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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.

EMBED VIDEO – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vsloGmOFTs

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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Author

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Stuart Crowley

Editor, W.Media

editor@w.media

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Trade war, health concerns, etc.

COVID19 is the latest of a series of cataclysmic events with an enduring impact on the global business landscape. The uncertainty, and the palpable fear linked in part to the all too painful memories of SARS, have caused a massive shift in thinking about digitisation. No longer merely a tool to ease and streamline collaboration, the digitisation of workplace processes has become the backbone of the economy.

In light of such a situation, it is essential for companies to be equipped with proper measures to minimise disruptions in their business operations. Many businesses in Asia are already stepping up their business continuity plans to ensure their ability to continue serving the needs of their customers. For instance, home-based work policies have been implemented across several companies to disperse office concentration and minimise contact. Working from home is made possible with the adoption of cloud services, where employees are able to access company data and systems remotely. One such example is United Overseas Bank Ltd which has effectively activated its business continuity plan. Apart from temperature screenings and postponing their large scale public events as precautionary measures, their employees are also working from split site, from home and on split shift. Evidently, digitisation and technology has allowed businesses to continue operating despite unplanned disruptions and emergencies.

While the outbreak undoubtedly posed a serious threat to many businesses, it has also served as a warning to businesses to start leveraging on technology. In Singapore, the local office of Havas witnessed an increase in user demand for their SSL VPN systems since the outbreak.

Nonetheless, the positive effects of an increase in uptake of such technologies would be negligible if employees are not properly trained to use them. Another important issue to consider are infrastructure concerns such as bandwidth and capacity issues associated with working remotely. To tackle these, Mr Brian Veau, CTO Of Southeast Asia and India at Havas, mentioned that the company ensures all employees are trained and comfortable with using SSL VPN systems. The company also makes sure that bandwidth had been measured from time-to-time. This greatly lowers the risk of disruptions to their daily operations as employees are familiarised with the systems and operations can resume smoothly.

In difficult times like this, the importance of technology for a company’s operations is especially emphasised. It is thus crucial for businesses to examine how they will function under situations such as the widespread of COVID19 and be one step ahead to tackle crisis when it arises. In all, effective business continuity plans coupled with the use of technologies will allow companies to be better positioned in time of recovery. 

Business continuity management (BCM) topics will be expounded in W.Media’s Cloud & Datacenter Conventions across SE Asia. Check out our events calendar via https://w.media/events/ 

References:
Singapore banks split “critical staff” across sites as coronavirus arrives in the finance district. (2020, Feb 10). Retrieved from https://news.efinancialcareers.com/sg-en/3003161/singapore-banks-split-critical-staff-across-sites-coronavirus-finance-district
How Cios in SE Asia are combating coronavirus through business continuity. (2020, Feb 10).
Retrieved from https://www-cio.com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.cio.com/article/3526341/how-cios-in-se-asia-are-combating-coronavirus-through-business-continuity.amp.html 

The inaugural Thailand Cloud & Datacenter Convention (THCDC 2019) organised by W.Media was held at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit on 6 November 2019. The event welcomed over 750 attendees, 30 technology showcase and 30 expert speakers from all over the world. It was a comprehensive experience for the industry as the event covered key themes, including connectivity, data centres development, cybersecurity and cloud, which are essential to the industry’s growth.

Thailand Cloud & Datacenter Convention 2019 – Plenary Hall

Kick-off

As the morning buzz around the entire expo area reached incredible decibels, the plenary session began with Vincent Liew, the Director of W.Media, who showed appreciation to OpenTec on their contribution to the convention.

Up next, the Guest of Honour Dr Yuttasart, the Vice President of CAT Telecom representing Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES) and Digital Economy Promotion Agency (depa) delivered a short presentation addressing Thailand Government’s Initiatives to Drive Digitalisation in Thailand. MDES plays a crucial role in driving digitalisation in Thailand through its framework and plans of Thailand 4.0.

He further revealed current projects that depa and MDES have been developing such as Net Pracharat (Village Broadband Internet Project), Asean Digital Hub (International Network Infrastructure), Digital Park Thailand, GDCC (Government Data Center and Cloud Service), GBDi (Government Big Data Institute) and Smart Cities. The goal of the government is to have 100 Smart Cities in 70 provinces including Bangkok within the next two years.   

With regards to the newly released laws, Dr Yuttasart further explained on The Cybersecurity Act B.E. 2562 (2019) and Personal Data Protection Law B.E. 2562 (2019). The Cybersecurity Act aims to secure national security in cyberspace, governing both public and private sector databases and information. The Personal Data Protection Law aims to protect individual rights and personal data. PDPA came into effect since 28 May 2019 except for provisions under Chapters 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7, and Sections 95 and 96, which are the operative provisions.  These operative provisions will come into force after a grace period of one year from the publication date, and that will be on 27 May 2020.

 

The debates

Unique to W.Media, the plenary hall commenced with an exciting debate. Opening Debate on “Is Thailand still apt to be the Connectivity Hub of Indochina?” was joined by Tanat Sangkasem, Chief Technology Officer of True Internet Data Center, Sean Bergin, Co-Founder & President of APTelecom, Wong Ka Vin Managing Director of DC1st, and Clement Goh, CEO of ST Telemedia Global Data Centres. The session was moderated by Toni Eid, Editor In Chief of Telecom Review International. 

Highlights

-Bergin mentioned that to be a good hub, 3 main things have to be present in a country or region, which would be good connectivity, good and friendly regulatory environment and also good market rate to encourage investment and people to be part of the hub.

-Sangkasem was confident that Thailand is ready to be the hub as they are officially launching 5G next year. He added that there is also enough manpower and space for Thailand to grow further as a hub among all other key players of the industry. 

-Goh and Bergin agreed that Singapore has been established as the Digital/Internet Hub of the region and due to that, traffic from Thailand still heads towards Singapore till it is redirected up north, thus increasing the latency time. 

-Goh highlighted that the most important part of being a hub would be being the coastal city for laying subsea cables which Thailand clearly is.

-Kavin contested with a different viewpoint that being a hub is no longer relevant as its importance has been superseded by becoming a mega city. Being a megacity creates interconnection between city thus placing Thailand in a good economic state. This alone would attract many key players to enter the Thailand marketplace. 

-The panel were divided in their opinions of whether Thailand’s technology landscape is suitable for OTT players to make Thailand as their primary location for their infrastructure and digital services for the region. Those who contested find that the current internet cost in Thailand is significantly higher than its ASEAN neighbours, causing it not to be the primary option. 

Opening debate session : From Left to Right – Toni Eid, CEO of Telecom Review, Sean Bergin, CO-Founder & President of APTelecom, Tanat Sangkasem, CTO of True Internet Data Center, Clement Goh, CEO of ST Telemedia Global Data Centers (Asean), Wong Ka Vin, Managing Director of DC1st 

The plenary hall adjourned with a Closing debate “The new Cybersecurity Bill passed by the Thailand Government – beneficial or a threat?”, joined by Narudom Roongsiriwong, Senior Vice President and Head of IT Security of Kiatnakin Bank and member of CSA, Dr Tan Kian Hua, CISO of Insyghts Security Pte Ltd, Anthony Lim, Regional Principal Consultant of Fortinet and finally the Moderator: Supparat Sivapetchranat Singhara na Ayutthaya, CEO of ST Telemedia Global Data Centres Thailand. 

Highlights

-The moderator Supparat explained on the Cybersecurity Act by highlighting two key points. If there is any info or data deemed to be a threat, the government has an authority to request access to the particular data and hardware the organisation is using. Second, this act focuses on all industries and mainly on banking, logistics and key government industries. Everything other than retail will be under this act. 

-Similar act has been established in several ASEAN countries. The act can even be deemed as a necessary measure. Cybersecurity as a whole has no borders and it is good to see common defence action. 

-The panelists unanimously voted that malware would be the immediate threat that everyone needs to keep a lookout as they are capable of existing undetected for a long time while collecting data. Building the first line of defence by having a firewall and training the team to be more adept are essential steps of cybersecurity. 

The Expo – the cloud and data centre marketplace in Thailand

The expo started early at 8am with senior IT professionals enjoying a variety of the latest cloud and data centre technologies.

Technology showcase by TCC Technology Group

The technology bench in the expo featured 10 minute rapid-fire technology demonstrations and presentations during coffee breaks and lunch. Delegates learnt about various new technologies and innovations in a short space of time. 

Technology Bench and Private Workshop: 

Technology bench session by Mathias Wernitz from STULZ GmbH

The expo welcomed a new feature, the Plug-In DC, which was built up by SITEM, a renowned data centre engineering company in Thailand. The Plug-In DC featured modern innovations of a live data centre such as: 

1.Cold Aisle Containment system

2.Wireless Power & Environmental Monitoring system

3.Automatic airflow controls system

4.Water mist system for data center

5.Smart city management operating system

6.STULZ Nano DC and Micro Dc

Deeper engagement with the VIPs

An exclusive private luncheon welcomed the top 20 VIPs of Thailand Cloud & Datacenter Convention 2019. Participants discussed about their upcoming data centre projects and learnt from the vast experience Schneider Electric has in data centre refurbishment and upgrades.

Schneider Electric Private Lunch Workshop by Abhay Ghosalkar, head data center application center of Schneider Electric

Finale

With strong beliefs in the importance of networking amongst senior IT professionals, W.Media concluded the inaugural Thailand Cloud & Datacenter Convention with refreshments and hors d’oeuvres. Starline and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts contributed to the finale lucky draws, drawing the convention to a perfect end.

Ng Kim Yong, Regional Manager of Starline, presenting the Grand Draw of an Apple Watch to the winner

With that, W.Media completed its 2019 CDC series, with successful runs in S. Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. The calendar for 2020 CDC series has been launched with new location, the Philippines. Having travelled and conversed with senior professionals in the emerging markets, I can affirm that any business that is serious about expanding into these markets must invest significantly in building relationships and educating the marketplace. For further information, you may visit https://w.media/events/ or email partner@w.media. 

W.Media (Singapore), in collaboration with OPEN-TEC and 17 enterprises in Asia, has launched THCDC 2019, with aim to attract business opportunities and tech knowledge into Thailand, as well as strengthen Thai IT infrastructure.

BANGKOK, Thailand, September 24th, 2019 – OPEN-TEC (Thai tech platform) and WMedia Pte. Ltd. (W.Media) (Singapore platform) reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in July, 2019 to foster collaboration in Cross Country Tech Knowledge Base. Execution has been initiated in a form of the event “Thailand Cloud & Datacenter Convention 2019” (THCDC 2019), to be held on November 6th, 2019 at Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit. The objective of this joint project is to promote technology ecosystem collaboration among members in ASEAN from both platforms. The four major mutual interests include Cross-Border Activities, Cross-Ecosystem, Cross-Platform, and Cross-Media. 

This joint convention aims to highlight Thailand as an emerging key market that plays an important role in driving economic growth, and as an ideal digital hub in ASEAN. With its 17 sponsors and supportive strategic partners in Thailand and ASEAN, W.Media will gather key players and providers in the industries to share insights about cloud, data center, cybersecurity, and technology trends in the digital era, to develop solid foundations in term of infrastructure, technology and workforce in accordance with digital economy. Mr. Vincent Liew, Founder and Director of W.Media from Singapore, shared his vision for the technology demand in the future. “Infrastructure investments by data center operators, OTT providers, cloud service providers, Gaming, Banking and Finance and Government sectors, for example, are being driven by ever-increasing demand for low latency connectivity, storage capacity and computing power via mission critical cloud-based applications,” he said.

According to a study by Frost & Sullivan, global traffic between data centers will grow by 28% annually between 2018 and 2021, a higher growth rate than the traffic between data centers and the users, which is projected at 24%. This trend has been driven by CDNs and the need to disseminate large volumes of static content closer to the user, such as images and video. The ASEAN data center market is set to grow at a CAGR of 16.1% over the next 5 years. Emerging markets, Indonesia and Thailand, are expected to be key growth engines in ASEAN. 

This resonates with Thailand’s push for Industry 4.0 across multiple industries including manufacturing, logistics, tourism and more. The route to digital transformation by corporations in Thailand aims to cope with changing customer behavior and intense competition from global players. To support digitization, corporations will need to focus on building a strong and agile IT infrastructure, leading to the need for cutting edge strategy and technologies in cloud, data centers, and connectivity.

“W.Media is a global marketing agency that specializes in the cloud and data center industry. Its flagship series of Cloud & Datacenter Conventions (CDC) span across ASEAN and South Korea, and have witnessed strong growth in key markets, including Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam. The success of W.Media lies with its strong connections and understanding of the industry, which enable it to build market confidence of global business and infrastructure leaders in locations where CDCs are,” Vincent Liew said.

