecast to make up 20% of Vietnam’s GDP.

Vietnam empowers local businesses to become global leaders

Currently, Vietnam has a large number of domestic enterprises, but 99% are small in size and have a limited ability to participate or compete in the global value chain.

The Ministry of Information and Communication rushed to build a draft decision to approve an IT development programme by 2025 with a vision to have 10 big businesses that are able to compete internationally and achieve a revenue of over US$1 billion.

Nguyen Thanh Tuyen, Deputy Head of the Ministry’s Information and Technology Department, said the programme aimed to make Vietnam’s IT industry a big economic sector with rapid and sustainable growth, based on achievements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

With a target of 50,000 IT and telecom firms in the country, the sector would provide momentum for the country’s digitalisation and digital economy.

The Ministry hopes the revenue growth of the IT sector would be double the country’s GDP growth, but right now 98% of total export revenue comes from Foreign Direct Investment.

To achieve this, local businesses must master software and IT services by 90% of products and solutions for e-government construction, digital transformation, transport and smart agriculture.

A software park in Hanoi’s Long Bien District is being constructed to enable this. Tran Van Dung, Vice Chairman of Tien Giang Province People’s Committee, also plans to build a software park in Mekong to to attract human resource for the IT sector

While in the hardware sector, the programme aims to have domestic IT firms produce equipment for 5G networks.

The programme also looks to have 60% of the population using locally developed social networks and 40% using domestically-made search engines.

Phan Tam, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, said the IT, electronics and telecom sector has seen rapid development with extremely important achievements in the past five years.

IT products, especially mobile phones and computers, took first and third place among top 10 key export staples of Vietnam in 2019 with a trade surplus of $28 billion.

Software revenue for Vietnam reached US$5 billion in 2019 at a growth rate of 17.7% since 2009.

Overall, the IT, electronics and telecommunication sector creates more than one million jobs and generated a massive US$112.5 billion in 2019, which is double that of 2015.

The country is also experiencing a year-on-year growth rate of 17% in the cloud sector, bringing in US$2.4 billion. And with these advancements come the increasing need for data centers in the country.

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

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.

It’s an exciting time to keep watch of Vietnam’s digital industries and economy, considering the huge impact it makes to society and clear focus by the government to compete globally in the technology industry.

Which data center is best for your digital needs?

As Vietnam moves towards becoming a digital society by 2030, the need for data centers will increase in order to empower the digital economy.

Businesses will need to choose the best place to store and process their data for optimum operational efficiency and innovation.

Whether you’re migrating to a different system or choosing one for the first time, this competition makes for an overwhelming amount of choices when selecting the best data center for your needs.

Should you choose one that’s closer or further away? Will it allow me to scale? Is it reliably powered?

We will answer all these questions and more at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out which data center is best for you.

Get involved in conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

Singapore Government looks to accelerate digitalisation and tackle COVID-19 with $3.5 billion ICT spend increase

The Singapore Government has announced it will spend $3.5 billion on information and communications technology in 2020 to accelerate digitalisation and support businesses.

This is an increase of 30% from 2019’s spend of $2.7 billion. The money will be used to help citizens and workers in Singapore resume normal activities, said the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) in a press release on Monday 8 June.

Mr Kok Ping Soon, the Chief Executive of GovTech, said: “As we take on the new normal of COVID-19, we are re-engineering our back-end digital infrastructure, which underpins the delivery of front-end government digital services to citizens, businesses and public officers.”

The movement to digitally transform Singapore has been going on for quite some time by developing plans for the Future Economy and investing heavily to upgrade workers through SkillsFuture, digitalising the public and private sectors and building innovation capabilities. 

Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, addressed the nation on Sunday 7 June: “All this has enabled us to stand out in Asia and the world. Nobody can predict what exactly the world will look like after COVID-19 but however things turn out, these Future Economy strategies will stand us in good stead.”

Singapore’s modernised digital infrastructure helps to fight COVID-19

The Singapore Government’s investment in digitalisation, focusing on leveraging cloud and modernising ICT infrastructure, has been instrumental in the country’s technological response to the pandemic.

By using cloud infrastructure, GovTech engineers were able to build the TraceTogether contact tracing application and wearable technology. 

The wearable technology known as the TraceTogether token has been met with controversy, as some online have labelled this a “GPS tracking device”.

Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who is in charge of Singapore’s Smart Nation Initiative, reassured users in a press conference: “It is not a tracking device. There is no GPS chip on the device. There isn’t even any Internet or mobile telephone connectivity.”

The data on the device is ‘only bluetooth proximity data’, which is encrypted and stays on the device. The data is only uploaded to the Ministry of Health if a user tests positive for COVID-19.

Along with TraceTogether, the Government has also used digital infrastructures and artificial intelligence to roll out services, including SafeEntry for a National Digital Check-in System, MaskGoWhere to help Singaporeans find mask collection points and SPOTON to support safe social distancing operations using an AI-powered robot.

GovTech said: “By modernising its ICT infrastructure, the Government enabled the large number of public officers to continue to serve the public by working from home seamlessly, aided by digital tools.”

