ESR Cayman buys property in Hong Kong for data centre development

APAC-focused logistics asset firm ESR Cayman has made its first real estate purchase in the island of Hong Kong for the development of a data centre.

ESR has acquired land in Kwai Chung, situated in the New Territories of Hong Kong, which is the island city’s major data centre cluster.

Further, ESR Cayman plans to work with its capital partners and operators to convert the land into a 40 megawatt (MW) data centre costing approximately $675 million.

Co-founders and co-CEOs Jeffrey Shen and Stuart Gibson said in a press release that the move forms a part of the company’s data centre expansion efforts.

“Hong Kong is an important data centre market in the APAC region with its low electricity costs, limited climate risks and established network capability,” Shen and Gibson pointed out.

“Entering the Hong Kong market is a key expansion strategy as we continue to build our integrated digital and logistics supply chain infrastructure platform to help fuel the new economy in APAC,” they added.

ESR’s latest purchase Hong Kong comes swiftly after the company’s acquisition of a data centre campus in Osaka, Japan in April, which it will further develop for $2.15 billion.

Josh Daitch, ESR Group Head of Fund Management & Capital, and Rui Hua Chang, ESR Group Managing Director, Capital Markets & Investor Relations, described the company’s foray into the Hong Kong data centre market as a “rare brownfield opportunity.”

“Set in one of the ideal locations for data centres and coupled with its meaningful scale, we are confident that the converted asset will be well positioned to provide customers with scalable and flexible solutions while creating long-term values for investors,” they continued.

With both developments combined, ESR Cayman expects to potentially generate up to 250 MW of data centre power across the Asia-Pacific region.

ESR to build a $2.15 billion data centre in Japan

APAC-focused real estate and logistics company ESR Cayman Limited (“ESR”) has acquired a data centre campus in Osaka, Japan, which it will further develop by pumping in $2.15 billion.

The facility is located within 10km of Osaka City, where major internet exchange and cloud corporations in Japan are located. With excess land and a development potential of up to 78 Megawatts (MW), ESR plans to construct two additional buildings with a combined power load of 38 MW.

Jeffrey Shen and Stuart Gibson, co-founders and co-CEOs of ESR, note that the acquisition adds to the company’s strategic data centre push, which includes land exclusivity and power approvals to potentially develop over 200 MW of data centres across major markets in the APAC region.

“ESR has a proven track record of consistently developing world class assets and delivering world class project management to our logistics tenants, many of whom are e-commerce giants who also offer cloud services,” they added.

“Our operational expertise enables us to offer cloud service providers and operators in all major APAC economies from a single source solutions that meet their needs and requirements beyond the optimization of business performance and growth.”

Commenting on the area of sustainability in their ventures, Shen and Gibson explained that ESR will work with cloud providers to ensure that carbon reduction and responsible innovation are at the heart of all developments at ESR’s data centres.

Construction of the first building is scheduled to begin this year, with completion expected in 2023.

Fibre Expressway is building 3 data centres for $1.5 billion in Australia

Australian network infrastructure company Fibre Expressway has announced its plan to build three data centres in the country that would cost a total of $1.5 billion.

Project Koete will see the company build three greenfield Tier IV data centres in Northwestern Australian cities Perth and Dampier, and the Northern Territory’s capital city of Darwin.

All three data centers will have a combined capacity of 20Megawatts (MW). Once completed, they will be able to serve not only Indigenous communities in the region, but also expand the cloud capacity of APAC markets, such as Sydney, Melbourne, and Singapore.

“This will be the most significant technological investment Western Australia and the Northern Territory have ever seen,” said Gary Kennedy, CEO of Fibre Expressway.

“This facility will combine the benefits of greater interconnectivity between north and western Australia and the world, encouraging greater investment in the region, and improving data security and sovereignty,” he explained.

Peter Bannister, Group Managing Director at Fibre Expressway, also said that under Project Koete, the company is partnering with wind, solar and, in the longer term, ocean and clean hydrogen providers to satisfy the need for 100% renewable energy access over time.

“We’re targeting 30 plus years’ scalability assuredness, enabling customers to plan for decades, not just years. By working with our global partner network, we’re confident Project Koete will be delivered under world-leading governance and rule-of-law standards,” he added.