On behalf of OPEN-TEC (Tech Knowledge Sharing Platform), which is inspired by TCC Technology, Mrs. Waleeporn Sayasit, TCCtech Corporate Communications Director, stated that “Cloud & Datacenter Convention Thailand 2019 emphasizes the continuity of collaboration. We OPEN-TEC are very honored to be part of THCDC 2019 to attract valuable knowledge into Thailand, and to welcome the regional networking community that aims to work together to strengthen the business and technology workforce in Thailand. Nowadays, each country seeks the global partnership in order to collaborate, co-create projects to amplify the positive effects on the industries, and finally contribute sustainable society. I believe that the international knowledge sharing and learning convention is one of the most important tools to contribute to well-rounded and sustainable business development in our region.”

Thailand Cloud & Datacenter Convention (THCDC) will be the first ever global vendor-neutral convention for the cloud and data center professionals and businesses in Thailand. There will be over 700 senior professionals, business leaders and investors, with more than 30% flying in from the region to attend the convention. THCDC will serve as a catalyst to increase trade through highlighting of opportunities in Thailand, and through the building of an ecosystem by gathering key stakeholders, including corporate and government representatives, leading TELCOs, cloud and data center providers, and trade associations. THCDC will also delve into the recent Cybersecurity Act, which is the latest in a wave of new laws in ASEAN that assert government control over the internet. Similar laws have been enacted in Indonesia and Vietnam which contribute to the significant rise of local cloud and data center adoption by both international and local corporations.

This was the ambitious topic which we panelists joined at the Indonesia Cloud and Data Centre convention organized by W Media.

The panelists consisted of

-H. Sukamta, DPR (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat)
-Thomas Kyung Joo Suh (Epsilon)
-Alex Budiyanto (Indonesia Cloud Computing Association),
-Theo Nasser ( Right- Hand AI Cybersecurity),
-Nimisha Tailor (Keynote Women Speakers),
-Rudi Rusdiah (ABDI)
-Ajay Sunder (SC-Nex)
And was moderated by Ted Hilbert (Cloudmatika)

It was amazing that we managed to cover a range of topics ranging from digital culture, regulations, connectivity, cybersecurity, talent and more in the 45 minutes allotted.

Some key notes from the discussion:

Regulations
Indonesia is embracing itself for some transformation. This will happen at a regulation level as well. Although there will be a new Cabinet this October but the fundamentals of regulations regarding Indonesia’s digital economy ( OJK – 82 / Others ) has been clarified .

The difference between Data Privacy and data protection should be clearly understood by Indonesian enterprises both wrt implications and impact .Data Privacy is about getting the consent to use data from the user . The user needs to be clear on what purpose will this data be used.Data protection is ensuring control over the location of the data and strict controls to prevent unauthorized access to the data .

As ASEAN countries across ( Thailand , Malaysia , Singapore , Indonesia and others ) introduce and enforce Data privacy laws , key issue will be the extent of harmonization of these laws across the region. This will be important to unlock the benefits of ASEAN as a region so all countries can benefit from this .

Another discussion point was the new tax law on foreign tech companies which was announced a day before and the impact it will have on the Digital economy.

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/indonesia-plans-tax-overhaul-to-make-tech-firms-pay-vat

Cybersecurity
Indonesian enterprises are still not that concerned /aware on the risks from under-investing in Cyber-security . It is important for CIOs to realize it is not a question of “If but When“” . Indonesian enterprises need a back up plan and constant monitoring to ensure they are aware of the vulnerabilities and are constantly assessing and trying to bridge the gaps in the Network to the extent possible.

Connectivity
Indonesia given the geographical complexity is a challenge wrt Connectivity. The telcos are doing a reasonably good job but the enterprise grade connectivity is still a challenge beyond the major cities.

New solutions like SD-WAN may be important for the CIOs to start evaluating to accelerate the Digital transformation

Talent
Pak Alex highlighted some new initiatives wrt scholarships which have been announced to better match the requirements from the tech industry with the current curriculum . This is essential to produce a future tech workforce which can support the growth of Indonesia’s Digital economy.

Nimisha shared her perspective on what are some of the best practices from other countries and how Indonesia should be embracing a culture of inclusion, mentor-ship and constant training to ensure females are represented well in the new Digital economy.

All in all a great session and was well moderated by the ever cheerful and cogent Ted Hilbert .

Thanks Ted for that and to all the panelists for a great session and to the W Media team for another great event !

Grand Opening of Power Partners’ Building in Tampines

Acquired by Japan’s Air Water Inc with Direct Investment into Singapore, and Dedication to Job Growth

SINGAPORE 29th July 2019 — Power Partners Group is pleased to announce the grand opening ceremony of ​their seven storey building at 2 Tampines Industrial Drive. The opening ceremony was graced by Japan Ambassador Mr Jun Yamazaki, and observed by more than 50 VIPs who are business owners of manufacturing and high-tech companies from Singapore, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Vietnam and more. 

Japanese investment in ASEAN infrastructure projects since year 2000 has totaled more than US$230 billion (S$312 billion) and Singapore firms are being favoured as the gateway into ASEAN for their expertise in master planning and familiarity in business dealings in the region.

Air Water Group (AWI) has invested in the development of Power Partners Building with direct investment and employment plans in Singapore. Their investment coincides with the acquisition of Power Partners Group (PPG) who has been one of the leading critical power solution providers for the data centre industry in Singapore since 2006. 

“PPG specialises in the design, engineering, installation and maintenance of infrastructure for mission-critical applications, or any technology sites. This is increasingly important with the region’s power grid being put into the test with power-hungry data centres growing rapidly in the advancement of the digital era. The acquisition by AWI is a strategic approach to leverage and export both Japanese and Singaporean expertise into Asean wide,” said Mr Steven Wong, Director of PPG.  

About Power Partners Group 

Power Partners Group (PPG) is a company of Air Water Inc, Japan. Established since 2006, PPG provides power protection solutions for mission-critical applications in various industries all over Asia. With the extensive experience of more than 20 years of the founding members, Power Partners specialises in the design, engineering, installation and maintenance of infrastructure for mission-critical applications, or any technology sites. The primary concerns of our clients are power availability and uptime for systems. Over the years, PPG has created an association with a network of specialised companies and global manufacturers to deliver customised, complex power protection solutions, along with switch and distribution equipment, offering clients total turnkey solutions. 

About Air Water Inc.

The Air Water Group has evolved into a conglomerate that develops various businesses such as industrial gas, chemicals, medical, energy, agriculture and food products, logistics, sea water and aerosol.  The Air Water Group’s greatest strength is its diverse business network, the strong business bases of eight regions nationwide cultivated by its industrial gas business, and the diversity of human resources created by M & A as a driving force. 

The company has launched a new medium-term management plan, “NEXT-2020 Final,” which has three years from fiscal year 2019 to 2021 as its execution period. In fiscal 2021, the final fiscal year of it, Air Water Inc. aims to fulfil that vision, look ahead with the basic concept of “reform = execution of innovation”, and create a strong company that enables sustainable growth from fiscal 2022. 

29th July 2019 – Air Water Inc. and Egeria have reached an agreement concerning the sale of 100% of the issued shares of Hitec Holding B.V. to Air Water Inc. (hereafter referred to as “Air Water”).

Purpose of the acquisition of shares

By acquiring Hitec, Air Water is now in a position to develop a stronger global critical power business and a more competitive total-solution offering through alignment with, and leverage of, their existing critical power solutions business based in Asia. This acquisition will enable cost reduction of operations, the acceleration of innovation of new products and the strengthening of the global presence of Hitec. As a result, Air Water aims to become the “Global No.1” in High Power UPS systems and other critical power related equipment. AWI already provides industrial gas solutions and critical safety solutions to customers in the datacenter, semiconductor, industrial manufacturing and critical infrastructure segments, thus creating natural synergies for their existing customers.

About Air Water

Air Water is a globally operating manufacturing conglomerate, based in Japan and listed at the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Air Water operates in a large variety of sectors, such as industrial gas, chemicals, medical, energy, agriculture and food products, logistics, sea water and aerosol. It is headquartered in Osaka, employs 15,757 employees and reported a revenue of ¥802 billion in 2018 (ca. €6.6 billion). For more information, please visit:www.awi.co.jp/english/

About Hitec

Hitec develops, manufactures and delivers full-service turnkey Dynamic UPS solutions to ensure uninterruptible, continuous and conditioned power supply to mission critical processes. End-markets of Hitec comprise datacenters, semiconductor producers, hospitals, airports and financial institutions. The company has a global presence with a strong market position in Asia. Hitec is headquartered in Almelo, Netherlands and operates offices in the US, UK, Spain, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Russia. Hitec employs c. 270 people. For more information, please visit: www.hitec-ups.com

About Egeria

Egeria is an independent Dutch investment company founded in 1997, which focuses on medium-sized companies. Egeria invests in healthy companies with an enterprise value between €50 million and €350 million. Egeria Funds has investments in 9 companies: IQI, Dutch Bakery, Clondalkin, Dynniq, Ilionx, Trust, GoodLife Foods, TEG and Nooteboom. Besides private equity, Egeria has a long-hold portfolio Egeria Evergreen with six companies, Egeria Real Estate Investments, and Egeria Real Estate Development. Egeria’s portfolio companies have a combined turnover of over €2.3 billion and employ close to 10,000 people. For more information, please visit: www.egeria.nl

OPEN-TEC and WMedia Pte. Ltd. (W.Media) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on July 11, 2019 to foster collaboration in Cross Country Tech Knowledge Base at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. The objective of this joint project is to promote technology ecosystem collaboration among members from both platforms including Malaysia, The Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore, to facilitate innovation, international network, business opportunities. As well as to increase media channels, activities or experts from each country member to become the center of high-quality human resources in technology.

OPEN-TEC, the Tech Knowledge Sharing Platform operated by TCC Technology Group, a leading integrated technology infrastructure provider in Thailand, is ready to collaborate with W.Media Pte Ltd, a global B2B technology marketing agency that specialises in PR, Media and Events for four major mutual interests:

  • Cross-Border Activities : Co-developing country members in terms of technology skills and knowledge update on technology trends in the digital era.
  • Cross-Ecosystem : Co-creating new methods to connect the ecosystem for long-term collaborative learning according to country members’ needs as well as publicizing change of directions in each country member.
  • Cross-Platform : Leveling up body of tech knowledge between trustful platforms to build trust and success in various industries.
  • Cross-Media : Promoting to communication with public about the country members’ digital strategies, initiatives and workforce capability.

“OPEN-TEC is a platform created from TCC Technology Group’s intent on collecting and sharing knowledge of technology to build organizational innovation for TCC Group’s employees as well as startups, corporates and students in Thailand. We are delighted to announce the collaboration between OPEN-TEC and W.Media that leads us to this challenging goal in increasing benefits for the people in the region. Each country is thriving to build a strategic alliance with international organizations for new collaborations. To increase positive impact on business and social sustainability, this can be done through tech knowledge sharing and learning in the international arena which is another alternative way to integrated sustainable development.” Stated by Mrs. Waleeporn Sayasit, Corporate Communications Director of T.C.C. Technology Co., Ltd. (TCCtech)

ASEAN nations are expected to become the fourth largest economy in the world by 2030 and digital transformation to Industry 4.0 can be accelerated by combining ideas and resources – Vincent Liew, Director ( W.Media )

 

W.Media is a global B2B technology marketing agency that specialises in PR, Media and Events. W.Media assists in educating the public on the latest developments in the Cloud and Datacenter Industry by providing personalised experiences and engagement within the marketplace. They have successfully organised Cloud and Datacenter Conventions in ASEAN countries such as Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore and ever expanding their horizons. 

About OPEN-TEC (Inspired by TCC Technology)

OPEN-TEC is the Tech Knowledge Sharing Platform which can be applied in various aspects of benefit towards business, education, and society. OPEN-TEC was designed to be a mobile Corporate Innovation Lab that is moving forward with technology, a network of experts and a variety of knowledge from local and international areas. Its objective is to create tools to serve 3 major dimensions; Learning Society, Organizational Digitalization and Shared Value towards Sustainable Community.

