Thailand’s WHA Infonite and MFEC ink data center deal

Thailand-based logistics, industrial estates, and utilities company WHA Infonite and IT services company MFEC Public Company Limited (MFEC) have signed a data center agreement, in a move that would benefit the data center ecosystem in the country.

As part of the deal, MFEC will be renting rack spaces in WHA’s Premium Data Center’s Security Operating Center (SOC). WHA, in turn, will be providing data center solutions to MFEC.

MFEC is specialising in network computing and e-business, serving mainly large enterprise customers and industry leaders.

This agreement will allow MFEC to expand its business further and offer maximum security to its customers.

“We are very pleased to start this partnership with MFEC,” said Mr. Kraitos Ongchaisak, Chief Executive Officer of WHA Infonite.

Ongchaisak pointed out that the company’s Tier III premium data center is the perfect match for MFEC’s specific requirements. The data centers are equipped with their own generators, UPS, cooling and fire suppression systems, and renewable energy sources.

“In today’s digital era, data is one of the most valuable resources for any business. Continuous and safe access to digital infrastructure is almost as important as access to electricity and other utilities,” said Ms. Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, WHA Group Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer.

“With this agreement, we are glad to contribute to MFEC’s business expansion through the use of WHA’s world-class data centers,” she added.

The data center ecosystem is seeing a surge post the COVID-19 pandemic as businesses around the world are accelerating their digitalisation efforts. This can be attributed to social distancing norms and restrictions on travel.

Global data center fire detection and suppression market to grow at 4.5% CAGR during 2019-2025: Arizton

In 2020, calamities unarguably stole the spotlight. With every calamity, there seems to be business opportunities. One such area is fire detection and suppression. The global data center fire detection and suppression market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% during the period 2019−2025, reports Arizton, a market research company.

Around $2 billion investments will be made on fire suppression systems during 2019-2025, the report added. Gaseous fire suppression systems dominate with few operators preferring water-mist suppression systems, as per Arizton’s report.

Among fire detection systems, intelligent detectors are becoming more popular due to lower false alarm chances. Around $750 million will be invested in fire detection and suppression systems across data centers in APAC during 2020-2025, according to the report.

Data center operators also prefer cross-zone detection when adopting a spot smoke detection system. Cross zone detection depends upon the activation of two alarms before subsequent action, such as the opening of a pre-action valve or clean agent discharge. This strategy also minimizes the potential for an unwarranted discharge of a fire suppression system, according to Arizton.

North America dominated the global data center fire detection and suppression systems market for other space and building level. US-based colocation and cloud service providers are building more data centers, boosting the investment in other space/building level fire & safety systems.

Key drivers for the market include the high demand for edge data centers, increased innovations in fire suppression systems, colocation investments boosting fire & safety infrastructure procurement, growth in hyperscale data center.

In addition, the increase in data center outage due to fire-based incidents reinforces the importance of procuring fire-based suppression systems by operator’s data centers. The market will continue to grow through the development of data center facilities worldwide.

The dependency of business over data center and internet exchange points has grown over the years with the demand for internet-based services increasing.

Thus, any type of unusual incidence such as fire can also lead to IT equipment damage and failure of services, which costs much higher than implementing a fire suppression system.

China unveils underwater data center in Zhuhai

China has unveiled the country’s first underwater data center project in the Guangdong Province of Zhuhai.

According to Chinese state media China News Service (CNS), the underwater data center project is led by maritime technology company Beijing Highlander. The data center, containing racks of servers, will be sealed in an airtight vessel and will be submerged near a port in Zhuhai.

Xu Tan, Vice President of Beijing Highlander, told CNS that a large data center with an annual economic volume that exceeds $46 billion (300 billion yuan) is vital to building new infrastructure in the country. As such, it is scientifically the most effective to power data centers via underwater resources in offshore waters, Xu said.

Beijing Highlander also revealed that it plans to carry out and build more underwater data center projects over the next five years across the Greater China region, including the Yangtze River Delta, the Hainan Free Trade Port, and Guangong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area.

Underwater DC wave

This development comes on the heels of a September announcement by Microsoft, which were along these lines. Microsoft’s Project Natick team deployed the Northern Isles datacenter 117 feet deep to the seafloor in spring 2018. Since then, team members tested and monitored the performance and reliability of the datacenter’s servers.

The team hypothesized that a sealed container on the ocean floor could provide ways to improve the overall reliability of data centers. On land, corrosion from oxygen and humidity, temperature fluctuations and bumps and jostles from people who replace broken components are all variables that can contribute to equipment failure.

The Northern Isles deployment confirmed their hypothesis, which could have implications for data centers on land, in the future.

Lessons learned from Project Natick also are informing Microsoft’s data center sustainability strategy around energy, waste and water, said Ben Cutler, a project manager in Microsoft’s Special Projects research group who leads Project Natick.

What’s more, he added, the proven reliability of underwater data centers has prompted discussions with a Microsoft team in Azure that’s looking to serve customers who need to deploy and operate tactical and critical data centers anywhere in the world.

“We are populating the globe with edge devices, large and small,” said William Chappell, vice president of mission systems for Azure in a blog piece. “To learn how to make data centers reliable enough not to need human touch is a dream of ours.”

Modular data center market to double by 2025: Research and Markets

The worldwide modular data center market is expected to grow significantly from $18 billion in 2020 to $37.8 bilion by 2025, as per latest research from Research and Markets.

This growth will be driven by continued demand from all-in-one modules segment and translates to a 15.4 per cent Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).

Modular data centers are manufactured by integrating prefabricated modules that are built inside a factory and shipped to the client site where they assembled, deployed, and commissioned. These data centers are highly scalable and energy-efficient and can be rapidly deployed to meet the clients current and near-term needs.

All-in-one modules segment to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The all-in-one module is a highly integrated containerized data center facility used in enterprise data management, oil exploration, and disaster relief. It is a temporary module usually implemented in cases, wherein data center mobility is a concern, as it comprises modules with cooling, power, and IT systems built inside a single container.

These containerized modules are both portable and energy-efficient and provide an on-site, ready-to-deploy solution, which reduces the installation cost and time. They also enable scalability and flexibility to the IT infrastructure to adjust to the design and size for future deployments.

This advantage of the all-in-one module, wherein organizations can implement scale-out infrastructure is expected to fuel the market for modular data centers.

Further, the APAC region is expected to grow at the highest rate, according to Research and Markets.

APAC to drive growth

With many major developing countries in this region, APAC is expected to contribute significantly to the modular data center market during the forecast period.

More mature markets, including India, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are also projected to witness mushrooming of new modular data centers in the coming years, the report pointed out.

The rapid growth of social media and the gaming sector in the APAC region has further increased the demand for explicitly scalable architecture that is capable of handling complex operations, which can be met by the effective deployment of modular data center solutions, the report said.

DCI secures Development Approval for new Sydney data center


DCI has got an approval for its latest Asia Pacific data centre development in Sydney, Australia.

DCI is a fully owned portfolio company of Brookfield Asset Management, a leading global alternative asset manager with approximately $550 billion in assets under management across infrastructure, real estate, renewable power, private equity and credit.

This A$400 million (SGD $410 million) facility, named SYD02, will be a new purpose-built project, specifically designed for hyperscale cloud, content and managed service providers, DCI said.

The 36-megawatt (MW) facility is scheduled for service readiness in the fourth quarter of 2022 and will be located in Eastern Creek, a suburb in close proximity to Sydney’s key data centres and connectivity hubs, thereby enabling direct and low latency access to Sydney, the company added.

DCI expects the facility will also set industry-leading benchmarks for water and energy efficiency, utilising new cooling technologies and higher average power densities.

The Tier 3 data center aims to secure public and private cloud demand at the site, with strong physical security.

