Panopto expands cloud video solutions with new data center in Australia

Video management system company Panopto has launched a new data center in Sydney, Australia, offering cloud-based video recording solutions to enterprises and higher education institutions in Australia and New Zealand.

The Panopto Cloud operates on multiple Amazon Web Services (AWS) availability zones, with the new data center established to respond to the accelerating global demand for video management capabilities to support distance learning and remote work.

“In the past year, demand for Panopto in Australia and New Zealand has surged, mirroring our global growth. The Panopto Cloud is built to scale, and we’re expanding in direct response to the rapid growth in distance learning and remote work,” said Sean Gorman, COO of Panopto.

Panopto Cloud leverages server redundancy technology to eliminate single points of failure to provide reliable access to Panopto in case of server failures.

Major universities, such as the University of Waikato in New Zealand, have begun storing content on the data center for its cloud-first system strategy.

“By storing our content in-region, Panopto is demonstrating its commitment to their customers in this region and it allows us to reduce operational costs whilst providing world-class continuity of service for our students and faculty,” said Eion Hall, CIO at the University of Waikato.

The Panopto Cloud is built on a multi-tenant architecture for high elastic scalability and enhanced security.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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Equinix invests $55 million in Osaka data center

Data center giant Equinix has announced plans to invest $55 million on the construction of a data center in Osaka, Japan.

The data center is set to be the company’s third International Business Exchange (IBX) facility, named OS3.

Osaka’s rising digital and financial hub

Home to many innovative startups, Osaka is fast becoming Japan’s newest digital and financial center.

“With the rising adoption of digital transformation, together with the acceleration of advanced technology such as AI and IoT, we are expecting a strong growth of demand for digital infrastructure in Japan, despite the short-term economy slowdown amid COVID-19,” said Mimei Ito, Research Manager for IT Services at IDC Japan.

Osaka ranks just behind Tokyo in terms of concentration of businesses in the country, with many firms in the region involved in important sectors such as energy, financial services, medical services, and manufacturing.

The expansion of the Equinix data center in Osaka reflects a rapid increase in the deployment of digital workloads among enterprises and their customers in Japan’s second-largest metropolitan area, which is expected to accelerate further through enhanced interconnectivity of cloud ecosystems.

“As a large metropolitan area with many global and locally based enterprises, Osaka has emerged as a significant market. In the past years, we have seen rising demand for secure, high-performance, and low-latency connectivity in the Kansai area,” said Kuniko Ogawa, Managing Director of Equinix Japan.

OS3’s establishment is hoped to contribute greatly to the digital ecosystem in the region, offering close proximity to major internet and peering exchanges along with low latency connections to nearby major cities such as Kyoto and Kobe.

“With our planned OS3 IBX data center, backed by our global footprint and vast array of services offered on Platform Equinix, we are set to expand our ability to bring together and interconnect the infrastructure that businesses need to fast-track their digital advantage,” Ms. Ogawa continued.

Expanding connectivity

OS3 will integrate Equnix’s interconnectivity solution, Equinix Fabric, to allow businesses to connect between their own distributed infrastructure and any other company’s cloud infrastructure.

“The expansion of the Equinix data center in Osaka reflects a rapid increase in the deployment of digital workloads among enterprises and their customers in Japan’s second-largest metropolitan area. This is expected to accelerate further through enhanced interconnectivity of cloud ecosystems,” said Ms. Ito.

The first phase of the facility is expected to be approximately 33,000 square feet wide, providing over 900 cabinets of storage space. When completed, it will have up to 2,500 cabinets in a 89,340 square feet space.

Jeremy Deutsch, President of Equinix Asia-Pacific, commented: “Our expansion in Osaka marks another key milestone in our ongoing plans to deliver Platform Equinix to more businesses in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region. With our world-class infrastructure and solutions, we will continue to be the trusted partner of digital leaders by enabling them to seize the opportunity with agility, speed and confidence.”

Equinix’s two existing IBX data centers in Osaka currently host content for over 130 companies in a 64,500 square feet colocation space.

Earlier this year, Equinix announced a US$1 billion joint venture with GIC to develop and operate hyperscale data centers in Japan. The three initial facilities, one in Osaka and two in Tokyo, will serve the unique core workload deployment needs of a targeted group of hyperscale companies, including the world’s largest cloud service providers.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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Mitratel and Pos Properti to develop digital infrastructure in Indonesia

Telecommunications company Mitratel and property management consultant Pos Properti have partnered to further develop digital infrastructure like ICT and IoT in Indonesia.

In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the state-owned enterprises, Miratel and Pos Properti will also work to support 5G readiness in the country.

“The signing of this memorandum of understanding opens the initiation of mutually beneficial strategic cooperation by utilising the potential, expertise and facilities owned by Mitratel and Pos Properti for infrastructure development and communication technology services in an effort to support 5G readiness in Indonesia,” said Teddy Hartoko, President and Director of Mitratel. 

The collaboration will include a feasibility study for the deployment of these technologies.

Indonesia’s digital transformation potential

As an emerging market in Southeast Asia, Indonesian corporations have been actively pursuing digital transformation strategies and partnerships to unlock the region’s tech potential. Huawei’s and Microsoft’s collaboration with the government are latest examples of international tech giants working to push the country towards greater digitalisation.

Mitratel currently has more than 22,000 cell towers in the country, and possesses expertise in important areas in IoT, including disaster management and smart monitoring. The collaboration is expected to benefit different industries that both companies are involved in, including businesses in economic, financial, legal, and operational sectors.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

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Dell revenue up to $23.5 billion in Q3 2020

Dell Technologies has released its financial results for the third quarter of its 2021 fiscal year, seeing a 3% increase in year-on-year revenue growth to US$23.5 billion.

Operating income was at US$1.1 billion, a 35% year-on-year increase, while net income was US$881 million, a significant 60% year-on-year growth compared to $552 million in Q3 2019.

“Technology has never been more important, and as the world evolves, so does our business,” said Jeff Clarke, Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Dell.

Several factors contributed to the rise in revenue across business categories, including unprecedented demand for remote work, as well as learning and gaming solutions.

“In the third quarter, we drove value by expanding profitability at a significant multiple of revenue and generated $3 billion in operating cash flow,” said Tom Sweet, the Chief Financial Officer of Dell.

Dell accelerated their as-a-Service strategy and hybrid cloud capabilities at the edge with a view to win in these growing markets and make it easy for customers to manage data and workloads across their operations.

“We delivered differentiated performance through our diversified portfolio and are leaning into growth opportunities while managing operating expenses in a disciplined way,” Mr. Sweet added.

In October, Dell announced the expansion of its as-a-Service capabilities with Project APEX to unify PC and IT infrastructure and deliver simplified solutions.

By Jie Yee Ong, Tech Reporter

Battling cybersecurity threats in the cloud

More and more businesses of all shapes and sizes are moving to the cloud, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, but without effective cybersecurity measures in place, you could be at risk of opening the floodgates to cybercriminals stealing data, holding you to ransom and damaging your business.

With 83% of enterprise workloads expected to be in the cloud by this year, multiple studies have found cyberattacks on cloud systems are exponentially growing.

“I’m concerned with COVID-19 and rush to the cloud to rapidly scale up. They are all moving in fast, and security becomes the least of their concerns or they don’t have a budget for it at that point,” said Alex Ng, the Director of Insyghts Security.