OPEN-TEC welcomes every party who has an interest in corporate innovation. The initial members are from collaboration among TCC Technology Group, Fintech startups, university sectors, regional leading organizations and our global technology partners. More details, please visit www.open-tec.com

About TCC TECHNOLOGY GROUP 

TCC TECHNOLOGY GROUP is Leading Integrated Technology Infrastructure Provider consisting of T.C.C. Technology Co., Ltd. (TCCtech), LEAP Solutions Asia Co., Ltd. (LSA) and Shinasub Co., Ltd. (SNS). This technology group is Thailand’s first SAP partner certified specializing in three areas including SAP Hosting/SAP Cloud/ SAP Hana Certified Partner.  TCC Technology Group also has tightened collaboration with various leading global partners e.g. Microsoft, IBM, DELL and Cisco. To nurture the trust for our people, customers and partners, the Group aims to grow towards sustainability and become regional preferred choice for the Best Valued Solutions through Secured Facilities, Experienced Professionals and Innovation. www.tcc-technology.com

As the founder of Canatec Pte Ltd in Singapore, Mr Ken Ng is also their Business Director. His specialisation is: Mission Critical Environment Solutions., and has been in the Mission Critical Environment Solutions industry for more than 15 years.

An outgoing personality, coupled with strong business acumen, Ken has brought Canatec to where it is today from what it used to be in a small office room back in 2007. With the new office situated at Kaki Bukit, it boasts a 2 level structure with about 400 square metres. Ken was perceptive in the line of business and understood the importance of the mission critical environment to his clients, providing superior solutions which were optimized to each unique business requirement.

A charismatic leader, Ken earned the respect and trust of his peers who worked alongside him with ease. His laudable work ethics ensured that quality work was always delivered in a timely fashion. Ken’s natural flair in interpersonal interaction allowed Canatec to secure big clients such as Boeing and Keppel. An inspiring figure whom is talented yet humble, Ken is well poised and definitely a person to look out for in the industry.

Under Ken’s outstanding leadership, Canatec is looking towards a strong regional presence throughout South East Asia in the next 3 to 5 years by identifying and working closely with competent partners to deliver quality and reliable solutions.

Canatec’s business motto: “Client’s satisfaction is our business”.

Singapore, has over 40 data centres in a small land mass footprint. As a result, optimisation of space is important. So, the data centre infrastructure solutions need to be delivered in an effective space saving way without compromising efficiency.

Canatec Pte Ltd has over 12 years of experience in the customization, installation and maintenance of CANATAL Precision Cooling Unit (CRAC) for data centres. More than 1,000 CRAC units have been installed in Singapore, helping companies to achieve high reliability and availability to support their critical servers and equipment.

I started off by asking Ken about what challenges do tropical climates provide, particularly relating to cooling and energy efficiency.

Ken stated that for regions with tropical climates and high humidity level, more energy is used to provide the appropriate levels of data centre cooling. He stressed that continuous emphasis on equipment research & development and innovation, is vital to reduce the energy footprint. “A complete cooling system consists of various structure and components. By improving the performance efficiency of components will result in a more energy efficient system. Canatec constantly works with various suppliers to incorporate new energy saving technologies in cooling systems”.

Canatec has three cooling platforms; the ME, R and Guardian series. I asked Ken if he could briefly outline why they have three types of cooling systems and the benefits each of these provide.

The various types of system are designed to provide solutions for different applications, Ken noted.

ME Series
This is a small footprint, highly efficient, reliable modular system for large data hall deployment. The cooling capacity ranges from 30kW to 250kW. Being fully customisable, the equipment can be tailored to specific site requirements through parts and component modification and enhancement for both air cooled and chilled water environments.

R Series
Are In-Row Cooling systems designed to deliver more focused cooling to high density IT racks in hot/cold aisle configuration. The unit flexibility and small footprint is easy to fit and deploy. The R Series are tested to increase cooling efficiency for better Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) and energy savings. Cooling capacity ranges from 20kW to 60kW.

Guardian Series
The Guardian Series are compact and modular standing units offering high reliability and performance. They are specially catered for tight spaces and especially suitable for small server rooms and technology based spaces. These are designed with quality and cutting edge technology for precise cooling and humidity control within the highly sensitive environment. Cooling capacity ranges from 5kW to 40kW.

Why should organisations select your solution above others?

“CANATEC’s focus on product innovation provides customers with the latest and best energy efficient solutions. Our control system allows better monitoring and management of data centre conditions and that will translate to less energy consumption. We are consistently in search of better technologies to provide best value to customers.”

‘By listening to our customers, we understand their needs and challenges’

“These feedbacks are vital to product improvement and enhancement of users’ experiences. Our complete services from design, to build, to maintenance ensures accountability and ease of managing multiple parties from customers.”

One of the Canatec company’s values best describes them in this way–

‘Customers Satisfaction is Our Business’

Energy efficiency in the DC is undeniably paramount these days. What specific combinations of infrastructure technology are required to reduce the power consumption footprint? Ken stated that All CANATAL systems are fitted with variable speed EC fans which regulate fan speed that prevents fans from operating at 100% all time. The Inverter compressor regulates the cooling output in accordance to preset conditions and avoids over-cooling and energy wastage. Also, the deployment of a containment and row cooling system better manages airflow thus reducing air loses. “These designs and procedures are in place to optimise cooling efficiency and reduce power consumption.”

OK then, let’s talk about DCIM. I know you have a number of different monitoring solutions available and I understand you have a DCIM in the pipeline. So, if you could kindly tell us about the importance and advantages of DCIM and then about your upcoming.

“The role of Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) has evolved since its early days.”

‘The increasing importance of having more information and better control
over data centre operations are top priorities to data centre managers’

Ken continues to say that, “DCIM is a set of tools that examine, measure and manage data centre’s operation. Its objective is to improve efficiency, space utilisation and reduce cost. We are still in the process of confirming some details and are therefore unable to provide information [on our DCIM] at this moment. However, our customised solution is designed to meet different requirements and add value to your investment.”

— Darren Webb, Managing Director, DCSG. (Second from the left)

Darren Webb is the Managing Director and SVP of DSCG Data Centres in Singapore. DCSG is a privately held data centre, providing software defined services to global enterprise clients, from the US, Europe and Asia. DCSG work with some of the largest users of data centre services, utilising the very latest in design and software technology. 

Today is a story about how Darren managed to spin his web of expertise and skills to turnaround a underperforming data centre to one of profitability.

Starting with DCSG Data Centres in June 2016 in a short timehe has managed to turn everything 180 degrees.

Darren tells us that for the first few years of DCSG’s operation in Singapore, the facility was utilising existing provided shared infrastructure. In 2016, they decided to take on a major capital investment programme which, when completed, delivered their own dedicated infrastructure, including diverse chiller plant and dedicated power supply resulting in a Tier 3 Data Centre design. Customers now enjoy a great deal of diversity, both from a power and chilled water perspective.

“We can provide up to 20MW of power, ensuring that we can serve the biggest users of power, including the hyperscale customers”

I asked Darren about the process of going from under achieving to profit making and infrastructure deficiencies. The DC has a competitive local market with 40+ DC’s in Singapore, but must also compete regionally/globally. 

When taking over this under performing asset, Darren set out to turnaround the business; 

  •  determined the dedicated infrastructure needed investment 
  •  drive operational cost efficiencies by reshaping organisational structure 
  • working with vendors to ensure they were maximising their return on operating spend
  •  whilst maintaining operational excellence. 

“In the last 2 quarters we have closed in excess of SGD $8m TCV dollars of new business, securing extensions and growth from existing customers and bringing in new logo customers from the FSI space” 

‘We compete on focussing on customer delivery excellence. We are clear that customers have plenty of options in Singapore so we like to focus with potential new customers on our service, what will it feel like to be a customer of DCSG, what does excellence look like to the customer. We don’t simply focus on SLA’s – in fact I believe SLA’s are important – but not where the sole focus should be’. 

Darren further stated that ‘we take the focus away from a piece of paper, and more on the ongoing relationship, constantly looking for ways of working with our customers to ensure we are always 

delivering excellence. We are confident our infrastructure is great, we are confident that our solution is great, but we are most proud of our ability to build strong and deep relationships with our customers’.

Continuing on, I enquired about physical and operational inadequacies and technological restraints. What did Darren identify that needed to be ‘fixed’ and what were the processes implemented to address these problems? 

It was clear to Darren when he joined the business that although there was good SLA provision, it was provided via shared infrastructure which wouldn’t suffice for many potential customers. ‘Customers wanted us to have more control, so we made the decision to invest in our own infrastructure. When we combined this infrastructure, with a great deal of diversity and enhanced control built in, with our modular solution we are confident that we can meet the most stringent of customer requirements’. 

DCSG is proud of its modular solution, believing it delivers much more flexibility and security to customers, recognising that some customers require other solutions, including traditional raised floor deployments all the way to the powered shell. To address this issue, Darren is looking to deploy traditional raised floor to sit alongside the modular solution, already offering a powered shell and white space. ‘This allows us to increase our addressable market, satisfy more customer demand, in different market verticals, and also allows us to better differentiate between the solutions offered at site. We believe this also becomes a differentiator in the market’.

Just what were the key identifiers needed to turnaround the business?

The key points are; 

  •  looking across your P&L 
  •  looking for operating efficiencies
  •  ensuring that there is no potential impact on customer service/delivery or in-life management.

‘But driving efficiencies isn’t enough – we needed to win new business so we focussed on our strengths’

  • building on great relationships with existing customers
  • renewing and increasing their contract values
  • winning new business
  • focussed on specific customers in specific verticals, knowing we could build a tailored value proposition

‘To be successful in a turnaround you also need the buy-in and support of a great team. A team that fully understands the vision, and takes the challenge head on’

Darren stated he had to take challenging decisions – ‘one’s that can keep you awake at night!’ and if you remained focussed on driving profitability, communicated openly and regularly, shared the good times and not so good times, he said, then the vision can be executed. ‘I may have set out the vision, but let’s be clear, the team delivered it. I am grateful to all of them’.

Just how did Darren and DCSG raise the revenue bar and start the big turnaround? And, have this DC as the ‘go to’ facility. 

‘We don’t spend a great deal on Marketing, which obviously makes it challenging to build brand awareness, certainly across domestic, regional and global markets. Yet our main customers are headquartered in the US and Europe. Our most recent new logo win was also European, so obviously we focus on building local relationships then using that as a springboard to work with the customers global teams. 

Having worked with some of the biggest global MNC’s we are very used to this model. Again we choose to build a few key relationships with customers where we believe our value proposition gives them something that we don’t think is readily available in the market’. 

‘For us, and our customers, flexibility is key’ 

‘We don’t go into a new opportunity telling the customer what we can do for them, instead listening to what is key to them, and building the proposition around this. You can’t do this for everyone. Differentiation in delivery can drive complexity if not managed effectively, hence why we focus on specific customer opportunities. And we are winning in that space, but want to win more!’ 

Having a look at the key essentials for running a standalone data centre, Darren said it was simple. ‘Deliver excellence every day’. 

Some customers prefer to work with regional or global players, however, in Darren’s view, those organisations sometimes struggle to provide a tailored solution that works for the customer organisation in the local Singapore market. DCSG sits comfortably between big global providers and pure Singaporean providers, with existing global customers proving that DCSG still wins against both of them. 

‘Flexibility, Focus and Execution. We don’t make any promises, instead we just deliver time and time again’

Looking at the state of the data centre today Darren advises that the P&L looks much improved

  • we have reduced costs to deliver per kw,
  • maintained SLA performance (but more importantly the softer measure of customer satisfaction)
  • drove revenue increases of 20% y-o-y for the last 2 years
  • increased the footprint of existing major customers
  • renewed other key contracts
  • won new major logos. 

‘The overall business is in much better shape, and the team are ready to take that to the next level. We have achieved stability, now we want to see the asset fully utilised’. 

In the Beginning

After the inaugural Malaysian Cloud & Data Centre Convention in November 2018, the April 2019 version was delivered. With only 5 months after the first convention, was this too soon? Was this going to deliver equal to or better than the first? Defying the odds with conventions so close together with over 800 delegates at the previous one, the answer is a resounding YES!

The Grand Ballroom of the One World Hotel, Kuala Lumpur saw overwhelming support for over 1000 delegates and 34 sponsors/partners. W.Media continues with its winning innovative approach to these conventions having set and streamlined the formula last year to deliver a versatile and inclusive program.

The previous Malaysia convention provided a strong focus around connectivity and greatly highlighted ‘Women in Technology’. This year’s event painted the paradigm shifts to public cloud and data centre growth strategy and particularly noting the data centre services aspect. Both events delivered great individual diversity of content.

— Dato Ng’ Wan Peng, MDEC during the guest of honour speech.