Investments in data centers are seeing a surge post the pandemic, especially in the Asia Pacific region. In April 2020, global investment banking firm Macquarie acquired an 88% stake in Sydney-based AirTrunk for $3 billion, and the company simultaneously opened data centers in Hong Kong and Singapore, with a new hyperscale data center in Tokyo coming in late 2021. Additionally, Digital Realty Trust Inc bought InterXion Holding NV for $8.8 billion.

Tencent invests $279 million in AI chip startup

Tech giant Tencent has invested a staggering $279 million (1.8 billion yuan) into an artificial intelligence (AI) semiconductor chips manufacturing company in China.

Enflame Technology, headquartered in Shanghai, has received funding from Tencent and several other investors including China’s state-owned conglomerate group CITIC, and investment firms China International Capital Corporation (CICC) and Primavera.

Tencent’s investment will allow it to segue into the booming semiconductor chip industry, which is currently dominated by NVIDIA, AMD, and most recently, Intel after its acquisition of US chipmaker Xilinx.

This move by the Chinese tech company is also expected to contribute to China’s plan to become more self-reliant in the technology sector after numerous tech-related bans by the US, such as TikTok and Huawei’s 5G development.

Founded in 1998, Tencent is best known for messaging app WeChat and multiplayer video game League of Legends. The company reported $5.88 billion in profit in the third quarter of 2020, a 29% year-on-year increase.

This is Tencent’s fourth time injecting funds into Enflame Technology, which was founded in 2018.

Semiconductor chips produced by companies such as Enflame Technology are becoming more important to the global tech market, because these chips are capable of processing large amounts of data which are used to train AI models and power data centers.

AI technology is taking over

Technological developments, increase in demand for Big Data and analytics, and increased digitisation across all sectors are factors fuelling the growth of the global AI hardware market.

The onset of COVID-19 has fuelled utility & adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) hardware, due to its ability to screen, track and predict the present and future patients affected by coronavirus infection.  According to the NewVantage Partners, the number of companies that invest over $500 million annually in big data increased to 21.1% in 2019 from 12.7% in 2018, indicating the importance of AI and Big Data across organizations, hence propelling industry growth.

Meanwhile, Asia Pacific market is anticipated to experience robust growth over 2020-2027, owing to increasing investment in AI technology by different end-use industries, and rising demand for big data and analytics in the region.

How a HSBC data center in Hong Kong has figured out a smart way to cut carbon emissions

HSBC has installed solar panels to its data center facility in Hong Kong as part of its strategy to reduce carbon emissions.

The Multinational financial giant has installed 750 solar panels in HSBC’s data center in Tseung Kwan O, southeast from Hong Kong’s Central District. They are designed to generate about 221,000 Kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, enough to power 54 homes, HSBC said.

The panels, spanning 2,300 square meters on the data center’s rooftop, will also be able to generate revenue for HSBC via a feed-in tariff.

“Businesses can play a key role in tackling climate change, including the decisions we make about our premises. We look forward to replicating this success in Tseung Kwan O across our facilities in Hong Kong,” said Luanne Lim, Chief Operating Officer of HSBC Hong Kong.

This installation is expected to cut 108,000 kg worth of carbon for HSBC, which will help with the company’s plan to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030.

These developments come in the backdrop of increasing pressure to adopt renewable energy, to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change issues. Almost a year back, Goldman Sachs has ruled out direct finance for new or expanding thermal coal mines and coal-fired power plant projects worldwide, as well as direct finance for new Arctic oil exploration and production. While other major U.S. banks have committed to reducing credit exposure to coal mining, their approach restricts only lending, ignoring the large amounts of capital the banks facilitate for the coal industry from the underwriting of issuances of stocks and bonds.

Activists have been vehement in their criticism of global financial institutions, which they say are turning a blind eye and undermining the Paris Agreement when it comes to phasing out coal-based energy production.

According to a research by non profit organisations like Urgewald, BankTrack and 30 others, banks and other financial institutions from January 2017 to September 2019, they have provided lending finance and underwriting services to 258 coal plant developers in the world. According to Heffa Schuecking, director of Urgewald, this has amounted to channeling $745 billion.

Jason Opeña Disterhoft, Climate and Energy Senior Campaigner at Rainforest Action Network (RAN), said that Goldman Sachs’s updated policy shows that U.S. banks can draw red lines on oil and gas, and now other major U.S. banks, especially JPMorgan Chase –– the world’s worst banker of fossil fuels by a wide margin –– must improve on what Goldman has done.

“The writing was already on the wall for coal financing. Goldman Sachs’s new policy puts that writing in flashing neon,” he pointed out.

ESR eying a foray into data center biz

ESR, a leading logistics real estate platform listed in Hong Kong is planning a foray into the data center business on the back of a successful Real Estate Investment Trusts listing.

A REIT is a company that owns and operates real estate properties. On December 23, Shares began trading in South Korea’s first dedicated logistics REIT, which debuted with a $650 million Initial Public Offering (IPO).

ESR Kendall Square is the Korea platform for ESR, a Hong Kong listed global logistics real estate investment company. ESR is a leading logistics real estate platform with a network spanning across the People’s Republic of China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Australia and India. ESR Kendall Square consists of Kendall Square Logistics Properties, Kendall Square Asset Management and Kendall Square REIT Management, established in 2014, 2016 and 2020 respectively.

The company is also looking to make a foray in the data centre segment too as it has its expertise in developing logistics projects would come in handy for building data centers, according to sources in the know.

“With the robust growth of e-commerce driven by a confluence of factors including the pandemic, public investors have shown a growing appetite for quality core assets that can generate stable, long-term returns. The successful listing of ESR Kendall Square REIT is a testament to the strong portfolios of quality assets, investors and tenants that our team has built through the years,” said Thomas Nam, CEO, ESR Kendall Square.

Long-term investors see huge opportunities in REITs. Among the institutions buying into the ESR Kendall Square REIT pre-IPO were Canadian pension fund Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), Seoul-based Military Mutual Aid Association, the Industrial Bank of Korea and the Korean Reinsurance Company.

Even in other markets, REITs have had initial success. Recently, Embassy Office Parks REIT backed by Blackstone and the Mindspace REIT also backed by Blackstone and real estate developer K Raheja Corp are the current players in this segment in India. The success of this investment vehicle has instilled confidence in other developers and investors, primarily with a commercial office portfolio, to list their assets under a REIT platform.

Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated, an American commercial real estate services company which provides investment management services estimates that 270 million sq. ft. of office space would be eligible for REIT which translates to a potential investment of $33 billion. “Some of the key factors for the success of REIT are strong developer credentials combined with positive outlook for Commercial real estate, an established portfolio which ensures stability of returns via rental income.

Post the IPO, ESR Kendall Square REIT will be using the proceeds to purchase 11 stabilised logistics assets in the Greater Seoul and Busan areas, both through direct acquisitions and through buying out private funds managed by ESR Kendall Square.

Currently, ESR Kendall manages $7 billion in assets in Korea, across a portfolio of 684,095 square metres (7.4 million square feet). Ten of the properties have already been acquired, with an eleventh to be purchased by June.

DCI Indonesia goes public, data center shares soar 25% on first day

DCI Indonesia (DCII), one of the country’s leading data center operators, went public on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) on Wednesday, 6th January 2021.

DCII released 357 million new shares in its IPO with an offering price of $0.030 (Rp 420) per share. This is equivalent to 15% of the company’s issued capital and paid-up capital. 

Upon its debut on the IDX, DCII’s shares rose 25% to $0.038 (Rp 525) per share.

CEO Toto Sugiri said that the decision to go public is part of the company’s growth strategy. As the global demand for cloud technology continues to rise, the hyperscale data center industry in Indonesia is expected to benefit greatly from this boom.

Toto Sugiri also announced that in the first quarter of 2021, the company will operate four more data centers with a total capacity of 37 Megawatt (MW) in Indonesia to meet the market demand.

