World’s highest-altitude data center begins second construction phase in Tibet

The world’s highest-altitude data center in Tibet has just commenced its second phase of construction.

Located in Tibet’s capital city of Lhasa, 3,656 metres above sea level, the data center costs US$1.8 billion (11.8 billion yuan), and is scheduled to launch in 2021.

Chinese state media, Xinhua, reported that once completed, 70,000 data center servers will be able to serve users in China’s cities and provinces, including Beijing, Shanghai, Sichuan and Jiangsu, as well as neighbouring South Asian countries Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

China’s Ningsuan Technology Group is in charge of the data center. The company says that the data center will provide IT services to partners in areas such as video rendering, autonomous driving, and distance-learning.

The Group’s Vice President and CMO, Wang Jun, said that as Lhasa is being granted approval to become an exporter of regional and international communications services, Tibet could become a big data industry base, realising three-dimensional network interconnectivity across the Himalayan region.

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Philippines Market Insights 2020

In the Philippines, the relationship between the Telco industry and Cloud Computing is symbiotic. The Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, and Datacenter landscape is intensifying with new entrants keen to establish their foothold in the market. Market optimism is at an all-time high, a signal that the Cloud ecosystem is on the precipice of accelerated growth.

The rising middle-class coupled with a local internet population of close to 70 million users indicates lasting growth in the Cloud sector. Individuals in the Philippines spend an average of 10 hours online (Source: Hootsuite, and WeareSocial Digital 2019 report), topping the global average. The pivot towards high speed connectivity promises to maximize this usage gap. A mix of open-source IT design, and robust competition will rapidly address the discrepancy between usage and infrastructure.

The structural core of this explosive growth in Cloud Computing are the twin pillars of  Cybersecurity, and Business Continuity Plans. Latency and data breaches threaten to drown positive market sentiment. In recognition of Cloud’s  growing dominance, W.Media will be extending its Cloud and Datacenter Convention series to the Philippines.

Cloud and Datacenter Market: Key Drivers in the Philippines

Philippines’ economic growth rate of 6.8%, overtakes China’s growth rate of 6.7% as of 2019 (Source : Government of the Philippines). The 30th ASEAN Summit which was held in the Philippines further affirmed the country’s journey to be the next Asia’s new economic powerhouse.

The BPO Industry is seen as a multi billion-dollar industry and is expected to double by 2020. Countries like the United States, Australia and the UK are among the largest users of BPO. Leveraging on its close cultural affinity to the West, the Philippines is renowned for its strong BPO industry, and is oftenly revered as the Outsourcing Destination of the World. Strong growth of BPOs in the Philippines is expected to drive further demand in data storage and computing demands. 

Cloud Computing Services in the Philippines and Data Privacy have been a highly contested topic.  Section 4 of the Data Privacy Act (DPA) provides that the “Act applies to the processing of all types of personal information and to any natural and juridical person involved in personal information processing including those personal information controllers and processors who, although not found or established in the Philippines, use equipment that are located in the Philippines.” As an inference, there is a need for cloud service providers to localize their datacenters in the Philippines. 

Keep watch – W.Media will commence its 2020 survey for the Philippines market in Q3.

Visit the Philippines Cloud and Datacenter Convention here.

Singapore Market Insights 2020

The rise of Singapore in the Cloud Computing, and Datacenter sphere is remarkable, and startlingly impressive for a nation with limited land. Its position as a mature datacenter hub both lends it, industry regard as well as, motivates its regional counterparts to emerge as market contenders. To that end, Indonesia, and Malaysia have emerged as the most likely Cloud Computing and Datacenter competitors. Having led the industry in  APAC and the wider global region for over a decade, the market is pivoting towards greater efficiency, and sustainability. Its reliable power grid, coupled with skilled personnel have proved to be overwhelmingly attractive against space scarcity concerns.. As new entrants establish their presence in Singapore, they have innovated to adapt to the unique features of the market landscape.

The tight regulations in Singapore was fueled in part by the inherent design inefficiencies. The legal restrictions have resulted in a massive leap in sustainable design among key industry figures. Working in tandem with the magnified focus on Datacenters and efficiency, the central government’s dedication to Cloud Computing is unparalleled. The Services 4.0 plan detailed in IMDA’s digital services report 2018 (Infocomm Media Development Authority’s  Services and Digital Economy (SDE) Technology Roadmap 2018) is in full effect. With the nation’s characteristic flair for infrastructure roll-outs, Cloud Native Architecture remains the focal point of IMDA’s digital roadmap. The Financial Services Industry(FSI), Ecommerce, and Government’s technology stack are the key drivers of Cloud in the nation. The scalability benefits alone have proved enormously attractive and pushed these sectors into adopting Cloud service delivery models.

