How interconnection is powering Asia’s businesses into the Cloud

Call it the next wave of cloud adoption. With public cloud adoption in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region expected to continue to outstrip the pace of growth in North America and Europe, businesses in the region are re-evaluating how they connect to the cloud.

Many enterprises across Asia now have a range of assets residing in a mixture of both public and private clouds. For example, research firm IDC predicted that public cloud services spending in APAC (excludes Japan) will reach US$48.5 billion in 2021, outpacing the US and Western Europe.

Traditional networks – even those primarily carrying business traffic – are increasingly taxed by heavy content and latency-sensitive applications. Video traffic, eSports/gaming, rich media and streaming music consumption, as well as an ever increasing array of mission-critical applications which are running directly from the public cloud, are increasing the demand for data centre interconnection and cloud interconnection.

With cloud adoption gathering pace across Asia, businesses are re-evaluating how they connect to private and public clouds and are increasingly turning towards Software Defined Interconnection®.


Making interconnection part of your cloud strategy


To reduce their dependency on a single cloud, a growing number of enterprises in Asia have put in place a strategy around multiple public clouds, a vast majority of which are maintaining a mix of public and private clouds.

In terms of interconnectivity, the network mix has to shift in parallel, allowing for workloads to move seamlessly between public and private cloud platforms, while creating a consistent architecture across both environments. Flexible and agile interconnections between a corporate site and the cloud or data centre can help protect businesses against service failures and outages.

The need to move traffic between data centres or public clouds is driving demand for dedicated, low-latency, high bandwidth interconnection. The shift of workloads into the public cloud havehighlighted the appeal of greater business flexibility and agility delivered as a benefit of on-demand capacity and pay-as-you-go pricing.

Business leaders are seeing opportunities to reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and increase the agility and scalability of their existing on-premises storage and compute by extending their data infrastructure to the public cloud.

Although one of the biggest drivers of increased bandwidth requirements is coming from the adoption of business software applications (being consumed in the public cloud) the same holds true of those applications in a private data centre.

What this means is that data centres and public clouds now need to talk to each other, so businesses need to deploy interconnection which is as flexible and agile as the dynamic digital assets they already rely on.


A new way to interconnect


Software Defined Interconnection® platforms like Console Connect are transforming how businesses connect to the cloud.

Through the platform, businesses can self-provision direct connections to leading cloud providers and data centres throughout Asia, leveraging the network infrastructure of PCCW Global; one of the region’s largest high-performance networks.

The PCCW Global network provides a direct and dedicated connection to the cloud that avoids the public internet, offering greater levels of network security and performance. The platform is available in more than 80 data centres in 12 markets across Asia, enabling users to flex bandwidth on-demand between key Asian markets in a few simple clicks.

Using Console Connect, businesses can quote, order, deliver and manage their direct network connections to leading cloud platforms, including AWS, Alibaba Cloud, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Tencent. The technology allows businesses to move workloads between their data centres and the cloud in near real-time – and ultimately provides business-critical connections that are simple, secure and flexible.

Nomination Window: 1st June – 31st July

The W.Media Asia Pacific Cloud & Datacenter Awards is the region’s flagship awards programme, recognising achievements and excellence across all mission critical technology sectors. We are opening the awards to organisations four regions and nineteen categories to encompass the entirety of APAC’s Cloud & Datacenter ecosystem.

Is there a team, project, or individual who you believe has made outstanding contributions to the industry this year? Find out more about how to submit your nomination here.


How to Rapidly Deploy and Save Energy in Edge Data Centres

Cloud Computing is gaining tremendous traction in the aftermath of COVID-19. The rise in cloud adoption is resulting in a proportionate increase in data centre computing requirements.

“Cloud Computing” essentially involves data which is stored off-site in massive shared storage facilities and accessed via the Internet. It is scalable (enabling the user to immediately access more data storage space) and maintains redundancies (back-up servers) and security/firewalls to protect the data.

Depending on where the company conducts business, redundant data may be stored in the ‘Cloud’ in multiple data hubs in different regions of a country, as well as globally.


Impact of Edge Computing and Distributed Cloud

In the past, data centres took on average around 2 years to design. Now, deployment times have shrunk down to months instead of years.

This is where Edge Computing comes in. It is one of the prime solutions to tackle latency (buffering, lag or other such transmission delays) caused by the demands of technology such as streaming, AI (Artificial Intelligence), Augmented and Virtual Reality, and the IoT (Internet of Things).

All of this puts exponential demands on the over 800 zettabytes of data processing and storage kept in the Cloud. For enterprise solutions and 5G networks, Edge Computing/Distributed Cloud brings caches of data and processing closer to where it’s being utilised.

It is complimentary to Cloud Computing and dramatically reduces latency for streaming and IoT (smart) devices.

Edge Computing relocates crucial data processing to the ‘edge’ of the network instead of requiring the data to travel between all users of that particular data and a central server. A Distributed Cloud infrastructure and Edge Computing requires Edge Data Centres in order to process and store vital data and application needs in a localized environment.

Further, Edge Computing is ideal for applications where ‘real time’ processing with dramatically reduced latency is required such as: robotic surgeries and medical procedures, automated manufacturing, real-time control of automated vehicles, smart devices, smart homes & buildings, and for most people the basic needs caused by the shift to streaming for telecommunications, social media & entertainment.

Bringing data to the ‘Edge’ reduces traffic volumes and storage requirements at centralised data centres.


Challenges in Edge Computing

A few major challenges for Edge Computing and 5G infrastructures in general are primarily deployment speed, how to roll out tens of thousands of Edge Data Centres instantly, manage costs and be sensitive to the environment, all at the same time.

Prime Modular Data Centers’ line of prefabricated Modular Data Centres (MDC) with Intelligent Natural Air Cooling addresses these needs. Prime Modular Data Centers is a division of Prime Wire & Cable which was founded in 1986 and established its presence in the USA Industrial and Home Improvement market channels with vertically integrated extension cord & electrical accessories design, manufacturing and distribution in Southern California.

For its MDCs, Prime created economies of scale by utilising the same components and a limited amount of structures which enables speed to market in 50- 60 percent less time than traditional Edge solutions for 5G Macro-Sites or Enterprise environments.

By utilizing Natural (free) Air Cooling with Siemens Environmental controls, Prime cut cooling costs by 50 percent over traditional HVAC methods – a vital step considering that cooling data centres draws approximately 50 percent of the power required to run a data centre. Also, their supplemental evaporative cooling method uses 75 percent less water than traditional water-based cooling systems – once again being sensitive to the environment.


Rapid Deployment of Modular Data Centres

Prime’s Modular Data Centres with Natural Air Cooling are the ideal solution for the rapid deployment needs of Distributed Cloud/Edge Computing for 5G Macro-Sites and Enterprise applications, while being sensitive to the urgent need to reduce the ever-growing energy demands of storing and transporting data.

Prime’s MDCs utilize pre-fabricated structural components, and a Siemens Environmental Programmable Logic Control system with approximately 100 different sensors built into each MDC to measure and control temperature, relative humidity, power consumption, security, lighting and more – on site or remotely.