“The data center market is estimated to have a total capacity of 72.5 MW by the end of 2020 and according to the projections of Structure Research it will continue to grow with a CAGR of 22.3% over the next five years,” he pointed out.

Established in 2011 and operating since 2013, DCII is the first Tier IV certified data center provider in Southeast Asia.

Chinese-owned Global Switch to sell data center business for $11 billion

In what could be the largest deal in the data center segment, Chinese-owned Global Switch to sell business for $11 billion.

According to a Bloomberg exclusive, Global Switch is in preliminary talks to take the sale forward. The company is working with advisors and professionals to procure a sale from interested suitors, according to sources who requested anonymity, as the talks are private and in early stages.

Founded in 1998 and owned by Chinese steel maker Jiangsu Shagang Group Co., Global Switch is based in London and is also backed by Avic Trust Co., a trust firm with an investment portfolio that covers property, capital, and securities.

The sale needs to be seen in the backdrop of an attempt to list Global Switch in the Hong Kong markets in 2019, which was shelved. In August 2019, Shagang bought an additional 24 per cent stake for 1.8 billion pounds from British billionaires David and Simon Reuben. With the deal, Shagang became the largest shareholder. Global Switch and Shagang Group declined to comment on the matter.

Data Center sales on the rise

With this, Global Switch becomes one of many industry operators that are banking on the sharp rise in demand for data centers due to the pandemic.

In April 2020, global investment banking firm Macquarie acquired an 88% stake in Sydney-based AirTrunk for $3 billion, and the company simultaneously opened data centers in Hong Kong and Singapore, with a new hyperscale data center in Tokyo coming in late 2021. Additionally, Digital Realty Trust Inc bought InterXion Holding NV for $8.8 billion and this deal, if it goes through, could be one of the largest in the data center segment.

Global Switch was founded in 1998 and led by CEO John Corcoran, who owns and operates data centres in Europe and Asia Pacific. The company currently has around 390,000 square meters of space and hosts tech infrastructure of government organisations, financial institutions and mobile carriers, with annual revenues of $597 million (£439 million) in 2019.

Socomec energises Singapore with a powerful UPS training course

Socomec, an industrial specialist in low voltage electrical networks, are committed to training the next generation of talents with an electrifying course on uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) in Singapore.

The course is part of Socomec’s wider Corporate Social Responsibility to give back to Singapore society, which has provided them with a conducive environment to enable businesses to thrive in the emerging economic bloc.

“We believe paying it forward is important, and one of the meaningful ways is to nurture the next generation of talents to continue this stream of skilled resources which underpins the very existence of this favourable environment,” said Andy Ng, General Manager of Singapore, Socomec.

The training course, in partnership with an educational institution in Singapore, is designed to cover three elements of understanding of why UPS systems are required and its importance in keeping an effective maintenance regime to reduce downtime, which is crucial for facilities like data centers.

First, the customised course focuses on theory and design, followed by operations, and finally hands-on experience with an opportunity to touch and feel a real UPS. Trainees are given an opportunity to understand the subject matter in greater depth, enabling them to make an objective-specific decision for their careers.

Overall, the training course is intended to enable employment, upskill and equip the future workforce with a strong and competitive skill set to sustain the widely talked about UPS industry and bring benefits across the value chain.

“Education builds knowledge, and knowledge develops skills and capabilities in people which translate into higher employability for them. This could unexpectedly bring to light hidden talents and capabilities which can positively contribute to the industry,” said Andy.

While Socomec does not expect anything in return, as the training does not guarantee surety of employment, the training gives back to society by providing a formative challenge for Socomec’s trainees, business partners and distributors.

“We received feedback that the course has helped to sell our product better, which is a testament to the efficacy of our training. We will continue to invest effort to ensure our training is relevant and current to the market evolution,” added Andy.

On top of the training course, Socomec also implements an ambitious internal training policy and a motivating approach to skills management for its staff.

“We are open to employ non-experienced individuals and will invest effort to train them on-the-job. For any shortcomings of our employees, we do not penalise. We take every bad experience as a learning experience to train our employees, so that they learn from it and become better,” said Andy.

This corresponds with Socomec’s credo of being socially responsible by taking care of the industry and its people.

Committing to a better world

As part of Socomec’s Corporate Social Responsibility, they have commitments to bettering the economy, their staff, the wider community, and the environment.

“We operate in a world intricately interlaced, having formal Corporate Social Responsibility guides corporations to run responsibly. Our CSR is contributive, collective, cohesive, and naturally requires an ethos that we believe in, which enables us to continue giving without expectations of returns,” said Andy.

Socomec achieves its economic commitments by optimising growth through a medium to long-term approach to decide their strategy and a growth model that favours profitability and use of equity capital.

The independent group also has an ambitious quality policy to ensure customer satisfaction by focusing customers’ power performance, building powerful partnerships, investing in new technological knowhow and fostering innovation at all levels of Socomec.

“The development of our Group is inextricably linked to ensuring that our customers are satisfied with our expert solutions … That is why the Senior Management is committed to investing the necessary resources to deliver this high level of quality, to ensure that it is respected and to guarantee that it is sustained in the long term,” said Ivan Steyert, the Chairman and CEO of Socomec.

With more eyes on environmentally-friendly solutions than ever before, particularly in the data center industry, Socomec produces their products ethically and responsibly, which provides a direct positive influence on the supply chain and enables other organisations to meet their CSR.

To meet this aim, Socomec is a member of the United Nations’ Global Compact initiative and implements eco-design and hazardous substances policy as well as a sustainable purchasing charter to reduce their environmental impact by developing innovative solutions geared towards energy performance and diversifying its offering in renewable energy.

Socomec is transparent about the responsible suppliers they buy from and its carbon footprint, which stood at 87,000 CO2 equivalent in France in 2016. 

As a result, Socomec was recognised by EcoVadis as a Gold-level supplier in 2019 for its approach to Corporate Social Responsibility, placing them in the top 1% of rated suppliers in its category, as well as in the ranking of all the companies overall.

Therefore, with its mid to long-term vision, reinforced by its culture and values, Socomec looks forward to the future to create lasting value that assures sustainable growth whilst respecting people, society and the environment.

> Discover Socomec’s innovative, responsible, sustainable and empowering solutions

Infinera helps BroadBand Tower expand data center connectivity across Tokyo

US IP technology company Infinera has helped Japanese data center and cloud services provider BroadBand Tower deploy a modular platform to expand connectivity between its data centers across Tokyo.

Infinera’s GX Series Compact Modular Platform was used to enable BroadBand Tower to meet increasing customer demand for cloud-based services connectivity in Japan and enhance service performance in the era of 5G.

“Infinera’s GX solution has become a leading solution for data center interconnect around the world, and it continues to gain momentum as operators like BroadBand Tower look for ways to meet the increasing demands of their customers,” said Nick Walden, the Senior Vice President for Sales at Infinera.

With the growth of cloud computing in the country and digital transformation being a strategic government priority, Infinera believed delivering secure and scalable data center and cloud services in Tokyo was critical to BroadBand Tower’s customer success.

“Infinera’s GX solution is a leading optical transport solution, outperforming other solutions on the market for data center interconnect to deliver the high capacity, security, and reliability needed for data centers, making it the ideal solution for our expansion,” noted Hiroki Kabasawa, Member of the Board and Operating Officer for Cloud & Storage Engineering at BroadBand Tower.

Infinera worked closely with its local partner UNIADEX to help BroadBand Tower strive to provide the highest capacity, reliability, and network security available, as well as uninterrupted service during their transition to 5G.

Keppel’s second data center fund closes more than $500 million

Singapore-based Keppel Capital Holdings has launched its second data center fund for investments in Asia and Europe.

