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.

Microsoft plans to build up to 100 data centres every year

Global tech giant Microsoft plans to build 50 to 100 data centres across the world every year.

This grand ambition was announced alongside the company’s launch of its immersive virtual data centre tour on its official website.

Noelle Walsh, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft who leads the team that builds and operates the company’s cloud infrastructure, added that the company is slated to build more data centres across ten countries this year, with Malaysia as the latest location where it plans to establish its first data centre region in the country.

Microsoft has also recently inked agreements to build data centres in the states of Georgia and Texas in the US as well as Israel.

Microsoft currently operates over 200 data centres in 34 countries worldwide. Latest findings from Synergy Research Group reveal that the tech titan leads the global data centre spending market with Dell and Huawei.

Microsoft to establish first data centre region in Malaysia

Tech titan Microsoft has announced the “Bersama Malaysia” initiative, a plan to establish the company’s first data centre in Malaysia.

The announcement comes as part of the tech giant’s plan to assist the Malaysian government in the country’s digital transformation. In February, Malaysian Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin introduced MyDigital, a digital economy blueprint that seeks to supercharge the country’s digital ecosystem through domestic and foreign tech investments.

In partnership with PETRONAS, the country’s leading oil and gas company, a MyDigital Alliance Leadership Council will be formed to allow greater collaboration between Microsoft and the Malaysian government.

“Today’s announcement represents a major milestone for Microsoft in the 28 years we have been operating in Malaysia. We share the government’s commitment that digital transformation must be inclusive and responsible,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President of Marketing and Operations at Microsoft Global Sales.

“The upcoming data centre region will be a game-changer for Malaysia, enabling the government and businesses to reimagine and transform their operations, to the benefit of all citizens,” he added.

The data centre region will offer access to Microsoft’s full suite of cloud services, including Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.

Microsoft also says that it will digitally upskill 1 million Malaysians by the end of 2023.

Malaysia’s digital transformation ambitions

 

Malaysia’s MyDigital initiative aims to invest approximately $3 billion to $4 billion (RM12 billion to RM15 billion) on both foreign and domestic cloud service providers over the next five years. Aside from Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and national telco Telekom Berhad have been given the green light to build and manage hyperscale data centres.

The Prime Minister said that the investment from Microsoft fortifies Malaysia’s position as a potential regional data hub.

“As we cement the Microsoft partnership today, I hope this is just the first green shoots of a broader meadow of investments in Malaysia for Microsoft and other players,” he commented.

K Raman, Managing Director of Microsoft Malaysia, noted that public-private partnerships are “key enablers”  to propel Malaysia’s digital economy forward.

“With over 200 employees and 2,000 partners in the country, we will continue to support a digitally-enabled government, empower businesses to build resilience digitally, and bridge the digital opportunities for Malaysians. Together, we stand with Malaysia,” he said.

This new data centre region already has clients. When available, PETRONAS and Southeast Asia major telco Celcom Axiata Berhad have agreed to access Microsoft Cloud’s services from the new data centre region.

“We highly applaud Microsoft’s plans to establish its first data centre region in Malaysia, providing access to secure, scalable, highly available, resilient and sustainable cloud services for the government, and across multiple industry verticals,” said Idham Nawawi, Chief Executive Officer of Celcom Axiata Berhad.

“As the anchor telco tenant, we look forward to bringing the benefit of this data centre to our customers and partners,” he continued.

Germany’s Contabo opens new data centre in Singapore

German internet service provider Contabo has announced the opening of its new data centre in Singapore.

The company, where its virtual private servers (VPS) are known for its competitive prices, aims to lower the cost of VPS deployment by entering the Asian market via Singapore.

“In pursuit of expanding global availability of our services we are adding a brand-new region in Asia on top of the existing Regions in Europe and the US.” said Aleksander Kuczek, CRO of Contabo.

Contabo says that its facility in Singapore retains the same German quality with the same rack design and the same network equipment, sourced from providers such as Hewlett Packard and Dell. The data centre is also ISO-certified and equipped with disaster protection infrastructure, such as its state-of-the-art nitrogen fire suppression system.

The data centre offers its flagship range of servers, including its popular High-Performance VPS series and its Virtual Dedicated Servers and AMD EYPC Dedicated Servers.