With so many cloud migration options available, from Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and the fast-growing Infrastructure-as-a-Service, the cybersecurity threats are becoming bigger and spreading faster, and the damages to your business could become untamable.

So how can we fight back?

Your livelihood is at stake

The damaging impacts to your business from cybercriminals are very real, from financial loss to reputational damage.

It is forecast that cybercrime will cost the world in excess of US$6 trillion by next year, and this year the first death following a ransomware attack on a German hospital was recorded.

“I have had customers transfer money to cybercriminals because they claimed to be their vendor, then they ask what they can do. I told them, the only thing I can do is advise you to make a police report because it’s already too late,” said Mr. Ng.

These attacks are commonly caused by human error within an organisation through phishing attacks, poor password protection, lack of reviewing protection regimes and poor training on new systems like cloud-based infrastructures.

“The weak link in an enterprise is always the people and the system that manages the people. You can have the best system, process or training regime, but if the people don’t follow it and still click on phishing attack links, then there’s only so much you can do,” said Mr. Ng.

There are also threats that manifest over longer periods of time and zero-day threats that are exploiting software and infrastructure vulnerabilities in businesses without a strong set of good policy, practices, infrastructure, management systems and people to monitor and manage the risks.

“For security operations teams, when you move to cloud at scale, that means a lot more data in all sorts of environments like the cloud, SaaS, and IoT. The amount of data they have to handle is becoming unmanageable,” commented Mr. Ng.

This is why Mr. Ng advises businesses to look for a managed security service provider (MSSP) that is able to track insider threats and those that manifest over time with a comprehensive security monitoring service that is fast to respond to modern infrastructures like cloud and hybrid environments.

“Most providers are good at point incident like a brute force attack, but if there is an insider or an outsider that has already penetrated their enterprise environment via a vulnerability, which it sits there for weeks and slowly gathers pace, some providers may miss that,” said Mr. Ng.

Are you at risk?

Typically, medium and small sized enterprises, as opposed to larger organisations with larger budgets and bigger workforces, neglect cybersecurity measures and become open targets for cybercriminals. Approximately 43% of small businesses were the victims of data breaches.

“They tend to overlook the need to review or rearchitect how the applications or servers are deployed, secured and monitored in the cloud,” added Mr. Ng.

From an application point of view, organisations leverage cloud-native architectures like Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) or certain features that are part of cloud infrastructure providers like AWS or Azure.

This typically requires applications to be redeveloped when moving to the cloud, but in the haste of moving to the cloud, enterprises could risk missing out security practices or configurations like zones and access control lists that are less common in on-premise architectures.

“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, enterprises are already moving to cloud. Although it’s not new, there are some that still lack the understanding of how a public cloud works. Some enterprises think they are essentially secure by just moving to the cloud and forgot the shared risk model,” said Mr. Ng.

As a result, cloud-based infrastructures and applications can amplify vulnerabilities and weak controls like coding practice, identity access and privileged access management for both internal and external individuals logging into the infrastructure.

“When you move to public cloud, you may want to look into zero trust access management because so many more people can access the cloud and your data, so you want to trust no-one and control who actually has access and monitor what they do on the infrastructure,” advised Mr. Ng.

Out with the old

Failure to adhere to best practices like neglecting three tier architectures and Network-based Intrusion Prevention Systems (NIPS), a lack of access control or even simple patching regime to update your applications and internal data centers can put your business at serious risk.

Last year, Security Boulevard  found that 60% of security breaches involved unpatched vulnerabilities where a patch was available but not applied.

“We have seen customers that have servers so old and unpatched because they are so worried about the application going down. This is scary. When they move to the cloud, they should have a good patching and vulnerability management regime, as well as an incident management system and effective monitoring of cloud resources,” said Mr. Ng.

To avoid the risks from legacy infrastructures, key decision makers in an enterprise must find the motivation to upgrade the system and mindset to continuously educate, or else they will be held ransom by the application.

Mr. Ng has seen customers with old applications and unsupported servers struggle to find ways to extend support by buying additional security software to support the legacy system. However, he believes this is the wrong approach, as enterprises will ‘eventually need to move out of the application and build a new one if the budget allows’.

“The IT world keeps changing, the security world keeps changing, and the hackers are evolving. Virtual patching can buy you some time, but it is not the fix. If you don’t evolve with the flow of time, you will have problems in the future,” said Mr. Ng.

Cybersecurity teams should take some time to review the increasingly new and sophisticated risks, put forth a strategy to narrow the gap, and adopt technologies and systems to monitor these threats. The CISO or vCISO should be able to help the organisation measure their risk, balance business and cybersecurity objectives, develop a strategic plan and oversee a ISMS in place to bring the organisation eventually to the desired security maturity state.

How can we stop the cybercriminals?

Beyond the visibility, strategy and plan, and controls that need to be in place, you need good visibility on the threats on an ongoing basis. Without a good platform to perform fast analytics, enhanced with a level of artificial intelligence, the amount of data security operation center (SOC) teams will become unmanageable, leading to increased cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

To future-proof and protect your business, Mr. Ng suggests looking at MSSP with monitoring system that leverages big data, solutions using AI, and User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) to manage the exponentially growing amount of data and automate some of the work for your security team. This can bring about savings of time and resources that can be transferred back to the business.

“You need to look for one that is able to build that attack chain up and then alert the customer that this is a potential threat and not just an incident,” advised Mr. Ng.

For enterprises moving to the cloud, it is important to look for a MSSP that understands public, private and hybrid cloud environments, with connectors to SaaS and platform providers like SAP and Salesforce.

“Meaningful monitoring is crucial, but I don’t think a lot of existing providers are equipped to handle the different types of cloud services, there will be a lot of data from different cloud sources, and you need some tools to help monitor and manage the threats,” said Mr. Ng.

In recent years, other security monitoring solutions like extended detection and response (XDR), endpoint detection and response (EDR) and managed detection and response (MDR) have entered the cybersecurity scene to collect data from various digital environments and infrastructures.

“These focus on the endpoint portion and not monitoring the entire company’s data assets. Your security monitoring, EDR or XDR needs to include an integrated approach,” said Mr. Ng.

To have a successful integrated approach, you need to collect data from all systems to build a strong database of threats and potential threats in your system. For example, you need to collect contextual information from user, infra and cloud, and other data from server and endpoint, etc, to track how the threats are moving from one stage of attack to another.

“All the data necessary. If you have just part of the solution, then it would be like monitoring a data center without looking at the endpoint. It’s insufficient,” advised Mr. Ng.

Insyghts Security leverages a strong analytic platform with threat model mapped to industrial framework, such as MITRE ATT&CK, etc, as based threat modelling to track multi-stage threats that will manifest over a period of time. MITRE ATT&CK is described as a comprehensive compilation of tactics and techniques used by cyberattackers, which help security teams identify potential threats and understand how they move from different stages of attack.

To complement all this data, businesses need a dedicated security operation team to manage the day-to-day operations to respond to incidents, triage and recommend remediation and recovery options for endpoints and services.

“XDR only gives you the data. You still need people to dig it out and do some form of threat hunting to find a breach and fix it. It doesn’t just magically happen and you still need the people there. That is why an integrated approach and the people are so important,” said Mr. Ng.

Organisations reach out to Insyghts Security for their deep knowledge of traditional infrastructure, secure hosting environments and cloud services experience, particularly when businesses may not have a full security team with a lack of training.