The Main Event 

The conventions guest Chairperson for the day was Wong Tew Kiat (Director, Organisation Resilience Management Pte Ltd and Fellow of the Singapore Computer Society) who opened the day’s events. He then handed over to Dato’ Ng Wan Peng, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) for the ‘Guest of Honour’ keynote address. Her address was about sharing the journey towards a digital transformation and the importance on the needs to build a strong backbone for the country’s technology infrastructure and its growth strategy.

— Tom C. Varghese, Facebook.

Strongly supporting her opening speech, the convention launched straight in to its first panel discussion. This panel discussed how the 5G network, advanced & high speed telecommunications, IoT and advanced technology infrastructure, could transform the businesses to compete efficiently in a future economy. Facebook’s Tom C. Varghese (Manager, Access and Connectivity Policy), further elaborated on how they try to build the next-generation connectivity solutions in every corner to bring more and more people online to a faster internet. The presentation by Nishchal Khorana (Director, Emerging Technologies, Cloud and Data Centres) from Frost & Sullivan spoke on the paradigm shift in the data centre growth strategy.

“As the enterprise IT architectures and provider landscape continues to evolve, the data centre services business is expected to witness a significant shift. Business models are expected to change and new success factors for growth emerge. Data Centre service providers need to analyse these mega trends assess the impact on business and re-devise growth strategies”

The day progressed with further presentations and panel sessions. I want to make comment here to the presentation “Innovation for Business Impact: Driving the Next 80% Improvement in Data Center Performance”. I found this presentation quite interesting, in so far as how rapidly the data centre industry has grown over the last 10 years. And I’d like to quote Abhay Ghosalkar, Schneider Electric here –

“Our research shows that data centres today are 80% more efficient than those built with technology from 10 years ago, and with a significantly reduced cost/watt. However, if current digital trends progress, society will demand more computing power over the next decade, and data centre strategies used in the past will no longer be adequate”.

 

Interestingly, 10 years ago I was saying a similar thing. So, amazingly the growth over the last 20 years in fact has far outweighed expectations. And, it has even changed more so in the last 10 years.

In the panel session “Next-Gen IT Infrastructure, Disaster Recovery and Cybersecurity in Banking and Finance”, panellists actively discussed and spoke on the paradigm shift towards Public Cloud, Mr Srinivas Rao (Malaysia VMUG Leader) from vExpert Pro shared some very interesting view points on cloud technologies, strategies and deployments that certainly sparked some attention from the floor. This is one session that could have continued for quite awhile with many questions arising from delegates as a result of his comments.

— Panel: “Next-Gen IT Infrastructure, Disaster Recovery and Cybersecurity in Banking and Finance”

A topic that I personally find uninspiring is taxation, even at the best of times! Never get me started on the tax system after a few drinks. However, having said that, the presentation by taxation expert Brynner Chiam (Associate Director) Axcelasia Taxand, provided some very important insights regarding Digital Tax for Malaysia. Other countries such as Australia, Singapore, France and others have adopted Digital Tax. He addressed the various questions on how this will impact Malaysia and how will it impact IT decisions such as migration to a public cloud that do not have a company presence in Malaysia? Some very pertinent questions were raised that will affect business in various ways. Thank you for making tax a little more interesting!

The final session of the day was a moderated panel discussion about “Driving it right – Operational Excellence and Cost Efficiencies in Data Centers”. Next-Gen technologies, consume large quantities of power and cooling, this greatly increases the build cost of the DC infrastructure. The panellists shared their views on how risks could be mitigated citing that there are many developments around new innovative technologies which could lead to substantial savings. So, it was said that it’s time to further prove these concepts which could change the landscape of the data centre for a strong, right and resilience infrastructure.

— Panel: “Driving it right – Operational Excellence and Cost Efficiencies in Data Centers”

Servings on the side 

Technology Bench

The technology bench featured 12, 12 minute short sharp and focussed individual sessions throughout the entire day. These sessions provided the opportunity for delegates to focus in on particular technologies and innovations specific to their needs and situation.

Workshops

Two workshops of one hour duration each were conducted at 13:00 and 15:00 by two of the major sponsors that were well attended. These are more in-depth and intense open session styleworkshops. There is certainly room for more of this.

Aperitifs

At 16:30 the convention sessions ended and all gathered back in the Plenary Hall to partake in refreshments and hors d’oeuvres whilst spending valuable time networking with vendors and fellow delegates.

In the words of Wong Tew Kiat (Director, Organisation Resilience Management Pte Ltd & Fellow of the Singapore Computer Society) —

“I have managed to network with numerous delegates and I was indeed very happy that most delegates were very happy and had learnt a lot from the speakers and panellists who have vast experiences”.

In 2018, we saw significant developments in the data centre industry in Malaysia as well as the Southeast Asian region. But technology never stands still. As it’s still early in 2019, we caught up with KT Ong, Country Manager – Malaysia, Dell EMC, to ask him what he thought would be some of the top data centre and cloud trends to watch out for this year.

According to Ong, the debate is no longer about public versus private cloud because what we’re seeing today is that public cloud adoption isn’t slowing down AND private cloud investments are accelerating. That means the majority of IT practitioners don’t have a single “cloud”, but execute IT operations across multiple clouds in multiple localities, and industry research have highlighted this.

In fact, according to the Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index, 1 in 4 Malaysian businesses (39%) have identified multi-cloud as an investment priority in the next three years.

Powering all this, said Ong, is the explosion of data. “While organisations continue to digitally transform with modern data centre infrastructure that is software-defined and cloud-ready, we’re also experiencing a pendulum swing back to the edge – the result of highly distributed data being generated courtesy of the Internet of Things (IoT) – which is giving rise to a data tsunami.”

“And with 5G on the horizon, we can expect to see a whole lot more data – and a boat load of AI, Machine Learning and Compute happening at the edge – being shared via low-latency, high-bandwidth networks,” he added.

While we have seen high public cloud adoption over the years, Ong stated that we are now also witnessing a shift to private or hybrid clouds, and partnerships with cloud service providers to meet varied business requirements and workloads.

For example, for gains in speed and efficiency, certain workloads are being moved back on-premise, while public cloud is increasingly being used for non-mission critical workloads.

IDC predicts that by 2021, Malaysian enterprise spending on cloud services and cloud-enabling hardware, software and services will reach US$621 million, leveraging the diversifying cloud environment that is 50% multi-cloud.

On this, Ong said, “So, while it’s clear that the future is multi-cloud, organisations are facing significant challenges managing the complexity and demands that this reality brings. They need a strategy that allows them to move data back and forth with ease, and manage their entire multi-cloud infrastructure in a simple, seamless way.”

He also added that organisations can no longer consider cloud adoption as a “tick in the box” in their digital transformation journey. “The way we use cloud infrastructure is changing – and quickly. Emerging technologies will bring many incredible transformations to our lives, and the cloud will play a vital role in making this future a reality. It is essential organisations make the right IT transformation decisions around their approach towards cloud computing.”

When asked whether multi-cloud is already becoming the norm or are Malaysian companies choosing sides in the cloud arms race for now, Ong said that there is no “choosing sides” from a macro view. It really comes to down to choosing the right environment to effectively manage a variety of data workloads and deciding which model, or which cloud, is best for which workload.

“Rather than looking at it as an “either/or” situation, the choice should be driven by one simple principle. As a customer’s cloud operating sophistication increases, it is often easier (not to mention more strategic) to optimize their applications and expenses by matching the right application with the right environment. IT investments need to be balanced between different localities, ownership models, and architectures best suited to the work at hand,” he commented.

On the plus side, Ong asserted that organisations in the region are more advanced than their counterparts in many aspects of IT transformation. “While yet to fully harness the value of their IT resources, organisations are deploying the right IT infrastructure solutions to support their unique business needs. Customers are investing in flash, scale-out storage usage, and software defined networking and storage, at a faster rate than elsewhere.”

Meanwhile, data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) is driving an explosion in computing at the edge of the network. Gartner predicts that by 2022, about 50% of all enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside of a traditional centralised data centre or cloud environment – a 5x increase from just 10% currently.

From his experience, Ong said that there is already tremendous interest from a variety of customers in the APAC region. “As the hotbed of innovation and technology adoption, it is hard to pinpoint any one industry that is reaping more rewards than the others. Farmers can use data gathered to help them grow crops or livestock more successfully, and doctors monitor and capture data of hundreds of patients simultaneously – all industries have the potential to grow from harnessing the power of edge computing.”

“As more and more industries catch up and we see larger scale deployments and more devices (e.g. smart factories, oil & gas, connected vehicles), server class infrastructure will move closer to edge to enable data processing and decision making at scale with lower latency,” he explained.

Hence, edge computing is driving a new class of distributed and decentralised architecture concepts, and only companies driving innovations to optimise for this will win in the long term.

However, with progress there always comes a new set of challenges. The data sprawl and the amount of data coming in from the edge can’t be underestimated and organisations will need new IT capabilities to harness the power of a distributed edge to core to (multi) cloud hybrid architecture.

That’s where IT providers like Dell Technologies come into the picture. Due to the complexity of these architectures, organisations will need to turn to a technology provider that is both focused on architecture innovations at the edge, and also on integrating these innovations into a cohesive solution that enables hybrid computing all the way from edge to cloud.

That means ensuring the data centre is equipped to not only handle a variety of workloads sharing a variety of cloud architectures, but doing so with ease, intelligence and automation.

“Dell Technologies is focused on just about all of them, from joint innovation with component suppliers and solutions development with ISV partners, to industry-wide initiatives, and customer-specific architectures and engagements. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach as the barriers are many, diverse and complex. At the end of the day, we take more of a market-centric approach to edge implementation – our customers’ needs dictate the strategies and solutions we tailor,” he explained.

Ong agreed that despite all the progress, there are still many barriers facing today’s organisations. He cited a particular finding from Dell Technologies’ Digital Transformation Index, which stated that 91% of organisations globally are held back by persistent barriers, with security and data privacy concerns topping the list.

“That said, business leaders are not sitting around doing nothing – they are prioritising cybersecurity as the number one technology investment over the next one to three years,” assured Ong.

Predictions aside, Ong conceded that the tech landscape is constantly innovating and it’s anybody’s guess what will be possible over the next five years. Nevertheless, organisations need to prepare to make transformational investments in IT right now.

If you are interested to learn more about cloud and data centre best practices, strategies, implementations and innovations, be sure to attend the Malaysian leg of W.Media’s regional Cloud & Datacentre Convention that will be held in Kuala Lumpur on the 11th of April 2019.

For more information and to register, click here.

Hot on the tails of the very successful inaugural and opening convention for 2019 in South Korea, Vietnam played host to another first for the W.Media Group. The Cloud and Datacenter Convention was held at the InterContinental Hanoi Landmark 72, Hanoi on the 21st February, 2019.

The Vietnam conflict, known as the Second Indochina War, was an undeclared war in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975 Since then, Vietnam has grown leaps and bounds, surging forward at a very fast rate in recent years. It is interesting to understand where countries like Vietnam have emerged from; such as the Korean conflict preceding the Vietnam conflict between North and South Korea from 25 Jun 1950 – 27 Jul 1953. We can make good comparisons with Vietnam and South Korea developing and maturing in to great countries with good economies, yet North Korea still remains very much the same as it was back in the 1950’s.

Vietnam, is the fastest growing economy in the ASEAN region today. Technology is developing exponentially and it won’t be long before this country competes with some of the other more mature countries in the region.

With more than 700 delegates and 13 sponsors and partners, this was an extraordinary result and illustrates just where Vietnam is heading. In 2010, I mentioned during a closing presentation in Singapore that Vietnam was one of those emerging countries to watch, and it is great to see just how much it has advanced since then.

W.Media has certainly found the right formula in the provision of these conventions that has afforded a freshness to the industry over the past 10 months. The purpose of these conventions that W.Media convene, is to bring together likeminded people, such as yourselves, to explore, exchange, discover and interact with your peers and providers. And in so doing, provide you with information ideas and contacts to accomplish the best possible outcomes for your business or organisation whether you are a provider, consultant or an end user. The whole crux of it all is to gain knowledge. The more delegates and more sponsors that come will make this experience that much better.

The team has put in a lot of hard work getting this one up and running successfully, particularly so early in the year. So, on that note, let’s see how it all panned out.

After the Welcome Address by Vu The Binh, of the Vietnam Internet Association (VIT), the opening keynote was performed by Dr. Dao Dinh Kha, Director General, Department of Information & Technology, Ministry of Information and Communications. Through his presentation ‘Opportunity of Data-Center and Cloud Computing Services in Vietnam’, Dr. Dao provided a comprehensive overview of Vietnam’s current status, challenges, barriers and opportunities. Although Vietnam is still a fair way behind other countries, the path forward is positive he noted.