Natural Air Cooling provides a PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) of less than 1.1 – meeting ASHRAE standards – and because there is no need for traditional HVAC in most locations where these MDCs are deployed, can reduce energy costs by at least 50 percent annually. The Supplemental Evaporative Cooling (which helps to balance the MDCs internal relative humidity) uses 75 percent less water annually than traditional water-based HVAC solutions.

These pre-fabricated solutions allow for rapid deployment and ease of expandability. Prime’s units are a practically ‘plug & play’ solution because Prime can pre-wire each MDC with Prime’s structured cable patch cables, patch panels and accessories prior to deployment, reducing the set-up time at the site to installing the user’s servers, UPS & batteries and then plugging in the MDC to a power outlet. At the site, the primary needs are power, water and a flat surface.



Total Cost of Ownership is lower due to:

  • Reduced design time & cost
  • Infinitely less construction time/cost
  • Faster deployment
  • Reduced energy costs because of the simplified cooling system
  • Lower maintenance and operating costs

All of which provides a faster return on investment.

Because Prime has already been providing Structured Cabling Solutions for use in traditional data centres and server rooms, as 5G and the Distributed Cloud/Edge computing models started to develop, they saw an opportunity to contribute, hence the development of Prime’s Modular Data Center program.

Prime has 5 basic models for 5G Macro-Sites, Enterprise Solutions and Emergency Services applications:

  • 1-Rack (32U) 2kW Indoor Enterprise/Emergency Services Solution
  • 1-Rack (32U) 5kW Indoor Enterprise/Emergency Services Solution
  • 1-Rack (42U) 15kW Indoor & Outdoor Macro-Site/Enterprise/Emergency Services Solution
  • 2-Rack (42U) 15kW Indoor & Outdoor Macro-Site/Enterprise/Emergency Services Solution
  • 6-Rack (43U) 12kW Indoor & Outdoor Macro-Site/Enterprise Solution

Prime also has a larger 10-Rack Enterprise Data Center solution and can customize solutions to your specific needs.

The Programmable Logic Control from Siemens Environmental that is a part of every Prime MDC can be accessed remotely through login to a web portal, enabling monitoring and control of the following functions:

  • Access – the doors have an electronic key with upgrades to biometric options. The doors can be opened from the PLC touch screen panel on the MDC or remotely from a computer, phone or tablet
  • Security – cameras inside and out can be monitored remotely
  • Alarms – the environmental control system notifies the user when it’s time to change the filters, so there is no guesswork – reducing on-site time, especially when multiple Macro-Site MDC’s are deployed
  • Intelligent PDU’s – the power distribution units included with each MDC have the option to have automated switching and monitoring capabilities which are visible on the PLC touch screen panel or remotely
  • Environment – sensors monitor the temperature in the ‘cold and hot aisles’ and automatically turn on/off the high-speed fans that circulate external ‘natural’ air and the air inside the MDC to maintain optimal operating temperatures and relative humidity – automatically deploying moisture when needed to keep components performing at optimal levels. Dampers will automatically open and close to recirculate air, allow the hottest air to escape and bringing in fresh air as needed.
  • Power – in addition to monitoring the PUE level, all aspects of power are monitored through the PLC panel so there is visibility on-site and remotely.


Micro or Edge Data Centres

Currently, depending on which statistics you read, powering the Internet uses between 2 and 10 percent of the world’s electricity demands and is growing at a rate of at least 8 percent annually.

According to a China Mobile study, 46 percent of that energy goes toward cooling data centres.

Of the over 800 zettabytes of data consumption in the ‘information super-highway’ comes from the over 21 billion IoT devices currently deployed worldwide. That number is projected to double by 2030!

There have been over 2.2 billion iPhones sold globally in addition to nearly 11 billion other smart phones, not to mention all the tablets in use. By 2030 projections estimate that powering our insatiable demand for instantaneous data could amount to as much as 20 percent (or more) of the world’s total energy consumption!

Tens of thousands of Edge Data Centres (also known as Micro Data Centres) must be deployed for 5G Wireless and Distributed Cloud/Edge Computing for Enterprise environments to function successfully. Traditionally, data centres have been built from scratch, have followed a model of customized solutions for each deployment, utilize traditional HVAC methods for cooling the servers, and take up to 2 years to deploy.

For Enterprise Solutions and the Distributed Cloud/Edge Computing model, Micro Data Centres are the next generation for Edge Data Centres. Whether for a 5G Macro-Site (antenna array) or an Enterprise Solution, a Micro Data Center needs to be deployed rapidly, should utilize more energy efficient/environmentally friendly cooling solutions, have a smaller, higher density, more consistent footprint, and be easily duplicated for scaling when needed.


Vital need for Distributed Cloud/Edge Data Centres

Subscribing to Distributed Cloud and Edge Computing requires Edge Data Centres in order to process and store vital data application needs in a localized environment. Thousands of Distributed Cloud/Edge Data Centres must be deployed, as they are a key component of the 5G/Edge Computing infrastructure.

To successfully create a network that wirelessly connects all devices and interactions with those devices within the network, data will need to be transferred, stored, and processed at rapid speed. This data processing must also be consistent and highly reliable.

5G’s promise of less than 10 milliseconds of latency and speeds of 1GBps (1 gigabyte per second) is completely dependent on localized infrastructure because 5G operates at frequencies from 24-100GHz, which only travel between 500ft and 3000ft (based on data provided by US cellular providers).

For localised Enterprise applications (emergency services, hospitals, factories, smart cities, homes & buildings, transportation and businesses of all kinds), certain data will need to live on a dedicated network away from the congestion caused by a glut of applications and storage in a Cloud environment. To meet all the growing needs of data and the Internet, providers need to carefully consider what their 5G Macro-Sites, Modular Data Centres and Enterprise can provide.


Visit Prime Modular Data Centers website here.


Check out the video below on how to rapidly deploy data centers and simultaneously gain energy savings.

Digital Transformation and End-User Experience Monitoring

The global adoption of cloud computing is fast growing and is fuelled by digital transformation programs. Startups and small and medium businesses (SMBs) stamping a footprint in the global market are required to continuously invest in understanding the end-user experience.

Uptime and performance are important ingredients in providing the best user experience, thus businesses should strive to achieve that goal by proactively monitoring their services from an end-user perspective.

All these requirements call for a monitoring and management solution that identifies and proactively alerts user experience issues in real-time to take corrective actions, and if equipped with AI and machine learning, it would further help organizations in breaking down cloud complexities and in enhancing the user experience.

Any digital business has a few crucial parameters to monitor and to ensure it can provide a top-quality user experience to its users:

Optimal functioning of the website 

This is the basic parameter to monitor to ensure your website visitors can access the website and complete an online purchase. Continuous monitoring of the site is the only solution for staying on top of the issues that might occur.

Is the website fast enough? 

Slow is the new down. The more time a webpage takes to load, the more negative an impact it has on user engagement and the site conversion rate.