“There are different types of MSSP and consultants. Some consultants focus mostly on information security management, and solution providers offer point solutions that don’t happen to cover the end-to-end scope to threats faced by the organisation,” said Mr. Ng.

Insyghts Security provides enterprises with end-to-end gap analysis of their security maturity, capabilities to respond to threats, propose and architect improvements, offer strategies, manage the security services and security monitoring.

“We pride ourselves by having deep knowledge and we pair this with a strong security practice and consultancy at a price point that is attractive to mid-size companies. We can definitely help large enterprises, but we pride ourselves on the mid-size companies because they are the precise companies that we think are in need because they are usually resource or cash strapped and they need a lot of care in managing their information security and cybersecurity,” added Mr. Ng.

For enterprises that may not have a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), Insyghts Security offers a virtual CISO to provide a pool of cybersecurity experts who help translate an organisations’ business requirements into a security need and build a strategy to improve their security practises at a fraction of the cost of a full-time CISO.

Even businesses with an internal CISO can benefit from a vCISO by receiving add-on services to help them meet their key performance indicators and feel reassured that their strategies are sound.

“The CISO can sleep in peace when they know their objectives and security is inline and there is a plan to improve them,” said Mr. Ng.

Overall, Insyghts Security aims to make cybersecurity affordable, so that businesses of all sizes can stop the cybercriminals and protect their livelihoods.

What should you do next?

You could look at cybersecurity as a three-step process. One, know what you don’t know and visibility into the weak points. Two, put in place policies, controls and solutions for what you now know is lacking. Three, have a dedicated internal or outsourced team to deliver the security practice, controls and solutions, and day-to-day operation necessary to keep threats at bay.

Just like a security guard needs to know all weak points of a building, you need to have the visibility to monitor all forms of threats in your digital environment by tracking vulnerabilities, perpetrators and insider and outsider dangers.

Would you leave your door wide open at night? Would you leave your car unlocked?

Your business now has digital infrastructures that will become more complex than ever before and need protecting with a proper strategy and a team of virtual and human security guards.

> Protect your business against threats with Insyghts Security

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

Overcoming credential stuffing for online retailers

In recent years we have seen serious cyberattacks on retailers and e-commerce providers like Lazada, RedMart, Eatigo, Bigbasket, and Adidas.

These attacks can cause disastrous reputational and monetary damage as a result of cybercriminals gaining access to valuable customer information.

According to Shape Security (Part of F5), over 90% of customers who log on to an e-commerce site are Automated BOTs fraudulently gaining access to inventory information, pricing, and user accounts through breached username and password data.

This is commonly known as credential stuffing, and is the single largest source of account takeover and automated fraud, which can be caused by misconfigured databases or servers, malware or phishing attacks, probing forums for software vulnerabilities, and criminals testing data found from previous breaches at unrelated companies on your site.

“The problem was with other websites. Our customers reuse the same passwords across multiple sites. When other sites get breached, fraudsters use those spilled credentials to hijack my customers’ accounts,” said one Fortune 100 retailer’s Chief Information Security Officer.

This form of attack can cost the retail industry more than US$16 million every day through hijackers monetising stolen merchandise and whole accounts, committing return fraud, and exploiting saved credit cards or gift cards.

Online retailers expose themselves to credential stuffing, as they seek to design a smooth user experience for customers at the expense of imposing security measures that could lead to customers abandoning their card.

As a result, millions of credentials can be stolen from retail services like Avon or CeX, gaming organisations like CloudPets and XPG, online services like Google Docs and Yahoo, and even banks.

We could see even more of these attacks happen, especially as credential stuffers hide their activity during popular sales like Singles Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday when web traffic for retailers increases significantly.

“‘With Singles Day upon us, Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner, and Christmas fast approaching, now is the perfect time for credential stuffers to target retailers. You need to protect your business now before it is too late,” said Shahnawaz Backer, the Principal Security Advisor at F5.

Identifying credential stuffing

One common trait of credential stuffing is that cyberattackers can go unnoticed if they replicate the actions of a real user, which can be incredibly scalable and efficient for the threat actor.

But with the right monitoring and detection solution, an organisation can identify credential stuffing attacks by pinpointing vast numbers of traffic to the site from automated sources, a high volume of attempted logins, low login success rates from specific IP addresses, and a lack of keystrokes and mouse movements from users.

These can have damaging effects on a business by placing heavy load and cost on infrastructure, which is becoming increasingly pertinent with the rising profile of data centers. Customers can also suffer from slower login times, affecting user experience and potential revenue, while marketing teams can waste marketing spend if they identify analytic trends unrepresentative of actual users.

Once identified, IT teams can begin blocking automated traffic to overcome credential stuffing.

Overcoming credential stuffing

There is no easy way to prevent credential stuffing, as there are no simple patches or updates you can make to your software.

Some suggest using different authentication systems to replace passwords like CAPATCHAs and two-factor authentication, but retailers loathe these solutions because it could lead to poor user experience and loss of potential revenue.

With the growing ubiquity of biometric authentication like fingerprints and facial recognition on mobile devices, retailers could use this to replace passwords, but cybercriminals have already found ways to produce false fingerprints using high resolution images. As for facial recognition, we are already seeing convincing deepfakes fool consumers using machine learning and AI, which cyberattackers could easily use for credential stuffing if the value is there.

These attacks are also becoming increasingly sophisticated, as highly distributed infrastructures become more common and mobile sites offer omnichannel attack points along with traditional websites.

So how can we overcome credential stuffing if there are no simple solutions?

Organisations must work with specialists who have the tools and the knowledge to fight back against credential stuffing.

Shape Security has a number of tools used by some of the biggest retailers in the world to put a stop to credential stuffing.

Shape worked with a Fortune 500 retailer to identify more than 15.5 million account login attempts over a four month period and found over 500,000 accounts were on the spilled credentials list by tracking credentials that are actively exploited across their network.

As a result, the retailer saw two major automated attacks during Cyber Monday sales, with over 20,000 login attempts on their traditional web application as well as their mobile API.

Once Shape turned on blocking mode, the retailer saw a marked decrease in attacks until the credential stuffer gave up. Since then, the retailer eliminated tens of millions of dollars in fraudulent transactions and chargeback fees.

“The Shape team worked with my team to go live in two weeks from start to finish. Unlike traditional security solutions, we don’t need more training or headcount to get value out of Shape’s solution. They’ve completely blocked the attackers without inconveniencing my users or imposing on my team,” said the CISO of the Fortune 500 retailer.

Not only that, but Shape protects 40 million end-users in the retail industry and secures almost 800 million transactions every week for retailers.

> Find out how Shape Security can protect your business during this sales seasons and beyond

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

How interconnectivity gives emerging markets space to grow

For a region like Asia Pacific that is rapidly going digital, the need for interconnectivity is growing to support emerging digital economies. That’s why data center providers are working hard to design connected platforms that enable global teams to collaborate with less downtime and latency.

And with a global pandemic catching the world off guard, the need for data centers has grown exponentially along with accelerated movements to digitalisation of businesses and consumption of data through digital channels.

“Data center operators gauge the future demand based on the inquiries of current customers, then a global pandemic comes along and customers take up and require much more than you actually have,” said Carolyn Harrington, the Chief Operating Officer of SpaceDC.