The pandemic accelerated digitalisation plans in Singapore

The COVID-19 outbreak has brought forward ICT projects by agencies, including tech solutions to the pandemic as well as Sport Singapore’s ActiveSG Circle, which was launched in April 2020.

The Active SG Circle initiative looks to elevate the sporting industry in Singapore by offering a ‘virtual super sport club’ with a ‘rich repository to inspire and enable citizens to live better and maintain their active lifestyles’ beyond the pandemic.

On top of this, the Singapore Government will carry forward digitalisation for the whole nation by investing heavily in projects like the National Digital Identity and Moments of Life, which will integrate public services onto a single digital platform.

Migration of eligible ICT systems onto commercial cloud will continue as part of the five-year Government on Commercial Cloud initiative that began in 2018. The Digital Workplace Programme will also encourage modernisation of ICT infrastructures, which hopes to empower public officers.

Supporting the digital transformation of Singapore’s SMEs

As part of the Government’s increase in ICT spending, small and medium-sized enterprises will be eligible to participate in 80% of these potential procurement opportunities.

The Government will put up bulk tenders with a projected value of $1.2 billion with the hopes of broadening the chance for SMEs to participate in and win ICT contracts with government agencies.

GovTech has sought to streamline and improve SMEs access to these opportunities by working with the Ministry of Finance to incorporate dynamic contracting and shortening the ICT procurement process.

Bulk tenders will include services such as User Experience Design, Agile Development, Application Development, Data Science, AI and more.

In the last financial year, SMEs were awarded nearly 70% of the total ICT contracts.

SimplifyNext was awarded the robotics process automation bulk tender for the whole of the Singapore Government. Their work looked to help customers deploy software that automated business processes.

“Unlike larger companies, SMEs like us have limited resources and we used to spend more time trying to win contracts than to deliver them,” said Mayank Gupta, the Managing Director of SimplifyNext.

The bulk tender has since helped SimplifyNext open many doors for the company to do business with Government agencies.

Strengthening the future tech community and digital economy

GovTech has set up a number of initiatives to strengthen the technology community.

The Singapore Government Developer Portal has been soft-launched in order to help developers learn more about GovTech’s products and how they can work to co-create digital solutions with the agency.

GovTech said: “The portal will be a platform for the tech community to engage and share ideas on technology and their possible applications for public good.”

The technology community will also be given the chance to strengthen their engagement through more STACK-X meet-ups, which focus on topics like Cybersecurity, Cloud Strategy, Data Science, User Experience Design and Software Engineering.

To further develop the community and accelerate the pace of digitalisation in Singapore, GovTech is actively recruiting fresh graduates and experienced technology professionals as part of the SGUnited Jobs initiative.

There are currently more than 400 vacancies available in roles such as software engineers, digital business analysts, cybersecurity specialists, data scientists, AI engineers and infrastructure specialists.

This search for talent will be enhanced by GovTech’s five-week recruitment drive known as TechHunt to find ‘applicants who believe in tech for public good’.

Overall, the Government’s ICT expenditure will focus on five key areas to accelerate digitalisation in Singapore:

  • Development of new tech tools to respond to COVID-19
  • Development of citizen- and business-centric digital services
  • Development of ICT systems on cloud
  • Modernisation of government ICT infrastructure
  • Use of data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and sensors within the public sector.

More details on the Government’s digitalisation efforts and areas for spending will be provided from Wednesday 10 June onwards.

Get started with your digitalisation by choosing the best data center for your needs

With the vast digitalisation and empowerment of cloud migration taking place in Singapore, businesses will need to choose the best place to store and process their data for optimum operational efficiency and innovation.

Whether you’re migrating to a different system or choosing one for the first time, you will need to ask yourself a number of questions. Should you choose one that’s closer or further away? Will it allow me to scale? Is it reliably powered?

We will answer all these questions and more at our ‘Data Center Selection & Migration in Asia Pacific’ digital event on Thursday 23 July.

Register for free today to find out which data center is best for you.

Get involved in conversation and connect with your peers on LinkedIn and Facebook using #WMediaEvent!

Why South Korea is a perfect place to set up a data center

South Korea is one of the most technologically advanced and digitally connected countries in the world with constant innovations that make it a perfect place to set up a data center.

Don’t believe us? South Korea has the fastest local Internet speeds in the world with almost 90% of the population having access. 

The country is also the number one producer of mobile phones and semiconductors and is ranked first in the world in Bloomberg’s 2019 Innovation Index for the sixth year running.

And the innovations are expected to continue, as businesses are forecast to spend US$3 billion on cloud services and the Government is investing heavily in innovative technologies to boost infrastructure and economic growth in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

All these advancements are increasing the need for data centers to keep South Korea digitally alive by storing and processing an extraordinary amount of data.

Data center competition is heating up in South Korea

South Korea is seeing an increase in data center investments from global tech giants and data center providers, with even more expected from the increasing requirements brought by demand for cloud services and mobile technology.

A total of 16 data centers are scheduled to come online in 2020, adding to the 155 existing facilities in the country.

With all this progress, Cushman and Wakefield ranked South Korea twelfth in the world for data center growth and market size in 2019. The country’s ICT adoption is also ranked top in the world by the World Economic Forum in 2019.