Cybersecurity sits at the very heart of a well-designed Cloud Architecture, user confidence in the infrastructure remains crucial to the continued adoption. 

Managed Services, Migrations and Expansions listed as key projects

W.Media’s 2019 survey received responses from 1200+ IT professionals in Singapore. As an overview, the key projects that respondents are intending to undertake include Managed Services (23%), Datacenter Migration and Expansion (40%), Private Cloud Deployment (11%) and Migration to Public or Hybrid cloud (11%), with most of them indicating to commence multiple projects at the same time. Challenges listed include Budgeting and unexpected cost (35%), Migration risks and integration issues (20%), Rightsizing/Projecting IT requirements (18%), Service Excellence of providers (14%) and IT Team’s familiarity with new deployment (10%). 

Keep watch – W.Media will commence its 2020 survey for the Singapore market in Q3.

Visit the Singpaore Cloud and Datacenter Convention here.

Thailand Market Insights 2020

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

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

Just few months back, W.Media held its inaugural Cloud and Datacenter Convention in Thailand which brought together over 700 senior IT professionals. Industry experts highlighted Thailand as a strong contender to be the ICT hub for Indochina – find out more in the post event coverage via this link. 

Managed Services, Migrations and Expansions listed as key projects

W.Media’s 2019 survey received responses from 700+ IT professionals in Thailand. As an overview, the key projects that respondents are intending to undertake include Managed Services (23%), Datacenter Migration and Expansion (29%), Private Cloud Deployment (11%) and Migration to Public or Hybrid cloud (11%), with most of them indicating to commence multiple projects at the same time. Challenges listed include Budgeting and unexpected cost (34%), Migration risks and integration issues (25%), Rightsizing/Projecting IT requirements (16%), Service Excellence of providers (15%) and IT Team’s familiarity with new deployment (8%). 

Keep watch – W.Media will commence its 2020 survey for the Thailand market in Q4.

Visit the Thailand Cloud and Datacenter Convention here.

Malaysia Market Insights 2020

Malaysia’s Cloud and Datacenter landscape is primed to leap into the next phase of Cloud Computing. The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), coupled with its potential to revolutionize every step of the industrial, manufacturing and service delivery process, is driving this evolution. Even though AI is on the horizon with its presence working as a signal of the future dominance of Industry 4.0, uncertainties still exist. The question still lingers: Is Malaysia’s infrastructure ready?

The scalability opportunities from AI and the supporting Cloud infrastructure have inspired cloud migration. However, the mechanics of going from an on-prem to a cloud-based architecture requires a strategic plan of attack. Managed service providers are crucial to assist in what initially seems like an insurmountable task. Legacy datacenters are also reviewing their facilities to keep pace with Digital Transformation. This ecosystem of new entrants and established players are set to be in the forefront of a revolutionary industrial shift.

This new field of play comes with its own set of challenges, chiefly in securing consumer and industry confidence. The dual issues of Cybersecurity and Disaster Recovery are essential as latency is the overriding factor in sinking optimism around AI and subsequently, Industry 4.0. Cybersecurity has also been in scrutiny given the recent high profile attacks on major Malaysian organizations.

Astounding results deduced from Malaysia Cloud & Datacenter Convention 

From its pre-registration survey, out of the 800+ IT professionals in Malaysia who responded, majority were from the Financial Services industry (19.1%). Other industries include Telecommunications (17.6%), Cloud Service Providers (14.1%) and Government Agencies (10.2%). As an overview, the key projects that respondents are intending to undertake over the next 12 months include implementing Cybersecurity (27%), Datacenter Migration and Expansion (25%), Private Cloud Deployment (25%) and Migration to Public or Hybrid cloud (25%), with most of them indicating to commence multiple projects at the same time.