For a successful data center, low latency and strong connections to multiple telecommunication companies and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) is key, especially for the growing number of hyperscalers who are looking for numerous ISPs to build in redundancy.

To enable greater choice of telecoms and ISPs, a high number of sea cables feeding into a country and high connectivity in the country’s data centers is needed to take advantage of these cabling networks.

Ask and you shall receive

For emerging markets like Indonesia where the Internet economy is growing faster than any other country in Southeast Asia, the number of sea cables is increasing at a rapid pace to meet the huge demand for infrastructure and IT connectivity.

“There is a huge growth for sea cables when it comes to the number of points of presence going into places like Jakarta. We’re starting to see countries like the Philippines and Vietnam increase their number of subsea cable landings,” said Ms. Harrington.

There are currently around 16 subsea cables providing international connectivity into Indonesia. Last year, Google went live with their Indigo cable network, connecting Sydney and Perth with Jakarta and Singapore, strengthening connectivity between Australia and Southeast Asia.

“This shows the huge demand for infrastructure and IT connectivity into an emerging market like Jakarta, which is great for data center providers, telecoms and businesses like AWS and Google,” added Ms. Harrington.

There are also plenty more domestic cable systems in the country, as cities like Jakarta begin to take advantage of the international cabling networks and invest in becoming a smart city to attract more investment from tech giants and influential data center providers.

In late 2019, Indonesia completed its Palapa Ring project at a cost of US$1.5 billion to bring 4G Internet access to 500 regencies across the archipelago through more than 21,747 miles of land and sea cables. The Palapa Ring offers a network capacity of up to 100 Gbps, even in more remote areas of the country.

As a result of these advancements, we are now seeing big players like GoogleAWSAlibaba Cloud, Tencent, Huawei, IBM and Oracle enter Indonesia.

“We’re also seeing growth from the local market and system integrators becoming more involved,” observed Ms. Harrington.

Whilst on the surface it may seem that large cloud providers are direct competitors of data center providers when they build their own facilities, SpaceDC sees them as customers because these cloud providers work with organisations like SpaceDC to do a proof of concept and determine a viable market and opportunity to invest.

These cloud organisations will also likely have deployments in other data centers like SpaceDC.

“We see it as a positive sign when cloud organisations start to enter the market because it actually means the market is going to move, not just for them, but for data center providers like ourselves,” said Ms. Harrington.

These crucial digitalisation initiatives in Indonesia came at the right time before the global pandemic, as Indonesians, like the rest of the world, have been forced to spend more time at home and use digital platforms to work, shop and play. And even before COVID-19 hit, the country’s e-commerce sector was valued at US$23 billion, becoming one of the most dynamic in the world.

“There is a growing customer demand, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, as we are consuming so much more Internet and data. People are transacting from home because they can’t do what they used to do pre-pandemic as easily now,” said Ms. Harrington.

But digital organisations can’t just put their racks in and be serviced in mature data center hubs like Singapore, because these companies will be more likely to struggle in providing a fast and smooth online experience for their customers.

“It has to be done within the country itself because of latency issues, and hub cities like Singapore have run out of space, so Jakarta and data centers in the country are playing a huge part in the growth of Indonesia’s digitalisation,” suggested Ms. Harrington.

How are data centers enabling Indonesia’s digital future?

With all these robust subsea cabling systems and appetite for digitalisation in Indonesia, organisations looking to go digital need to have international and local ISP players in their data centers.

“It’s great to have all of this connectivity, but you really need to have a robust campus network. Data centers are all about redundancy and resiliency, if one connection goes down, you need to have another backup connection,” advised Ms. Harrington.

For SpaceDC’s new JAK1 and JAK2 data centers, connectivity is front of mind because it is the first thing a customer asks about. That’s why SpaceDC has four different unique pathways feeding into the campus network, ensuring resiliency and redundancy if one line fails.

“They need to make sure that the data center is carrier-neutral and has a rich selection of providers that they can choose on a local front, but also connecting back internationally to other data centers within the region,” said Ms. Harrington.

SpaceDC works with multiple ISPs like Telkom Indonesia, Indosat and Interlink, as well as Internet exchanges and cloud providers to enable choice and flexibility for businesses to grow and support customers working from home.

SpaceDC’s ID01 campus is connected to CyberOne, which has a direct link to the subsea cable landing station in Jakarta.

“Data centers are all about choice, you’ve got choice of connectivity, choice of location, you’ve got the choice of where you put your rack deployment, what types of racks you want, and what type of cages you want to suit your business so that you can grow.”

“We bring all of that together to create a perfect connectivity ecosystem for our customers,” said Ms. Harrington.

Space to grow

For international companies looking to enter the Indonesian market without supporting entities, data centers like JAK1 and JAK2 can support them with a space to grow their business with continuous power, cooling and robust security for their critical data.

And for companies on the start of their data center journey, SpaceDC provides expert advice and experienced direction to help them choose the right ISP for their deployment.

Take for example a growing e-commerce business that has their own website and works from a single server. This setup could create difficulties for the business to grow. If the organisation places its rack in a data center like JAK1 or JAK2, it is a cost-effective platform to scale up with security and speed by working with cloud partners to build an e-commerce site that suits the increasing demands in Indonesia.

“By using cloud technology, they can also benefit from the knowledge acquired from building multiple e-commerce sites for other customers. You’ve then got a quick and easy ramp into the data center to reduce latency. Everyone wants to connect very quickly to the cloud because they are using it to run, generate and communicate with customers,” said Ms. Harrington.

With a team that has built over 70 data centers around the world, SpaceDC has designed JAK1 and JAK2 to cater to businesses of all sizes and needs, from in-market customers, to hyperscalers and international organisations.

The return on investment for customers is the ability to work with a team that has strong local knowledge to help them reduce their total cost of ownership with a data center campus that offers international design standards, a low PUE for a reduced cost of power and efficient power consumption for a true TCO and even more return.

“Without our customers, we don’t exist. In terms of our services, build and design, we always keep a customer focus,” said Ms. Harrington.

SpaceDC’s vision is to build an Asian data center platform that connects both hub cities with new, emerging digital markets like Indonesia and the Philippines. With JAK2 already launched and JAK1 following shortly behind, SpaceDC is well on track to achieve this mission, with more results of their work expected in the exciting months ahead.

> Do you have Space to Grow? Find out how SpaceDC can help

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

It’s time to defy gravity with Digital Realty

In a time when the digital world is growing at breakneck speed, it is crucial to stay connected as a community, despite social distancing and event cancellations.

On Thursday 19 November, Digital Realty is bringing the complete cloud and Internet community together to get inspired and share ideas in an immersive global event known as MarketplaceLIVE.

“MarketplaceLIVE 2020 is going virtual with an around-the-sun global extravaganza taking place during region-friendly times to accommodate our tech industry friends in every continent of the world,” said Omer Wilson, the Vice President of Marketing for the Asia Pacific region at Digital Realty.

Just like when trading routes were used at the crossroads of the ancient world to exchange ideas, MarketplaceLIVE is reimagining the digital crossroads for the modern world.

“We know there is a craving for one-to-one meetings and a place to build our community again, so your complimentary ticket will include speaker office hours for 1:1 mentorship, interactive networking opportunities, virtual booths, games, swag, and giveaways,” added Mr. Wilson.

The theme for this year’s MarketplaceLIVE will focus on ‘Defying Gravity’.

