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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Identifying credential stuffing

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

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

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

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

Overcoming credential stuffing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

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

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

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

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

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

Ask and you shall receive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How are data centers enabling Indonesia’s digital future?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Space to grow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defying Gravity

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

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

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

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

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

Creative thinking, defying echo chambers, yoga and shadowboxing

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

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

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

Defying limitations, escaping velocity and mixology

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

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

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

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

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

> Register now for your complimentary MarketplaceLIVE ticket

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping it animated even during a pandemic!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Making the HPC future cool

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

> Explore how GIGABYTE is powering the future of HPC

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creating a RUCKUS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connectivity at the heart of hospitality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The current state of data center sustainability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s driving data center sustainability into the future?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are the solutions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does the future hold for data center sustainability?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

> Read more from Schneider Electric’s report

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

China has a large and fast-growing data center market, driven by data center operators like Princeton Digital Group complementing the needs of the Government’s “New Infrastructure” strategy to develop more facilities.

The “New Infrastructure” initiative was introduced in early 2020, promoting data center developments, like Princeton Digital Group’s three current and three upcoming facilities, to enable China’s digital future where 710 million citizens are online.

“Online businesses have changed the lives of over one billion people, introducing new ways of life such as digital payment, online education, streaming media, e-sports,” said Zhang Yonghai, Princeton Digital Group’s Managing Director for China.

With China’s “Internet Plus” strategy encouraging businesses to digitally transform, 70% of the population now use e-commerce services, increasing demand for more data centers to keep the world’s second largest economy online.

Mr. Yonghai Zhang, Princeton Digital Group’s Managing Director for China
Mr. Yonghai Zhang, Princeton Digital Group’s Managing Director for China

“With the continued development of new generation AI, 5G, industrial internet, the Internet of Things and autonomous vehicles, there will only be greater demand for higher standard data center resources,” added Mr. Zhang, who has more than 28 years of experience in the IDC industry.

Cloud computing giants and large internet companies like Alibaba, Tencent, ByteDance, Pinduoduo and more are also bringing large demand for data center developments and hyperscale facilities, stimulating another wave of fast growth for the Chinese data center market.

As a result, China has more than 360 data centers, almost 200 providers, and is expected to grow by 3% annually until 2024.

The scale of these data centers is also growing exponentially to meet the growing data capacity demands, from 8MW being the mainstream a few years ago, to 40MW in 2020. The smallest approved Shanghai project in 2020 being a capacity of 24MW, while the largest facilities can be bigger than 100MW, as local customers often choose large-scale customised procurement projects.

This relatively mature infrastructure, scale and rapid growth in the Chinese data center market is key to the stable development of Princeton Digital Group’s business. PDG already has mature data center assets in large hotspots, including Beijing, Xi’an and Guangzhou as well as a 42MW flagship data center in Shanghai.

“Guided by the Yangtze River Delta integration policies and trends, we are strategically building data centers in Shanghai and its surrounding areas with the goal of creating a new highland of cloud computing and big data analytics,” said Mr. Zhang.

Princeton Digital Group is also developing two new campus projects in Nanjing and Nantong located in Jiangsu province. Their Nanjing facility will be a 41KW data center spanning more than 35,000 square metres, with construction expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year. The Nantong project is also expected to begin construction later this year, and will have a first phase capacity of 26MW upon completion in late 2022.

Princeton Digital Group’s Nanjing data center
Princeton Digital Group’s Nanjing data center

Princeton Digital Group strategically selected these two cities, as they are emerging new metros that have been influenced by the “New Infrastructure” policies. Nanjing is the capital of Jiangsu Province and an important transportation and communications hub, while Nantong is closely connected to Shanghai where tech giants like Tencent are located and a new generation of IT is expected to exceed a GDP of US$143 billion in 2020.

Facing the challenges of China’s rapid data center expansion

While China’s rapidly developing data center market brings lucrative opportunities, changes and challenges also arise, including higher customer requirements and standards in design and construction, changes in supply chain, strict PUE regulations and facing fierce competition.

With its manufacturing advantages and highly reliable water and electricity supply, China has a complete industrial chain of manufacturing, installation, and after-sale services to supply data center construction and hardware equipment. 

But the country’s data center market has its own unique supply chain ecosystem and high entry barrier where water and electricity are provided by state-controlled enterprises, for which data center operators must apply for the capacity with these designated companies.