With a target investment size of $1 billion, the Keppel Data Center (KDC) Fund II has already raised initial capital investments of more than $500 million.

KDC Fund II will be managed by its subsidiary Alpha Investment Partners who will leverage the expertise of Keppel Data Centres to capture investment opportunities in greenfield and brownfield data centre assets.

Sustainability at the core of everything

Alvin Mah, CEO of Alpha Investment Partners, says that the fund will leverage Keppel’s expertise on sustainable technology, and energy efficiency to develop greener data centers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the pace of digitalisation for many businesses and governments alike and further spurred the growth of the data center sector,” said Mr. Mah. 

This will be in line with Keppel’s Vision 2030, a corporate goal that puts sustainability at the core of the company’s strategy.

Wong Wai Meng, CEO of Keppel Data Centers, said that the company is collaborating with industry leaders to explore ways to build and maintain more eco-friendly data centers.

This includes the development of floating data centre parks, tapping cold energy released from LNG re-gasification for cooling, hydrogen infrastructure for power generation, and accelerating the adoption of renewable energy as well as the development of carbon capture, utilisation and sequestration (CCUS) systems.

Keppel’s first data center fund, the Alpha Data Center Fund, was launched in 2016, and has since has a portfolio of investments in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Australia, and Germany, which spans 1.38 million square feet of floor area.

Delta POD solution enables Vietnam’s first Uptime Tier III data center for Hanoi Telecom’s HTC-ITC

Delta Electronics has successfully implemented their energy saving Point of Delivery solution to enable Vietnam’s first Uptime TCCF Tier III-certified data center.

The data center is owned and operated by HTC-ITC, a subsidiary of Hanoi Telecom. It is located at the Hoa Lac High-Tech Zone, in Hanoi’s capital region, occupying 750 square meters of space.

The data center has an annual uptime of 99.98% and is expected to achieve a power use effectiveness value of 1.4.

“Being able to construct the country’s first Uptime TIER III-certified data center for HTC-ITC is truly an honor for Delta. Together with our partners and customers in the region, we are building the foundations of the 5G networks that will support substantial economic growth for years to come,” said Victor Cheng, Delta’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of its Information Communication Technology Infrastructure Business Group.

The new data center is located in the Hoa Lac High-Tech Zone, occupying 750 square meters with a total power capacity of 750kW plus 750kW redundant power protection, which is in line with Uptime’s TIER III 2N architecture specifications. In total, the facility can expand to 900 racks.

HTC-ITC passed 52 tests to obtain the TCCF certification, the first time ever for a data center in Vietnam.

Trinh Minh Chau, the Chairwoman of HTC-ITC, expressed delight at the collaboration with Delta.

Avast identifies new cybersecurity threat targeting Mongolian Government data center

Avast, a global leader in cybersecurity and privacy software, has identified a new advanced persistent threats (APT) campaign targeting government agencies and a government data center in Mongolia. 

 

Avast researchers consider a Chinese-speaking APT group to be the attacker, however, the actual objective of the group remains unknown

 

The likely culprit, LuckyMouse, otherwise known as EmissaryPanda and APT27, is infamous for attacking national resources and political information in China’s neighbouring countries. 

 

Avast found out that the techniques used by the group are different from previous attacks. This time, they use both keyloggers and backdoors to gain long-term access and upload a variety of tools that they used to scan the Mongolian Government networks and dump credentials.

 

“The APT group Lucky Mouse has been active since Autumn 2017 and has been able to avoid Avast attention in the last two years due to their evolving techniques and marked change of tactics,” said Luigino Camastra, a Malware Researcher at Avast.

 

The APT group compromised the Mongolian government in two ways. First, by accessing a vulnerable service provider of the Government to gain entry into government institutions, and secondly, by sending malicious emails with weaponised documents via an unpatched CVE-2017-11882 vulnerability.

 

We were able to detect their new tactics to discover this campaign targeting the Mongolian government, showing how they’ve scaled their operations to be more advanced to gain longer term access to sensitive data,” added Mr. Camastra.

 

The finding is corroborated by Slovak security firm ESET, who found that the hackers targeted an add-on that provides instant messaging capability to a human resource management (HRM) platform by Able Software. According to the company’s website, this HRM platform is used by more than 430 Mongolian Government agencies, including the Office of President and the Ministry of Justice, among others.   

 

Earlier this year, some Chinese-speaking APT threat actors were found to be actively targeting regional inter-governmental organisations in Asia and Africa, found Kaspersky, a Russian multinational security provider. 

 

In Kaspersky’s report, compromised IT or managed security service providers also appear to be a potential vector of targeted delivery. The majority of the visible activity in the second quarter of 2020 appeared to be in Mongolia, Vietnam and Myanmar. The number of affected systems is estimated to be over thousands. 

 

It appears that the scope and sophistication of government-targeted cyberattacks are increasing.

Equinix to open fifth data center in Singapore

Global data center giant Equinix has announced that it will open a fifth data center in Singapore. 

Named SG5, the International Business Exchange (IBX) data center will cost $144 million in its first phase, providing a capacity of 1,300 cabinets in 18,400 square feet of colocation space. Upon completion in the first half of 2021, it will have up to 5,000 cabinets in a 129,000 square feet space.

“As the global economy and the Asia Pacific region continue to grow, we see a strong demand for digital infrastructure to support business growth. This is especially evident in Singapore, which is proving to be a key hub for digital business in the region,” said Jeremy Deutsch, President of Equinix Asia-Pacific.

The new facility in the Tanjong Kling data center park is expected to  meet growing demand for cloud connectivity for enterprises as they transform digitally.

“The SG5 IBX data center aims to create more opportunities for enterprises in the region to build a strong digital foundation, enabling them to develop into the digital leaders of tomorrow,” Mr. Deutsch added.

Singapore’s tech ambition

Equinix’s expansion in Singapore is timely, and in line with the government’s grand plan to steer the country towards greater digitalisation. In November, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong introduced a special tech pass to attract tech professionals from around the world to Singapore.

SG5 is aligned with Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative, and will be directly connected to Equinix’s four existing data centers via low-latency dark fiber links to connect more than 705 companies in the market.

“Singapore continues to thrive as a regional digital hub despite current pandemic and economic challenges. We are catering to the needs and demands of our customers by expanding our local footprint to enable regional and global growth as Singapore continues its Smart Nation journey and enterprises pursue digital transformation,” said Yee May Leong, the Managing Director for Equinix South Asia.

Meeting Equinix’s long-term goal of using 100% clean and renewable energy, SG5 will be built as a green facility, adopting clean and efficient energy systems, including motion-activated LED lights, automated control and regulation of motors, and hot aisle containment and ceiling plenum infrastructure.

For its cooling system, SG5 will be using NEWater, high-grade recycled water by Singapore’s Public Utilities Board.

“Digital infrastructure is key to success and competitive advantage for enterprises in the next normal. IDC’s CEO research in early 2020 showed that the leading priority among CEOs in Asia-Pacific is building a digital IT infrastructure that supports resilient operations and pervasive experiences,” revealed Sandra Ng, Group Vice President of Practice Group at IDC Asia Pacific.

By 2023, cloud and IT services are expected to lead digital growth in the Asia Pacific region, reaching an anticipated 1,374 Tbps.

By Ong Jie Yee, Tech Reporter

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Digital Realty revenue at $1 billion for Q3 2020

Digital Realty has seen a revenue of US$1 billion for the third quarter of 2020, representing a 27% increase from the same quarter last year.

This revenue is also a 3% increase compared to the previous quarter, and as of the end of October, Digital Realty has achieved a total revenue of US$3.850 – US$3.875 billion.

“We delivered solid third quarter results, driven by consistent execution and growth across the business,” said Digital Realty CEO A. William Stein.

This revenue did not include service lease agreements signed with partners in September, which is expected to generate US$89 million in GAAP rental revenue.