As a result, South Korea is forecast to be one of the five leading revenue generators for APAC that, together, will produce 80% of the overall data center revenue amounting to US$32bn in the region by 2023.

But what makes it such an attractive place to do business?

Location, Location, Location

Seoul is the fourth-largest metropolitan economy in the world with more than 25 million living in the country’s capital – that’s almost half of South Korea’s population! It is also known for its powerful and stable IT infrastructure, with a strong potential talent pool from top universities in the city.

Following a rush to build data centers in South Korea last year, an unnamed Seoul-based IT company said to The Korea Times: “Korea and China are geographically close, which will make it easier to make inroads into the market there … Korea is relatively safe from natural disasters such as earthquakes compared to Japan.”

The country is a perfect place to set up data centers, as it is in an opportune location to provide connection points to both China and East Asia with low risk of natural disasters and at an affordable price compared to other markets in Asia Pacific.

> Register now for Digital Realty’s Virtual Groundbreaking of their first data center in South Korea

On average, electricity prices cost between US$0.10 to US$0.12 per kilowatt hour, with an estimated capital expenditure of US$8-10k kWh.

It is no surprise that with all that South Korea has to offer, it has produced global market leaders like Samsung, Hyundai, Kia Motors and LG Electronics.

Explosive growth in cloud computing drives up data center demand

South Korea’s public cloud market is forecast to double in size over the next four years to an astounding US$3.1 billion and an annual growth rate of 15%. The country also moved up to fifth place from seventh place in the 2020 Cloud Readiness Index by The Asia Cloud Computing Association.

Companies like Samsung, LG and 11 affiliates of CJ Group as well as organisations in e-commerce, online gaming and financial services are all looking to transition to the cloud to take advantage of cloud computing service providers in the near future.

This explosive growth is likely to increase the demand for data centers in South Korea, as cloud service providers look to lease data center space to empower companies that are looking to sell their own data centers and migrate to the cloud.

Huge investments in the Fourth Industrial Revolution pushes data centers into the future

On top of significant investments to support cloud computing services, the South Korean Government is set to funnel billions of dollars into 5G, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and big data.

At the start of the year the Government announced it would spend US$3.9 billion on innovative technology to boost research and development as well as another $2.1 billion on semiconductors, bio-health and “future car technology”. 

Then, once the global pandemic hit and President Moon Jae-in was re-elected, the Government would spend US$62 billion on a ‘new deal’ that largely focuses on the power of technological innovation to reshape the post-pandemic economy.

And by 2022, the country hopes to create one of the first hyper-connected cities by harnessing an enterprise-grade city-wide Internet of Things network.

But there are hitches along the way. Despite being a leader in 5G with now more than 6 million subscribers, users in South Korea have complained of difficulties staying connected to the fifth-generation wireless network.

Professor Yunmook Nah, a board member of Korea Data Center Council, said: “The rapid expansion of AI-based applications and their big data sources in all areas of society will surely increase computing and storage requirements, which will require much more cloud computing resources and data centers.”

Inevitably, both the advancements and challenges brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution innovations will push data center demand into the future to keep users connected and sustain the exponentially growing amount of data being produced in South Korea.

Overcoming the challenges of expanding into the South Korea data center market

Like any country, setting up a data center in South Korea comes with its challenges. 

One of the biggest hurdles to jump over for data center providers is finding available greenfield or brownfield sites with reliable power supplies. To overcome this, data center providers are building upwards with multi-storey data centers.

To solve the problem of powering new data centers, Joon-hwa Song, Team Lead for the Korea Data Center Council (KDCC), said operators are signing power supply contracts through individual negotiations with the Korea Electric Power Corporation.

The KDCC also looks to address power supply demand by appealing to the Government about the national importance of data centers and its industrial growth.

Another challenge identified by the KDCC is the shortage of data center operators to sustain the rise in facilities. To rectify this, KDCC is preparing to operate a specialist training programme.

Despite the growing appetite for cloud computing in South Korea, the country’s strict data localisation rules may slow down the availability of cloud services and the ability of data centers to enable adoption, particularly those provided by international organisations based outside of South Korea.

Regulations in the country state that only Korean companies operating servers in Korea are allowed to provide services to public institutions.

The Asia Cloud Computing Association recommended countries like South Korea that have ‘Cloud First’ policies to focus on making them a reality and implement policies that allow data-driven businesses to thrive without having to choose between innovation and disruption.

South Korea also recently amended the Network Act and Personal Information Protection Act to streamline and harmonise the use of personal information as well as facilitate a level of protection similar to GDPR in Europe, which could restrict the free flow of data.

But Professor Nah said: “Data 3 Act will promote wide spread use of personal data in alias form or anonymised form, enabling new businesses to utilise public big data in areas such as healthcare, finance and digital government. This Act will definitely accelerate the adoption of data economy.”

Despite the challenges, South Korea’s digital future is clearly bright, as they lead the way in technological innovations. 

If these challenges are overcome, then the country may be a force to be reckoned with for years to come and an inspiration to emerging markets looking to harness the power of data centers to empower digital transformation and adoption of innovations from the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Take a peek into the future of data centers in South Korea

South Korea’s digital future is clearly bright, as they lead the way in technological innovations. But what will it take to meet the connectivity demands and empower digital transformation in the country?