There are a lot of challenges weighing down businesses, from unpredictable economies and a world order in flux, to new and unfamiliar ways of working and doing business.

In the digital world, data pools are rapidly becoming larger and deeper, which makes them more difficult to move, thus overwhelming businesses and weighing down digital transformation.

Defying Gravity

The only way to rise above these challenges could be to defy gravity.

For MarketplaceLIVE 2020, panel sessions will be replaced with compelling stories on how we can overcome the pressures weighing us down.

The event will have six inspirational keynotes. The first will be delivered by Dr. Shawna Pandya, a physician and aquanaut, whose story embodies the importance of staying resilient in the face of impossible odds, offering tangible insights on how tech leaders can rise above today’s challenges.

Next, Dave McCrory, the VP of Growth and Global Head of Insights and Analytics at Digital Realty, will reveal the ‘single biggest challenge facing all companies’: Data Gravity. He will provide a blueprint for addressing infrastructure constraints, with reference to Digital Realty’s recent Data Gravity Index.

“Data has become a key strategic resource, but data gravity means too much of it can be difficult to use and impossible to move while constantly creating and attracting more,” said Mr. McCrory.

Creative thinking, defying echo chambers, yoga and shadowboxing

After breakout sessions on Defying Massive Datasets, The Gravity of Resilience, and a Meditation and Yoga break, world-renowned futurist Nikolas Badminton will kick off the next keynote by asking ‘what if…’ instead of ‘what is…’ to inspire stronger creative and strategic thinking about our futures to see the unforeseen risks facing our society today.

Following discussions on accelerating the re-architecture of IT, AWS Outposts, facing impossible odds and a shadowboxing class, Dr. Anita Sands will take the virtual stage for the next keynote on how we can avoid creating an echo chamber in the tech industry by including voices from all walks of life.

Dr. Sands spent a decade in leadership positions in financial services and now serves on the boards of directors of five companies, including ServiceNow, Pure Storage, iStar, Thoughtworks and NuBank.

Defying limitations, escaping velocity and mixology

Rounding out MarketplaceLIVE will include a talk from two familiar faces from the world of sport and entertainment to share their stories on rising above the devastating impacts of the global pandemic, as well as a mixology class and a keynote from Jayshree Ullal, President and CEO of Arista.

Ms. Ullal will use her experience of leading Arista from zero to a multibillion-dollar business to impart her knowledge on defying gravity via next-generation networking paradigms.

The final keynote on Escape Velocity will be delivered by Geoffrey Moore, the Chairman, Founder and Managing Partner of TCG Advisors. Mr. Moore will focus on the ‘power deficit’ of legacy franchises holding enterprises captive, which can be traced back to a performance-oriented management culture that drives accountability for financial results without establishing equivalent responsibility for replenishing competitive advantage.

To free your company’s future from the pull of the past, Mr. Moore will call out misconceptions and behaviors that trap enterprises into decaying franchises.

Whether you are a network engineer at a startup, a solutions architect at a cloud service provider, or a CIO at a Fortune 500 company, everyone is invited to join MarketplaceLIVE for a jam-packed event of dynamic fireside chats, technical breakouts, entertainment and prize giveaways.

> Register now for your complimentary MarketplaceLIVE ticket

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

Making the future of high-performance computing happen now

High-performance computing (HPC) is becoming more commercially accessible for businesses looking to solve large problems using advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and video special effects.

High-performance computing has enabled animation houses, fintechs, cloud-based tech providers, aerospace and oil and gas industries to power up their operations, scale up their business and release applications to customers with speed, agility and affordability.

“Enterprises need to think about scalability. CPUs are getting faster and GPU performance is more powerful. They can easily add one GPU card or change a CPU to upgrade to a high-performance computing system,” said Andy Lin, the Business Development Manager at GIGABYTE.

But as high-performance computing becomes more commercially accessible, enterprises will encounter the challenge of choosing the right hardware specifications for their needs, including servers, Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) and Central Processing Units (CPUs).

“For some enterprises, this will be the first time using a HPC, so they have no ability in choosing the right hardware specifications. They just want to get a solution,” added Mr. Lin.

To build a high-performance computing architecture, servers are networked together into a cluster, and for it to operate at peak performance, every piece of hardware must keep pace with each other.

“Enterprises need to work with a strong system integrator like GIGABYTE to know how to choose the best HPC solution for their individual needs,” advised Mr. Lin.

Selecting the most suitable hardware for HPC relies on what enterprises want to do and the digital architectures they have available.

For example, GIGABYTE’s new G-series servers are designed for scientific computing, data analytics and increasingly popular artificial intelligence applications. The servers are designed to improve latency, increase bandwidth and expand the number of connected GPUs, including the world’s most powerful GPU, NVIDIA’s A100.

“So many applications will be using a little bit of AI in the future. For the G-series, we are more focused on looking at high density AI servers to provide customers with strong and stable server solutions,” said Mr. Lin.

While HPC is becoming more popular in Southeast Asia, enterprises in the region are said to choose the safe option of selecting a standard ‘brand server’ like Intel, Dell or HP.

“They prefer to use a brand server that is easier to maintain. But GIGABYTE provides a longer term solution for the hardware portion of HPCs. This is the strategy difference from our competitors,” added Mr. Lin.

GIGABYTE provides servers supporting up to 32 GPU cards that are fully compatible with other computers, systems and servers, enabling enterprises to simply choose a solution that works for their needs.

Keeping it animated even during a pandemic!

Thanks to the rapid advancements in computing power, beautifully designed computer graphics are constantly becoming more widespread, from movies and online games, to apps you find on your phone and even on PowerPoint presentations.

Most computer graphic animation relies heavily on HPC to speed up image processing and rendering. As the leading animation production company in Taiwan, Moonshine Animation needed a server that could handle the high-performance processing power needed for AI computing.

They used AI for facial simulation, which is very intensive for a GPU that doesn’t have enough memory to achieve results in one day or less.

In the end, Moonshine Animation chose GIGABYTE’s G191 Series servers, which supports up to four professional grade graphics cards, each holding up to 48GB of memory!

And with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people to work from home and delaying projects, Moonshine Animation found an additional bonus to using GIGABYTE’s servers: remote desktop applications.

This allowed their animators to connect to GIGABYTE’s server on the Internet using an entry-level Mini PC or Thin Client computer.

And for any enterprise looking to easily migrate to a new server and test out HPC, GIGABYTE has a standard model that can support a number of GPU cards, which is suitable for customers who don’t know how HPC applications could benefit them, said Mr. Lin.

On top of this, GIGABYTE has explored the combination of CPUs and GPUs to improve latency of complex applications like graphical animations.

Making the HPC future cool

As the future of HPC rapidly heats up, so might the hardware in the data centers containing many of these servers.

“Core density will be very high. Based on this very high density design, managing the CPU heat is challenging,” said Mr. Lin.

If a data center runs too hot, then the hardware could fail, leading to disastrous and costly downtime. Currently, many data centers are just using air cooling and fans to solve this problem, but this might not be a viable solution in the future, as HPC systems will be running too hot.

“GIGABYTE already has a liquid cooling solution for enterprises and partners. That’s why we are leading in the HPC servers, not only in the hardware portion,” said Mr. Lin.

“Microsoft is trying to do an immersion cooling solution with their underwater data center. So in the future you will see more liquid cooling,” he added.