“Our new logo growth and heightened deal velocity reflect the power of our global platform and the resiliency of our business,” said Mr. Stein.

In addition to new lease agreements, Digital Realty also signed lease renewal agreements that represented US$161 million of annualised GAAP rental revenue during the third quarter.

“As we close out the year, we remain focused on delivering for our customers, maintaining our momentum, and investing in our global platform to support long-term growth,” added Mr. Stein.

Digital Realty has also made acquisitions in Germany, Croatia, the Netherlands and Austria to expand further into Europe.

However, the company also reported a net loss of $1 million, and a net loss of US$37 million to common shareholders.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Digital Realty’s data centers remained fully operational after being deemed essential operations, though construction activity has stalled in some markets, impacting scheduled delivery dates.

Yet, Digital Realty believes they have acquired the vast majority of the equipment needed to complete their 2020 development activities and have ample liquidity to fund their business needs, given the US$971 million of cash on their balance sheet and US$2.5 billion of availability under their global revolving credit facilities.

“While we have not experienced any significant business disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic to date, we cannot predict what impact the COVID-19 pandemic may have on our future financial condition, results of operations or cash flows due to numerous uncertainties,” Digital Realty warned.

Tech giants and data center players are releasing financial results for the third quarter of 2020. Check out the latest figures from Microsoft and Equinix.

Goldman Sachs banks on data centers with $500 million investment in Global Compute

Goldman Sachs is betting on data centers with a US$500 million investment in Global Compute Infrastructure.

The Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division announced a partnership with former chief investment officer at Digital Realty, Scott Peterson, to form the newly established global data center infrastructure platform.

“Goldman Sachs is the perfect partner for us as we pursue global investment opportunities in the data infrastructure space,” according to Scott Peterson, the CEO of Global Compute.

Goldman Sachs’ investment primarily comes from its infrastructure fund, West Street Infrastructure Partners III, to enable up to US$1.5 billion in near-term investments in data centers deployed across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

“Our combined global pedigrees and networks, together with GS MBD’s access to ample growth capital, will allow the Global Compute platform to not only serve the critical needs of our customers around the world, but also create and unlock value for our partners,” said Mr. Peterson.

Global Compute intends to grow through a combination of acquisitions and organic development to serve customers in geographies with strong secular tailwinds and potential for significant data infrastructure growth.

Leveraging the experience and track record of the management team, Global Compute will focus on acquiring and developing facilities which can meet the growing compute, storage, connectivity and colocation deployment needs of the world’s largest technology companies.

Aligned with this strategy, Global Compute signed an agreement to acquire ATM S.A., a leading data center and communications infrastructure business in Poland.

“Our initial investment in ATM S.A. is an ideal illustration of this collaboration. We are extremely enthusiastic about our partnership with Goldman Sachs enabling us to provide creative solutions for our global customers,” said Mr. Peterson.

Headquartered in Warsaw, ATM’s world class data center assets, communication infrastructure footprint, customer base and strong reputation in the market provide Global Compute with an attractive entry point into the rapidly growing Central and Eastern European data center market.

“There’s so much capital chasing deals, but based on the breadth of our track record, we believe we can find, evaluate and underwrite transactions as well as serve the critical needs of our customers,” Peterson said in an interview.

Global Compute intends to build on ATM’s success and market leadership by positioning the company to service the growing deployment needs of both new and existing customers in Poland and the broader CEE region.

“We see a tremendous opportunity in the data center space driven by increasing computing and storage demand and we believe the Global Compute team, backed by the global resources of Goldman Sachs, is uniquely positioned to deliver world class solutions to meet that demand,” said Leonard Seevers, the Managing Director at Goldman Sachs.

The founding Global Compute management team is led by Scott Peterson, the former CIO and co-founder of Digital Realty, with over 18 years of data center industry experience and more than 30 years in the real estate investment arena.

During his tenure at Digital Realty from 2004 to 2018, Mr. Peterson led all investment activity and was responsible for US$17 billion in total deal volume across both M&A and organic development.

Mr. Peterson is joined by a number of established executives in the data center space, including:

  • Fellow Digital Realty co-founder, Christopher Kenney as COO
  • Former Senior Digital Realty Executive in EMEA, Stephen Taylor as Head of Europe

“We think the industry has tremendous tailwinds amid continued penetration of cloud service providers,” Scott Lebovitz, Global co-Head and co-CIO of Goldman’s infrastructure investment group, said in an interview.

Following the Global Compute investment, Goldman Sachs’ third infrastructure fund valued at $2.5 billion is now more than 70% deployed. 

The firm is preparing to raise a fourth fund, likely dubbed West Street Global Infrastructure Partners IV, early next year, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

This isn’t the first time Goldman Sachs has invested in data centers, as its special situations arm previously had a stake in AirTrunk, which it sold earlier this year to Macquarie Group for US$3 billion.

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Acronis to launch mass global expansion with 100 micro data centers

Global cybersecurity service provider Acronis announced plans for a global expansion of its network of cloud data centers, adding 100 micro data centers to regions including Singapore, Australia, Switzerland, France, Germany, the UK, and the US.

New state-of-the-art facilities will also be set up in Canada, New Zealand, and Bhutan.

“The rise of edge computing around the world means more data is now created and used away from company networks. Micro data centers enable the efficient deployment of edge computing, particularly in emerging markets,” said Serguei ‘SB’ Beloussov, Founder and CEO of Acronis.

The new data centers will provide users with access to Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud, the company’s flagship cybersecurity solution that integrates backup, disaster recovery, next-generation anti-malware, and endpoint management tools all under one service package.

“As part of Acronis’ Global-Local Strategy, this expansion allows us to provide the local, cost-efficient, bandwidth efficient, and low latency cloud services our global partners demand,” Mr. Beloussov added.

All of Acronis solutions are designed to address the Five Vectors of Cyber Protection, ensuring the safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security of an organisation’s data, applications, and systems.

“Organisations across the globe rely on data in a way they never have before, which means they need IT providers to be ready with effective, affordable solutions,” said Martin Robson, President and CEO of Robson Communications.

In early October, Acronis also announced the establishment of a new data center in Vancouver, Canada.

“The expansion of [Acronis’] data center network will help a lot more service providers around the world keep their clients productive and protected,” added Mr. Robson.

All Acronis data centers are said to meet the highest standards of digital and physical security, and feature redundant power and environmental controls to ensure constant 99.9% monthly availability.

“While reliance on cloud-based access to production data and controls has been increasing during the past several years, the pandemic accelerated its adoption worldwide among organizations,” said Phil Goodwin, Research Director at market research firm IDC.

Gartner has forecast the worldwide market for cloud management and security services will grow by more than 25% in the next two years.

“Developing a larger network of cloud data centers, especially in emerging markets, enables Acronis to cultivate new partners and customers who are actively seeking cloud-based data protection and security platforms and solutions,” added Mr. Goodwin.

Technavio also projected the global edge data center market will progress at a CAGR of almost 14% by 2024.

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IBM beats revenue estimates off the back of cloud strength

IBM has successfully beat Wall Street revenue estimates, driven by high demands for its cloud services.

The tech heavyweight has staked its future on its cloud arm, as it prepares to spin off one of its legacy units to support the venture.

“The strong performance of our cloud business, led by Red Hat, underscores the growing client adoption of our open hybrid cloud platform,” said Arvind Krishna, CEO of IBM.

IBM’s total cloud revenue for their third quarter of 2020 was up 19% to US$6 billion, while their total cloud revenue was up 22% to US$24.4 billion over the last 12 months.

Mr. Krishna believes that separating the managed infrastructure services business into the spin off ‘creates a market-leading standalone company’ that further sharpens their focus on IBM’s open hybrid cloud platform and AI capabilities. IBM believes this will accelerate their growth strategy and better position them to seize the $1 trillion hybrid cloud opportunity.