According to Malaysia’s mainstream news, The Star, many Malaysian companies reported a downtime of more than 24 hours due to cybersecurity breaches in 2019. It is reported that 26% of companies in Malaysia said that the most severe cybersecurity breaches in the last year has had a financial impact of more than US$1mil (RM4.11mil). As such, the MYCDC’s pre-registration survey results aligned with the news report, where many IT professionals recognise the need to address Cybersecurity in order to operate their business efficiently in the long term.

Experts will highlight best practices on Cybersecurity and Business Continuity Management 

 Apart from addressing the key concerns and challenges centred around Cybersecurity, IT and business leaders can look forward to understanding what makes the best Business Continuity Management plan – Hint: It is never just about having a plan.

 Due to unexpected crisis such as recent events like the US-China trade war and the Coronavirus, there were major disruptions in the global supply chain, and the importance of Business Continuity Management has never been more  emphasised. Business Continuity Management will be highlighted in MYCDC where we share how to better position your company in light of the recent crisis. How can technology play a part in the decision making process? How important is digitisation in the role of Business Continuity? Are you readily equipped to tackle crisis efficiently when it arises?

Keep watch – W.Media will commence its 2020 survey for the Malaysia market in Q3.

Visit the Malaysia Cloud and datacenter here.

Indonesia Market Insights 2020

Indonesia’s position as the largest economy in Southeast Asia has fueled its rise in the Cloud Computing, and Datacenter industry. Coupled with relatively low startup and operational costs, the country is rivaling traditional Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, and Datacenter hubs.  Datacenters in Jakarta alone are set to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.8% in the years 2019-2024 , the highest for any city in Southeast Asia (Cushman & Wakefield Datacenter Report 2019). 

The central government’s decision to enact and relax Data Sovereignty Laws, has served as a framework for the industry at large. Strict data localization laws, once created a regulatory structure that drove demand. However, the subsequent move to ease legal restrictions, and the continued robust demand, has reassured the major players in the industry. Fears of a market crash were quickly allayed. This flexibility and willingness to evolve makes Indonesia distinct from many of its closest competitors.  International heavyweights in public cloud such as Alibaba Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud have recognized this tremendous growth potential of the country and seized the chance to open datacenter operations within the country. 

Though  Cloud Computing expansion remains on an upward trajectory, power infrastructure is still an issue throughout the country. Latency arises as a major stumbling block to the massive Cloud Computing growth lying within reach. Additionally, Indonesia’s decision to shift its capital  opens the field up to a vast number of new entrants. The plan to move the administrative heart of the country to Borneo, presents an opportunity for businesses to work together with governmental organizations, and embark on Digital Transformation and Cloud Migration strategies. The degree of changes in Indonesia necessitates an in-depth analysis of the different strategic directions available for companies in the market. 

Keep watch – W.Media will commence its 2020 survey for the Indonesia market in Q3.

Visit the Indonesia Cloud and Datacenter Convention here.

Vietnam Market Insights 2020

Among ASEAN countries, Vietnam has increasingly proven itself to have one of the largest room for cloud adoption with the country’s rapid growth in Cloud expenditure. In 2018, Vietnam’s Cloud service market was valued at USD$165 million and it is projected to reach $291 million by 2024, exhibiting a double digit CAGR of 10% between 2019 and 2024.

According to APAC SMB Digital Maturity Index released in April 2019, 18% of Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) in Vietnam kickstarted their digital transformation journey through investing in Cloud Computing. Venturing into Cloud Computing enabled these companies to build large-scaled computing power, as well as to minimise technical requirements and physical storage. In addition, Cloud adoption has also equipped these SMBs with the appropriate technology to expand their IT infrastructure, which would have otherwise required a significant upfront capital investment. 

Following through a conversation with Mr Luong Huu Tuan, Co-founder of Vietnam Open Infrastructure Community, he highlighted that Vietnam’s Cloud market in in 2020 would be extremely exciting, with many interesting changes in the market to anticipate and new challenges to be tackled. For instance, the young talents in Vietnam’s IT industry are currently implementing a smart cloud platform for the digital transformation process in the country. With this move, we can expect Vietnam’s Cloud market to advance even further in the near future.

While local SMBs are moving towards cloud adoption and digital transformation, these are not without challenges. Based on APAC SMB Digital Maturity Index, local respondents indicated these areas that they lack of which deters them from cloud adoption: Digital Skills and Talent (17%), Insights into Operational and Customer Data (17%), Robust IT platform (9%). However, the Vietnamese government has stepped up and is taking measures to tackle these challenges that the locals face, which has greatly aided the decision of SMBs to adopt digitalization. For example, most of the respondents are aware of the government’s initiatives to support SMBs in digitalization and at least 64% had benefitted from them.