He stated that “cloud computing technology has not been applied extensively” and one of the main problems is “the lack of infrastructure and skilled human resources.”

Although there are challenges that are still remaining, such as investment approval procedure, cross- border data flow regulations, customers obligations and rights and requirements for data location, Dr. Dao states “Good news: problems being addressed, regulation is being modified and prepared!”

“From suspicion and restriction of use, Vietnamese enterprises and organizations are gradually aware of the great benefits of using cloud computing services and data center services” – Dr. Dao

The first panel session of the day was ‘The Cloud and Data Centers Landscape in Vietnam.’ This session was very interesting indeed and addressed some issues confronting a rapidly emerging economy. It was discussed about being last in global scorecard? One of the delegates stated that ”there are many ways to improve if the industry (in Vietnam) really wants to. For example, forming or joining Cloud associations to have a collective approach to improvement.”

A key comment from the panel identified that it was important that the Industry can also give feedback to the government on how they want the government to support it. Such as policing and governing or supporting the industry better and by promoting it.

From an observer’s perspective, I am not sure that Vietnam is last on the global scorecard. In fact, the country is climbing up the ladder of recognition hastily. If I flick back through my notes on Dr. Dao’s presentation, we can see some strong evidence of this as noted below.

Although spending on cloud computing is still low (1.7 USD / year in 2016), which is 107 times lower than Singapore; 6.5 times than Malaysia and 2.4 times than Thailand, we can see from the ACCA’s 2018 Readiness Index (based on CRI consisting of 10 indicators) that Vietnam is ranked 14th in the Asia-Pacific region. Among ASEAN countries, Vietnam follows Singapore, Malaysia Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia. Yes, there is a long way to go to catch up to the leaders but the path is solid and moving forward with great support.

The general direction of speakers and panel sessions was targeted at a technologically emerging country around the data center, cloud and communication space. About getting the infrastructure right in support of cloud and communications opportunities. There was a good diversity of topics covering many aspects providing delegates with much information to take back to their workplace and process.

A initiative from W.Medias first conference was the inclusion of the “technology bench” which has proved over a number of conferences to be undeniably very popular with delegates queuing up to be a part of it.

There was another inclusion to this convention that proved quite popular – Workshop Sessions of 2- hour durations. These sessions were designed to delve much deeper in to a particular topic than where a usual presentation would cover a topic at a much higher and broader level.

The second panel session was about data center design and operations. With an emerging technology country like Vietnam, this is a topic which cuts right to the core of where the most focus needs to be channelled. There is a plethora of information and discussion that spews forth from this topic. I suppose my only criticism is, that this session was not long enough being only 40 minutes. I understand that we need to keep sessions to a comfortable time to avoid boredom, but panels, like this one, are different. Something to look at for the future.

“+6 – 7% year on year GDP shows that Vietnam is doing very well, W.Media is sharp to identify Vietnam as a strong growing DC market at the right time” – Tran Song Hai, DP Consulting

OK. About the panel discussion. Wow, if you did not get something from this you must not have turned up!! Too much to form in paragraph format so, let’s bullet point the key information.

  • The Vietnamese Government has gone through many studies and efforts in making industrial 4.0 and 5G possible (Ed., South Korea is the forerunner with the implementation of 5G).
  • Where I see the challenge, will be in the ability for providing a fair playing ground in Vietnam for the global cloud & data center players
  • Three key concerns discussed by the panel –
  1. How to design a data center for high density
  2. How to meet international standards
  3. The all-important issue of safety
  • Trend –
  1. Average of 8kw/rack with 18-20kw/rack for some facilities
  2. There is a need to build modular because CSPs are poor in forecasting their deployment
  3. Use of DCIM to control the cost structure, to find hotspots. It was identified that a small difference in heat management can save a good deal of money.
  • Skillsets of employees in operating data centers is lacking in emerging markets. Opening doors for foreign investment will encourage global companies to operate and train local workforce into global standards.
  • Why can’t we cookie cut data centers? … just copy the best data center. A rather interesting analogy was cooked up by one of the panellists (Ed., excuse the pun 😉) – Same ingredients but a different chef results in different tastes. What makes a difference between a good and bad data center though the same building has operational excellence… e.g. SOP, Recover from failure… and Connectivity…

STOP PRESS: – Just In

  1. The Vietnamese Finance Minister announced today that the launch of the 5G wireless network will help raise quality of life. Also noting that South Korea launched its commercial 5G network on December 1st, 2018
  2. Government to establish 10 Smart Industrial Zones by 2022

Well, that’s it from Hanoi, Vietnam for 2019. Great introductory convention and one that has now been penned in for next year given its overwhelming success.

Next event will be back to Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on the 11th of April, 2019.

Look forward to seeing you all then.

IDC predicts that 21% of Malaysia’s GDP is expected to be digitised by 2022. This means that growth in every industry will be boosted by digitally enabled offerings, operations and relationships. As Malaysia continues to prove to be an excellent hub for data centres in the region, they need to keep up with the latest technology in data centres as well. Investing in the right type of technology is key to ensure data centres remain agile and efficient.

So what are the innovations where Malaysian data centres are investing in?

Firstly, which is also probably the biggest innovation all data centres are investing in, is Artificial Intelligence. AI is proving to be the future of almost every piece of technology. There’s no reason why Malaysian data centres shouldn’t invest in AI as well. Across the globe, AI is influencing the way data centres are designed and developed.

Gartner analysts predict that by 2020, more than 30% of data centres that fail to implement AI, will cease to be operationally and economically viable. Why so?

Over the years, Malaysian organisations have invested heavily in data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) technologies to better monitor and manage their critical IT systems. But an important step towards fully realising the nation’s Industry 4.0 aspirations is by embracing next-gen technologies, intelligent systems and robotics. In order to do that, DCIM systems, among others, will have to become AI-enabled.

Intelligent data centres with AI will become more energy efficient. At the same time, AI-based deep learning in self-managing data centres can help with applications to predict problems ahead of time. The predictive analysis can help data centres in terms of workload distribution as it is able to learn from past data and run load distribution more efficiently.

Secondly, data centres will be looking at the core of cloud computing technology. Hybrid cloud is enabling enterprises to use the cloud as an extension of their existing data centres while reducing risks and controlling costs. In other words, a hybrid cloud can offer the most benefits by connecting off- and on-premise resources. Data centres leveraging on this can achieve a lot indeed. According to IDC in their top 10 ICT predictions for Malaysia, by 2022, 90% of Malaysia 100 (M100) organisations will mitigate lock-in through multi-cloud or hybrid technologies and tools.

Thirdly, Malaysian data centres will be looking into hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). As data protection requirements increase, the demand for HCI solutions across the globe grows as well. The global HCI market size is expected to grow to US$17.1 billion by 2023.

HCI really is a transformative data centre technology. Deployment is super quick with no need for downtime, an imperative when building out cloud infrastructure. By combining compute, storage and networking hardware into a platform that has a software-defined layer on top, it becomes possible to manage the entire stack at scale by smaller teams with less ongoing training requirements. Also important is the TCO that HCI provides. It delivers scalability and performance built on commodity x86 architecture. At the same time, by easily sharing these resources across applications, HCI can deliver incredible resource utilisation efficiencies.

To learn more about these innovations, W.Media hosts Cloud and Datacenter Conventions around Southeast Asia throughout the year. On 11th April 2019, W.Media will be hosting the Cloud and Datacenter Convention 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The conference will be an all-inclusive event where end-users, operators, system integrators, consultants & engineers are able to meet and connect. The convention will highlight key progress, best practices, concerns and future of cloud and data centre innovations, featuring various international speakers from the industry.

As companies continue to spend and invest on technology, the global public cloud services market is one sector that is expected to see spending of over $200 billion according to Gartner. The Southeast Asian region, which is seeing accelerated growth in the digital economy, is at the forefront of this.

Manik Saha, CIO for Asia Pacific and Japan for SAP agrees with this. In fact, he says that growth in the global public cloud services may even go beyond the predicted amount. Gartner’s forecast shows that the market is projected to grow at around 17% to 18% in 2019.

According to Saha, there are a couple of factors to this. Firstly, more companies are looking to using infrastructure that is provided by hyperscalers around the world. They are moving most of their work from on-premise to hyperscale. This move, he said, is one of the reasons why this growth is achievable. Secondly, Saha said this move will allow businesses to be more agile, flexible and speedier in terms of how they position their IT.  As a result, they plan to use hyperscale as their next infrastructure platform.

“We’re seeing predictions from analyst firm, Gartner, of about 17% to 18% year on year And that is a huge amount, considering the amount of existing infrastructure out there. In some sense, you can argue the $200 billion predicted is probably only on the low end of the scale.”

Looking at Southeast Asia, Saha says the region is driven by massive economic growth. “If you look at mobile users in this region, it’s the highest. A lot of consumer behaviour is driven by mobile apps and mobile usage. This growth in mobile apps and usage will lead to more services and products online. This will automatically drive the cloud growth.”

Saha also said that as most ASEAN economies are emerging economies, they can skip one or two generations of legacy infrastructure and directly move to cloud, which is much agile and flexible. In his opinion, this is one of the reasons for faster cloud growth in the Asia Pacific and Japan region compared to Europe.

Speaking of cloud, Saha said that he sees both public cloud and hybrid cloud as complementing each other instead of competing. For most companies that have legacy and background on an on-premise setup, the hybrid cloud serves an intermediate step to get onto the public cloud. He added that in SAP, they are using public clouds when they move from on-premise. But for their internal systems, the hybrid cloud is an intermediate approach because not all systems can move at once.

There are drivers to what will be the final state of the hybrid cloud. Firstly, would companies want to put all their information on public clouds, or would they still want to have some on-premise? This would be a reason why they would want a hybrid cloud setup. Secondly, companies may want to have an option to have some data or applications on-premise, which leads to hybrid cloud.

“There is a lot of debate going on in the industry among companies looking at what is the economics and the viability of moving 100% to cloud as part of their roadmap.”

As more companies use public clouds, the issue of security arises as well. Saha said that talk of security or ensuring that corporate data is safe in the cloud is going to become more relevant. “Regardless of whether a company is moving to cloud or staying on-premise or in a hybrid environment, there is going to be a very strong conversation on this. When companies move to the big cloud providers, they can choose to go hyperscale or pick SaaS solution providers like SAP. There are billions of dollars being invested on trying to safeguard, from a cybersecurity point of view, their assets and premises that are provided to their customers.”

Small and medium sized companies will not have the huge investment funds available to them to safeguard all the security related threats that are out there. Saha added that it would be better to safeguard data by working with partners that are scalable as oppose to managing cybersecurity on their own. This would give customers assurance when they move to cloud; that they are not just buying the service but also a certain degree of security with that. However, Saha said that there is always a discussion on what can be prevented in the world of cybersecurity because there are always elements of malicious intent.

Referring to data residency laws in Vietnam, Saha said this is more of controlling of who has access and processing the data instead of a cybersecurity issue. Similar to the GDPR in Europe, it’s more from an ownership and custodian point of view on what happens to the data. Having said that, Saha believes that hyperscalers are coming in with best practices across the world from a cybersecurity and services point of view.

With AI and Machine Learning being the trends in tech today, Saha said that it’s a question of how businesses use these to give customers what they want and to keep them connected. All these technologies are supporting enablers towards the customer experience. A lot of businesses are using this to give customers the complete experience in using the technology. He added that the most important thing for a company is to be able to capture that experience and use that as a way to monetise the services and products.

“We are going to get into more real-life scenarios that are going to use data in more meaningful ways. A lot of companies are going to monetise the data that they have within their own companies and start using them in a more meaningful way this year.” Saha believes that companies will accelerate the processing of their data to get more insights this year in order to get the best out of them.

Manik Saha will be speaking at the Cloud and Datacenter Convention 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam, on the 21st of February 2019. Organised by W.Media, the event will be Vietnam’s first all-inclusive event where end-users, operators, system integrators, consultants & engineers are able to meet and connect.

The convention will highlight key progress, best practices, concerns and future of cloud and data centre innovations, featuring international speakers and industry experts from SAP, VNPT Northen Data Center, FPT Software, Viettel IDC and the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) Vietnam. It is one not to be missed. If you are interested, please register here.

For many years, Singapore has built its reputation to become the leading technology hub in ASEAN. Although the city-state remains the dominant market, controlling over 50% of the data centre capacity in the region, in recent years Vietnam has been stepping up the efforts to catch up and become the new regional data centre hotspot.