“In the third quarter we continued to deliver strong gross profit margin expansion, generated solid free cash flow and maintained a sound capital structure with ample liquidity,” said James Kavanaugh, IBM Senior Vice President and CFO.

In Q3 2020, the company generated net cash from operating activities of US$4.3 billion, or US$1.9 billion excluding Global Financing receivables. IBM’s free cash flow was $1.1 billion and $15.8 billion of cash on hand, which is up $6.7 billion from year-end 2019.

“We have the necessary financial flexibility to increase our investments in hybrid cloud and AI technology innovation and skills, while remaining committed to our long-standing dividend policy,” said Mr. Kavanaugh.

Despite this success, IBM shares fell by 3% after the company did not issue a forecast for the current quarter, citing uncertainty around a global economic recovery due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Clients’ near-term priorities continue to include operational stability, flexibility and cash preservation, which tends to favor [operating expenses] over [capital expenses]. This is resulting in some project delays and purchase deferrals,” said Mr. Kavanaugh.

IBM’s total revenue fell 2.6% to US$17.56 billion in Q3 220, but was slightly above analysts’ estimates of US$17.54 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding the impact from currency and business divestitures, sales declined 3.1%, while the global technology services segment, IBM’s biggest unit that caters to some of the world’s largest data centers, reported a 4% drop in revenue to $6.5 billion.

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PDG secures $360m investment round led by Ontario Teachers’

Princeton Digital Group (PDG) has agreed to a new US$360 million equity investment led by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board (Ontario Teachers’).

The Singapore-based investor, operator, and developer of data centers is one of Asia’s leading data center companies, with a presence in key digital economies like China, Singapore and Indonesia.

“We are delighted to have Ontario Teachers’ as an investor in PDG. Their track record of long-term investments combined with deep data center experience makes them a great partner as we continue to scale our business,” said Rangu Salgame, the Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of PDG.

Ontario Teachers’ has also invested in data center players, including US-based Compass Datacenters and Canada’s Q9 Networks.

“We see data centers as a compelling investment opportunity given their essential role in the rapid digitalisation and growth of data occurring in Asia and around the world,” said Ben Chan, the Regional Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Ontario Teachers’.

“We have been impressed by PDG’s high-quality management team, unique strategy, and track record of success and look forward to leveraging our experience to help the company continue to scale across Asia,” he added. 

Joining Ontario Teachers’ in the new round of fundraising was Warburg Pincus, which has been the largest institutional investor of PDG, with a US$300 million investment in 2017.

“Since backing the founders in PDG’s formative days, we have been impressed with their ability to build a leading pan-Asian presence within a short period of time,” said Ellen Ng, Managing Director, Head of China Real Estate, Warburg Pincus.

Since its founding three years ago, PDG has built a portfolio of 18 data centers across four countries: China, Singapore, Indonesia, and India. The company serves hyperscalers, Internet and cloud companies as they expand across the region. 

We see a tremendous opportunity for PDG to continue to grow across the largest and fastest growing markets in Asia. We are excited to welcome Ontario Teachers’ as a like-minded and value-adding partner to this venture as PDG embarks on its next phase of growth,” added Ms. Ng.

PDG has grown through a combination of acquisitions, carve-outs, and development, and will continue to execute on this strategy in its existing and new markets.

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Keppel DC REIT to be included in Straits Times Index

Keppel DC REIT will be included in the benchmark Straits Times Index with effect from Monday 19 October.

The Straits Times Index is a highly diversified benchmark for the Singapore stock market, consisting of 30 of its largest capitalised and most actively traded stocks.

Mr. Chua Hsien Yang, CEO of Keppel DC REIT Management, said: “The inclusion of Keppel DC REIT in the STI marks an important milestone for Keppel DC REIT since its listing on the Singapore Exchange. This is testament to Keppel DC REIT’s growth and will further increase our visibility among global investors, as well as enhance our trading liquidity.”

Keppel DC REIT, the largest stock on the Straits Times Index reserve list was listed in December 2014 as Asia’s first pure-play data center REIT, with eight assets across six countries and assets under management of approximately $1 billion.

Today, the REIT’s AUM has grown significantly to approximately $2.8 billion, with 18 assets in eight countries across Asia Pacific and Europe.

Unitholders who invested in Keppel DC REIT since its initial public offering would have seen a total unitholder return of approximately 338% as of 15 October 2020, and approximately 47% year-to-date.

Keppel DC REIT is a constituent of the FTSE EPRA Nareit Global Developed Index, MSCI Singapore Small Cap Index and the GPR 250 Index Series.

The Straits Times Index took a hit and extended its losses from Wednesday 14 October, with a fall of 1.25% as a result of ‘grim news surrounding Brexit, a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in Europe and the lack of progress on United States stimulus measures. But it rebounded slightly on Saturday 17 October, climbing 0.37%.

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NVIDIA buys chip designer Arm from SoftBank for record $40 billion

NVIDIA has agreed to buy chip designer Arm from SoftBank in a record US$40 billion deal. The purchase could reshape the highly competitive semiconductor and data center landscape.

By combining the American multinational technology company and the British chip designer together, NVIDIA will target the age of artificial intelligence by accelerating innovation and expanding into high-growth markets.

“Arm and NVIDIA share a vision and passion that ubiquitous, energy-efficient computing will help address the world’s most pressing issues from climate change to healthcare, from agriculture to education,” said Simon Segars, the CEO of Arm.

NVIDIA will utilise Arm’s CPU ecosystem to advance computing in cloud, smartphones, PCs, self-driving cars, robotics and edge computing. Arm’s designs have also started to play a larger role in the data center chip market through Amazon’s cloud industry and a number of startups, posing as competition to Intel Corp and Advanced Micro Devices.

NVIDIA will reportedly pay SoftBank US$21.5 billion in shares and US$12 billion in cash as well as a possible US$5 billion in cash or shares depending on Arm’s business performance. 

SoftBank, a Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company, will remain committed to Arm’s long-term success through its stake in NVIDIA, which is expected to be between 6.7% and 8.1%.

“This is a compelling combination that projects Arm, Cambridge and the U.K. to the forefront of some of the most exciting technological innovations of our time,” said Masayoshi Son, the Chairman and CEO of SoftBank.

After acquiring Arm for US$32 billion four years ago, the sale marks an early exit for SoftBank. A source told Reuters that SoftBank have held early stage talks about taking the Japanese technology group private, which could gain momentum after the sale of Arm.

While Arm has long been a neutral technology vendor of its chip architecture to Apple, Samsung, Amazon and other portable device providers, the sale will put these licenses under the control of a single player in the semiconductor market.

With the deal’s potential to cause unfair advantages over other licensees and conflicts of interest, NVIDIA’s Founder and CEO, Jensen Huang, assured that the neutral licensing model by Arm will be retained, and NVIDIA’s GPU and AI intellectual property will be licensed out for the very first time.

“Arm’s business model is brilliant. We will maintain its open-licensing model and customer neutrality, serving customers in any industry, across the world,” said Mr. Huang.

On top of this, NVIDIA will establish a new global center of excellence in AI research at Arm’s Cambridge campus in the United Kingdom by investing in an Arm-powered AI supercomputer, training facilities for developers and a startup incubator.

“AI is the most powerful technology force of our time … trillions of computers running AI will create a new internet-of-things that is thousands of times larger than today’s internet-of-people,” said Mr. Huang.

Powered by computing chips, AI supercomputers can write software, scale up workloads and reduce the time required to complete a task.

“While AI began in the data center, it is moving quickly to the edge … where smart sensors connected to AI computers can speed checkouts, direct forklifts, orchestrate traffic, and save power,” said NVIDIA in a statement, comparing the new research facility to a a Hadron collider or Hubble telescope for artificial intelligence.