Join industry peers as we take a look at how South Korea’s bustling digital economy will be powered by the backbone of reliable data centers and state of the art infrastructure like Digital Realty’s first South Korean data center.

Register now for Digital Realty’s Virtual Groundbreaking on 17 June.

Get involved in the celebrations on LinkedIn and Facebook using #DigitalRealtyLaunch, #CongratsDigitalRealty, #DigitalSeoul1 and #WMediaEvent!

New security system using AI and cloud technology looks to reduce car theft and greenhouse gas emissions in Thailand

Frasers Property Thailand has launched a new innovative security system that uses artificial intelligence and cloud databases in the hopes of reducing car theft and greenhouse gas emissions.

The project known as Dashway equips CCTV cameras with the ability to recognise license plates, predict traffic density and calculate exhaust emissions in real-time.

These enhanced security abilities to keep Thailand safe from premise intrusions and parking violations are powered by machine learning embedded in cloud databases.

Dashway’s data visualisation displays information on traffic density and exhaust emissions.

Display license plate recognition information and classification of cars enter-exit

Yan Khek Wee, the EVP of Investment Property for Frasers Property Thailand, said: “Dashway helps to reduce our operation costs and also provides a seamless experience to our customers.”

The project will be deployed for the first time at Frasers Property Logistics Park to solve the problem of manually handling site security of the facility that accommodates more than 2,000 vehicles per day.

Dashway will provide a non-intrusive experience for customers by deploying Automatic License Plate Recognition technology connected to barrier gates, allowing authorised personnel into the park and reducing traffic congestion.

The project’s Automatic Intruder Detection technology captures 360-degree movement

Geo-fencing technology (GFA)

The cloud database will store information on the types of vehicles to enable predictive analysis and even a future use for targeted advertising.

The project provides real-time notifications to security teams and visualisations of the data to help keep Thailand safe from car theft and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This article is produced in partnership with TCC Tech.

Sunseap celebrates first anniversary for one of the largest solar farm projects in Vietnam, benefiting 200,000 citizens

One year ago, Sunseap went live with one of the largest solar farm projects in Vietnam that benefited 200,000 citizens and generated up to 2,000 jobs.

The Ninh Thuan Solar Power farm has since led to the reduction of 240,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

“I am most proud of the fact that we utilised land that would otherwise be wasted. Now, we have a project that produces a good amount of renewable energy and helps to develop the social economy for the local people,” said Mr. Truong Thanh Kien, a Plant Manager for Sunseap Vietnam.

The natural conditions of the deserted land was originally unfavourable for the construction of the solar farm in Vietnam.

Mr Truong said: “Since I took my first steps on arriving here, I have been in love with this area, as it is deserted and very close to nature.”

With support from InfraCo Asia and the local government, Sunseap was able to invest in quality equipment to overcome this challenge.

Initially, local residents in Vietnam voiced their concern about how the solar farm project would affect the environment and the clearance compensation.

“Their attitude changed when they realised that the compensation package given by the state was generous and they saw job opportunities that would generate income for their family,” said Ms. Ha Thi Thu Nga, a Community Relations Officer for Sunseap Vietnam, in a video by InfraCo Asia.

In the end, the 168-MWp solar farm in Vietnam was completed two weeks ahead of schedule in June 2019.

Ms. Ha celebrated: “The thing I am most proud of in this project is that it has helped to improve the economic development and the quality of life of the local community.”

Solving energy shortages in Vietnam to power a digital future

The threat of blackouts is typical of most fast-growing economies like Vietnam, which could slow down digital transformation and plans for smart cities in the country. 

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.

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.

Data centers are also one of the biggest culprits of producing carbon emissions, which Vietnam looks to reduce by aiming to produce 23% of its energy through renewables by 2030.

Allard Nooy, CEO of InfraCo Asia, said: “Developing the Ninh Thuan Solar Power Plant in partnership with Sunseap supports InfraCo Asia’s aim to serve as a catalyst for future infrastructure development in the countries and sectors in which we work.”

Solar farms like Sunseap’s could go some way to powering Vietnam’s environmentally friendly digital future.

National University of Singapore looks to make data centers the coolest, but not the coldest with sustainable hybrid solution

The National University of Singapore (NUS) has successfully completed test-bedding for their high-efficiency hybrid cooling solution for green data centers.

The solution achieved a partial power usage effectiveness (pPUE) score of approximately 1.2 with the scope of dropping below an impressive 1.1, close to the ideal score of 1.

Google, for example, has an average PUE score of 1.11, but boasts a score as low as 1.06 using narrower boundaries.

“The power densities of servers are getting higher and higher with every new generation, so much so that air cooling will one day no longer be effective in dealing with the amount of heat generated by the chips,” said Professor PS Lee, the Programme Director of Cooling Energy Science and Technology at NUS.

The University is in discussion with data center operators to quantify the actual energy and cost saving potential of the solution by conducting comparative studies against air-cooled servers in real-world environments.