Princeton Digital Group's Nantong Data Center
Princeton Digital Group’s Nantong Data Center

“Each of our projects is managed by a full team of business development professionals specialized in policies and regulations of the local governments, including energy experts with excellent resources and understanding on how to obtain the relevant permits and approvals,” said Mr. Zhang, who previously worked for HP China as their General Manager for their data center business in China.

Recently, these supply chains have also started to change to offer custom-manufacture for cloud computing customers, offering more manageable lead time and pricing. To constantly adapt to these changes, Princeton Digital Group partners with both global and local suppliers.

“Backed by deep-pocketed Warburg-Pincus, all current projects by Princeton Digital Group in China are developed on their own land and have acquired all the necessary permits for energy, environmental assessment and power resources to ensure a smooth development process,” added Mr. Zhang.

Unlike other countries in Asia where electricity supplies are less reliable, the challenge in China is meeting strict PUE requirements where data centers must meet a 1.3-1.4 PUE.

Yanfei Zhao
Mr. Zhao Yanfei, Princeton Digital Group’s VP of Engineering

“This is particularly challenging to achieve in some economically developed cities in the south of China where the climate is warmer. And as data center scales become larger in China, bigger challenges are imposed on design processes, project and operation management,” said Zhao Yanfei, Princeton Digital Group’s VP of Engineering, who has 15 years of experience in the real estate and IDC sectors in China.

To overcome this challenge, Princeton Digital Group’s facilities are controlled at a PUE of 1.3-1.4 using leading energy and cooling technologies like high voltage direct currents, indirect evaporative cooling and natural cooling technologies.

Princeton Digital Group also leverages the vast experience and cultural knowledge of their in-country team. Princeton Digital Group is able to build fast and aggressively throughout Asia with strong data center industry names like Mr. Zhang, who was responsible for Pioneer Universe Group’s entire data center business in China, and Mr. Zhao, who oversaw the build of all Baidu’s hyperscale data centers across China.

As a pan-Asian operator, Princeton Digital Group is also able to consolidate their industry knowledge, strategic alliances and resources from multiple countries within the Group to support foreign customers interested in entering the Chinese market as well as customers in China looking to explore other markets in Asia Pacific.

“China-based hyperscalers and emerging internet companies are expanding beyond the border and especially into the APAC region at an unprecedented speed. But their growth plans are nonetheless bottlenecked in various markets due to differences in culture, regulation and practises,” added Mr. Zhang.

Princeton Digital Group actively looks for opportunities to serve hyperscalers and collaborate with customers and partners to create multiple channels of communications and resource sharing throughout Asia, including China, Singapore and Indonesia.

Discover how Princeton Digital Group’s in-depth experience, insight and success in multiple markets make them an optimal choice of partner in and out of China.

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

The task of powering data centers is no easy feat, especially when each country brings its unique infrastructure challenges. Any downtime for data centers can be incredibly costly, and this risk is continuously increasing with more industries becoming reliant on data centers.

Within this context, Delta Electronics, a leading global provider of power management solutions, identifies and tackles the unique challenges of powering data centers in emerging markets like the Philippines and more mature markets like Singapore with tailored solutions fitted to each environment.

Reliably empowering data center growth in the Philippines

Emerging markets like the Philippines fuel Southeast Asia’s data center construction market growth with companies such as Globe Telecom, the Philippine Land Transportation Office and PLDT expanding their networks in the country.

The Philippines has a population of over 100.7 million, with 41 Internet users per 100 and rising. It is also ranked #34 for data center density.

But to enable sustainable growth, data centers in the Philippines must have reliable power in a country where natural disasters and political controversies pose great risks for power suppliers.

“Power qualities in areas outside of Metropolitan Manila are not as reliable. Voltage spikes and sags as well as routine power outages are still common for some areas,” said Jimmy Wan, Country Sales Director for Delta Electronics.

Manila has a connectivity ecosystem made up of 18 colocation data centers and 23 cloud service providers, but even last year Luzon’s grid was on red alert.

“Almost the entire country will only have one grid, unlike most countries where any particular area may have two or more power supplies. This means that power ratings of three or four are not completely possible in the Philippines,” added Mr. Wan.