 Moving forward with the navigation and growth of Vietnam’s digital businesses, W.Media will be bringing back the largest Vietnam Cloud & Datacenter Convention to Ho Chi Minh on 27th August 2020. It is the one and only inclusive event where end-users, operators, system integrators, consultants & engineers are able to meet and connect. Our conference agenda would help to tap on key progresses, best practices, concerns and the future of cloud and data centre innovations. 

Keep watch – W.Media will commence its 2020 survey for the Vietnam market in Q3.

Visit the Vietnam Cloud and Datacenter Convention.

Pushing the edge of sustainability in the data centre with natural gas and lithium-ion UPS

For more than 10 years, Power Partners has delivered a variety of power protection solutions for mission-critical applications, including the burgeoning data centre industry in Singapore. Despite the relatively staid nature of electrical engineering, however, Paul Randall, the technical director of Power Partners feels there is ample room for improvement in terms of enhancing reliability, going green, and reducing costs.

Doing power well

While it is tempting to mistake Power Partners as an equipment vendor, Randall was quick to point out that Power Partner can integrate a full range of equipment into a cohesive solution based on the specific needs of a customer. One aspect that sets Power Partners apart from the “big equipment makers” is how Power Partners is well-versed in integration, he says.

“We integrate the equipment into the building, which might include the fabrication of an appropriate enclosure, the actual installation, and hoisting the hardware into place. We do have our own range of products, but we also collaborate with the industry to address specific requirements.”

One example of this integration ability would be supercapacitor/lithium-ion static uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Randall says the UPS that Power Partners offers can integrate with the ATS and genset, thus ensuring the load is always protected.

Being a traditional dynamic rotary UPS provider in Singapore, Power Partners has recently ventured into supercapacitor technology and gas generator to meet customers’ demands.

That’s not all, however. The use of supercapacitors and the tight integration with the genset provides a buffer to ensure that consecutive power outages and the associated voltage dip (coup de fouet effect) experienced by traditional batteries don’t bring the lithium-ion cells below the UPS low level DC. Which would be disastrous and can culminate due to multiple outages with a short autonomy UPS.

“We provide a whole power train from the grid to the racks. Though we are an equipment vendor, we have the capability to integrate lots of equipment as part of a solution to supply power to the data hall downstream. This is important with owner-furnished equipment on the upward trend. As such, we don’t see ourselves as a contractor, but as an equipment specialist,” said Randall.

An eye on green

Aside from reliability, going green is another topic that weighs heavily on Randall, who believes that a switch to natural gas in the data centre can alleviate pollution. The rationale is simple: Why settle for diesel backup generators when a natural gas power plant offers a significantly lower greenhouse gas emission that is at least 30 percent lower? 1

“The cost of operating a natural gas generator is similar to that of a diesel generator. However, natural gas is the perfect fuel for regional Southeast Asia countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia, which has an abundance of this resource,” said Randall.

It is hence no accident that Power Partners offers the entire ecosystem to support a natural gas power plant, from the natural gas gensets themselves to the requisite equipment to handle and store natural gas. He said: “We can compress and liquefy natural gas for easier handling. We can store the fuel in a liquified natural gas (LNG) storage tank.”

> Keppel Data Centres enters into partnerships to explore sustainable Floating Data Centre Park and LNG solutions in Singapore

Innovating with power

Randall sees the opportunity to both enhance reliability and reduce cost through the use of new technologies and innovative designs. His organisation’s integration of its lithium-ion UPS and genset is one such example of the former, though Randall also suggests alternate methods of deployments that turns convention on its head.

Pointing out that the gensets of a data centre are left “doing nothing” outside of a power outage, Randall posited using them as the primary power source in parallel with the power grid. This reduces energy cost with no impact on reliability, and excess capacity can also be sold back to the grid to further reduce the running cost.

Of course, this can only be effective with natural gas. But because the gas generators that Power Partners sell are combined heat and power (CHP) power plants, exhaust/engine heat from the generator is automatically put into a heat exchanger and absorption chiller to generate chilled water. This can be piped back into the data centre for cooling, lowering power consumption at no extra cost.