One common application for HPC is aerospace, and as more of the universe is unlocked with science, data centers will need to expand.

This exactly what the German Aerospace Center looked to do, but their challenge was running a data center at an ambient temperature of 40°C without air conditioning.

This is where GIGABYTE came in to provide a Direct Liquid Cooling solution that absorbed the heat emitted by the CPU, GPU, and memory while an enormous amount of space-related research data was processed.

For data centers like the ones used by the German Aerospace Center, it is also crucial to have safe, stable, efficient and affordable spaces and solutions.

“When data centers want to support HPC services, the important thing is to ask ‘how can I support this in limited space for the highest performance and lowest cost?’,” said Mr. Lin.

At this stage, GIGABYTE has announced new 2U 4-node solutions and dual sockets that can support up to 128 cores in one node, which reduces the amount of space needed per server.

“Data centers need to choose the more density enhanced solution and GIGABYTE could do that. The trend will be that data centers will do more to support HPC working models for enterprises. That’s why we look to become more and more popular in this market,” said Mr. Lin with confidence.

In the near future, GIGABYTE will look to work even closer with data center operators and their end customers to provide solutions that power the future of HPC, especially as we will see edge computing, 5G and AI make their presence known in our digitally advancing world.

> Explore how GIGABYTE is powering the future of HPC

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

CommScope: Keeping you connected in a data-driven world

The challenge of managing your networks is becoming increasingly tricky in a world where over 100 new connected devices are coming online every second and the number of data centers is growing exponentially.

Changes in network conditions and parameters are more common now than ever before with the rise of smart cities and Industry 4.0 technologies that aim to simplify life while making networks more complex at the same time.

And with more devices, comes an immense amount of network data, which requires infrastructures holding the data to be scalable and able to support resiliency as well as IT teams who must work with the infrastructures to reduce the risk of costly downtime.

“While IT budgets and resources are shrinking, end users are demanding a superior experience and business stakeholders are demanding higher service-level agreements, said Vasudevan Venkatakrishnan, the Business Development Director in APAC for RUCKUS Networks at CommScope, a global network infrastructure provider that builds products and systems that are modular, cost-effective and easy to install and maintain.

“In a nutshell, IT has become more critical yet also more complex,” he added.

To keep up with the growing complexities and ever-changing user needs for low latency and seamless data transmission, the importance of network management and optimisation should not be overlooked.

“Network optimisation is a living thing where you constantly need to be doing it, as things keep changing in the network. IT must remain ahead of these ever-changing needs,” said Mr. Venkatakrishnan.

IT teams should consider deploying a network management and control solution that can be migrated across public cloud, private cloud and on-premises without the need to spend money and effort on adopting new network devices.

The rapid development of hybrid cloud deployments that are able to be integrated with the growing popularity of edge computing services can also provide greater flexibility for customers.

“IT must avoid a solution that locks them into any one deployment architecture,” warned Mr. Venkatakrishnan.

As a result of the rising demand for faster connectivity and lower latency, the Asia Pacific network monitoring market is expected to witness an annual growth of more than 15%, reaching a value of US$5 billion by 2026.

In answer to this, CommScope recognised the importance of network monitoring and setting the standard for efficient data center architecture.

“Data center technologies like hyperscales, with key architectures such as microservices and Kubernetes helps accelerate feature enhancements on a rapid scale,” said Mr. Venkatakrishnan.

CommScope is an expert in creating connections between people, devices and networks by offering end-to-end solutions that are designed and built with superior materials, systems and application expertise to shape the networks of the future.

Creating a RUCKUS

To simplify network optimisation and troubleshooting for customers using high-performance enterprise wired and wireless networks, CommScope acquired RUCKUS in 2019.

RUCKUS is a cloud-based converged network management-as-a-service platform, which enables ‘lean’ IT teams to deliver exceptional user experiences through a single web dashboard or native mobile application.Recognising the need for networks to be robust and reliable in the Industry 4.0 age, CommScope developed RUCKUS to be powered by artificial intelligence and patented machine learning techniques.

“Using advanced AI and ML, cloud technology gives IT the troubleshooting tools to react quickly to service-affecting issues and stop network anomalies from rising to the service-affecting level,” said Mr. Venkatakrishnan.

For CommScope, cloud technologies with AI and ML integration brings customers five key benefits:

  1. Simplicity of lifecycle management, from zero-touch provisioning, to monitoring, to managing. Customers can keep everything patched and updated across multiple locations without additional onsite IT specialists.
  2. Visibility to gain insights into network performance, resource consumption, and overall network health. Customers can get valuable visibility for all users, devices applications and network infrastructure, across all sites, virtually in real-time via a single pane of glass dashboard.
  3. Security for controllers and connected devices, including Wi-Fi APs and switches, are automatically updated to the latest feature sets and the most current security patches.
  4. Scalability to scale up or down network management solutions to match changing business needs, without compromising user experiences or worrying about incurring extra costs.
  5. Cost of total ownership from the ground up. The optimal scalability helps customers avoid excess capital expenditures, while greater simplicity and enhanced visibility reduce operating expenses by streamlining IT training, management and helpdesk operations.

CommScope continuously helps businesses discover more intelligent solutions for improving capacity, finding ways to decrease latency, boosting performance and creating connectivity solutions that are easier to use.

Connectivity at the heart of hospitality

Have you ever been to a hotel with terrible Wi-Fi and extortionate premium tiers?

Hotels are now seeing the critical importance of Wi-Fi and a guest’s need to stay online and connected with the world they left behind for a potential stay in paradise.

This came as no surprise to CommScope who, with 40 years of experience in innovating the network infrastructure of the future, saw the burgeoning state of hyperconnectivity worldwide.

Global Premium Hotels Limited, the operator of one of Singapore’s largest chains of hotels with 23 hotels, saw that their current technology could not keep up with the needs of their guests.

Their networking hardware had been in use for many years, with disparate hardware from different and non-enterprise vendors. They also had a lean IT team, meaning the hotel relied on reactive servicing as opposed to monitoring hardware status and usage in real-time to proactively solve issues as they arise.

After realising the difficulties of the modern era, GPHL selected CommScope’s RUCKUS to power 106 hotspots throughout each hotel building across 4 hotels, providing free, seamless WiFi to 1,000 guests that enter the hotels every day.

“Apart from strong performance and ease of deployment, one decisive criterion as to why we opted for CommScope-RUCKUS technology were their excellent and proactive pre-sales and after-sales service and support,” said Eric Chew, the Head of IT at GPHL.

GPHL saw a 70% reduction in downtime, so it is no surprise that they also received 50% less customer complaints and IT support calls as well as increased customer satisfaction.

So, in the future, you can expect even greater adoption of cloud-based network optimisation systems like RUCKUS, especially as we move into an era where more data will be consumed due to the accessibility of Industry 4.0 technologies like AI, ML and 5G.

And with more developments such as the Internet of Things, seamless connectivity and 5G, new requirements and creative thinking will be needed. With CommScope’s unmatched expertise in copper, fiber and wireless infrastructure, they can be relied on to enhance and migrate networks to outperform today and be ready for the needs of tomorrow.

> Check out how CommScope is keeping you connected in a data-driven world

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

Sustainable data centers aren’t optional anymore

Excessive energy consumption and resulting carbon emissions are causing detrimental effects on our health and environment.