Prof. Lee added: “The system as it is, is ready for commercial deployment.  We are open to various commercialisation possibilities, such as licensing of our technology and providing consultation services on heat sink or cold plate designs.”

Professor Lee has incorporated a company known as CoolestDC Pte Ltd to enable the commercial deployment of the hybrid cooling solution.

In the testing phase, the pPUE measured was for just one rack of 20 servers with a simple control, so there is scope to drop below an impressive 1.1 after scaling up, correctly sizing equipment and using smart controls like AI.

Prof. Lee said: “With implementation of machine learning and artificial intelligence using big data, the system would be able to predict and automatically adjust to meet cooling requirements and the system capacity, based on the trend of compute load and weather conditions. This can minimize the power consumption of the cooling equipment.”

How does the National University of Singapore’s hybrid cooling solution work?

The hybrid cooling solution involves separating the cooling process based on heat dissipation of the components on the server. The high heat dissipation components such as the CPUs and GPUs are liquid-cooled using a high-performance oblique-fin heat sink, while those that dissipate low heat are air-cooled.

By operating at warmer temperatures above the ambient air temperature, the solution eliminates the need for ‘two of the most energy consuming pieces of equipment in the data center’, as a cooled water supply created via a chiller or air conditioning using a computer room air conditioning (CRAC) unit is not required.

“For air-cooled DC, given that air is inherently a lousy heat transfer medium, there is a limit on how high the inlet air temperature can go before the reliability of electronics gets affected,” said Dr Lee.

With the removal of a CRAC, raised floors and overhead plenums can be eliminated, resulting in less mechanical and electrical maintenance, the potential for lower costs and a quicker construction of a data center.

Prof. Lee added: “Our high performance liquid or two-phase cooled DC allows the inlet fluid temperature to be pushed much higher, making it viable for waste heat recovery and reuse.”

The oblique-fin heat sinks are also said to be able to provide better cooling to servers, making them more efficient, contributing to additional savings of ITE power.

The system is designed to be highly flexible to make use of existing infrastructures like hot-aisles and cooling towers and be deployed in new and brownfield data centers with minimal additional capital expenditure.

As a result of lower energy consumption PUE scores, the hybrid cooling solution could help data centers meet the Singapore Green Data Centre Standards.

Prof. Lee strongly believes the time is now for data center operators and server manufacturers to start using or getting prepared to use liquid-cooled services.

The three big wins from Professor Lee’s testing include:

  • The ‘world’s highest performance liquid cooling technology
  • A Power Usage Effectiveness score of <1.1
  • 40% server power savings and substantial performance improvement.

What’s next for NUS?

Works are underway at NUS for the next generation leakage-free, server-level cooling solution, which employs on-demand two-phase cooling based on the compute load of the servers.

Prof. Lee said: “This revolutionary solution is highly reconfigurable and can be deployed in both new and brownfield DCs.”

NUS is also looking to adopt deep reinforcement learning algorithms to provide smart control to their hybrid cooling systems. Prof. Lee hopes this will lead to optimum data center operations that balance reliability, energy consumption, carbon footprint and cost.

In another project unrelated to Prof. Lee’s projects, Keppel Data Centres is working with NUS to develop new prototypes that cool data centers and reduce their carbon footprint by harnessing cold energy released from the LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) regasification process after entering into a partnership in 2019.

VMware brings Automation Cloud Service to Southeast Asia, boosting data center capacity

VMware announced today it will bring their vRealize Automation Cloud Service to Southeast Asia through general availability in Singapore.

The American-based innovator in enterprise software announced in a press release that the service will boost data center capacity, streamline application delivery and allow for rapid scalability.

VMware hopes this will empower businesses to fast-track innovation and help them pivot towards Southeast Asia’s mobile-first, app-driven economy.

Sanjay K. Deshmukh, VMware’s Vice President and Managing Director for SEAK, said: “As more companies anchor their operations in Singapore to leapfrog into Southeast Asia’s app-driven digital economy, it is critical that they foster greater collaboration and agility to spur business innovation.”

The service is also expected to enhance accessibility and security by allowing all data to be hosted locally in Singapore.

The VMware vRealize Automation Cloud Service works with other cloud providers like AWS, Azure, GCP and VMC to ‘foster collaboration between developers and IT operators’.

The service consists of VMware’s Cloud Assembly, Service Broker and Code Stream products that automates multi-cloud experiences and ensures continuous delivery of applications in line with DevOps.

Singapore recently lost the top spot in the Asia Cloud Computing Association Cloud Readiness Index. The announcement of VMware’s service could help businesses take advantage of ‘leapfrog’ technology like AI, 5G and the Internet of Things to reclaim the number one position and remain competitive with emerging markets.

The World Bank ranked Singapore in second place amongst 190 economies for ease of doing business, which made it ‘an ideal hub for businesses looking to ride on Southeast Asia’s growing digital economy’ for VMware, the number one ranked provider in IDC Cloud System Management Software Report.

Is Asia Pacific at risk of losing out on post-pandemic economic recovery by not leveraging on next-generation cloud computing?

The Asia Cloud Computing Association revealed markets in Asia Pacific risk losing out on post-pandemic economic recovery by not taking advantage of next-generation cloud computing technologies.