Is your checkout flawless

A broken check-out process can ruin a sale. To reduce shopping cart abandonment, it’s important to monitor every customer interaction across the entire website to improve customer satisfaction and perfect the buying journey. These customer interactions include login, search, download, and checkout.

Benefits of monitoring

Proactive monitoring is critical to achieving the uptime and performance goals of your cloud service. With Site24x7 Website and Transaction Monitoring, you can keep track of uptime and performance of your domain and key workflows in your cloud service from customer vantage points and ensure the end-user experience is top-notch.

Site24x7 is an all-in-one monitoring solution that offers full-stack monitoring of internet services, infrastructure, and cloud environments. It lets organizations manage their digital experience and cloud resources conveniently from one console by offering comprehensive monitoring with AI-powered insights, IT Automation capabilities, alert integrations, customizable dashboards, and more. Sign up for free!

Socomec Looks Beyond Products To Leave 2020 On A High

The year 2020 will go down in history as one of the most trying periods of the 21st Century, but with this pressure comes opportunities to think and work differently.

For Socomec, an industrial specialist in low voltage electrical networks, ended 2020 on a high note by looking beyond product buying and focusing a new outlook on value buying.

Socomec achieved this by reevaluating their product value by determining this based on feedback from new and returning customers who typically do not buy based on the lowest price expectations.

“Listening is one other important success factor of our business. We hear our customers’ pain points and will act to derive a solution for them. We also listen to our employees’ pain points because we believe if we solve them, then they will adopt the same approach to solve our customers’ problems,” said Andy Ng, General Manager of Socomec, Singapore.

Key to this success was by focusing on Socomec’s internal value chain, which eventually presents the final product to their customers.

To have a well oiled internal value chain, Socomec encouraged strong teamwork across a sales force that is technically inclined with industry knowledgeable, a project management team that takes pride in ensuring full compliance with quality and timely deliverables for their customers, and a service team equipped with a full skill set and toolbox to maintain the uptime of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems that are critical for customers, including data center operators.

“Keeping our customers’ operations going is our business mandate. Seeing returning customers who have helped us grow our business, knowing how much they appreciate our product quality and require our internal value chain clearly tells us we are headed in the right direction,” said Andy Ng, General Manager of Socomec, Singapore.

Rebounding in 2020

Since 1922, Socomec’s success had hinged on three core values, including assuming responsibility, being open, and staying committed to sustain their business and bring value to their customers.

The benefits of this new value paradigm shift to Socomec internally is immensely good. “We will stamp an identity for Socomec as a “company of trust” that will give assurance to current clients, instill confidence to potential clients and will give us an edge in the industry, opined Andy Ng, General Manager of Socomec, Singapore.

Also, its target audience has impacted its business positively. Clients not only buy products, they also get operability, serviceability and also deal with a trusted company that works towards solving their problems. Further, clients work with a team that is responsible, honest, committed for the long term and can be assured our call of duty is to maintain their operations uptime.

As a result of their values, teamwork and new outlook, Socomec was able to rebound their business back to normalcy six weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic began to disrupt the world.

“The devised action plans that were executed sprang Socomec business back and we did better than the previous year. This was made possible because Socomec has a team of people who relentlessly performed their tasks to ramp up the business,” said Andy Ng, General Manager of Socomec, Singapore.

Socomec’s new outlook has created a new level of trust with their customers, which has also increased the confidence they have in Socomec as a provider of sustainable UPS systems, metering and monitoring equipment, load break switches, backup and power storage, and more.

Socomec also aimed to bring values to the society by providing training and educating people, as they see it as a social responsibility to do so. Hence why, they strongly encourage future generations to join the industry in order to gain the knowledge. “Just several weeks ago, we provided a training workshop to a mainstream tertiary education institution. The training content was tailored to suit the teaching staff participants to be able to forward on the content to their students. We are very delighted to see their participation level, and we will continue to have such movement with other education institutions,” said Andy Ng, General Manager of Socomec, Singapore.

Looking ahead to 2021, Socomec will stay committed to looking beyond products by focusing on bringing value to a world that continues to require electrical networks and uptime in the digital era.

Why companies should make Malaysia their data hub in Southeast Asia

Businesses in Malaysia, like their other Asian counterparts have had it rough in the last year as the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc.

For businesses, the solution seemed simple – adopt digital in their operational processes and continue to stay relevant. This relevancy means businesses need to abide by social distancing norms, zero-touch delivery, digital payments, and others.

In June 2020, Dato’ Abdul Rauf Rahid, EY Asean Assurance Leader: Malaysia Managing Partner, Ernst & Young, shared, in a note, how the start of the journey towards economic recovery is contingent on rebuilding trust and confidence in public and business realms and the deliberate intervention of the government.

“Businesses need to work hand-in-hand with the government to resume operations and kick-start economic activities. Meanwhile, the increasing need for higher technology capabilities to connect businesses, customers, and supply networks is fast-tracking the world into digitalisation. Malaysia must not be left behind,” he said.

All this also means that companies have to up their tech quotient. Naturally, this means data, data and more data at the back end. That translates into a “gold rush” moment for companies operating the non-glamorous IT infrastructure.

It is here that the government is looking to attract data centre companies as well as other infrastructure players to Malaysia.

“The (Malaysian) government is looking to accelerate the nation’s digital economy. The MSC Malaysia status provides eligible ICT-related businesses, both local and foreign, with relevant incentives and support to promote continued growth,” opined Wan Murdani Mohamad, Director, Digital Infrastructure Services, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

Strong tech infra and data centre push

Based on the concept of industry clustering and customised infrastructure offerings, MSC Malaysia Cybercities & Cybercentres – being the designated operations sites – are where companies within a similar sector will be placed together to spur rapid growth. This is backed by strong performance standards, high-speed broadband infrastructure, reliable access to clean power and other technological components that are critical to the businesses. “Power is available at almost any location in Malaysia and in locations like Kulai Iskandar Data Exchange (KIDEX). In fact, upon confirmation of opening an office in these premises, power is available immediately with very little lead time required. Also, 100 percent renewable energy can also be made available in some locations in East Malaysia,” stated Wan Murdani.

Even as cybersecurity measures and server protection need to be adopted by data centre providers in Malaysia, national-level cybersecurity initiatives are coordinated with various related agencies. This mainly includes the National Cybersecurity Agency (NACSA) and Cybersecurity Malaysia (CSM) who, with MDEC, each play a role to facilitate the development of the local cybersecurity services industry and develop best practices to reassure companies in the event of any issues.

Redundancy and resiliency of data centres are also the responsibility of the service providers. “Energy and telecommunication players in Malaysia may be able to assist with deploying redundant routes and secondary supply to data centers at their request,” pointed out Wan Murdani.

Other digital-based concerns are properly addressed as well. In regards to personal data protection in Malaysia, the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) is the main governing law that manages personal data privacy and information security. On the connectivity side, fibre is available throughout Malaysia via various telco providers in the country. “International connectivity is available via many routes, including direct connections to major regional connectivity hubs. More capacity is being invested by the local telcos for the future, who have joined international consortiums to bring new submarine cables into Malaysia,” added Wan Murdani.