An 800km subsea cable will also be constructed as part of this project, which will link Perth and Darwin, and stretch across Southeast Asia to Malaysia via Indonesia and Singapore.

The data centres are estimated to be ready for service in 2023, whereas the subsea cables are scheduled for completion by 2025.

Australia’s data centre landscape

Australia’s data centre industry is one of Asia Pacific’s strongest, with Sydney being ranked as the third largest market in the world. Its major players include Equinix, homegrown data centre provider NextDC, and homegrown telcos Telstra and Vocus Group.

Such is the booming state of the Australian market, that rural regions are not left behind either. In March, local company Leading Edge Data Centres announced its plan to roll out modular data centres throughout regional New South Wales.

New Equinix Metal hardware is now available in five APAC data center hubs

Global data center company Equinix has announced that its new automated bare metal hardware for data centers, Equinix Metal, is now available in 18 global cities including five in APAC.

Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, and Sydney now have access to Equinix Metal to create new digital services with a DevOps-friendly system. This allows for seamless deployment across their hybrid cloud infrastructures.

Its integration with Equinix Fabric also means that by using Equinix Metal, businesses in APAC are able to connect to more than 10,000 networks, enterprises, clouds and SaaS platforms available on Platform Equinix via low-latency, private interconnection.

“Our vision at Equinix is to empower digital leaders with a trusted platform that brings together and interconnects the foundational infrastructure that powers their success,” commented Zac Smith, Managing Director at Equinix Metal.

“By expanding Equinix Metal globally, adding key networking capabilities and collaborating with leading hardware and software vendors to offer as a Service solutions, we’re helping customers, partners and the ecosystem at large create their digital advantage faster,” he added.

Jack Hogan, Vice President of Technology Strategy at Pure Storage, commented that: “By partnering with Equinix Metal, we are able to deliver an embedded, joint, global, on-demand Bare Metal as a Service solution that provides a seamless experience that combines best-in-class storage, compute and low-latency connectivity to clouds, enterprises and other ecosystems.”

Equinix Metal was unveiled October last year after the company’s acquisition of bare metal cloud provider, Packet, in March 2020.

Report: Sydney, Singapore among the world’s biggest data center markets

Sydney and Singapore are among the world’s biggest data center markets.

These findings are according to real estate services company Cushman and Wakefield, which has published its latest report on the global data center market, ranking the world’s best cities for data center facilities in terms of land considerations, ecosystem advantages, and political and regulatory circumstances.

However, the top ten data centre markets are dominated by the US, with Northern Virginia and Chicago ranking first and second in the world respectively. Dallas, Seattle, and New York are other major cities made the list.

Two Asia-Pacific cities made the top ten: Sydney placed third, right in front of Silicon Valley, whereas Singapore came in at fifth place. As the biggest mover in overall rankings, the report attributed Sydney’s leap to third place to “Australia’s ongoing transformation in IT infrastructure”.

Singapore’s position, on the other hand, illustrates the city state’s “strong existing [market], dense fiber, and an array of available services.”

The report also shed light on secondary data center markets where the colocation sector “continues to blossom”, this includes Seoul, which entered the long list for the first time with a 300 MW data center capacity, Jakarta, and Mumbai. Data center markets to watch in APAC include Kuala Lumpur and Chennai.

The report evaluated 1,189 data centers and 48 markets all around the world.

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APAC’s Secure Content Management (SCM) market to reach $2.2 billion by 2024: Frost & Sullivan 

The Secure Content Management (SCM) market is expected to achieve an 11.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to reach $2.2 billion in total web and email security revenues by 2024, revealed in an analysis by Frost & Sullivan.

Cloud-based deployments are projected to lead growth as more enterprises move their emails to the cloud and rely on the internet, including remote working, especially during COVID-19.

The overall email security market is maturing with slowing but steady growth. Heavily driving its cloud-based deployments are cloud-based email adoption, such as Office 365 and G Suite, and increasing regional remote workforces.

The larger but less mature Web security market is also benefiting significantly from the latter. Moreover, enterprises are more reliant on Web applications and moving their workloads into the public cloud, necessitating cloud centricity.