NVIDIA predicted ‘there will be trillions of these small autonomous computers powered by AI, connected by massively powerful cloud data centers in every corner of the world’.

This signifies NVIDIA’s move to push beyond the data center and into the edge, which could continue their success in data center sales, which surpassed NVIDIA’s gaming revenue for the first time in August 2020.

“The computing unit is an entire data center now. We believe that the future computer company is a data center-scale company,” said Mr. Huang.

In April, NVIDIA completed its purchase of Israel-based Mellanox, which makes high-speed networking technology used in data centers and supercomputers.

The deal between NVIDIA, SoftBank and Arm is expected to close in approximately 18 months following regulatory approvals in Britain, the European Union, United States and China.

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NVIDIA buys chip designer Arm from SoftBank for record $40 billion

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TikTok owner ByteDance to invest billions in Singapore, but new data center reports untrue

ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, is reportedly planning to invest billions of dollars and recruit hundreds in Singapore as part of its global expansion, according to people familiar with the matter.

However, contrary to reports by Bloomberg, plans by ByteDance to set up a new data center in Singapore is untrue, a source said to Reuters.

The source also said that the Beijing-based firm has ‘stepped up the purchase of cloud computing servers in Singapore to backup data based in the US for contingency in the event of an incident.

The investment by ByteDance is expected to span over the next three years, coming at a time when the Chinese multinational internet technology company is being forced to sell their US operations of the hugely popular social networking service, TikTok. 

But it is unlikely they will meet the deadline of September 20 to sell their assets imposed by President Donald Trump, as new Chinese regulations have complicated negotiations with bidders Microsoft and Oracle.

Southeast Asia is a primary target for Zhang Yiming, the founder of ByteDance, as the region has 650 million smartphone-savvy population where competitors Alibaba and Tencent are making significant inroads.

“Singapore is highly attractive to tech firms looking for a hub to address the Southeast Asian markets due to geographic proximity. The workforce is highly educated, tech savvy and multilingual,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Vey-Sern Ling.

ByteDance, the world’s most richly valued startup, currently has more than 200 job openings and 400 current employees in Singapore. And a company source reported to Reuters that TikTok had started to move some of its engineers from China to Singapore this year.

In other news, Chindata Group, a carrier-neutral hyperscale data center solution provider in Asia Pacific, confirmed on 9 September 2020 it will publicly file an initial public offering in the United States of America. 

In the filing, ByteDance accounted for 68.2% and 81.6% of Chindata’s total revenues in 2019 and for the first six months of June respectively. In 2019, the revenue from ByteDance was at US$82.3 million, and in the first six months of 2020 along, ByteDance accounted for US$93.6 million of Chindata’s revenue.

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Equinix suffers ransomware attack, data centers fully operational

Equinix is investigating a security incident involving ransomware, the world’s largest data center and colocation provider said in a statement on Wednesday 9 September.

Their teams took immediate action to address the cyberattack by contacting law enforcement.

“Our data centers and service offerings, including managed services, remain fully operational, and the incident has not affected our ability to support our customers,” said Equinix.

As most of their customers operate their own equipment within Equinix data centers, this attack is said to have had no impact on equipment or data.

“The security of the data in our systems is always a top priority and we intend to take all necessary actions, as appropriate, based on the results of our investigation,” the statement reported.

Equinix has promised to provide any more updates as it becomes available.

Earlier this month, cybersecurity specialists Trend Micro revealed your on-premise and cloud servers could be compromised by criminals using cryptocurrency mining software.

And while your servers are sitting idle, criminals may be monetising your assets whilst plotting larger money-making schemes like extracting valuable data, selling server access for further abuse or preparing dangerous ransomware attacks.

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Chinese hyperscale data center operator Chindata confirms public offering in USA

Following reports last week, Chindata Group has confirmed on 9 September 2020 it will publicly file an initial public offering in the United States of America.

The number of American Depositary Shares and price range of the offering has not been determined, but it is speculated that the carrier-neutral hyperscale data center solution provider in Asia Pacific will look to raise US$400 million.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. will act as joint bookrunners when Chindata Group goes live on The Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol ‘CD’.

The fifth largest Chinese IPO in the US this year

According to unnamed sources close to the Bain Capital-backed hyperscale data center operator, the firm plans to be publicly listed as early as the third quarter of 2020.

As a result, the market value of Chindata is forecast to reach US$3 to US$4 billion as long as the IPO proceeds.

The decision to list in the US as opposed to Hong Kong was made because fellow Chinese data center owners 21Vianet and GDS Holdings saw success in the NASDAQ stock exchange, with a 209% and 106% respective jump in performance in the last year. 21Vianet also raised US$353 million last week in a follow-on offering.

With a target of US$400 million, the listing in New York is expected to be the fifth largest Chinese IPO this year, suggests Refinitive data. The data also identifies Chindata as the 20th Chinese company to list in the US in 2020, despite threats of delisting and geopolitical tensions between the US and China.

So far this year, even with the economically devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the 19 current Chinese IPOs have raised US$6.96 billion, which is more than double the US$3.42 billion raised in 2019.

This Chindata public offering will be filed by submitting a registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Earlier this year, South Korea’s SK Holdings reportedly paid US$300 million for an 8.9% share in Chindata Group. And in 2019, Bain Capital acquired the Group with US$570 million in strategic financing, valuing Chindata at US$3.1 billion.

Chindata Group also merged with Bridge Data Centres to continue hyperscale expansion plans into China, Malaysia and India.

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Delta develops cutting-edge networking solutions for the next generation of data centers with Microsoft and COBO

Delta, a global leader in power and thermal management solutions, has partnered with Microsoft and Consortium for On Board Optics (COBO) to launch a proof of concept open networking switch for the next generation of data center infrastructures.

The switch is said to provide leading transmission speeds and energy efficiency as we enter the nascent 5G era, offering up to 800 gigabytes per second of transmission speed, 12.8Tbps bandwidth capacity, and up to 30% energy savings compared to similar peer technologies.

Powering the future of data centers

As cloud adoption continues to rise, increasing the need for hyperscale and cloud data centers, these facilities will need the support of networking systems that provide faster transmission speeds and lower carbon footprints.

As a result, member-driven organisations like COBO are racing to develop solutions that meet essential data center requirements.

Microsoft’s Principal Network Architect and COBO’s President, Brad Booth, said: “Being capable of integrating COBO and other form factors into a single platform has been an integral contribution to this POC project to enable end users to perform hands-on evaluation and testing.”

The open networking switch integrates five different optical module form factors into a single, compact 4U rack. The system also includes two 400G QSFP-DD, two 400G OSFP and sixty-four 100G QSFP ports as well as Intel’s 8-core 2.0 GHz D-1548 Broadwell high-performance chip, which sits at the core of Delta’s switch.

“We look forward to cooperating with Microsoft and COBO to accelerate the growth of the 5G mega trend with this inventive technology,” said Victor Cheng, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Information & Communications Technology Business Group at Delta.

On top of being a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and Azure Cloud Solution Provider, Delta launched a 5G smart manufacturing solution with the tech giant in June.

Earlier this year, Delta also celebrated receiving an Uptime Institute’s TIER III-Ready certification for their Point of Delivery data center solution, which recognises its ability to deliver resilience and reliability for their data center.

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IMDA hits StarHub and M1 with fines for Internet outages during circuit breaker

Two of Singapore’s biggest Internet service providers, StarHub and M1, have been hit with fines totaling $610,000 from the IMDA for broadband disruptions affecting Singaporeans during the circuit breaker period.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) imposed fines of $210,000 on StarHub and $400,000 on M1 for breaking the 2016 Code of Practice for Telecommunication Service Resilience.