For this to work, the design must be sound, says Randall. “Your design has to be resilient. You must consider all different scenarios, from short circuits, leaking pipes to unstable utility power.” He acknowledged that there are mental barriers to be overcome, too: “Like it or not, it is a very human trait that everyone is waiting for one of their peers to be the ‘first one’.”

With the expertise from parent company Air Water Inc, a traditional industrial gas manufacturer since 1929, both Air Water Inc and Power Partners can provide a full suite of turnkey solutions for gas, water, and power to mission critical facilities.

Opportunities ahead

Though Power Partners has long focused its attention on the Singapore market, it is now setting its eyes on a larger stage after its acquisition by Air Water Inc, Japan. With a vision for growth in the region, Power Partners is currently in the process of establishing offices in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines.

“We see that many data centre operators are investing in other parts of Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia and Thailand. Vietnam is worth paying attention to, too, given its large and youthful population,” said Randall. “With the trade war between the U.S. and China, we are seeing companies divert their factories over to Vietnam. We all know that when manufacturing is established somewhere, information technology – and new data centres – will inevitably follow.”

Elsewhere, the growing trend towards data locality is doubtlessly another factor that will drive the construction of new data centres in the region. Moreover, the region is also rapidly modernising, and both governments and commercial organisations are deploying a wide array of smart equipment. And as organisations turn to artificial intelligence (AI) and edge computing to power these systems, the demand for data centres can only increase.

“You need data centres that are local to support applications such as AI and IoT. Data centres are here to stay. The only question is the scale of each facility: Will it be big or small? The digital economy is here to stay, and data centres are a vital component of this new economy.”

OVHcloud sets to capture Cloud market share in Asia Pacific with infrastructure expansion

Founded in 1999, OVHcloud has evolved from a web hosting company to becoming one of the global top 10 cloud players and is now positioned as a market leader in the industry. W.Media was privileged to be able to speak with Lionel Legros, General Manager of their Asia Pacific business cluster.

Trusted expertise and fast delivery is key to OVHcloud’s success

Hop on to ​OVHcloud.com​ and, every IT professional will be able to find the cloud solutions and bare-metal servers most suited to their expectations and for the most critical of their infrastructural needs. This is made possible by OVHcloud’s end-to-end control of its production lines and automated processes, including manufacturing their own racks and servers, and owning asset-heavy datacenters.

OVHcloud is able to differentiate from its competitors as it enables customers to select one or more dedicated servers with a single click. Most importantly, the servers can be made available to customers in just under 120 seconds. This efficiency and convenience provided by OVHcloud has allowed the company to retain a strong customer base.

Legros shared that to tackle the growing concerns of data security, OVHcloud provides dedicated infrastructure, such as Bare-metal servers and Hosted Private Cloud services, giving our customers the ability to keep control of their data. The company also provides managed network services which assist in mitigating attacks coupled with the advantageous fact that OVH owns their network fibres.

 

“Game servers are a frequent target for DDoS attacks so we needed the best protection for our services,” said Mitch Smith, Managing Director, Shockbyte, a game server provider based in Australia and one of the longest running Minecraft hosts. “After we switched to OVHcloud, we have been able to completely mitigate all attacks, and to this day we have never experienced another outage due to a DdoS attack. Another reason we chose OVHcloud is because we needed a provider that would allow us to scale fast. OVHcloud allows us to setup new servers instantly, which means we can scale as needed, rather than attempt to predict our requirements.”

Expansion in Asia Pacific

OVHcloud’s Public Cloud services is currently one of the largest Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions based on OpenStack. It is now available globally, attracting customers into 49 locations in Asia Pacific and 215 locations worldwide. Following the launch of their APAC office in Melbourne in 2017, OVHcloud has continued its expansion into APAC by setting up datacenters in Sydney and Singapore. With datacenters located in APAC, businesses in the region can benefit from improved resilience and higher speeds for data transfer. It will also benefit existing EMEA customers seeking to expand their businesses into APAC.

This expansion aligns with the company’s multi-local strategy, which aims to bring datacenters physically closer to local end-users. Despite high growth and expansions, OVHcloud is committed to delivering fast and reliable services to their customers.