The Vietnam government has invested heavily into upgrading the nation’s IT infrastructure to make this happen and offer a number of favourable conditions and tax incentives to attract more companies to build their data centres in Vietnam.

Their commitment towards preparing Vietnam for a data-driven future was exemplified by the new Law on Cybersecurity which took effect at the start of 2019. The law has made it mandatory for international technology companies to establish a physical presence in Vietnam and store data locally in order to serve their Vietnamese customers.

Seen from a positive perspective, this means that there is now a great opportunity for companies to build their business by locating their data centres in Vietnam. The demand for new data centre floor space is definitely there and growing. The country has had an increase of almost 40% in capacity forecast, bringing in an estimated $1.4 billion in investments to new facilities in the past 2 years alone.

After all, in order to reach the nation’s target of becoming an advanced ICT country by the year 2020, there will be an accelerated demand for localised offerings of data centre and cloud implementations in the coming years.

Those who are quick to recognise and meet this demand will stand to flourish.

While the laws demand for mandatory data localisation, Vietnam itself is not a recluse state. It knows that it has to interconnect as well as compete with other nations and to achieve that, the ICT implementations and data centres will have to meet international standards.

The fact that more state-owned enterprises are being privatised, such as those in the telecommunications and banking sectors, means even more opportunities will open up for foreign investors.

At present, Vietnam is making good progress. The country is in the top 10 in terms of global IT outsourcing. There are around 30 data centres concentrated in two of Vietnam’s biggest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. It’s definitely a developing country that’s experiencing one of the highest rates of ICT adoption.

If Vietnam keeps this up, with full support from its government, it won’t be long before this proud ASEAN nation becomes a regional leader in the ICT and data centre landscape.

On 21st February 2019, W.Media will be hosting the Cloud and Datacenter Convention 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam’s first all-inclusive event where end-users, operators, system integrators, consultants & engineers are able to meet and connect.

The convention will highlight key progress, best practices, concerns and future of cloud and data centre innovations, featuring international speakers and industry experts from SAP, VNPT Northen Data Center, FPT Software,

Viettel IDC and the Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) Vietnam. It is one not to be missed. If you are interested, please register here.

It’s a wrap! KL puts a wrap on 2018 with the inaugural all inclusive Malaysian Cloud & Data Centre Convention. The convention was held at The Summit 1, The Vertical at Connexion Conference & Event Centre in Bangsar South. What a cracking event to finish off the year!

With in excess of 800 delegates and 34 sponsors, the trend for these conventions by W.Media continues. Once again, a innovative approach to these conventions is proving to be a real winner drawing more and more delegates and sponsors, making it a truly broad and diverse experience.

As I have previously stated before in the Singapore convention wrap, the purpose of these conventions that W.Media convene, is to bring together likeminded people, such as yourselves, to explore, exchange, discover and interact with your peers and providers. And in so doing, provide you with information ideas and contacts to accomplish the best possible outcomes for your business or organisation whether you are a provider, consultant or an end user. The whole crux of it all is to gain knowledge. The more delegates and more sponsors that come will make this experience that much better.

The convention started off strongly with a presentation by Wan Murdani Mohamad of the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) around ‘Driving Malaysia’s Digital Economy’ setting the theme for the day’s proceedings.

Following on was the first panel session being a Visionary Panel, basically around making Malaysia the ideal data centre location, what are the various barriers and how they can be addressed. This ties in with the available local talent pool, deregulation around connectivity, the ecosystem of cloud and disaster recovery providers. This whole panel session could have been broken down in to several topics and discussed all day, such is the nature of what is happening in Malaysia currently. However, there is only so much you can fit in to one day!

Although most banks recognise the benefits of Cloud, one of those barriers lies with the Central Bank of Malaysia, waiting for them to come out with clear guidelines to enable the other banks to move forward.

Connectivity has always been a huge issue and was a major topic of discussions at this convention, especially with the rise of industrial 4.0. The new Malaysian government has also effectively reduced the rates of connectivity and the newly launched JBIX has ambition to improve internet speed throughout Malaysia.

A particularly interesting comment, came from a presentation by Leon Jackson, CTO, Strateq Group in his presentation – ‘Transformation from traditional IT infrastructure to Hybrid Cloud’.

“Cloud computing has gone from the being the secret sauce of agility of start-ups and unicorns to a tool that the enterprise has come to appreciate and leverage”.

I think that particular comment really sums up how cloud is transforming today.

The discussion panel format continues strongly, and from a personal point of view, I believe that there is much to be gained by delegates in this type of open forum panel combined with taking questions from the floor moves the discussion to a different level. Theses panels have the ability to address individual concerns and queries from the floor providing a greater level of relevance.

One of the panels I thought was extremely insightful was ‘Women in Technology – Thriving In Digital Transformations, Balancing Priorities and Benefits of Diversity’. This power packed panel featured six senior executive level women from Microsoft Malaysia, Maybank Investment Bank Berhad, Asia Online Publishing Group Sdn. Bhd., China Mobile, Dell EMC and MDEC.

Why was this so pertinent?
• Firstly, we haven’t seen a panel before specifically focussing on women in the industry and at such a level.
• Secondly, there is currently a global push that has been happening for a number of years now, around equality and recognition of women in the workplace which is long overdue. (Ed. If someone is capable of doing the job, give it to them. It does not matter what gender, nationality, colour or religion they are. If you want the best, you engage the best).
• Thirdly, it is important to show that women are more than capable and are doing a great job although there are some countries and religious ideals still sadly suppressing their opportunities.

One of the great changes over the last few years in the major cities of Indonesia and Malaysia, is that women now have more opportunities and no longer face this old world attitude of suppression.

The emphasis here according to Stephanie Chiang of W.Media, is that it’s not about gender inequality or just about gender diversity. Women today have equal opportunities and using MDEC as an example, women hold the top positions of CEO and COO.

“In balancing priorities today, technology enables work anywhere, anytime – this helps them get their work done while managing their families”.

Stephanie further cites a Maybank representative commenting that she manages her priorities by always focusing on the top 3 aspects in her life – fitness, family and work.

This type of panel and exposure can help in a way to start overcoming some of these archaic obstacles. So hopefully the big cities act like a pebble in a pond – sending outward the rings of change.

Great panel and I look forward to seeing more of this at future conventions.

So, with MDEC driving the digital economy in many fronts to boost the demand for cloud and DCs this promotes more confidence for stakeholders to invest in Malaysia on the DC front. And so, with this drive for digital transformation in Malaysia, the TIME company believes that home-grown Malaysian DC operators can compete on par with global DC standards, including DCs in Singapore.

The technology bench remained as popular as ever with 15 individual short sessions throughout the day providing the opportunity for delegates to focus in on particular technologies and innovations specific to their needs and situation.

Well, that’s a wrap for KL and 2018.

Stay tuned for next year’s calendar of data centre and cloud conventions with the addition of three new annual shows in South Korea, Vietnam and Thailand. In the meantime, Executive Director of W.Media, Vincent Liew will be heading up a 5 day tour to Shenzhen and Beijing with a number of select regional friends. Another great addition by W.Media.

I look forward to seeing you all in the new year.

The Cloud & Datacenter Convention 2019 series will include key growth markets in SE Asia, including Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. W.Media will also co-organize with Korea Data Center Council (KDCC) to launch Korea Cloud & Datacenter Summit; bringing international limelight to the Korean market while localizing cloud and data center technology adoptions. For more information, visit https://w.media/events/

Malaysia is moving forward through many initiatives, some by the government and some through the corporate sector, in its drive to be a digital HUB within ASEAN. And there are a number of local and regional innovations driving Malaysia in this direction. Telecommunications is one of those areas driving development.

In a discussion with TIME, a Malaysian telecommunications provider with businesses spanning Fixed Line, Data Centres and Global Networks, here is what their team had to say.

I first asked how they saw the current data centre market and where it is heading in Malaysia compared to other ASEAN countries.

According to TIME, Malaysia is gaining traction from global players, especially content providers. With the new government, committed to transparency in both the public and private sectors, Malaysia will once again be recognised as a business friendly country.

They went on to say that there are several other factors that will help global players make the decision to move to Malaysia:

• Malaysia is a politically stable country in a safe geographic zone.
• Malaysia has a pool of tech talent that is multi-lingual.
• Malaysia has a conducive business environment supported by a Government that is pushing for digital transformation.

“With the above in place, Malaysia should place in the top 3 ASEAN countries for global players who are looking to penetrate the 600 million strong ASEAN population. Global content providers such as Google, Facebook, Alibaba, AWS, and Tencent, are slowly expanding their presence in Malaysia despite having a big set up in Singapore.” they commented.

When talking about innovations and transformations, one of the TIME representatives stated that “There’s a lot of talk surrounding mobility, virtual reality and augmented reality powered by artificial intelligence.” And further commented “These technologies are also quickly becoming commonplace in the medical, automotive and logistics industries. And of course, who could ignore the chatter on blockchain and its application in crypto currencies like BitCoin.”

“There’s a lot that we can learn. Embracing these technologies will enable us to compete globally in the fields of medicine, business services, logistics etc. making the country more competitive.”

Sub-marine cable investment has been escalating over a number of years now. What are the true benefits and impact for the ASEAN community?

The TIME representatives said that more submarine cable investment in ASEAN means more capacity and more options for ASEAN to connect, both regionally and globally. Countries with a more liberalised telecommunications regime will attract more cable consortiums to land in the country resulting in more capacity and options to connect to the rest of the world.

ASEAN countries with extensive international connectivity will attract more tech giants like content providers, IoT and Artificial Intelligence players who need good connectivity and low latency to be present in the respective country.

I asked just what role and how important is telecommunication connectivity in Malaysia.

Their opinion was that for Malaysia to be able to create a more open and level playing field that attracts more international investment in infrastructure, Malaysia should start phasing in the liberalisation of its telecommunications industry thus aiding the development of a more comprehensive international network. More traffic can flow in and out of Malaysia which will eventually attract more tech giants to set up their hubs here making Malaysia the gateway to ASEAN.

To finish off this short discussion, I asked TIME to think 10 years ahead to see where Malaysia may be positioned in the telecommunication, technology and data centre space?

“Malaysia’s new Government is working hard to encourage a flow of investment into Malaysia.”

According to TIME, “With qualifiers like political stability, a conducive business environment and a pool of multi-lingual tech talent, Malaysia should be able to leapfrog to become the main ASEAN hub. The Malaysian telecommunications and technology market will be opened up to encourage heavier investment into the country. We also foresee the demand for data centre space will grow in the double digits to fulfil market demand as a result of the technology influx.”

Exciting times for Malaysia! Further plans and insights into the Malaysia cloud and data center market will be revealed at the Malaysia Cloud & Datacenter Convention 2018 on 8 November at The Vertical, Connexion Conference & Event Center, Bangsar South. Over 1200 IT and business leaders have registered, if you have not, you can still register on-site.

W.Media is ready for 2019. The Cloud and Datacenter Conventions series will be held in Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.

Email partner@w.media or call +65 3159 3210 for more information.

Breaking news! On the 5th of September, 2018 at the Fairmont Hotel, Jakarta erupted and sent shock waves through the cloud and data center industries across APAC. Indonesia’s first all-inclusive ‘Indonesia Convention: Cloud and Datacenters convention’ convened by W.Media burst on to the scene generating some large seismic activity along the way. If this event could have been recorded on the Richter scale it would have been off the scale! This is where end-users, operators, system integrators, consultants & engineers gather.

With early expectations of 300 – 400 delegates, the convention far exceeded those expectations attracting with over 700 delegates in attendance. This follows on from the Singapore convention in July where we saw over 700 delegates in attendance as well.

The convention had a strong focus on the cloud environment targeting particularly security and technology directions in Indonesia. The successful format of the Singapore convention was continued here in Jakarta with a mix of presentations and moderated panels; a technology bench that went along the Apple-style of technology demonstration that ran throughout the day providing delegates the opportunity to interact more with sponsors at a more detailed level. There were lounges to facilitate networking among experts. And of course the expansive technology showcase hall featuring 20 sponsoring companies and organisations once again providing delegates with an extensive range of products and expertise to tap in to. The showcase featured cloud computing, data center outsourcing, connectivity, data center design and operation and energy efficiency – power & cooling.

A number of highly regarded speakers presented or participated in the discussion panels such as Wong Ka Vin – Founder and Managing Director DC1st, Alex Budiyanto – Chairman Indonesia Cloud Computing Association, Nishchal Khorana – Director Emerging Technologies, Cloud and Data Centers for Frost and Sullivan, Jae Lee – VP Head of Engineering for RingMD, and the list continues.