As is, MDEC’s measures are already bearing results. Recently, Bridge Data Centres, a subsidiary of Chindata Group, said that it will build a third data centre in Malaysia. Lim Dz Shing, President of Bridge, had said that this expansion is in the context of Malaysia witnessing an accelerated demand for quality and scalable data centre providers, due to digital transformation and cloud adoption across the country.

To further acknowledge and reinforce this rapid growth for the digital economy, recently, during the MyDIGITAL launch, YAB Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin revealed how the Malaysian Government provided conditional approvals to Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Telekom Malaysia to build and manage new hyper-scale data centres and cloud services.

Currently, around 3,000 companies are already present in MSC Malaysia. The country’s data centre market is expected to hit around $800 million by 2025, according to Arizton Intelligence.



KR | CH | JP | TW | HK

When: 20-22 April 2021

Where: Online

Digital Week is returning to do a deep dive into the Cloud & Datacenter industries of FIVE new markets: Korea, Mainland China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Join us as we bring together 2500+ IT leaders from across Northeast Asia, covering everything from sustainable infrastructure to cloud security to digital transformation. Digital Week lets you expand your network and engage with new markets from wherever you are.
Want to learn more about these exciting developments in data and IT? Start connecting with peers and access exclusive pre-show content when you Register Today for Free!

DreamMark1: Shaping Korea’s tech dreams

South Korean technology solutions provider DreamMark1 is planning to expand its operations.

As a part of this initiative, DreamMark 1 is increasing its server footprint, in excess of 400 racks and an ICT floor, for an exclusive high electric power zone this year.

Along with this expansion, it is also planning to upgrade its existing Internet Data Centre (IDC) facilities including sourcing a site and starting construction for new hyperscale level 2 IDC in 2021.

This means that DreamMark1 will make a shift towards becoming a total ICT solution platform company in 2021.

“We will provide integrated IT solutions through consulting, deployment, operations, and service management, expanding our Cloud offerings to include multi-cloud and AI solutions this year,” said Mr. Ji Chang Yu, CEO of DreamMark1.

In this era of hyper-globalization and hyper-connectivity, DreamMark1 pursues the business of a total ICT solution platform company that provides the optical network infrastructure for AI, big data, cloud, 5G service providers, and the cloud MSP for data storage, management, processing. DreamMark1 is moving forward with limitless connectivity between customers and neutral IDC’s including zero-contact solutions in the period of Fourth industrial revolution, popularly referred to as Industry 4.0.

As a first in South Korea, DreamMark1 has self-built a 57,000 km optical cable carrier neutral operator, accessible to all customers. “Based on the expertise of 56 computer centers in Korea for more than two decades, this IDC has been optimized from both technology and operational perspective,” said Mr. Ji Chang Yu.

Located in Seoul, DreamMark1 IDC has excellent access to airports, finance, and communication channels. Its customers are also the only ones who have access to it, ensuring maximum security. The Data Centre’s presence gives an option to build affordable, competitive networks in any region of choice.

Furthermore, DreamMark 1 also has plans to launch a multi-cloud hub service launch, as well as expanding its Asia-oriented network service business through Hong Kong/Japan POP configuration. It is also a Global Cloud Provider (GCP) which provides its own VPC service.  “We want to expand the 2nd IDC and DCI services as a hub in East Asia,” said Mr. Ji Chang Yu.

Running a world-class IDC

As COVID-19 wreaked havoc amongst lives and livelihoods globally, governments were forced to come up with fiscal incentives to help people navigate this situation. Recently, the South Korean government launched a range of fiscal stimulus measures. One such measure was the “Digital New Deal”, which aims to rewrite Korea- from eco-friendly automobiles to sustainable living.

This involves the Korean government’s plans to invest capital and support the creation of 903,000 jobs. With the aim to accelerate the transition towards a digital economy, investment will focus on the integration of Data, Network and AI (DNA) throughout the economy.

In line with this, through dedicated lines that connect major Data Centres with NNI investments, DreamMark1 aims to expand customers’ dedicated OP room for the convenience of operation, as a completely neutral Data Centre.

Domestic data consumption will experience high growth and domestic IP traffic is to increase about 2.5 times by 2022 compared to 4.6 exabytes per month in 2017, according to Savills Research. The 5G technology market on active commercial adoption is forecast to expand by 62 per cent annually on average during the next five years to 2025. The domestic OTT market is also expected to grow annually at an average rate of 28 per cent from 2014 to 2020. In addition, domestic cloud service spending is forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 18 per cent to 2022 compared to 2018.

Additionally, according to Cisco, IP traffic in the Asia-Pacific region is forecast to rise at an average annual rate of 32 per cent from 2017 to 2022, and its proportion of the worldwide total will continue to rise during the same period. Factors contributing to more data usage in Asia-Pacific include high bandwidth connectivity for smartphones and the internet, the adoption of wearable devices and the emergence of autonomous vehicles, the Cisco report said. “We can play a role as a Digital Data Hub to lead the data industry market in Asia by a surge in digital IT demand and expanding digital infrastructure construction integrated with Fourth industrial revolution technologies such as AI, cloud, network, and AR/VR, said Mr. Ji Chang Yu, CEO.

Post COVID-19, the requirement for hyperscale data centers is on the rise. Research firm Technavio, which has been monitoring the hyperscale data center market in recent research pointed out that the hyperscale data center market is poised to grow by $62.89 billion during 2020-2024, which translates to a CAGR of over 21 per cent. The surge in cloud adoption is one of the major factors driving the market. The market is fragmented, and the degree of fragmentation will accelerate during the forecast period. Alphabet Inc., Inc., Apple Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Equinix Inc., Facebook Inc., Global Switch Holdings Ltd., Intel Corp., Marvell Technology Group Ltd., Microsoft Corp., and NVIDIA are some of the major market players.

The global Data Centre market is expected to clock significant growth on rising data traffic volumes at an average rate of 11 per cent from 2017 to 2022, according to reports. The growth of hyperscale Data Centres in terms of numbers globally has doubled from 338 in 2016 to 628 in 2021.

The efforts of companies such as DreamMark1 need to be seen from Asia’s fourth-largest economy’s efforts to continue attracting investments. South Korea is emerging as a major Data Centre market for multinational companies and it is also seen as a key position to target surrounding countries. With its highly-developed and advanced telecommunications infrastructure, South Korea will continue to attract Data Centre investment. Market research firm Gartner has forecasted robust growth in demand for South Korea’s colocation services.

Korea is a leader in 5G technology and has a well-developed ICT infrastructure, and a rapidly growing cloud services market. The term hyperscale refers to a computer architecture’s ability to scale in proportion to the increased computing demand. Scaling some part of our computer architecture typically means increasing computing ability, memory, networking infrastructure, or storage resources.

In such a scenario, hyperscale Data Centres capable of supporting global demand, can accelerate the growth of the domestic Data Centre market.


Feel free to visit DreamMark1’s website to know more.