“We take a serious view of any service disruption to public telecommunications services, particularly during the circuit breaker period when most people were working and studying from home, and will take firm and decisive action to safeguard our consumers’ interests,” said Aileen Chia, the IMDA Deputy Chief Executive.

The IMDA determined the financial penalties by considering the duration, impact, and customer service measures adopted by the operators to mitigate impact

“Operators must communicate any service difficulties with their customers and rectify incidents expeditiously, and should provide good service recovery measures to affected customers,” added Ms. Chia.

250,000 StarHub subscribers affected

On April 15, just eight days after the circuit breaker began, StarHub staff made a configuration error during a planned network migration exercise.

The mistake left up to 250,000 StarHub broadband subscribers without sufficient broadband services for close to five hours.

The IMDA concluded the incident could have been prevented if StarHub had better supervised its staff during the migration exercise.

In it’s considerations, IMDA took note of StarHub’s efforts to restore the services as soon as possible, their prompt communication and compensation to those affected with a 20% rebate of their monthly fee for April.

StarHub’s Chief Executive, Peter Kaliaropoulos, said in April they ‘regrettably fell short’ of providing a service experience customers deserve and have implemented measures to prevent future incidents with immediate effect.

Two days of outages for M1 customers

For M1, the broadband provider experienced two incidents on two consecutive days in May.

The first on May 12 affected up to 18,000 customers for 23 hours from 7am until 6am on May 13. This was caused by a corrupted profile database in M1’s Broadband Network Gateway.

A statement by M1 apologies for the inconvenience and said the connectivity issues were triggered by a network bolstering initiative to improve customer experience.

The IMDA found that the incident occured because M1’s staff and vendor had not followed prescribed procedures.

Then, on May 13, up to 20,000 subscribers were affected for six hours after a software fault in M1’s network equipment caused Internet traffic routing problems.

Unlike the first incident, the IMDA concluded that the software fault was the first of its kind for the equipment, which M1 could not have reasonably foreseen or prevented.

The IMDA found M1 to be in breach of the 2016 Code for only the first incident, and determined the $400,000 penalty due to the length of disruption and M1’s proactive compensation of a full one-week refund to affected users.

Ms. Chia said the IMDA will continue to work with operators like StarHub and M1 to strengthen network resiliency and improve customer communications.

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Explore the latest for cloud and data centers in Singapore

Singapore has one of the most dominant tech industries in Asia, with advancements happening almost daily.

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South Korean Internet giant Kakao to build first data center for $337m

Ten years after its inception, Kakao has revealed it will build its first data center to cope with exponential growth in data traffic.

The South Korean Internet giant made a deal with Hanyang University and Gyeonggi provincial Government to build the facility on the University’s Erica campus in Ansan for US$337 million (400 billion won).

“This data center will give us a stable foundation for our research and development in technology like big data and artificial intelligence,” said a Kakao spokesperson.

Breaking ground next year

Ground will be broken on the 197,873 square feet plot of land by 2021, with a vision of the hyperscale data center being completed by 2023.

“Our goal is to establish the best data center in the IT industry in terms of stability, efficiency and security. It will be a great opportunity for the AI, big data, and cloud-related industries to develop,” said Yeo Min-soo, the co-CEO of Kakao.

Housing a total of 120,000 servers and a storage capacity of six exabytes (6 billion gigabytes), the data center will be designed with green solutions in mind, including monitoring systems, refrigerators, thermo-hygrostats and rainwater cooling innovations.

Kakao’s new data center comes at a time when increases in Internet traffic and data consumption are seen throughout the country, with an average consumption of more than 122 exabytes, which is expected to exceed 396 exabytes in 2022.

Located 30 kilometers from Seoul, the facility will be built next to a science research complex at the university campus to take advantage of its computing and data processing capabilities.

Kakao Data Center LocationThe Ansan municipality, another partner in the deal, expects the data center to create 2,700 jobs and approximately US$673.5 million (800 billion won) worth of production.

Previous to this announcement, Kakao outsourced its data storage facilities since 2006, while its competitor Naver has a data center in Chuncheon, Gangwon. Now, as Kakao has grown into finance, gaming and the operator of the country’s most-used mobile messenger service, the Internet giant has found a need to construct its own data center.

Last year, the Ansan Science Valley, which is centered around the Erica campus, was designated to become a “technological innovation cluster” by the government.

The campus is also planning to become a base for regional innovation growth by promoting the creation of small high-tech industrial complexes, including Kakao’s data center.

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Lenovo Data Center Group Expands HCI Solutions Offering in partnership with Nutanix, Microsoft and VMware

Lenovo Data Center Group has announced the launch of a new range of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solutions and cloud services to help organisations transition to the new, smarter norm.

With remote work environments becoming common, businesses have seen demand for cloud services soar. It is more crucial than ever for organisations to adapt their hybrid cloud strategy and modernise existing data center infrastructures to keep pace with evolving business needs. 

“The strategy toward the new, smarter normal is around modernising the data center and breaking down the longstanding digital barriers that many organisations face today,” said Kamran Amini, the Vice President and General Manager of Server, Storage and Software Defined Infrastructure at Lenovo Data Center Group.

In partnership with industry-leading hybrid cloud software providers Nutanix, Microsoft and VMWare, Lenovo Data Center Group introduced HCI solutions to enable customers to deploy and manage the full edge-to-cloud environment. Among updated features that customers can expect include simpler updates, easy scalability and a consumption-based delivery model.

These hyperconverged infrastructure solutions support industries like education and healthcare where remote working has been forced upon organisations due to the COVID-19 pandemic by providing virtual desktop infrastructures that can be accessed from almost anywhere.

What are Lenovo’s new solutions?

Together with Nutanix and AMD, Lenovo introduced the new Lenovo ThinkAgile HX HCI solutions. With this, customers are said to be able to run virtual desktop workloads at a consistent performance with 50% fewer servers.

“We’ve simplified and enhanced IT operations while cutting energy costs, so we can invest more of time and resources in our primary purpose to provide best in-class healthcare services,” said Bernie Larralde, the Vice President of Information Technology at Miami Jewish Health.

As hybrid cloud solutions start to dominate the market, Lenovo has launched the new Lenovo ThinkAgile MX Azure Stack HCI Edge and Data Center Solutions in partnership with Microsoft.

This one-stop shop provides deployment and management of Microsoft Azure services, empowering customers to modernise and rapidly scale from on-premise infrastructures to the cloud using edge solutions.

“The Lenovo ThinkAgile MX platform has all the features we need as an MSP—high performance, high availability and easy scalability,” said Brian Townley, the General Manager for C3 Group.

In another collaboration with VMWare, Lenovo announced the new Lenovo ThinkAgile VX HCI Solutions, aimed at improving agility and reliability of mission critical applications on SAP HANA databases.

Additionally, Lenovo and VMWare are also expanding software-defined systems management capabilities with Lenovo XClarity, the management console for Lenovo ThinkAgile HCI solutions.

“Efficiency has increased so we can process and ship out more parts faster than we could before, bringing more products, and therefore socio-economic empowerment, to more people around the world,” said Sujoy Brahmachari, the Head of IT Infrastructure and Information Security at Hero MotoCorp.

According to Amini, help is provided to guide business leaders through their cloud strategy and execution. Lenovo offers customers the option to work with Lenovo Principal Consultants, to simplify and streamline options across multiple cloud platforms for ultimate business agility. 

“Efficiency has increased dramatically and we’re now able to cope with customer requirements at a speed that was previously impossible,” said Thomas Rumpf, the CTO for Private Cloud at T-Systems.

All solutions by Lenovo are set to be available by November.

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Discover how to tap into the edge data center market with W.Media

Edge data centers are on the rise, driven by Industry 4.0 technology and Internet adoption. But which edge data center solutions are right for your business?

Register now to discover how your business can build new innovations with the help of edge data center technology on Thursday 19 November!

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

> View all W.Media digital events