The keynote presentation was delivered by Jae Lee – VP Head of Engineering for RingMD regarding a new innovation called Telemedicine. The title of the presentation was ‘The Future of Healthcare – accessible and secured via blockchain and cloud computing’. Apart from the secure nature of the product that was emphasised in the presentation, I found it very interesting and wonder why this wasn’t done a long time ago. Telemedicine is an app for your smart device. Instead of spending on average 2.5 hours to visit a medical practice and share the space with other sick people and germs, you can use the RingMD app to video call a Doctor who can make a diagnosis or assessment. A medical certificate or referral letter can be issued in minutes and prescription medication can delivered to your door.

“Digital Healthcare market to Reach $39.1 Billion by 2022” 

The convention was strong to address misconceptions that many end users have. For example, digital payment providers were under the impression that they were not able to use the cloud because of Indonesian regulations around the storage of data. In actuality, the use of cloud storage is ok provided their data is stored in a cloud facility physically located in Indonesia. As a result, end users are not utilising the likes of Microsoft, Google and so forth because their Data Centers are not located in Indonesia. And there were many interesting discussions around this topic throughout the day.

What I felt from this particular light bulb being switched on was that there was a lot of interest in developing local Data Centers in Indonesia and in particular in Batam. If you are going to build local DC’s, then you need to find a location less prone to seismic and volcanic activity and as such, Batam is a good candidate.

“DC1st to launch Nexus Datacenter to be hosted in the new multi-million dollar Nongsa Digital Park in Batam” 

There were significant take-aways from this convention, more so than other conventions I have been involved in over the years. Of course, that is one of the main key focuses for these conventions that are produced by W.Media. The purpose of these conventions is to bring together likeminded people, to explore, exchange, discover and interact with peers and providers. And so, providing delegates with information ideas and contacts to accomplish the best possible outcomes for their business or organisation whether it be a provider, consultant or an end user. The whole crux of it all is to gain knowledge. These conventions by W.Media will help provide that. Did this convention achieve this? Yes, it sure did in a big way.

Another highlight was around resilience of data centers, disaster recovery and crisis management. These are some of my favourite areas in the industry having previously developed and managed disaster recovery and crisis management plans and putting these plans into action in real crises.

It was noted, and ‘enthusiastically’ discussed, the so called seemingly high resilience nature of a Tier III facility. One panellist stated that just because you have a Uptime Tier III certification does not mean that the data center is reliable. It was further pointed out that one Tier III facility (which will remain nameless) had 3 failures in a single year. (Ed. I am glad I was not managing that facility!) So, when we design and manage DC’s, diligence is always a great ally.

As always, Wong Ka Vin – Founder and Managing Director DC1st, always provides us with lengthy and detailed insights and is more than happy to talk to you at length expelling his length and depth of knowledge and experience.

His presentation Global Case Study on Resilient Data Center Strategy’ was as always insightful and deep. I found the sections on ‘The Rise of the 4th Platform’ and ‘DC campus & Edge DC the catalyst in Smart Cities’ to be quite interesting indeed.

Overall, the event exceeded expectations and was a great success. So congratulations on developing this type of format and all the hard work that goes in to it. I look forward to seeing and writing about the next convention coming up during November in Kuala Lumpur.

Next convention is the Malaysia Convention: Cloud and Data Centers at Connexion, Kuala Lumpur on the November 8th 2018. This will be Malaysia’s first all-inclusive cloud & data center event.

Next we have the Korea Convention: Cloud & Data Centers on January 23rd 2019.

Then it will be back to Singapore on July 11th for the next iteration of the Global Selection Convention and the APAC Data Centers Convention where the expectation is to break the 1,000 delegate mark.

If you wish to visit any of the data centers in Asia, feel free to reach out to our event concierge team to plan an itinerary for you. Email partner@w.media or call +65 3159 3210 for more information.

When we think of cooling in the tropical environments the first issue that comes to mind is the intense humidity ranging anywhere from 75% to 100%, and how best to deal with it. There are a number of challenges in providing solutions for tropical climates. We not only need to include city locations, but consider regional, coastal and inland conditions. The way we implement a cooling solution for the tropics will also have an impact on power.

The tropics are a region that sit north and south of the Equator. The Tropic of Cancer lies in the Northern Hemisphere and the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere. 40% of the Earth’s surface area is taken up by the tropic region and contain 36% of the Earth’s landmass. In country terms, this includes the northern part of Australia, most part of Asia up to the southern area of Taiwan, India from south of Bhopal, south of Aswan in Egypt to the midway points of Botswana and Namibia, and from Cuba down to Rio de Janeiro in South America. 

Our considerations must also include the subtropical areas as well that stretch north and south of the tropic latitudes of around 1,500 kilometres. 

The first question to ask, is what supporting data centre infrastructure is required to implement efficiency technologies. What comes to mind is a host of organisations with various standards such as ASHRAE, Green Grid, CIBSE, UpTime Institute and so forth. These and other organisations are striving to set standards for data centres across the globe. The problem here is that there is no one particular standard addressing all our needs leading to certain frustrations when embarking on the design of a data centre. 

The other factor is the consideration of local codes such as fire, water & electrical standards. Of course, these differ significantly across the APAC region. 

We know that evaporative cooling in high humidity areas does not work well. We also know that using free air flow works very well in the temperate zones but, is very problematic and requires extensive de-humidification in the tropics. So apart from standard air-conditioning units and water based chillers, what else provides a better solution and can incorporate energy efficiency savings.

OK, let’s have a look at a new recently developed award winning technology that seemingly addresses this problem (without going into brand names – sorry).

Driven by industry demand , this technology was designed specifically for data centres. It uses the waste heat from the data centre and with a combination of gravity and a syphoning effect, it drives a refrigeration cycle capable of operating without pumps or compressors. By removing the use of pumps and compressors it reportedly provides remarkable levels of energy efficiency. Subsequent versions of this technology will include “Split Systems”, such as above-aisle modules and perimeter CRAH units, providing scalable cooling for new builds and retrofit applications. As there is no outside air gaining access to the data hall, it will be able to eliminate the potential risk of contamination from air pollutants.

I guess the question is, how does this technology help meet data centre owners and operators rising energy saving and cost reduction demands?

So basically, this innovation can be coined as Indirect Thermosyphon Cooling. Is is a compact, efficient, and cost-effective indirect air side economiser that uses ‘thermosyphon’ air-to-air heat exchangers to reject the heat coming from the data centre to ambient temperature levels thus offering data centre owners and operators an energy efficient indirect cooling solution without the need for water.

What we can glean from this technology, to my mind, is versatility. Where once we had to provide different solutions to different climatic regions, it appears now that this technology innovation can provide one solution package across these climatic regions. For me, that removes a considerable amount of headache and heartache. It not only provides a single solution but by removing pumps, compressors, chillers and water will save substantially on the data centres set-up costs and TCO as well as significant savings on the data centres OPEX.

As mentioned previously, this technology was recently awarded “Best Data Centre Energy Solution”. The features that tick the right box and make it a valuable and innovative energy efficient solution for customers is that this low energy cooling solution is;

  • Scalable for future growth
  • Has the ability to cope with Tropical Climates
  • Cope with local air pollution
  • Handles multi-story data halls
  • Meets shipping requirements
  • Removes the use of pumps and compressors
  • Removes the use of water and chilling towers
  • Up to 75% energy cost savings compared to water cooled chillers with CRAH’s
  • Energy efficient solution
  • Substantial savings in infrastructure and space.

The vision of the company responsible for this technology is about being the ‘perfect climate partner’ for its customers, leading the way for energy efficient and sustainable cooling solutions. They are quoted as stating ‘by listening to our customer and industry needs for cooling’.

They have a solid hard working R&D department. ‘Our teams are continually developing and pushing the boundaries for data centre cooling with the main aim being the optimization of efficiency’.

Editor’s perspective. Sounds great. Let’s watch this space and hopefully we will see it being spruiked at some industry events in the very near future.

Keen to know more about effective cooling of tropical data centers? Join 1,000 data center and telco providers, end-users, consultants and system integrators across Asia Pacific to uncover the best practices and technology innovations at the APAC Data Center Convention 2018: Design & Operations (ADC), 3 July 2018 at Marina Bay Sands, organised by W.Media.

ADC’s Conference Page and Registration are now live. Our curated agenda will keep you occupied and there are many like-minded professionals you can meet.

Email partner@w.media or call +65 3159 3210 for more information.

Smart design basics for your Data Center: there are some fundamentals that need to be addressed when designing your data center. I call it DC Design Basics 101. A number of mistakes are made and design elements overlooked by not initially addressing the fundamentals at a high level. In this article we will identify ‘The 7 Keys To Success’©  and ‘The 4 Utilities’©.

When I was involved in DC design work, there was an overriding push to get down to the finer details at the beginning. This often led to overlooking key fundamentals. This may be obvious to a lot of readers, however, you would be surprised at just what is missed. As a result, I came up with ‘The 7 Keys To Success’© and ‘The 4 Utilities’© to address this problem. A simple formula to build upon and not be forgotten. When it is put in front of a committee or planning body, it becomes obvious and at the front of everyone’s minds.

The following does not discuss or include physical location, policy, processes, procedures, availability and capacity planning, incident or change management, environmental monitoring, security, business alignment, BIA’s, tier levels, global standards and so forth. The intent here is to cover the physical infrastructure elements only from one viewpoint that does not necessarily obtain the attention it requires when viewed from an ongoing management perspective.

Data Center design needs to be smart and it needs to be viable for the long term, 30 years down the track, without having to outlay millions of dollars in retrofits.

Before we proceed, and I know people will point out about power if I do not give it a brief mention here, I will stress that the computing power consumption is the key to fit out of the entire facility.

  • Important to get this correct at the start of the scoping process
  • You must understand the day’s end load

“A life expectancy of 30 years is achievable instead of say, 12 years”

Let’s have a look at the ‘The 7 Keys To Success’© first.

By following these keys, you will build the shell of the data center and ensure the infrastructure is in place to grow and is sized for days to come, not sized for day one. Fit out the computing hall in stages, helping provide longevity to the DC increasing the ROI and reducing the TCO.

Detailed breakdown of each of these ‘Keys’ can be done another day. Just reiterating here, the intent is to identify the keys at a high level.

“Physical Infrastructure Needs To Grow With The Business”

‘The 7 Keys To Success’© state that the Infrastructure Design Must Be:

Ensure that Plant and Equipment selections are made using ‘The 7 Keys To Success’©

  • Manufacturer
  • Distributor
  • Business Value Adds
  • Standards: Global / Australian / European, etc
  • Fit For Purpose
  • Design
  • Best Of Breed

‘The 4 Utilities’©

‘The 4 Utilities’© addresses the following components as we look at how the floor space within the data center (main hall or computing room) is laid out. How we design the power requirements to deliver enough power to cater for growing and expanding systems. The ability to be able to effectively cool all types of environments and by using a smart design approach to deliver network and data services.

And of course, ‘The 7 Keys To Success’©, as for the design above, equally apply to the ‘The 4 Utilities’©.

Identifying the various ‘The 7 Keys To Success’©, and the ‘The 4 Utilities’© will ensure the best start possible at the initial conceptual phase of the data center design. Each key can then be sub-divided and addressed in full all the way down to the final specification ready for implementation.

Keen to know more about the agility in designing & operating of Data Centers – especially in the Asia Pacific Market? Data Center professionals like Spencer Denyer and over 500 data center and telco providers, end-users, consultants and system integrators across Asia Pacific will uncover all their knowledge at the APAC Data Center Convention 2018: Design & Operations (ADC), 3 July 2018 at Marina Bay Sands, organised by W.Media.

ADC’s Conference Page is also now live, our programs will keep you occupied & we have more coming along the way. Registration is also now opened for ADC.

If you wish to visit any of the data centers in Asia, feel free to reach out to our event concierge team to plan an itinerary for you. Email partner@w.media or call +65 3159 3210 for more information.

Edge computing. Why do we need it? Just what is the real benefit for adopting this way of managing our compute environment in a world where consumers and businesses alike rely heavily on available 24/7 technology with a clear digital expectation. However, what is the real drawback and is it worth the risk. The following brief overview we will look at the key advantages and disadvantages of edge computing.

Toward the end of 2016, Gartner predicted that there would be 8.4 billion IoT devices installed by the end of 2017 and 20.4 billion by the end of 2020, and this did not include computers, iPads and smartphones/devices.