SG | MY | ID | TH | VT | PH

When: 23-26 February 2021

Where: Online

The past year has seen incredible leaps forward in our embrace of digital solutions, and we think it’s time to come together and talk about it. We’re bringing together thousands of IT leaders from across Southeast Asia, covering everything from datacenter deployment to digital banking. Digital Week lets you expand your network and engage with new markets from wherever you are.

Want to learn more about ASEAN’s Cloud & IT ecosystem? Start your year off right and Register Today for Free!


Building more energy-aware businesses in Asia

Asia’s appetite for digitalisation is fast outpacing other regions across the globe, as it becomes a testbed for new technologies.

From digital banks to AI-powered super apps, there is a rising demand for energy needed to power the growing number of data centres making this digitalisation push happen. Globally, the ICT industry is expected to consume 20 per cent of the world’s energy by 2025 and account for 14 per cent of total emissions by 2040.

Yet, the solution is not merely to provide more power; a number of other factors are further complicating the management of power for businesses in Asia.


Governments – regardless of whether they belong to developed or developing ones, are starting to recognise the need to pivot towards renewables. They are rolling out large-scale wind and solar projects across the region, resulting in cleaner but more fluctuations in energy production.

Driving this awareness is the growing climate crisis which looms overhead, with natural hazards such as wildfires and floods increasing in frequency and posing a greater threat to the stable production and delivery of power.


In order to better prepare themselves to face these power management challenges, more businesses will likely explore strategic investments in technologies that not only reduce the impact of downtime but also bring down energy consumption and achieve their sustainability targets.

The current state of this preparedness varies across countries. Developed markets such as Australia and Taiwan are leading the conversation around energy transition, with growing government support and regulation to encourage technology adoption to support the transition toward a lower-carbon energy future.

While their developing market counterparts are taking the right steps and catching up quickly with ambitious renewable energy projects, many still face infrastructure challenges that stand in the way of widespread adoption and transformation. In many such countries, the ability to deploy emerging technologies such as energy storage and intelligent power management software still has some way to go.


Regardless of a country’s readiness for energy transition, gaps in understanding still exist across the public and private sectors even though the solutions to tackle these challenges are available today. Much more sector education needs to be done to help various stakeholder groups from end-users to regulators understand the capabilities and limitations, commercial aspects as businesses chart their transformation journey.

Technologies such as Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), Lithium-ion batteries and smart grids that guide the efficient management of power, will shift from “good to have”, to “must-have”, as climate change moves further up the boardroom agenda over the next couple of years.

In a post-covid business landscape, connected customers are increasingly expecting always-on accessibility, alongside constant innovation, and stakeholder accountability. To achieve this, businesses will need to carefully align their power management strategy with their digitalisation priorities and sustainability objectives.

This integrated planning approach then needs to be combined with government engagement to establish and refine technology adoption best practices and standards.

Energy transition is a collaborative process and once the right strategy and support is in place, more businesses in Asia be able to build a resilient power infrastructure that is ready to take on a more sustainable digital future.


Join EATON at the Data Center webinar to learn how the EnergyAware technology can be utilized to lower demand and peak time charges, as well as contribute to clean energy goals.

CSaaS adoption on the rise as cos grapple with increasing threats

With the onset of Covid-19, Cybersecurity-as-a-service (CSaaS) is witnessing a significant adoption, as companies brace themselves for the ‘new normal’.

It seems like every year sets a “benchmark” for new and advanced cybersecurity threats. As private and public organizations scramble to hire security professionals and set aside the budgets to improve their defenses, cyber criminals continue to exploit even the minutest of technical vulnerabilities with ease.

If the evolution of cyber criminals is not something for an organisation to worry about, the COVID-19 pandemic has rewritten the rules of the game. “Cybersecurity as a Service (CSaaS) relieves the burden by reducing one-time investment (as such services are charged per month and as per the consumption),costs, increasing coverage and giving businesses you an access to experts they can count on to identify threats, vulnerabilities, and risks in their your environment,” according to Sunil Sharma, MD, Sales (India and SAARC) for Sophos.

Traditionally, CSaaS providers offer a Security Operations Center (SOC), Security Information and Events Management (SIEM) system, or both, he added.

Why use CSaaS

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation for many organisations, which have moved to the cloud, to enable employees “Work From Home” and to maintain business continuity. A recent PwC survey of more than 10,000 business and IT executives even found that 62 per cent of organisations are now implementing this model.

Sunil is of the view that the pandemic has changed the mentality of organisations and their Boards towards cybersecurity. Organisations have realized the need to secure their assets in the current fluctuating protocols about working in and out of a home and main office. “They are also keen on being prepared for the future that is leaning towards Zero Trust,” he said.

A Zero Trust (ZT) architecture abolishes the idea of a trusted network inside a defined corporate perimeter. It is here that CSaaS comes in. Firstly, it provides effective defense to combat cyberattacks at an affordable costing model.

“Many Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs) do not have a dedicated security team. A robust cybersecurity to combat cyberattacks requires the right tools, people and processes in-house to effectively manage security round the clock,” said Sunil.

Also, staffing a SOC and maintaining SIEM can be financially burdensome for many organisations. “It is a complex operation even for the large enterprises, so you can imagine the plight of smaller businesses,” noted Sunil.

CSaaS provides cybersecurity services as per an organizations’ need, at a convenient pricing model and at the same time help protect them when their business grows. IT leaders need to ensure their current cybersecurity defenses can stand up against active cyberattackers by including a proactive threat hunting component.

Adversaries are also changing their tactics, techniques and procedures to increasingly launch cyberattacks that combine automation with active human interaction or “hands on keyboard” hacking. CsaaS can better provide threat hunting services to the serve organizations that don’t have people and upfront budget to maintain cybersecurity in such a dynamic environment of evolving cyberattacks and can help organizations to achieve robust cybersecurity within their flexible budget.

Perhaps the biggest advantage is simply the long-term savings. Companies don’t have to deal with the costly overhead expenses involved with assembling an in-house team and acquiring hardware and software.

All this can quickly take a financial toll on a business. CSaaS is an effective alternative because it allows you to bypass many of the capital intensive these costs, thus reducing your financial burden, pointed out Sunil.

As cybercriminals continue to evolve their attack strategies, cybersecurity has become increasingly important for organisations of all types.


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

Preparing for an edge data center future

Our never-ending desire for faster connectivity and growing hunger for more data consumption anywhere and everywhere is increasing the demand for edge data centers.

That’s why the edge data center market is expected to exponentially increase in value by up to 23% and between US$13.5 billion and US$20 billion.

“Edge data centers are truly evolving and growing. Edge computing today is almost like what we saw with cloud eight to ten years ago,” said Steven Cheng, the Director for East Asia E-commerce and Edge Computing for International Operations at Schneider Electric.

This impressive uptake is driven by the advent and rising adoption of 5G, industrial automation, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, cloud gaming and high-quality video streaming.

These technologies are vastly increasing the number of connected devices and applications requiring low latency, speedy connectivity, more data and reliable storage. To meet the demand for automation, edge data centers are deployed to enable the use of these technologies by bringing digital infrastructures and faster processing power closer to us.

“Asia is one of the regions that has been hit hardest by this year’s events, which is fueling the acceleration of lights out operations and automation where a company may now need to lay off their workforce,” said Mr. Cheng.