Malicious email and web links remain the most popular attack vectors 

Malicious email and web links remain the most popular attack vectors in APAC countries. Threats include more advanced and sophisticated targeted phishing emails, business email compromises, and malicious content.

“The addition of multiple functionalities into core capabilities is transforming web and email security options as organizations seek better compatibility with their cloud migration journeys and cost-savings simultaneously. Various integrations, including data loss prevention (DLP), cloud access security broker (CASB), and email/browser isolation, are blurring distinctions among cybersecurity solutions,” said Vivien Pua, Industry Analyst, ICT at Frost & Sullivan.

“The larger but less mature web security market is also benefiting significantly from cloud-based deployment security solutions given their scalability, flexibility, and lower cost.”

Pua added: “Larger enterprises often require dedicated web and email security to effectively detect, prevent, and remediate threats. These companies with larger financial resources generally prioritize performance and will opt for standalone solutions or best-of-breed options. Conversely, small and medium businesses (SMBs) are more open to integrated solutions or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings, which offer them the necessary protection level, despite their limited security budgets.”

Strategic recommendations for further revenue opportunities

Cybersecurity vendors should explore these strategies, Frost & Sullivan recommended:

  • Assist enterprise customers who are migrating to cloud email by integrating and/or transferring their email security to cloud-based deployments.

  • Offer cloud-delivered integrated cybersecurity solutions to meet the business needs of remote workforces.

  • Prepare on-premises deployments or hybrid deployment solutions for enterprises reliant on traditional operating procedures or that face regulatory compliance issues regarding on-the-cloud deployments.

  • Explore new product development and acquisitions to match the security demands of the current and future threat climate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

APAC to drive growth

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

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

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

Lumen launches Managed Endpoint Detection and Response (MEDR) for Asia Pacific market

Lumen (formerly known as CenturyLink) has launched its Managed Endpoint Detection and Response (MEDR) service for businesses in Asia Pacific.

The new solution aims to keep organisations secure in a time when smart, connected devices are everywhere and workforces require remote access.

Lumen MEDR uses artificial intelligence to detect and identify threats on devices, including attacks and attempts that may have bypassed measures such as antivirus software and endpoint protection. Once identified, MEDR will launch a remediation in real-time and restore devices back to its original state.

“These endpoints create a larger and more vulnerable attack surface for cybercriminals, and they are highly susceptible to exploits,” said Cheah Wai Kit, the Director of Product Management (Security) at Lumen Asia Pacific.

According to Lumen, research has shown that more than 90% of successful data breaches begin with an attack on users.

“Lumen MEDR provides the first line of defense where it matters most, starting at the endpoints,” added Mr. Cheah.

Lumen MEDR also provides 24/7 customer service support to its clients.

Cybersecurity Collaboration with IDC Secure

Alongside this, Lumen has also announced a collaboration with IT services provider IDC to launch IDC X-Secure, an interactive security assessment tool to offer guidance to businesses on issues concerning digital security.

“As enterprises continue to pursue their digital transformation initiatives, they are starting to realise their limitations in fending off cyberthreats proactively. IDC is seeing a rise in organisations partnering with a managed security services provider to combat the evolving cyberthreat landscape,” said Simon Piff, Vice President of Security Practice at IDC Asia Pacific.

According to IDC’s semi-annual security spending report, investments in security-related products and services in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) will reach US$28.2 billion by 2022, with spending on managed security services accounting for almost half of Asia Pacific’s cybersecurity market by 2023.

“As part of a robust security strategy, businesses need to have the visibility to detect and respond to attacks before they turn into breaches. This eventually reduces the time it takes to investigate, eradicate and contain incidents in their corporate environments,” added Mr. Piff.

IDC X-Secure will offer its expertise on cybersecurity’s global best practices, with peer comparisons and gap analyses to help IT professionals achieve cybersecurity requirements.

“IDC’s X-Secure dives into critical elements of businesses’ security strategy and provides IT leaders with practical scenarios and solutions to mitigate cyber risks,” concluded Mr. Piff.

Security services are also predicted to be the largest and fastest-growing segment with a value of US$6.3 billion, thanks to the rising use of managed services to fend off and respond to cyberattacks.

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Jie Yee Ong

Tech Reporter, W.Media

editor@w.media