As an archipelago of over 7,000 islands, the rest of the Philippines also has logistical issues with deployment of power solutions and post-sale services. To overcome these challenges, Delta Electronics has service partners that cover the country to deliver services similar to the level in Metro areas.

Another challenge affecting the country is the fact that many small and medium-sized data centers are still on a baseline N deployment with no ability for redundancy. This means a component is not backed up by a duplicate in the event of failure. Medium and larger sized data centers more commonly have N+1 redundancy for UPS deployment.

Mr. Wan said: “A lot of data centers in the Philippines are still using comfort cooling systems like traditional air conditioning instead of precision cooling to maintain the climate inside their data centers.”

The lack of precision cooling in the country may be due to the Philippines typically running at 60Hz frequency, as many compressors and cooling units generally run at 50Hz.

On top of this, the Philippines also has the unique scenario of varying voltages, with 230V, 380V and 460V three-phase voltages depending on the area of the archipelago you live in. Typically, older buildings run at 230V and industrial areas run at 460V, while newer buildings have a 380 voltage.

“This poses a challenge for equipment suppliers, as the majority of demand is in 380V/3ph. Manufacturing in the other voltages are on a per order basis with longer lead times,” said Mr. Wan.

To solve this problem, Delta Electronics adapted to the rest of the market by making use of transformers for three-phase uninterruptible power supply solutions.

Mr. Wan added: “We have many manufacturing plants worldwide and in Southeast Asia, so we can supply our products on time to many markets.”

Delta Electronics has noticed that the Philippines market is adapting to not only reliable, but also efficient power usage.

Mr. Wan celebrated: “The market is understanding now that it is not only important to have continuous power and cooling, but also to do it efficiently by not wasting power.”

Energising Singapore’s land sparse, humid, mature data center market

Singapore is the third most robust data center market in the world and has the most mature market of any country in Southeast Asia, but it is still growing with new constructions from Equinix, Digital Realty, Keppel Data Centres and Facebook as well as cloud providers like AWS, Google, Microsoft and IBM.

Singapore is a great place to set up a data center with low risk of natural disasters, strong network connectivity, a stable political system and a geographically strategic location as a gateway connecting neighbouring Asian countries.

While the high heat and tropical climate in Singapore may seem like paradise for vacationers, it is less than desirable for data centers, as cooling systems have to work harder and consume more power to keep the facility at an optimum temperature.

This is not ideal since data centers already consume an extraordinary amount of power in a time when Singapore is looking to achieve energy efficiency and reduce emissions with carbon taxes and Green Data Centre Standards.

To this end, Delta Electronics endeavors to ‘remain committed to the research and development of innovative, energy-saving products, solutions and services that substantially contribute to the sustainable development of mankind’.

Mr. Wan said: “Our solutions are tailor-fitted to our environment and are designed to resolve our challenges. Our products are driven by global trends, scalability, efficiency and sustainability.”

Delta Electronics, with headquarters based in Taiwan, recently celebrated achieving a TIER III-Ready Award by Uptime Institute for their Point of Delivery data center solution, recognising its energy efficiency and power reliability.

Mr. Wan added: “To amend power quality, the market usually oversizes their equipment or makes use of other power quality equipment to amend these issues like power filters.”

In a land sparse country like Singapore where space is becoming increasingly valuable, Delta Electronic’s POD solution along with their Micro Data Center and Containerized Data Center solutions allow for small, medium and large enterprises to take advantage of efficient and future-proof solutions.

“Delta is unique as it is the only top data center vendor that has its headquarters in Asia. Most vendors are either European or American,” said Mr. Wan.

Delta Electronics also recently helped HTC-ITC, a subsidiary of Hanoi Telecom, to build a TIER III Uptime certified data center in Vietnam.

With the right power solutions, an emerging market could grow into a more mature market and compete at a global scale, ultimately providing societies with greater connectivity and efficiency that can power up local and worldwide digital economies.

> Discover Delta Electronics’ empowering solutions

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

SpaceDC is bringing the first green data center to Indonesia, powered by a world-class team of individuals who are passionate about delivering a reliable and resilient network.

The Singapore-based data center provider recently welcomed Elisabeth Simatupang as their new Country Manager for Indonesia who has big plans for the future.

With experience building 1,000 telecom towers per year with Bali Towers as well as international expertise working with AWS in Sweden, Ms. Simatupang brings strong local knowledge of Indonesia backed by precise understanding of international standards.