The Asia Pacific region is forecast to contribute a growth rate of 25% to the edge data center market by 2026.

For countries like Indonesia and the Philippines where there are a lot of islands split across the geographical regions, having local compute to monitor and process data in real-time and provide advanced technological services locally for improved customer experiences is very important for the region.

“Companies now need to start thinking about how to reallocate their investments on automation and local compute to not only save costs, but to also be well prepared for unforeseen circumstances like those we have experienced this year,” Mr. Cheng added.

Challenges at the edge

Implementing edge compute begins with installing small racks in different environments like industrial complexes, commercial buildings, or even hospitals and normal IT closets.

Bringing digital services to the edge can empower more convenience, better customer experience and smarter cities. For example, with edge computing coupled with 5G connectivity, a billboard could display emergency room waiting times of different hospitals in real-time to prevent overcrowding, which we have seen during the pandemic.

But to successfully drive edge data center deployments, businesses must consider the environments where they are building these facilities and the IT staff they have to manage them.

“To have a successful edge compute, you need to make sure that the deployments in these environments can withstand an unmanned service because you’re not going to have anybody there looking at your edge servers all the time,” advised Mr. Cheng.

However, the successful future of edge computing could be slowed down by legacy systems that are not connected to any networks or devices.

“To have those legacy systems upgraded to have connectable abilities, I think that would be the key to drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution forward,” said Mr. Cheng.

With newer, distributed infrastructure, the cost of deployment, management and maintenance can be a concern for those considering edge data centers. 

To overcome these challenges, Schneider Electric has efficient edge data center solution lines to fit any environment or climate, whether it’s on the ground or in the air on a wall for smaller deployments where space might be limited in a place like Singapore. 

“At Schneider Electric, we have product lines like a 6U Micro Data Center. You can mount it on the wall with uninterruptible power supply and security monitoring all in one enclosure, so you don’t have to worry about powering or cooling the data center because it just rolls into your site,” said Mr. Cheng.

And once your deployment is completed, Schneider Electric has solutions to eliminate the challenge of maintenance, with cloud-based remote monitoring applications to lower service costs and ensure your systems keep running.

“You need to have sensors and monitoring devices. We have 3D heat maps and simulations to monitor your hotspots in the facility. If your edge data center does not have enough cooling or the power is struggling, alarms will sound on your remote monitoring system to alert you,” added Mr. Cheng.

Take for example, Leading Edge Data Centres in Australia who shared their experience of partnering with Schneider Electric at W.Media’s Edge Data Center Strategy and Solutions in Asia Pacific digital event

Leading Edge Data Centres leveraged Schneider Electric’s extensive experience to deploy Tier-3-designed, standardised, pre-assembled and fully integrated data center modules, including 75 racks featuring 5 kW per rack power density, in six sites across New South Wales.

With the help of Schneider Electric, Leading Edge Data Centres’ intention is to build a network of highly connected edge data centers to create communication hubs, bridging the gap between urban and regional areas in Australia where connectivity and low latency is lacking.

To get involved in the inevitable edge data center future, Mr. Cheng recommended a hybrid model, combining cloud computing with regional edge solutions to enable easy management close to your headquarters, and local edge solutions to ensure better and faster customer experiences for your users.

> Prepare for the edge data center future with Schneider Electric

By Stuart Crowley, Editor

The Top 5 Benefits of Gas Generators for Data Centers

There is no secret that data centers are one of the biggest consumers of electricity and water with a growing target of carbon neutral advocates.

Presently, data center operators are highly reliant on diesel generators to power their facilities due to the infrastructure availability and low fuel prices. However, this is becoming increasingly exorbitant and exceedingly unsustainable.

“If you ask a data center operator, the big end users will want to become carbon neutral by 2030. Whilst natural gas gensets are not carbon neutral, they are a step towards the right direction,” said C. B. Lim, the Director of Product Development and Management at AWI-Genz Global Private Limited.

The data center industry has been growing to accommodate hyperscale cloud firms, cultivate ecosystems and fulfill new demand arising from technologies such as AI and IoT. Many tech giants and data center providers are committed to renewable energy goals, turning to greener alternatives like natural gas generators for their data centers, as they offer a number of benefits.

“I predict that green hydrogen power will be the future fuel for data center power, but you cannot just stand straight there! Infrastructure needs to be available. Hence, we see the gas genset as an intermediary solution for the foreseeable future. Natural Gas distribution networks could be used for hydrogen distribution in the future with many countries already ensuring any new expansion or replacement of natural gas networks can be used for both gas and hydrogen types,” Mr. Lim posited.

1. Reduced Carbon Footprint

Data center operators recognise that being carbon neutral plays an important role in their sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) stratagem and at the same time, enabling them to do their bit for global climate change. They also perceive that individuals and corporate customers prefer to buy products and services from environmentally conscious suppliers.

With this, more eyes are on gas generators as a practically immediate solution to reduce carbon footprints. Even with 30% reduction in carbon emission after switching to gas generators, many data centers are still using diesel generators as the primary source of power. And the demand for power and electricity is expected to rise continuously in the long run. This shows that switching to a lower carbon solution is essential as the climate clock is running out of time until the climate conditions become detrimental and irreversible.

“In a typical data center, the diesel generator set is a de-energised system. It is on standby mode, sat there doing nothing!” said Mr. Lim.

Gas generators are not meant for a one time one-for-one replacement for diesel generators. It is a commitment for operators, owners and organisations to change their mindset in order to understand the full benefits of the system and utilise them for continual operation.

“Emissions savings up to 40% as compared to a diesel genset and for utility grids dependent on region could be up to 60%,” said Mr. Lim.

“If we look at Singapore, all the electricity is created from liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plants. If we put a gas power plant in a Singapore data center, we can localise the power generation,” added Mr. Lim.

In the conventional set up with diesel generators in Singapore, the utilities companies have to provide both power and transmission losses for customers. Transmission losses can go up to 15% of the usable power generated and this will result in a negative effect on a country’s overall carbon footprint.

“If you can reduce the transmission losses by producing locally, then it’s better for everyone,” advised Mr. Lim.

Towards a localised gas power generation for data centers, AWI-Genz Global recommends using a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system.

Instead of dispersing the heat from exhaust, water jacket and oil into the atmosphere as pollutants, this integrated system takes the heat and inject it into an absorption chiller that normally uses lesser electricity as compared to a normal chiller, and convert the heat into the chilled water to keep the servers cool to prevent any damages to the servers which will result in downtime.

“You’re utilising the heat from the engine to cool the data center. It is going to save you a lot of money,” said Mr. Lim.

2. Reduced Power Utilisation Effectiveness

Data center operators are constantly seeking to reduce their power utilisation effectiveness (PUE) to the highly sought after 1.0 PUE ratio.

“For PUE, what we are looking at is to reduce the transmission losses of the data center, and the majority of the losses come from the cooling system and the electrical power train driving the IT and cooling systems,” said Mr. Lim.

By using the CHP gas gensets, data center operators can also significantly reduce their PUEs.