Data centers pump out millions of carbon pollution metric tons every year, consuming around 2% of the world’s electricity. And with the rise of cloud computing and large hyperscale data centers, these numbers will only continue to grow if we don’t focus on sustainability practises, as data and digital services increasingly become a necessity of life.

In only four years, colocation and wholesale data center capacity is projected to grow by 35.2%, exceeding 32 gigawatts of electrical power available to customer IT systems, which is similar to the total electricity needs of a country like Spain.

This is why more eyes are on the data center industry to lower their environmental impacts and answer to regulators, governments and the public, who are becoming more environmentally conscious than ever before.

Fortunately, Schneider Electric and 451 Research have found that 57% of data center service providers around the globe believe efficiency and sustainability will be highly important competitive differentiators in three years.

“Sustainability seems to be top of mind in data center circles at this moment in time. What was very, very clear was that sustainability really isn’t an option anymore,” said Paul Tyrer, the VP of Cloud and Service Provider Segment for APAC at Schneider Electric.

A large majority of the surveyed data center providers either said they have a strategic sustainability program in place to comprehensively improve the way they design, build and operate infrastructure (43%) or a major, but not comprehensive, sustainability program in place to improve some areas of design, construction and operations (41%).

“I think the fact that we’re talking about sustainability, and the fact that 43% of the respondents in our survey have actually got a comprehensive program, shows that we are most definitely on the right track and there is a desire for it,” said Mr. Tyrer.

Mr. Tyrer identified the data center industry has been on a sustainability journey for the last 10 years, with a predominant focus on increasing efficiency by lowering the power usage effectiveness (PUE) of the facilities and using less electrical energy.

“Has this always been done for sustainability reasons? No, it is done more for fiscal reasons. But we definitely stem the tide of exponential energy consumption. That is something we should be proud of, but the reality is that we are still consuming and generating a huge amount of carbon,” said Mr. Tyrer.

The current state of data center sustainability

From construction to operation, data centers create a significant carbon footprint, with manufacturers and subsuppliers contributing to the emissions.

“One of the things that did surprise us is the lower percentage that actually had a true end to end belts and braces sustainability program involving design, build, and operation. Those that do have a program are on the front foot and have most definitely got a competitive advantage,” said Mr. Tyrer.

One of the biggest consumers of electricity in the data center is the cooling equipment to keep servers running at an optimum temperature. This is an area that Schneider Electric spends time in driving more efficient design and designing effective technology to either increase temperatures in the data center or reduce the amount of cooling needed in the facility.

“We have some very strong sustainability commitments that have been made publicly available. We precise these commitments very openly on our website where anyone can see all the initiatives we are taking and our progression against those stated goals,” said Mr. Tyrer.

With a commitment to reduce absolute scope one and two emissions by 100% and scope three by 35% by 2030, Schneider Electric also helps those in the data center industry by consulting with clients on setting up sustainability charters and programs, energy procurement and data center optimisation to make sure their facilities run as efficiently as possible.

“I talk to a lot of different operators and most of them acknowledge the need for sustainability. A significant portion can really articulate what they’re doing about it. But some quite frankly are quite a way behind and will need to catch up,” said Mr. Tyrer.

For those that are behind, this could be for a number of reasons, including moving at breakneck speed to make a name in the market, and a lack of personnel and resources.

In Asia, Mr. Tyrer identified pockets of explosive growth in secondary data center markets like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam where businesses are moving in at speed. This poses an additional challenge in adopting sustainable practices, as there may not be regulations, skilled workforces, resources, incentives or access to renewable resources.

“To really put in place a comprehensive sustainability program, it’s not something you just scratch out on the back of a notepad. It does require a lot of thought and consideration as to what you’re looking to do and why you’re looking to do it,” added Mr. Tyrer.

Large juggernauts in the data center industry like Google, Facebook and Microsoft along with Princeton Digital Group, SpaceDC, Keppel Data Centres and the National University of Singapore have all made moves to explore environmentally-friendly solutions and commit to sustainability goals, which can act as a catalyst for those in the industry that are falling behind to follow their lead and catch up.

“For those that are not taking sustainability seriously, I’d say they are being very short-sighted, because they could be incredibly busy building some very nice data centers and a very nice company, but it is going to run out of runway further down the line when this is no longer optional or nice to have. I’d say we are almost moving out of that mode today,” warned Mr. Tyrer.

To help these smaller organisations to make moves towards sustainability initiatives, Mr. Tyrer advises that the wider ecosystem of consultants, vendors and larger data center operators needs to step up and help them drive sustainability into the future.

“It’s a community that is an ecosystem that’s going to make this puzzle work, not just one or two individuals,” said Mr. Tyrer.

To this end, Schneider Electric created the Neo Network, a community of sustainability experts to advance reliable and cost-effective renewable energy solutions around the world.

What’s driving data center sustainability into the future?

In Schneider Electric’s recent report, cost savings was, in fact, not a primary driver of sustainability initiatives. Instead, it was customer requirements that have the strongest influence on the importance of sustainability initiatives, followed by long-term operational resiliency and public opinion.

“Colocation providers are an essential part of the scope three emissions of their clients, who have got very strict and ambitious sustainability goals, which the colocation provider has to respond to. Ultimately their clients are forcing them in that direction,” said Mr. Tyrer.

For resiliency, this relates to the long-term viability of data center assets by responding to legislation and adapting to changing climatic conditions in an era of extreme weather-related events, which could lead to major utility outages of energy and water. More than half of respondents are even reevaluating the selection of their technology based on changing climates.

To illustrate the importance of implementing sustainability direction sooner rather than later, Mr. Tyrer used the analogy of a carpenter who constantly keeps sawing away without taking the time to sharpen the saw. Eventually that saw will become blunter and totally ineffective.

Similar to the carpenter, the data center industry needs to do a reality check and embed sustainability in their operations before they become unstuck in the future when customers will choose not to work with an unsustainable facility.

However, Mr. Tyrer recognised that it is unrealistic and unfair to expect the whole data center industry to become fully compliant with carbon neutrality by a certain date, as many operators like retail colocation facilities deal with different clients, changing requirements and different IT loads, and different sawing equipment to use the analogy, making it more difficult to stick to a sustainability plan.

“It’s most definitely not an easy task, because most operators have existing fleets of data centers that they’ve built years ago, or they’ve got assets that they’ve acquired. It’s about setting a realistic goal – it’s not about putting these nice figures out there and saying this is where we’re going to be in 30 years time and forgetting about it,” said Mr. Tyrer.

“But, I come back to the point: make sure you take that saw out to sharpen it before you put it back in,” he advised.

What are the solutions?

Schneider Electric and 451 Research’s report revealed the top focus areas for sustainability improvement include optimising and upgrading power distribution, and optimising and upgrading data center cooling efficiency and infrastructure.

Half of respondents said their firm has adopted data center infrastructure management software to collect, normalise, monitor and analyse data for running an efficient data center, while 45% have an energy and sustainability platform in place. These tools are believed to to be essential in extending and optimising the lifecycle of a data centre facility, as well as predicting and monitoring system operations and resource efficiency.

“Management platforms are really helping the clients to optimise their data centers, and stop them doing unnecessary things in their data centers, which requires manpower and intervention, and this is where we are moving into machine learning and artificial intelligence,” said Mr. Tyrer.

Yet, 44% of respondents still do not generate reports to track metrics.