Ms. Simatupang hopes to stand out in the Indonesia market by achieving SpaceDC’s vision of creating an interconnected data center platform throughout Asia that is environmentally friendly and operates to international standards, helping end users to manage their data more efficiently on one platform that brings down their total cost of ownership.

Building the first green data center in Indonesia with SpaceDC

Indonesia is one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, and data centers are a significant culprit of producing a large carbon footprint. As a result, lowering the environmental impact of data centers is at the heart of SpaceDC’s philosophy.

To achieve this, SpaceDC’s first green data center campus in Jakarta will be powered by natural gas – a first for Indonesia. This solution reduces both the environmental impact and increases the overall fault tolerance of the site.

The data center will also be able to recycle waste heat from gas generators by passing it through a heat exchanger in the absorption chillers, producing more chilled water for its Cold Room Air Conditioners that cool down the data center halls.

The 26.6MW Indonesian campus has achieved a Power Usage Effectiveness rating of 1.3, while other data centers are said to be struggling at 2 PUE.

But SpaceDC‘s commitment to achieving an environmentally friendly legacy doesn’t stop there, as the team plans to further reduce the PUE of their facilities, which benefits customers by lowering the total cost of ownership. 

However, achieving sustainable and reliable power for data centers in Indonesia is challenging, as the national energy grid produces insufficient electrical generation capacity and a weak quality of power.

To overcome this, most data centers in Indonesia usually build their facilities inside industrial estates that have a shared power plant, which typically makes the cost of powering a facility more expensive.

SpaceDC has gone a step further by building their own power plant in Jakarta, which they manage 100% to generate the absorption chiller at their data center campus. 

To ensure the reliability of the facility, the power and cooling systems are also supported by diesel generators and electric chillers as well as an additional backup from the Government power utility in Jakarta, which is typically more reliable compared to other regions in Indonesia.

As a result, SpaceDC solidified their ability to reliably power their campus by achieving an Uptime Tier III certification at their JAK2 facility. Not only that, but SpaceDC also recently achieved the recognition of being the first OCP Ready™ facility in Asia by proving its ability to design highly efficient data centers and meet Open Compute Project Foundation guidelines.

The team is looking to set the bar high in the future, as they strive to secure a Tier IV classification at their upcoming JAK 1 data center, which would be a particularly unique achievement for a facility in an emerging market.

SpaceDC’s JAK1 and JAK2 facilities that make up Indonesia’s first green data center campus

Delivering sustainable interconnectivity for Indonesia

On top of having the first green data center in Indonesia, SpaceDC’s goal is to provide an interconnected platform in the country that makes managing data footprints across regions easier and more efficient for businesses.

Driven by Indonesia’s tremendous growth in Internet accessibility as well as customers’ desire for connectivity and speed, SpaceDC will work with private cloud companies and internet service providers to bring hub cities and emerging markets together.

Elisabeth Simatupang, SpaceDC's Country Manager for Indonesia
Elisabeth Simatupang, SpaceDC’s Country Manager for Indonesia

Ms. Simatupang believed the best way to stand out in Indonesia is by achieving international standards in Internet connectivity, as most traditional data centers in Indonesia have not reached this status.

The data center provider is in the process of building partnerships with all the biggest ISPs in Indonesia, including Telkom, Indosat and CBN who have links with the country’s biggest transmission backbone project to deliver reliable network connectivity and flexibility for customers.

To fulfil international standards for interconnectivity, Jakarta is the place to be.

SpaceDC carefully selected their data center campus to be located in the capital city, as it has some of the best fiber optic transmission ability and reliability when compared to other areas. Their campus is designed with four meet-me rooms and three different entry points from three different directions of fiber optic coming into the campus, making for resilient and reliable network connectivity.

Expanding out from Indonesia, SpaceDC has ambitious plans for the future by targeting emerging markets and hub cities across Asia to create a unique interconnected platform.

By providing a reliable interconnected platform for emerging markets like Indonesia, SpaceDC enables more data load capacity in these markets, rather than feeding in capacity from other countries with more mature data center markets like Singapore.

Achieving the interconnected green data center dream with people power

SpaceDC has identified the hub cities and emerging they want to expand into within the next five years, based on the demand from their customers and megawatt capacity needs in their facilities.