OVHcloud now provides Cloud solutions worldwide from datacenters across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

About OVHcloud

OVHcloud is a global cloud provider that specializes in delivering industry-leading performance and cost-effective solutions to better manage, secure, and scale data. OVHcloud provides a smarter alternative for bare metal servers, hosted private cloud, hybrid and public cloud solutions. The group manages 30 datacenters across 12 sites in 4 continents, manufacturing its own servers, building its own datacenters and deploying its own fibre-optic global network to achieve maximum efficiency. Through OVHcloud spirit of challenging the status quo, the company brings freedom, security and innovation to solve data challenges – today and tomorrow. With a 20-year heritage, a solid European foundation and a strong presence worldwide, OVHcloud is committed to developing responsible technologists, as the group strives to be the driving force behind the next cloud evolution.

Amidst the tides, Digitisation is key to Business Continuity

Trade war, health concerns, etc.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Southeast Asia (SEA) Datacenters set to witness accelerated growth in the next 5 years

Southeast Asia as a powerhouse

A report by Cushman & Wakefield estimates that the Southeast Asia Datacenter market is set to achieve a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13% in the years 2019 to 2024. The region is projected to achieve accelerated growth in the market as more companies are choosing to develop datacenters in Southeast Asia. Asia-Pacific as a whole, is on track to lead the datacenter market by 2021 with a total market size estimated at US$28 billion. 

Malaysian-based and Japanese-owned company, Regal Orion Bhd Sdn., is in the process of building a US$290m Green Datacenter in Labu, Negeri Sembilan. The datacenter facility will occupy 11,520 square metres of space, and host up to 4,064 racks. Essentially making it the largest facility to be housed within a single site in Southeast Asia. 

Datacenter firm DCI Indonesia, has also begun construction of its third datacenter facility called JK3 in Cibitung, West Java in Indonesia. Toto Sugiri, CEO of DCI, shared that “DCI is ready to become a pioneer who presents the largest hyperscale datacenter facility in Indonesia,”. Furthermore, Indonesia’s stellar growth as a young market is capped off by NTT Communications Corporation, announcing the development of a new datacenter campus at Bekasi, Indonesia.

The greater need for an improved IT infrastructure is driven by the potential for rapid digital economic growth. The ever-increasing development of datacenters in Indonesia is a testament to the improved IT ecosystem. With an enhanced IT infrastructure, companies can depend on reliable and stable data access and ramp up service delivery. 

With its developed infrastructure and vibrant business climate, Singapore is the natural choice for Facebook as their entry point into the Southeast Asian Datacenter Market. This new datacenter will be the first to incorporate the new StatePoint Liquid Cooling system, an innovation targeted at the minimisation of water and power consumption. Additionally, Singapore’s scarcity of land resources was central in Facebook’s datacenter high-rise design, reducing urban sprawl, and maximising land. These innovative approaches signal new paths of growth in mature markets. 

Hosting powerhouse of data

Singapore is projected to lead APAC growth well into 2024, outpacing North America. Considering the land-scare nature of Singapore, Jakarta and Malaysian are next in line for a massive uptick in datacenter growth. Industry giants such as Huawei, Alibaba, and Microsoft are already investing in these countries as a recognition of their market potential.

As its market position evolves, Malaysia will be the beneficiary of green technology becoming the pillar of datacenter design. As the notoriously energy inefficient processes of Datacenters get addressed in more mature markets, an emerging market like Malaysia stands to gain from this new call to action. The abundance of hydro-resources and its geographic nature as a peninsula makes it an ideal candidate for sub-sea cables.

With over 22 cables connected in close proximity to Singapore, Malaysia is seen as a major contender in the region. Malaysia’s public and private sectors, are keen to promote digital transformation through effective strategic partnerships with global and local datacenter vendors. The government of Malaysia is focused on upgrading the telecommunications and network infrastructure to improve readiness for hyperscale datacenters. Considering business continuity plans are already central in rising and mature datacenter markets, the region looks set to achieve healthy growth in the foreseeable future. 

The rapidly changing landscape of Southeast Asia’s Datacenter industry opens the playing field to new entrants, and international heavyweights. W.Media’s series of Cloud and Datacenter Conventions throughout the region, focuses precisely on the vast growth opportunities available. The Conventions are tailored to be country-specific yet fully designed to carve out and capitalize on the local market’s international standing.  Reach out to our consultants to best meet your business and marketing interests. 