In our era of colocation/cloud computing facilities, where IT infrastructure and critical data are stored in secure and robust Tier III or IV environments, end users and businesses are opting to sit outside this safety net. These cloud environments do not totally suit everyone, particularly those industry sectors that rely on instantaneous data availability or commands to critical equipment such as in hospitals and manufacturing where seconds make a difference.

For example, smart manufacturing factories rely on instantaneous commands or instructions to drive automated robots. Changes to these robots need to be made quickly and reliably to ensure continuity of the process line avoiding disruption or incidents. As to with hospitals, their monitoring equipment in an ICU needs up-to-date, real-time data to enable staff to respond to a critical event where seconds count.

So, as we can gather from the above, latency is one of the key reasons why Edge computing is adopted. Edge computing provides much shorter latencies and thus enables real-time availability, another key reason. These organisations can then take better advantage of opportunities leveraging colocation/cloud facilities. The colocation/cloud environment provides security and redundancy for the companies data to be stored and used for interrogation and a variety of analytics as required within that facility. The business can operate in real time on the ‘edge’ in its current mode of operation without the threat of latency issues and jammed network bandwidth, bringing bandwidth-intensive content closer to the end user and latency-sensitive applications closer to the data.

As a simple example, your GPS navigation system works that way to a certain degree. A GPS uses turn-by-turn guidance, has the ability to detect and recover and is minimally distracting to the user. It uses only one type of sensor and that is the location from GPS. All other relative data is stored elsewhere except the map that is stored on your local device with some application software around it. All the telemetry is provided by satellites to guide that little blue arrow on the map. So, this is real-time availability. The downside in this instance is that there is no redundancy and in other applications, there is a potential loss of data which can be another disadvantages of edge computing.

Edge computing brings the company and its capabilities, and the end user closer together with its data acquisition and control functions, storage of heavy bandwidth consuming content and critical applications.

Low latency and real-time availability does provide across the board productivity increases and is particularly noticeable in the Business-to-Business environment.

Oil & gas exploration is another classic example of edge computing benefits. The used of automated unmanned drones called “aerial data collection bots” are deployed to examine job locations during oil exploration due to their flexibility to navigate and coordinate locations where massive trucks, cranes, and rotary diggers are used where once before manned helicopters were used. These drones can photograph job sites 24 hours a day providing management up-to-the-minute views. So what does this mean for edge computing? It allows the drones to transmit the data in real time and receive timely instructions. The company’s computing power and storage capabilities are positioned directly on the edge of the network to lower transport time and improve availability.

As we have very briefly observed, Edge Computing has its clear advantages and risks:

Whilst discussing edge computing with Adam Wilkinson, National Applications Manager for Schneider Electric, he commented that “edge computing provides the coming together of the digital expectation and the digital experience”.

So apt given that there is a 24×7 digital expectation in today’s technological world.

Keen to know how much closer are we to Edge Computing and what’s going to be next for the industry? Hear from experts like Spencer Denyer and 500 senior executives at the World’s first ever event for Data Center, Cloud and Connectivity buyers – the Global Selection Convention 2018, organised by W.Media.

See how hyperscalers, banks, government, ecommerce, etc. make their decisions differently. As well as key datacenter and cloud providers showcasing their global footprint and expertise.

If you wish to visit any of the data centers in Asia, feel free to reach out to our event concierge team to plan an itinerary for you. Email partner@w.media or call +65 3159 3210 for more information.

Carbon Tax Pressures Singapore Data Centers

Businesses across Singapore will have to contend with a new threat to their profitability in the future: the carbon tax which will be imposed in 2019. Announced by the Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in February 2018, the carbon tax will be levied on all factories and establishments that release more than 25,000 tons of greenhouse gases.

Data centers have been springing up at an accelerated rate since the rise of Internet and Cloud based companies and with companies storing billions of gigabytes of information. In Singapore, the rise in demand has been matched with a rise in supply, and what we see today is a competitive market with both international and homegrown data center providers.

Essentially, data centers consume an immense amount of energy, especially with technologies today enabling higher density in IT equipment. It is predicted that data centers will consume three times the energy that they do today in the next few years.

With the carbon tax levy set at $5 for every ton of greenhouse gas released by companies from 2019 to 2023, we take a look at how this will generously impact the competitive data center business.

The Impact on Businesses

It is easy to assume that data center providers will probably pass on the costs to the end-users. However, this would not be sustainable in the long-term, given the competitive nature of the market that extend beyond the country and into the region. Outside of Singapore, countries such as Japan and Hong Kong have also been deemed as a preferred data center hub for global end-users to set up in Asia.

Companies generally prefer data centers located nearby to allow for quick movement of data, and greater control with better accessibility. Along with significantly lower costs and improved digital infrastructure since the past few years, Malaysia could also be a convenient alternative location to look at.

With that in mind, data centers in Singapore need to look into improving their energy efficiency to reduce their operating expenditure, avoid costly tax payments, and ultimately remain competitive in the Asian region. A significant amount of energy is consumed in running a data center, with almost 37% being used to keep the equipment cool. While it is a big challenge, there is definitely room to achieve optimal energy efficiency.

A Green Data Center – Distant Dream or a Real Possibility?

Currently, the best-in-class data center in Singapore has a power usage effectiveness rating of 1.44 whereas a similar data center in Nevada can achieve an annual PUE rating of 1.185. Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Keppel Data Centers, and Huawei have joined hands to see if they can create a high-rise “green data center” to solve both space and power concerns. This includes exploring at elements such as server rack positioning, intelligent control systems, data hall structures, and the use of natural ventilation or physics-based cooling methods for more efficient energy consumption. The IMDA has also designed the Green Data Center Standard to establish processes and systems required to improve energy efficiency in typical data centers.

Renewable energy is limited in Singapore. In an energy-intensive facility such as a data center, relying solely on renewable technology is not a suitable option. Tropical and humid climates are not conducive to many of the energy-saving techniques as well, which means data center businesses have to be inventive. The industry must innovate in different ways to reduce energy consumption and boost efficiency, possibly by combining different green technologies and techniques to find a sustainable option.

As the IMDA and its industry partners continue to explore the possibility of a true “green” data center in a tropical country with limited renewable energy, data center providers will more likely to adjust its business plans and projections in expectation of the carbon tax to be brought into effect in 2019.

Hear more about Carbon Tax at the upcoming APAC Datacenter Design & Operations Convention 2018 on 4th July.

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Just how healthy is our cloud environment? Is cloud adoption and growth going the way it was predicted over the last few years or has it stagnated or dropped off?

I have been doing a little scratching around the surface, had a look at some of the research companies and spoken to a number of commercial cloud operators to find out a little about the health of cloud market today.

Back in 2009, I predicted that Cloud Computing was getting ready to take flight and advised the audience to ‘watch this space’. The ‘Cloud’ is not a technology or tactical direction instead, one of a strategic direction.

Major global cloud operators such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft over the past number of years have reported steady growth with huge gains over 2017. They all report very strong upward curves and predict this will going through 2018 and on for the short term with no reason to slowdown in the foreseeable future. Microsoft doubled its revenue during the 2017 fiscal period.

So, why are we seeing such rapid and exponential growth with colocation/cloud? There are a number of factors to be considered and are divided between;

  • physical infrastructure
  • cost of real estate
  • management and maintenance
  • network bandwidth and connectivity
  • increase in offered services maturity and diversity
  • security
  • scalability to mention a few

The development and increase of these services have steadily been rising with one major research company stating that Cloud Services were 7% of the total market in 2010 and are predicted to rise 30% more by 2020. Two years away and I believe will roll right through that upper mark.

One major Asia-pacific data centre cloud provider states that the data centre must adopt and support digital transformation. The digital transformation is achieved by delivering a ‘cloud-first architecture’ that has been designed to be more adaptable and responsive to meet the requirements of the end user.

 

We are seeing a transformation with offered services such as;

  • IaaS
  • SaaS
  • PaaS
  • Original basic managed services being replaced with wholesale colocation
  • Connectivity-centric colocation
  • Automated infrastructure
  • Complex managed/hybrid cloud
  • All Flash Storage appliance
  • Container architecture
  • Storage as a service
  • Data protection as a service
  • Object storage as a service and so forth

The Cloud provider noted that Cloud has been delivering data storage connected to AI, Machine Learning, and data scrapping applications, which the Cloud then harvests into useful and purposeful business opportunities. The greater the development is in network connectivity, the more viable it’s flexibility and adaptability will makes of these offerings.

Clients can access large and complex amounts of data remotely without the drag of low bandwidth, knowing the data will be secure in a state of fully redundant and secure facility. A lot of smaller organisations, in particular, take advantage of the reducing cost and overhead of having their compute environment in-house. Yet it’s not just the small organisations taking advantage of the exploding cloud market, we have been seeing major corporations adopting this approach in recent years.

Is the cloud healthy? It certainly is!

Keen to know what more can it be done within the Cloud Environment? Join 500 senior executives and hear from experts like our co-founder at the World’s first ever event for Data Center, Cloud and Connectivity buyers – the Global Selection Convention 2018, organised by W.Media.

See how hyperscalers, banks, government, ecommerce, etc. make their decisions differently. As well as key datacenter and cloud providers showcasing their global footprint and expertise at APAC DC 2018and our unique thought leadership sessions.

Unless you wish to visit any of the data centers in Asia, then to feel free reach out at our event concierge team to plan an itinerary for you.

All the rave about Edge computing, and many still hold the misconception that it will take over the Cloud.

Prior to understanding how Edge and Cloud computing are interrelated, we need to take a step back and look into another current favourite technology term – the Internet of Things (IoT).

IoT was coined by Kevin Ashton back in 1999, and even with all the hype since 2016,  it is still considered to be in its infancy stage. International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasted in December 2017 that IoT spending will sustain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.4% through the 2017-2021 forecast period surpassing the $1 trillion mark in 2020 and reaching $1.1 trillion in 2021.

With strong beliefs that over the next 3 years IoT will rapidly streamline business processes and redefine living with smart appliances, systems, and environments, newer technologies with major focus on reducing network traffic and resolving data processing problems are needed.

Conveniently, Edge Computing is recognized as the newer technology and thought to be taking over Cloud Computing. With the latter being an integral part of most businesses and internet users, the debate whether to opt for Cloud or Edge computing arises.

Demystifying Cloud and Edge Computing

Cloud computing, specifically public Cloud, delivers hosted services such as databases, storage, software, networking, over the Internet. It provides ease and availability of services, flexibility of migration, different types of deployment models, and services.

Edge computing is a method of optimizing or processing cloud computing systems data at the edge of network (closer to the data source). By processing data locally, the backhaul traffic to the central repository can be drastically reduced in most scenarios. This method helps to reduce the size and optimize data nearer to the source before sending it to data centres or cloud systems, across long routes.

Importance of Edge Computing in Cloud Computing

As we understand more, it becomes evident that both Cloud and Edge computing serve different purposes. Rather than being competing technologies, they complement each other. Implementing Edge in a Cloud computing model ensures optimized data, increased performance, and ease of data access to customers. Organizations would benefit from being able to analyse critical data in near real-time at the source and data latency gets reduced. Analyst Robert Cihra wrote that the best-positioned vendors for Edge computing early on include Amazon, Apple, Tesla, and GM.

In short, if Cloud computing is about centralizing processing and storage of data for stable and efficient platform for computing, Edge computing is about pushing the processing and storage closer to the data sources. Cloud computing is a broader concept which can or cannot include Edge computing technology, depending on the requirements of customers.

Gartner’s Thomas Bittman says on his blog, “The agility of Cloud computing is great – but it simply isn’t enough.” All the battle on the internet between Cloud and Edge technology enthusiasts make it an interesting debate as we try to understand what each of these are and what it holds for the future of technology.

Keen to know how getting closer to Edge Computing not just means for Cloud, but for data centers and connectivity? Join 500 senior executives and hear from experts like Spencer Denyer at the World’s first ever event for Data Center, Cloud and Connectivity buyers – the Global Selection Convention 2018, organised by W.Media.

See how hyperscalers, banks, government, ecommerce, etc. make their decisions differently. As well as key datacenter and cloud providers showcasing their global footprint and expertise at APAC DC 2018and our unique thought leadership sessions.

Unless you wish to visit any of the data centers in Asia, then to feel free reach out at our event concierge team to plan an itinerary for you.

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Our industry is increasingly dynamic with many debatable challenges! Find your opinions thought-provoking? Keen to inspire healthy changes?

Contribute by submitting your opinions to our editors via partner@w.media.

Shortlisted contributors will have their articles published (and edited if necessary), or be interviewed by our editors.

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