Another key component that affects the PUE ratios is the uninterruptible power supply (UPS). UPS is commonly used for power conditioning and bridging the gap between utility and diesel generators during utility failures. A typical efficiency range of a static UPS is approximately 92% – 96% without any energy storage losses.

Looking at the power requirements of modern IT equipment (ITIC CBEMA), a UPS is typically not required.

ITIC Curve

Maintenance and overhaul play a significant role in the operating cost for gas gensets. In order to effectively utilise your assets, running the genset at their upper limit continuously is required. These fundamentals are applicable for both gas genset and hydrogen fuel cells.

“The key driver for natural gas genset is that you’re buying an asset that is used 24/7, rather than just an asset that sits in its container and does nothing,” said Mr. Lim.

Therefore, with the reduction of components needed for a natural gas-powered data center, operators can reduce the cost of equipment and space required for the facilities.

At the same time the noise emission of gas genset is approximately 20% lower than conventional diesel genset.

Switching to gas gensets in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines will be very reasonable for Data Center as there will be a potential cost saving of up to 25% as compared to countries like Singapore.

“We see Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia have been very good markets because of their great distribution networks for natural gas. As for the Philippines, apart from lack of gas distribution, the low gas prices in the Philippines will still make gas gensets very attractive.” added Mr. Lim.

But you may ask, ‘What about Singapore, one of the most matured data center markets in Southeast Asia?’

Mr. Lim believes that it may be difficult to operate a data center solely using gas genset in Singapore because there are limited natural gas pipelines available in Singapore. This means that the natural gas supply has to come in tube trailers form.

“If you are looking at a natural gas-powered data center, the amount of gas needed and the storage space for the gas supply to keep the generators running would be immense. It is not feasible for Singapore data center operators to utilise natural gas gensets” said Mr. Lim.

Therefore, it will take some time for Singapore to switch from diesel genset to natural gas genset.

3. Improved Electrical Infrastructure

“In order for the data centers to shift to a cleaner energy source such as natural gas or hydrogen, I think data certification boards will need to take a look at the topologies involved and the way they accredit data centers. New technologies for powertrain will drive new distribution topologies,” said Mr. Lim.

Take for example a 2.5MW gas genset in a distributed redundant basing on “¾ topology” powering up a data center. In normal operation, each of the four gas gensets will have a max loading of 75%. If a failure occurs on one of the gas gensets, the load will transfer to the others, each of the others potentially receiving a 25% load increase.

This will result in frequency drop on the gas genset because they do not handle step load as well as diesel genset. One way to get over this would be to utilise a frequency stabiliser instead of a static UPS. Or if you like, a hybrid UPS like ONE Power Solutions, which is offered by Power Partners.

“The beauty of this hybrid UPS is that we only need a frequency stabiliser of about 600 kilowatts because we’re only looking at this 25% load transferring, and energy storage required would, in theory, need to be just 10-15 seconds. This opens up the possibilities of ultracapacitors, which are a green solution as compared to lithium batteries. With their long life of 15 years, they require no recycling at the end-of-life cycle. In a traditional data center, the UPS for this unit would need to be 2.5 MW with a 10-minute lithium-ion battery,” said Mr. Lim.

“Distributed redundant, traditional 2N solution; these don’t really work with gas gensets or hydrogen fuel cells, because you really want to maximise the kWh. So, you do not want to have all that reserve power in the stationary engine just for failure transfer,” added Mr. Lim.

AWI-Genz Global’s Active Catcher Topology for gas-powered data centers could allow generators to run up to 95% load and still have reserve set to transfer to in the event of a failure. Mr. Lim predicts static switches will play an important role in new green data centers of the future.

4. Reliability

With emerging new distribution topologies, data centers powered by gas gensets can feel assured that their facilities are going to be reliable. In a current data center, the prime source of power (the diesel genset) is de-energised until required.

“Let’s think of it like driving a car. If you keep the car running all the time, you don’t have to worry about the engine starting. As we all know 99% of diesel gensets’ failures are ‘Failure to start’. The reality with diesel gensets is when you need it the most, it is most likely to let you down”, commented by Mr. Lim.

“In a de-energised system, it is very difficult to predict a failure. But when something is continually operational, you can see small changes in the telemetry that can help predict issues before they occur, so you can be more proactive on your maintenance”, said Mr. Lim.

As a part of Air Water Group who specialise in gases and liquids, AWI-Genz Global has developed its own in-house LNG storage solutions to complement and expand the resilience of the overall gas genset. Therefore, when a problem occurs with the natural gas supply, the data center will continue to run on natural gas from mobile tube trailers.

“We want to have some storage on-site as well, so that’s one thing that is unique to i-Genz that we can put in as a part of the package”, said Mr. Lim.

5. Grid Systems Stabilisation

In countries like Vietnam and Indonesia where the national grid systems may be less reliable and less environmentally-friendly, the implementation of gas generators in data centers could help stabilise the systems.

“I think a data center itself will become a microgrid in the future where all these little microgrids can link together and help one another,” said Mr. Lim.

With the increased resilience brought by gas gensets, these engines could run in parallel with the utility to not only provide power to the data center, but also to surrounding local communities.

“When you have all these little power plants running in parallel, it means that the grid itself doesn’t have to have such a large spinning reserve,” said Mr. Lim.

And with more data centers building their own power supplies, we may see data centers with gas power that is fully off the grid, enabling them to be built almost anywhere.

“Maybe we’ll even see innovation parks coming up where the data center is really the powerhouse, and there may be some office buildings around that utilise power generated from the data center. There’s a whole separate community that could be created off the grid,” predicted by Mr. Lim.

Despite the potential cost saving and environmental benefits, there is still not much support for co-generation of power in many grid systems, and this may be a sticking point in Asia.

“That’s one thing that may need to change and will have to change when renewable energies become more popular in certain countries,” posited Mr. Lim.

The trend towards renewable energy and environmentally-friendly initiatives seems to be unstoppable at this point.

“There has to be a natural progression. The easy way to progress would be straight to hydrogen power and there are solutions that we have for hydrogen fuel cells that are built for data centers,” said Mr. Lim.

At the moment there are limited hydrogen pipelines in the world. Storing hydrogen can be used as an alternative solution. However, disasters like the Hindenburg Zeppelin, a German passenger airship that exploded in May 1937, in New Jersey, USA is bringing hydrogen into disrepute.

“People are not quite ready to accept hydrogen, and the infrastructure is not there yet. But we see there is going to be a progression from diesel to something that is less damaging to the environment, which would be natural gas”, predicted by Mr. Lim.

Nevertheless, with the benefit of safety, lower cost and low emission brought by gas generators, the prolific future of natural gas-powered data centers will be inevitable.

> Discover i-Genz’s range of Gas Gensets

By Stuart Crowley, Editor

Malaysia set for exciting digital growth with KIDEX’s first data center investment

Malaysia is about to witness exciting growth in the data industry once Kulai Iskandar Data Exchange’s (KIDEX) first data center comes online in the first quarter of 2021.