Be part of the latest developments in Cloud and Datacenters:

  • Malaysia Cloud & Datacenter Convention, Kuala Lumpur – 27th February 2020 
  • South Korea Cloud & Datacenter Convention, Seoul – 12th March 2020
  • Vietnam Cloud & Datacenter Convention, Hanoi – 8th April 2020
  • Philippines Cloud & Datacenter Convention, Manila – 14th May 2020
  • Singapore Cloud & Datacenter Convention – 16th July 2020
  • Vietnam Cloud & Datacenter Convention, Ho Chi Minh – 27th August 2020 
  • Indonesia Cloud & Datacenter Convention, Jarkata – 24th September 2020 
  • Thailand Cloud & Datacenter Convention, Bangkok – 4th November 2020

Opiah, Abigail, and Antony Savvas. “Regal Orion to Build $289.8m Green Data Centre in Malaysia.” Data Economy, 3 May 2019, data-economy.com/regal-orion-to-build-289-8m-green-data-centre-in-malaysia/.

Opiah, Abigail, and Antony Savvas. “DCI Indonesia Begins Building Its Third Data Centre Facility.” Data Economy, 18 Nov. 2019, data-economy.com/dci-indonesia-begins-building-its-third-data-centre-facility/.

Kwang, Kevin. “Facebook to Build First Asian Data Centre in Singapore, Investing S$1.4 Billion.” CNA, 6 Sept. 2018, www.channelnewsasia.com/news/technology/facebook-data-centre-singapore-jobs-asia-10688962.

Thailand as a strong contender to be the ICT hub for Indochina

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

Thailand Cloud & Datacenter Convention 2019 – Plenary Hall

Kick-off

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

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

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

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

 

The debates

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

Highlights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Highlights

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

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

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

The Expo – the cloud and data centre marketplace in Thailand

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

Technology showcase by TCC Technology Group

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

Technology Bench and Private Workshop: 

Technology bench session by Mathias Wernitz from STULZ GmbH

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

1.Cold Aisle Containment system

2.Wireless Power & Environmental Monitoring system

3.Automatic airflow controls system

4.Water mist system for data center

5.Smart city management operating system

6.STULZ Nano DC and Micro Dc

Deeper engagement with the VIPs

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

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

Finale

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

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

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

Press Conference by OPEN-TEC (Thailand) & W.MEDIA (Singapore) in Bangkok, Thailand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Are we ready for Digital Indonesia 2020 ?” By Ajay Sunday, SC-Nex (Part of Sumitomo Corporation)

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

The panelists consisted of

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

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

Some key notes from the discussion:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grand Opening of Power Partners Building Graced by New Owner, Air Water Inc.

Grand Opening of Power Partners’ Building in Tampines

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

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

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

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

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

About Power Partners Group 

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

About Air Water Inc.

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

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

Air Water Inc. Acquires DRUPS Titan, Hitec Holding B.V.

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

Purpose of the acquisition of shares

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

About Air Water

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

About Hitec

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

About Egeria

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

Tech Knowledge Sharing Platform Enriched via Collaboration between OPEN-TEC (Thailand) and W.MEDIA (Singapore)

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

About OPEN-TEC (Inspired by TCC Technology)

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

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

About TCC TECHNOLOGY GROUP 

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

Cool Running’s With Ken Ng

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why should organisations select your solution above others?

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

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

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

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

‘Customers Satisfaction is Our Business’

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

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

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

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

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

Spinning a ‘Webb’ of Success

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The key points are; 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KL Deliver Easter Bonus

In the Beginning

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

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

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

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

The Main Event 

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

— Tom C. Varghese, Facebook.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Servings on the side 

Technology Bench

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

Workshops

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

Aperitifs

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

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

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

How Organisations in Malaysia and Southeast Asia Are Prioritising Their Cloud and Data Centre Investments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information and to register, click here.

Vietnam – Fast Forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STOP PRESS: – Just In

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

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

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

Look forward to seeing you all then.

3 Innovations Where Malaysian Data Centres Are Investing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emerging economies in ASEAN skipping generations of legacy infrastructure to cloud

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are Vietnam Data Centres Meeting International Standards and Expectations?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All Wrapped Up In KL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well, that’s a wrap for KL and 2018.

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

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

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

It’s About TIME, Malaysia Moves Forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jakarta Erupts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smart DC Design Basics 101 – ‘The 7 Keys To Success’©

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Physical Infrastructure Needs To Grow With The Business”

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

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

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

‘The 4 Utilities’©

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

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

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

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

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

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