Carolyn Harrington, SpaceDC's Chief Operating Officer
Carolyn Harrington, SpaceDC’s Chief Operating Officer

The Chief Operating Officer of SpaceDC, Carolyn Harrington, said with confidence: “I’d be surprised if we haven’t delivered more based on the speed of the market.”

However, a data center would not function without a team of talented people who have the technical prowess and ability to understand the individual needs of end users.

SpaceDC is in the process of building a team who are empowered and motivated to deliver their five-year vision.

“A business is a vision and mission, but this only eventuates if you have the right team,” said Ms. Harrington.

In the current economic climate affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, many business plans have been put into question and a state of uncertainty. But the SpaceDC team has stayed strong in continuing to work towards this vision.

Ms. Harrington said: “I’m overwhelmed but not surprised at how well the team is doing because they’re an amazing bunch of professionals who take great pride in their work.

“I honestly cannot thank them enough. I am not surprised at how well the team is doing because they’re an amazing bunch of professionals who take great pride in their work,” she added.

Supported by their passionate team with over 60 years of combined industry experience, SpaceDC is driven to stand out by designing and operating efficient, resilient and network-rich data centers that prioritise each individual customer’s idiosyncratic needs whilst remaining environmentally friendly.

> Find out more about SpaceDC’s mission

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

Singapore is the most mature data center market in Southeast Asia, so it is imperative for new players like Princeton Digital Group to stand out in the country.

The ‘Little Red Dot’ is an ideal location to set up a data center, with the largest concentration of subsea cables in Asia, a stable political ecosystem and relatively safe from natural disasters.

Asher Ling, the Managing Director for Singapore at Princeton Digital Group, said: “There is a deep pool of talent with specific data center expertise and that the local ecosystem of partners is well established.”

Princeton Digital Group entered the market last year following their acquisition of the DCSG (previously called “IO Data Center”) facility in Central Singapore.

Acquiring the well-known data center in Singapore came with the challenge of tackling the preconceived notions and changing industry perceptions on what the facility had to offer.

Mr. Ling said: “Our strategy was to pivot such challenges into our advantage by leveraging on the market’s familiarity with our facility.”

Princeton Digital Group began by introducing services they believed were best suited and designed for their key target clients.

“We have been able to leverage our location, scale and the existing fiber infrastructure to help position our site to the hyperscaler community,” said Mr. Ling.

Hyperscaling Singapore

Hyperscalers have driven a lot of data center market growth in Singapore over the past several years, differentiating the country from others in Southeast Asia.

Overall, the hyperscale data center market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 24% until 2022 to keep up with rapid increase of data being generated by advancing technologies like AI and mobile devices as well as digitally transforming industries like banking, healthcare and public services.

Over the past year, Princeton Digital Group has worked with existing customers in Singapore to ensure their operational integrity, while concurrently investing to expand their SG1 facility to meet the requirements of both enterprise customers and hyperscale cloud service providers.

“Given our deep relationships across Asia Pacific, we have been able to establish client confidence in our Singapore business which has allowed us to move quickly and garner success in the marketplace,” said Mr. Ling.

And while other data center providers may consider cloud service providers as their competitors, Princeton Digital Group’s outlook is that they are an important customer base.

With a wide customer base, it is important to build a unique understanding of customers’ needs to stand out in the Singapore market, that’s why Princeton Digital Group has been focused on helping them address their infrastructure challenges.

Since acquiring DCSG in 2019, Princeton Digital Group ensured there would be no impact to existing operations as well as putting a growth strategy in place to provide a roadmap for additional capacity, serving both enterprise and hyperscale customers.

“We see very strong demand in the Singapore market, across all customer segments.  We will continue to deliver services for our existing customers and build out new capacity to address our customer’s growth requirements,” assured Mr. Ling.

Princeton Digital Group recently completed a newly built out raised floor capacity at their SG1 facility and will continue their expansion projects to support new customer demand.

“We actively invested and built out our solutions to give confidence to prospective clients, which eventually led to our success in the Singapore market,” said Mr. Ling

Elsewhere, Princeton Digital Group is developing two new hyperscale greenfield builds in Indonesia that look to be ready by 2022.

Sustainably evolving Singapore

Singapore’s data center market continues to evolve in many aspects, with a prominent focus on how data center design and operations can support the sustainability goals of customers.