“If you haven’t already, get the monitoring system in place to extract the comprehension of how that data center is performing,” suggested Mr. Tyrer.

Once a monitoring system is in place, operators can begin a full audit on the performance of a data center. After that, an operator can identify any equipment or power trains that need upgrading, as well as the all-important operational aspects that can be highlighted for improvement.

Schneider Electric has a long tenure of providing the mechanical, electrical and automation solutions in data centers, from predictive management tools to their EcoStruxure for small and large data centers.

“The wrapper for all of that is the investment we’ve made in our energy and sustainability services practice. We have deployed over 2,100 engineers and consultants within our group that are talking to organisations in multiple segments,” said Mr. Tyrer.

But what about the cost it takes to implement these sustainable solutions? Of course, there will be a cost to enact a program and ensure a sustainable fleet of data centers.

“I think the biggest cost to organisations who are all working on long term business plans, the opportunity cost of not implementing sustainable solutions is far higher, because that asset will become obsolete far sooner than they would have originally planned,” Mr. Tyrer informed.

In total, Schneider Electric has secured energy contracts worth over US$30 billion to date and manage 128 million metric tons of carbon emissions every year.

“We’re all on this journey and we’re all learning together. We can pass not just our technology and equipment over to our clients, but that advice and knowledge we’ve gained over many a year,” said Mr. Tyrer.

What does the future hold for data center sustainability?

In an ideal world, the data center industry could reach a proud moment where carbon neutrality is achieved across scope one, two and three emissions.

“We are a long way from that, but I think that should be our noble goal that we are absolutely working towards,” said Mr. Tyrer.

To achieve this, the data center and IT industries could be a facilitator for a number of sustainability goals made by nations and businesses across the world through innovating automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning technology that can be woven into multiple parts of the fabric of society.

“Whether that is the new smart grids, the data center industry and the wider IT industry is going to have to come up with a lot of the solutions that actually can enable that to happen. We’ve got a key part to play in the journey that countries are making and will be making over the coming years as they become more sustainable,” suggested Mr. Tyrer.

And with the increasing amount of electricity consumed by data centers, Mr. Tyrer envisions a future where the industry can procure renewable energy and generate new power for smaller businesses and other industries.

“If we’re just gobbling up the existing energy supply, what does that lead for the other industries? I think we’ve got a responsibility if we are using renewable energy as a source of reducing our carbon reductions, we need to think bigger and broader than just beyond our own requirements,” said Mr. Tyrer.

But there are a number of factors that could derail this future, including nations and governments being driven by economic prosperity.

“The pandemic is a great example of where governments could deprioritise the Paris Climate Agreement because it’s just not affordable. They may suffer as a nation, and may slow down their pace,” observed Mr. Tyrer.

So, to reach this ideal future, research and development needs to be invested in, whilst learning from entrepreneurial organisations that are already trailblazing the sustainability path.

“I’m the eternal optimist, I’d like to think we’re on the track and we’ll get there,” said Mr. Tyrer.

Serious commitments need to be made to reach a sustainable future we can be proud of, and encouragingly, Schneider Electric and 451 Research’s report shows the growing appetite to achieve this.

The ‘Multi-tenant data centres and sustainability: ambitions and reality’ report surveyed more than 800 data center service providers from the United States, China, India, Australia, France, United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Demark, and more.

Companies ranged in size from 10 to over 10,000+ employees, and with data center capacity from under 1 MW to more than 150 MW.

The intention of the research was to drill down and understand the reality and pervasiveness of sustainability for the data center industry, with the results showing very consistent findings across all regions: sustainability is no longer an option.

> Read more from Schneider Electric’s report

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

What’s next for Singapore’s Cloud and Data Center industries?

Singapore is a leader in Asia’s cloud and data center space, enabling continuous innovation and digital transformation.

Despite its relative sparse available space, Singapore has positioned itself as a mature data center hub through its reliable power grid and skilled workforce.

But now, as competition mounts from neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia, and a moratorium on new data center builds in a time when digital transformation is happening at an even faster pace spurred on by the global pandemic, we ask what’s next for Singapore?

On Thursday 26 November, we will tackle this question and more at the Singapore Cloud and Datacenter Digital Summit, with an audience of more than 200 of the top IT and data center professionals.

We’ll be joined by Clement Goh, Chief Executive Officer for Southeast Asia at ST Telemedia Global Data Centres, to share a broad overview on what is driving the Internet economy forward in Singapore and the region, explore why Singapore continues to be an attractive business hub for major tech giants like Tencent and ByteDance who have recently announced moves into the Little Red Dot.

“The Internet economy has been growing at an accelerated pace today due to the exponential digital adoption across various industries. It is even more critical to address how we can overcome prevailing challenges of data centre supply in Singapore in order to maintain its competitive advantage with the global and emerging tech giants, as well as cater to the surging customer demands as they expand across Southeast Asia,” said Mr. Goh. 

On top of this, we will also explore how to navigate Singapore’s data protection laws, how legacy data centers fit into Singapore’s sustainable future, and addressing cloud migration challenges without breaking the bank.

We’ll be joined by experts from KPMG Singapore, PCCW Solutions, Rapyd, Hyundai DAC Technology, PTS Consulting, Standard Chartered Group, OVHcloud and ZNet Technologies.

> Register now for the Singapore Cloud and Datacenter Digital Summit

We would like to send a big thank you to our Platinum Sponsors ST Telemedia Global Data Centres and Piller Power Systems, our Silver Sponsors BlomTEQ, PowerShield Limited, Yi-Ke Innovations and OVHcloud, and our Bronze Sponsor Onion Technology, as well as all our partners for helping to bring this event to you.

Servian expands into Singapore to address urgent need for digital transformation in Southeast Asia

Servian, one of Australia’s leading IT consultancies, announced it is expanding into Singapore, bringing its expertise in cloud, data, machine learning, DevOps and cybersecurity to the local and regional market.

The expansion comes off the back of an urgent need for companies within the region to digitalise in order to remain competitive in the current environment.

At the Future Economy Conference and Exhibition, Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing stressed the importance of digital transformation in helping rebuild the new economy. He said Singapore’s position on the world stage hangs on businesses’ ability to adapt, with now being the time to re-engineer processes.

New research from DBS Bank supports this, revealing that Southeast Asia is falling behind its US and UK counterparts in digital strategy. Almost all businesses surveyed in the region said they faced external pressure to transform digitally, with challenges including speed of change, execution complexity and lack of digital talent.

“Organisations recognise where they need to get to, they just don’t seem to know how to get there,” said Pete Gatt, Partner & Singapore Expansion Lead at Servian.

Servian works with clients in multiple sectors across the region, assisting them in deploying data-driven, cloud-based solutions to enable them to evolve at speed.

“Having worked with hundreds of organisations in different segments, verticals and of varying sizes, the conversation is always the same. They want to take advantage of data to make money and they want to optimise their operations to save money, with technology now at the heart of that conversation,” added Mr. Gatt.

Among others, the company has worked on a Singapore Government project for GovTech to build security and Infrastructure as Code (IaC) capabilities, providing teams with the skills and reference architectures for IaC in cloud environments.

Servian’s new operation in Southeast Asia will offer its suite of technology-agnostic advisory, consulting and managed services to SMEs whose digital transformation efforts can be hampered by fear of complexity and cost.

The company has close partnerships with technology retailers including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Hashicorp.