In the current economic climate affected by the pandemic, some markets seem to have paused on technology and digital infrastructure investments, despite cloud readiness advancing in APAC.

The Executive Director of the Asia Cloud Computing Association, May-Ann Lim, said: “These observations are of concern to us at the ACCA.”

The findings were detailed in the ACCA’s 2020 Cloud Readiness Index. The CRI 2020 discovered that some of the hardest-hit economies with high infection rates were also some of the top scorers, including Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Ms Lim added: “Cloud readiness and adoption is very intimately linked with economic recovery from COVID-19, mainly because cloud readiness is a measure of digital resilience.”

Cloud computing technologies in Asia have seen an increase in usage as a result of work from home orders caused by the pandemic.

While cloud readiness scores advanced for all 14 economies in APAC, the lowest scores were found in Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia and China.

“Every economy has been impacted, and everyone would have had some slowdown of the economy, but I would say that cloud readiness is one of the measures which would contribute to a faster economic recovery,” said Ms Lim.

The low scores were found due to many economies’ fragile core capabilities in managing natural risks, privacy and cybersecurity.

Ms Lim added: “[Markets] have decided to put in regulatory restrictions around data flows at a time when the freedom to use cloud productivity tools is needed the most to recover from the economic fallout from COVID-19.”

These data localisation regulations enforced by governing bodies obstruct cross-border data flows and international connectivity required to empower the use of global cloud applications and growth of digital businesses.

The ACCA’s Cloud Readiness Index ranked 14 countries in Asia Pacific against parameters, including international connectivity, power sustainability, data center risk and cybersecurity.

Here are some highlights and recommendations to increase cloud readiness across the region.

South Korea rises through the ranks

South Korea moved up to fifth place in 2020 from seventh in 2018. The Land of the Morning Calm saw notable improvements in privacy, cybersecurity and regulatory environment, but a significant fall in data center risk and a low score in international connectivity.

Data center risk consists of natural hazards, terrorism, the quality of electricity supplies, airport connectivity and more defined by TRPC Data Center Security Risk Index.

Digital Realty, a leading global provider of data center, colocation and interconnection solutions, is set to enter into South Korea with their first carrier-neutral facility in Seoul. Following its completion in 2021, the data center will aim to boost the country’s digital economy.

Digital Realty CEO, A. William Stein, said: “South Korea is incredibly well positioned as a digital hub and center for innovation within the region, given the growing global demand for big data, mobile services and connected devices.”

> Register now for Digital Realty’s historic virtual Seoul Data Center Launch

The Asia Cloud Computing Association believes the strict data localisation rules of the Korea Internet & Security Agency has slowed the availability of cloud services, despite their Cloud Computing Act in 2015 and investments to empower digital transformation through AI and 5G. As a result, only five cloud service providers have received cloud security certifications required to provide services to the public sector, including AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud and LG CNS.

Indonesia sees a drop, despite a promising digital economy

Indonesia was described as a highly promising and dynamic digital economy. 

But the ‘Emerald of the Equator’ dropped one position to 12th due to its fall in broadband quality and little improvements in parameters apart from connectivity and cybersecurity.

Upcoming updated cybersecurity and data protection laws in Indonesia may help the country rise in the rankings by harmonising the fragmented regulation environment that exists, empowering businesses to adopt and develop new technology.

Despite relaxed data regulations, the country is also expected to experience investments worth over US1$ billion and an annual growth rate of 11% in the data center market, driven by the rise in cloud adoption.

Malaysia stays solid, but regulations slow progress

The good and possibly not so good news for Malaysia is that it was the only APAC economy not to move in the rankings since 2014, retaining its 8th place position.

The country saw sharp improvements in many parameters this year, including connectivity, energy sustainability, data center risk and connectivity. 

The Government has been active in encouraging cloud adoption by creating a data exchange hub for ministries, plans for smart cities and a digital identity platform known as MyIdentity.

But Malaysia was left in the same position due to restrictions caused by the regulatory environment, privacy laws and intellectual property protection.

The country’s position may begin to improve once it begins to tackle cybersecurity issues and educates younger generations on cloud computing.

The Philippines’ Cloud First policy couldn’t break its fall

The Philippines fell from 9th in 2018 to 11th in 2020. 

Weaker international connectivity, sustainable energy, data center risk and cloud security were amongst the reasons for this drop. 

The fall could not be saved by the country’s ‘Cloud First’ policy and regulations launched in 2017, which is still in the implementation stages today.

There may be hope for the Philippines with more connectivity coming from DITO’s new data center and an e-store to help agencies compare cloud services expected to be released this year and renewed optimism for improving broadband connectivity with initiatives like the Philippine Digital Transformation Strategy.

Singapore loses first place to Hong Kong

The Little Red Dot lost the top spot to Hong Kong in the CRI rankings, falling to second place.

Singapore missed out on first place after seeing falls in international connectivity and freedom of information beyond second place in these parameters.

The country’s proposals for floating data centers could boost its position once again by overcoming the struggles in connectivity, land sparsity and property prices

On the other hand, broadband quality and regulatory environment in cybersecurity and data protection remained strong for the country, with a progressive approach to technology.