Developed by TPM Technopark, a wholly owned subsidiary of Johor Corporation (JCorp), with ideation and planning supported by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), KIDEX spans across 745 acres of land and is designed to attract the development of data centers in Johor.

The data center is a built-to-suit facility for a leading technology company, which will spread across six acres and will feature at least Tier III specifications.

“The completion of the facility will be a great catalyst to the growth of the data industry in the high-growth Iskandar region of Johor as well as a boost for KIDEX to become a regional data hub,” said Wan Murdani Mohammad, the Director of the Digital Infrastructure Services Division at MDEC.

Despite the international travel ban due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MDEC and TPM Technopark have increased promotional activities to attract developers from APAC who are seeking to expand or have a foothold in the region.

After welcoming their first data center investment, KIDEX has received strong investment interest from local and overseas data center developers as well as data center support services, equipment testing facilities and renewable energy generation plants to provide alternative power supplies to complement the existing 600MW capacity at the JCorp owned KIDEX.

“We strive to position KIDEX as an alternative data center hub to complement the existing data hub in Singapore, presenting KIDEX as the best option for data center players seeking to establish large scale or cost-competitive operations in the region,” added Mr. Mohammad.

According to JCorp, KIDEX is expected to attract a total of US$4.2 billion (RM17.5 billion) worth of investments from data center developers and support services as well as segments related to the data industry, including the Internet of Things, cloud computing, data storage, virtual and augmented reality, e-commerce, banking, artificial intelligence and software engineering.

What makes KIDEX an attractive place for investment?

Strategically located in the heart of Southeast Asia, with global connectivity, close proximity to Senai International Airport and dark fiber availability linked to nearby Singapore, KIDEX offers an opportunity for the local and international digital economy to grow.

For data center developers, KIDEX presents an attractive location, offering competitive land prices and ample land availability, which is particularly important at a time when neighbouring Singapore has a moratorium on new data center builds and sparser land availability.

TPM Technopark has developed KIDEX to feature closely located high, stable, redundant and abundant power of up to 600MW provided through dual sources of transmission, as well as a redundant water supply, rainwater catchment banks, and a planned independent natural gas and chilled water co-generation plant able to generate up to an additional 240MW of power.

KIDEX is designed to distribute 17 Million Liters Per Day (MLD) of potable water. To date two on-site elevated water tanks have been built and are able to supply a total of 10 MLD. Additional water supply can easily be made available upon an increase in demand from investors.

And as data center sustainability becomes more crucial to attract customers, data centers at KIDEX can leverage a planned solar power field and a water recycling plant for efficient power and cooling.

The Data Exchange also has main and service roads for easy access, inspiring green landscaping, high-tech security systems to keep data centers safe, and ‘Plug and Play’ capabilities for speedy deployment.

All this enables KIDEX to have infrastructure and utilities that will cater for Tier III data centers at a competitive cost.

“Data center developers and operators investing in KIDEX will enjoy higher return on investment on their projects due to the lower project investment cost and daily operational cost incurred,” said JCorp.

As for attracting customers to data centers, KIDEX is located at the center of a larger 7,290 acres of land development in Sedenak that will feature industries, retails and residences built to the theme of Industry 4.0, promoting the adoption of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, including cyber-physical systems, IoT, cloud computing, artificial intelligence and smart factories.

The wider land development is also set to welcome investors from the logistics, electrical and electronic, and medical industries to Sedenak.

Looking beyond KIDEX, Malaysia has a good track record for being safe from natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis, which could damage a data center.

How will KIDEX benefit Southeast Asian society?

Malaysia’s data center market has also received exceptional support from the Malaysian Government through its agency, MDEC and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), who provides data center investors with support and incentives to grow the country as the leading regional hub for data center services.

“KIDEX spearheads the best that Malaysia has to offer to potential investors in the region,” said Mr. Mohammad.

KIDEX is one initiative of many that is developed to realise the physical development agenda of the Smart City Iskandar Malaysia (BPIM) project, which focuses on smart governance, smart people, smart mobility, smart environment, smart economy and smart living.

Its robust and stable data network infrastructure is expected to benefit the Government, businesses and the people in the Iskandar Malaysia economic corridor.

“KIDEX will not only help transform Iskandar Malaysia to become a metropolis of international standing, but it will also help realise the Digital Johor agenda at the State level, as well as the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan at the National level,” said JCorp.

On top of this, the KIDEX development will create 1,600 jobs in Malaysia, including 400 high-skilled IT, Mechanical and Electrical positions, 200 semi-skilled jobs in server and networking, and 1,000 jobs in support labour. And to assist the employees, KIDEX will spur the demand of 16,000 new houses to be built in the Sedenak area.

“KIDEX shall positively drive the vision of the Government towards Industry 4.0, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, smart factory manufacturing, e-commerce and many more, supporting the digitalisation of industries and the community in the Southeast Asia region,” said JCorp.

Overall, KIDEX signals Malaysia’s commitment to the global data center and digital communities, demonstrating that the country understands the needs and requirements of the data industry.

With rising demand for new data center developments and new projects in Malaysia from the likes of NTT, Vertiv, AIMS Data Centre, G3 Global and PCCW, the country is ready to be a reliable and competitive data hub to serve the exciting digitalisation of Southeast Asia.

By Stuart Crowley, Editor

Battling cybersecurity threats in the cloud

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

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

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

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

So how can we fight back?

Your livelihood is at stake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you at risk?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Out with the old

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can we stop the cybercriminals?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What should you do next?

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

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

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

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

> Protect your business against threats with Insyghts Security

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

Overcoming credential stuffing for online retailers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Identifying credential stuffing

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

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

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

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

Overcoming credential stuffing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

How interconnectivity gives emerging markets space to grow

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

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

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

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

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

Ask and you shall receive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How are data centers enabling Indonesia’s digital future?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Space to grow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

It’s time to defy gravity with Digital Realty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defying Gravity

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

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

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

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

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

Creative thinking, defying echo chambers, yoga and shadowboxing

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

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

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

Defying limitations, escaping velocity and mixology

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

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

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

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

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

> Register now for your complimentary MarketplaceLIVE ticket

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

Making the future of high-performance computing happen now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping it animated even during a pandemic!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Making the HPC future cool

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

> Explore how GIGABYTE is powering the future of HPC

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

CommScope: Keeping you connected in a data-driven world

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Creating a RUCKUS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Connectivity at the heart of hospitality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

Sustainable data centers aren’t optional anymore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The current state of data center sustainability

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s driving data center sustainability into the future?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are the solutions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What does the future hold for data center sustainability?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

> Read more from Schneider Electric’s report

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

Princeton Digital Group sets aggressive data center expansion plans to complement “New Infrastructure” strategy in China

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

Delta Electronics tackles the unique challenges of powering mature and emerging data center markets in Southeast Asia

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 brings first green data center to Indonesia powered by its people

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

Sustainable hyperscaling create unique opportunities for Princeton Digital Group to stand out in Singapore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cloud computing boom creates untapped potential for hybrid solutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

> Find out more about Princeton Digital Group

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

Huawei to digitize your power with reliable data center solutions

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