The ‘Little Red Dot’ consumes more electricity per person than any other country in Southeast Asia. Data centers contribute a substantial 7% of this energy consumption in Singapore every year. 

In 2019, the Government started to impose a carbon tax at a rate of $5 for every tonne of greenhouse gas emissions to reduce the country’s environmental impact.

A Green Data Centre Standard has also been established with the aim of encouraging organisations to improve the energy efficiency of their facilities.

To remain financially competitive, environmentally responsible and provide unique selling points in the Singapore market, data centers operators are exploring many solutions to reduce their carbon footprint and ensure sustainability.

“We are working on both operational improvement and new design review programs in the areas of energy efficiency and technology platforms so that we can provide a consistent experience to all of our customers,” said Mr. Ling.

To achieve their sustainability goals, Princeton Digital Group is building up their team and putting operational programs in place to target increased energy efficiencies.

Singapore’s government is also proactively engaging with enterprise and colocation data center operators to address how the industry can develop and operate business in a sustainable manner.

Princeton Digital Group operates data centers across Asia Pacific and aligns their operations and construction processes to meet or exceed local regulations and building codes.

> Find out more about Princeton Digital Group

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cloud computing boom creates untapped potential for hybrid solutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PDG removed a lot of uncertainty away from entering new markets by having a strong local partner, XL Axiata, which gave them a strong foundation to grow their business.

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

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

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

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

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

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

> Find out more about Princeton Digital Group

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

The pressure is rising for data centers to be reliably powered, as any outages could cost providers hundreds of thousands per hour.

And data centers are only becoming larger and more complex in a world where technology is advancing at a rapid rate with AI, big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things.

This requires power solutions that are reliable and can deal with high consumption. Huawei has produced two game-changing innovations that facilitate greater data center utilization and increased revenues.

Experts and customers of Huawei will welcome industry peers at their next webinar to share a deep dive teardown of these game-changers on Thursday 21 May at 10am SGT.

Digitizing data center power to ensure always-on reliability and efficiency

As an innovator in the power supply and distribution sector, Huawei integrated electronic and intelligent digital technologies to launch the SmartLi uninterruptible power supply (UPS) solution.

The device slashes power costs and saves energy for customers by using the industry’s most secure battery cells that balance power consumption between the peak and non-peak times.

SmartLi’s unique built-in smart voltage balance technology supports hybrid use of old and new battery strings as well as ensuring systems can run properly even if one battery module is faulty, guaranteeing reliability.

Compared to traditional lead-acid battery UPS solutions, the SmartLi UPS also has a service life of up to 15 years. 

Achieving ultra-high density and halving physical footprints with new UPS power modules

The second of Huawei’s newest power innovations is their 100 kW high power density UPS module, which enables a single module to reach twice the amount of power density of industry standards.

The module helps to achieve the principle of one rack supporting one MW of power set forth by Huawei’s FusionPower 2.0 data center power supply and distribution solution, halving the physical footprint and improving data center utilization.

A data center could raise up to around US$570,000 of additional annual revenue and save 40 rack spaces by deploying 10 sets of Huawei’s FusionPower2.0 1200 kVA system.

Aaron Wang, the Managing Director of Huawei Enterprise Business Group Singapore, said: “We keep pursuing higher power density and more advanced li-ion battery energy storage technologies in data centers, to meet the new requirements of simplified architecture, high reliability, and simplified O&M for power supply system of cloud data centers, and helps customers accelerate digital transformation.”

Huawei’s SmartLi intelligent li-ion batteries can be combined with their ultra-high density FusionPower2.0 to reduce customers’ physical footprints by 70% and enable digital transformation by giving more space for other IT devices

How does Huawei reduce the size of their UPS modules? 

The technical ability of Huawei to reduce the size of their UPS modules is impressive. 

The size is reduced through two patents. Their topology pooling patent reduces the size of the module by 40%, compared to traditional topologies. Huawei achieves this with a multiplex, combining the DC/DC charger and the rectifier topology.

A magnetic integration patent is then used to reduce the size of the inductors in the rectifier and inverter by 20%.

You can dive deeper into the technical details of Huawei’s innovations and hear success stories for a power hour full of energising talks on Thursday 21 May.

Register now for Huawei’s ‘Digitizing Your Power’ webinar

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media