The ACCA predicts that Singapore’s top-down approach and weaknesses in cloud governance might hinder digital competitiveness in the future, as it may struggle with adopting new technology like 5G and Internet of Things in a nimble, fast paced manner.

Could Singapore lose its top spots to emerging markets that can take advantage of these technologies and leapfrog the competition?

Thailand could be on the verge of greatness

Thailand has improved its position to ninth place after bettering its international connectivity, data center risk and privacy policies. But with improvements in connectivity and getting more of the population online comes falls in broadband quality and energy sustainability.

The ACCA predicts that Thailand is ‘on the verge of “leapfrogging” ahead of more mature economies’, but creating a flexible regulatory landscape and market dominance from tech giants over smaller, local startups might slow down the country’s digital economy.

Support for cloud readiness may come from the Thai Government after its announcement to approve funding for a $146m state cloud and data center. This will include cloud computing courses for 2,500 government officials.

Vietnam remains in last place

For the third consecutive Index, Vietnam has placed last out of 14 countries in APAC.

While the country does not rank in last place for all parameters, it has fallen behind on international connectivity, data center risk and its difficult to coordinate regulatory environment. Yet, these parameters could be improved following the completion of the country’s biggest data center by FPT Telecom.

However, Vietnam is making strides to improve its sustainable energy and cybersecurity, which is a good sign, as the country looks to power its own Silicon Valley with billion dollar investments.

How can we strengthen cloud computing readiness across Asia Pacific?

Cloud readiness enables industries and markets to get ahead of mature economies by taking advantage of ‘leapfrog’ technologies like 5G, Internet of Things, AI, automated devices, and more.

Since 2018, there has also been no new ‘Cloud First’ policies launched in any country in Asia Pacific even though these measures are recognised as the key driver for digital economies looking to harness the technological advancements empowered by cloud computing.

The ACCA recommended that those economies with ‘Cloud First’ policies focus on making them a reality, while those without these initiatives should consider doing so by supporting cloud vendor accreditation schemes and guidelines for security standards.

The cybersecurity shortcomings of one economy also jeopardise the economic dynamism of another, therefore, countries in APAC should consider aligning cybersecurity regulations with a harmonised approach.

We have seen many countries begin to adopt 5G and make investments in AI, but data localisation measures are restrictive of cloud technology and the free, inexpensive, uncomplicated flow of data across borders.

Ms Lim suggested that we need a cross-disciplinary team to provide review and advice to cross-border trade discussions. This would include both trade negotiators and cybersecurity experts, as well as the borders and customs department.

“A starting point would be to establish a structured cross-border data flow framework for data, such as the APEC CBPR. However, the discussion of cross-border data flows needs to be expanded beyond just APEC economies, and move into some other forums which include all digital economies,” said Ms Lim.

Bridging the gap between mature and emerging markets requires APAC economies to work together to enable innovation and investment in a competitive and sustainable manner.

To effectively recover from the pandemic, APAC economies should implement policies that allow data-driven businesses to thrive without having to choose between innovation and disruption.

Ms Lim advised: “One thing which governments should also focus heavily on is that cloud infrastructure and internet capacity is not evenly distributed.”

When cities went into lockdown mode, with remote working becoming commonplace, a true digital divide in Asia Pacific became apparent, Ms Lim believed, as not everyone has internet connectivity or access to cloud computing in their homes.

Ms Lim said: “Governments in SEA should look closely into the digital gaps … and look beyond the urban-rural divide, but also within cities where there may be a difference between bandwidth available for business connections, and home connections.”

To strengthen cloud readiness, Ms Lim recommended investment in data centers, any technology allowing better computing power to be managed like edge computing, as well as cybersecurity since this is the ‘the key to the castle of personal data’.

Ms Lim had an optimistic view of the future: “There is a funny meme going around at the moment, with the question ‘Who led the digital transformation of your company?’ On the list, the CEO and CTO are not selected, COVID-19 is the circled answer. I think that COVID-19 and the need to implement more remote-access to data, and more work-from-home arrangements, is going to push cloud computing usage, not just in Asia, but all over the world.”

What do you think APAC economies should do to leverage on cloud technologies while remaining compliant with government regulations?

Find out how data centers and cloud can boost digital economies

The demand for data centers is continuing to grow with the adoption of more cloud services.

In South Korea, businesses are predicted to spend a huge US$3 billion on cloud services in 2021, making the country a perfect place to expand data center operations.

Digital Realty is one such data center provider that looks to boost South Korea’s digital economy by meeting connectivity demands and empowering digital transformation through a new Seoul data center.

Be part of history, as Digital Realty virtually launch their first South Korean data center on Wednesday 17 June.

Register now to be part of South Korea’s digital future!

Samsung reveals new NAND flash facility to address data center demands in South Korea

Samsung Electronics today revealed plans for a new NAND flash facility in South Korea to meet growing data center demands.

The construction in Pyeongtaek, South Korea will expand Samsung’s NAND flash production capacity, paving the way for mass production of their V-NAND memory in the second half of 2021.

“The new investment reaffirms our commitment to sustain undisputed leadership in memory technologies, even in uncertain times”, said Cheol Choi, Executive Vice President of Memory Global Sales & Marketing at Samsung Electronics.

Samsung, the world leader in NAND flash memory for the last 18 years, expects the facility will help to address the mid and long-term demands for NAND flash memory. This is particularly important in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, fuelled by artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and 5G expansion globally and in South Korea.

Cheol Choi added: “We will continue to serve the market with the most optimised solutions available, while contributing to growth of the overall IT industry and the economy in general.”

Samsung’s sixth generation V-NAND SSD, a recent flash storage innovation, features the industry’s fastest data transfer rate to assist the smartphone and data center market.

The new facility will add to the existing NAND production lines by Samsung, including two of the world’s largest at their Pyeongtaek Campus as well as one in Hwaseong, South Korea, and Xi’an in China.

What is NAND flash memory and how can it help data centers?

NAND, short for NOT AND in boolean speak, is the most common type of flash memory technology that doesn’t require power to retain data, as it uses a metal-oxide semiconductor to provide extra charge to the memory cell when there is no power.

NAND can be found in Solid State Drives, USB flash drives and SD cards. Solid State Drives in data centers are becoming increasingly common in place of hard disk drives to store and serve data due to the decreasing costs of flash memory.

SSDs are typically faster, smaller, use less energy and have no moving parts, unlike HHDs. The advantage of NAND flash within an SSD is that it can erase and write data in less time, allows for greater storage capacity, and radiates less heat and consumes less power than other technology.

Keeping up with South Korea’s demand for data centers

The demand for data centers is continuing to grow in South Korea due to the adoption of more cloud services as well as the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Almost 90% of the country’s population has internet access and it is a valuable connection point to the rest of Asia for local and global businesses, making South Korea the perfect place to expand data center operations.

In 2021, Digital Realty, a leading global provider of data center, colocation and interconnection solutions, is set to open the first carrier-neutral data center in Seoul.

In a historic first, Digital Realty will share their plans to boost South Korea’s digital economy at a virtual launch event on Wednesday 17 June with W.Media.

Register for free to be part of history!

Join in the celebrations on LinkedIn and Facebook using #DigitalRealtyLaunch, #CongratsDigitalRealty and #WMediaEvent!

NTU Singapore and Facebook join forces to develop data center talent

Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Facebook are set to join forces to develop local data center talent with new certificate programmes and a major data investment hub.

Five courses are on offer to train and upskill local engineering talent to meet increasing demand for specialists in the data center industry.

Professor Ling San, NTU Deputy President and Provost, said: “We are very proud to contribute towards growing local talent in the data center sector through our collaboration with Facebook.”

The nine-month pilot programme will offer four specialist certificates in design engineering, network engineering, site operations and facility operations as well as one graduate certificate in international construction management.

Professor Ling San added: “With NTU’s deep expertise in emerging technologies and Facebook’s data center expertise, participants of our new certificate programmes will be able to benefit from a world-class education and stand in good stead in the future job market.”

The programme will be open to the public with funding and mid-career subsidy options provided by SkillsFuture Singapore.

NTU graduates could be part of Facebook’s data center future in Singapore

Facebook is expected to complete the construction of their huge 11 storey, 170,000 square-meter Singapore data center worth more than US$1 billion in 2022.

One of Singapore’s leading data center facilities management providers and collaborator with Facebook, CBRE Data Centre Solutions, will offer data center training and career advice for students on NTU’s new programme.

Gavin Chua, Facebook’s Head of Infrastructure Engagement in Asia, said: “When we decided to build a data center in Singapore, local talent was an important consideration for us.”

Students will learn how to build and operate efficient data centers in Singapore.

“Singapore is a global hub for data centers services, and we are pleased to help develop local talent in this increasingly critical industry,” celebrated Andy Hobbs, CBRE APAC’s Executive Director of Data Centre Solutions.

NTU engineering graduates will have the opportunity to take up these programmes to help them pivot their career into a growing industry.

NTU Vice President of Alumni and International Affairs, Professor Jimmy Hsia, said: “NTU has an alumni population of more than 247,000 graduates employed in various fields. Through the new certificate programmes … we are confident in helping equip our alumni with the industry-relevant skills necessary for their continued success in this evolving economy.”

Future courses could involve more data center players

Following the nine-month programme starting this August, the pilot by the Centre for Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE@NTU) will look to introduce more courses that could involve other data center players.

Associate Professor Shirley Lim, Executive Director of PaCE@NTU, said: “This will support the country’s drive towards becoming a smart nation as it strengthens its role in data storage and related fields like data protection, intellectual property and data security.”

NTU will consult with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and industry stakeholders to make sure the programmes meet the specific needs of business owners and working professionals in the sector.

“IMDA would like to thank NTU Singapore and Facebook for this partnership to train and groom more local talent for the data center segment of our ICT sector,” said Kiren Kumar, Assistant Chief Executive of Digital Industry and Talent Group at the IMDA.

Under the TechSkills Accelerator initiative by the IMDA, Singaporeans are able to build their industry-relevant skills with confidence and contribute to the digital economy through strong partnerships between industry leaders and academic institutions like Facebook and NTU.

Photo credit: Facebook