Tesla is building a data centre in Shanghai this June

Tesla, founded by Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk, will build a data centre in Shanghai by the end of June this year.

The news was confirmed by Tesla China’s Head of Communications, Grace Tao.

According to the South China Morning Post, the move forms part of the electric vehicle (EV) company’s plan to adequately handle the data collected from its EVs after the China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology revealed its push for more stringent regulation surrounding data collection.

This also comes after reports about the Chinese military’s ban on Tesla vehicles in its facilities due to the same data collection concerns.

In March, Elon Musk, who is also the founder of SpaceX, assured consumers at the 2021 China Development Forum that Tesla vehicles are not used for spying.

“If Tesla used cars to spy in China or anywhere, we will be shut down,” he said.

Tesla’s Shanghai data centre is slated for completion at the end of June this year, but the operation date has not been confirmed. However, Tao also revealed that Tesla will also conduct R&D efforts in China in the near future.

Japan’s NTT opens new data centre in Silicon Valley

Japanese telecommunications giant NTT has completed its hyperscale data centre in Silicon Valley, officially entering the US data centre market.

Named SV1, the facility is located in Walsh Avenue, Santa Clara. The four-storey facility spans 160,000 square feet with 64,000 square feet of IT space. It has a capacity of 16 Megawatts (MW). Power densities in the data centre range from 7 kilowatts (kW) to 20 kilowatts per rack.

Much like NTT’s existing facilities in Japan. SV1 also contains disaster protection features, such as a base isolation system that is able to protect the establishment against earthquakes.

SV1 is NTT’s third completed data centre campus this year. In February, the company opened two data centres in Chicago and Hillsboro, Oregon with capacities of 72 MW and 126 MW respectively.

As one of the most prominent tech players in Asia, NTT has an expansive portfolio of data centre facilities in Japan and beyond. The company already has 11 data centres in its home country, and is planning to build more data centres in Asian markets including Malaysia, Indonesia, and India.

Indonesia’s Biznet Gio to build third data centre in the country

Indonesian telecommunications and cloud computing firm Biznet Gio is building its third data centre across the country for greater digital transformation.

CEO Dondy Bappedyanto revealed that the company has just developed live computing resources for its third data centre in Banten, a province in the west of Indonesia’s Java Island.

Mr. Bappedyanto said that the data centre is “a form of commitment to become a local cloud computing player who can compete with foreign players that are starting to arrive in Indonesia”, particularly by presenting services and features that comply with industry standards.

Biznet Gio has secured a SOC (Systems and Organisation Controls protocol) Type II certification for its facility in early March.

The construction of a new data centre will thus also accelerate the digitalisation of Indonesia as a booming data centre market in Southeast Asia.

Biznet Gio currently has three data centres located in Jakarta, West Java, and Banten.

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.

South Korea’s LOTTE Data Communication Company launches fourth global cloud data centre

South Korean conglomerate LOTTE Data Communication Company has announced the completion of its fourth cloud data centre in the country.

The Yongin Global Cloud Data Centre (“Yongin”) is located in the capital city area of Seoul, and is LOTTE Data Communication Company’s latest facility after data centres in metropolitan cities Gasan and Daejeon.

The facility has a floor area of approximately 16,350 square metres and is 9 storeys tall.

Yongin is also a green data centre that features sustainable infrastructure, such as pre-cooling systems, containment systems, and eco-friendly air circulation, all of which will work to reduce the facility’s energy consumption by 25 percent.

Further, the green technology will also be applied to LOTTE Data Communication Company’s three existing data centres.

With the launch of Yongin, LOTTE Data Communication Company now provides a complete suite of tech and data-driven services to its clients: it now has three operational bases across South Korea, namely the Group Integration Centre in Gasan, Disaster Recovery Centre in Daejeon, and an SDDC-based Uninterrupted Service Realisation Centre in Yongin.

The company also plans to further establish a data hub for each base to support the country’s rapid digital transformation.

Finland’s UpCloud opens new data centre in Sydney

Finnish cloud hosting company UpCloud has announced the opening of its new data centre in Sydney, Australia.

Named AU-SYD1, the facility marks UpCloud’s first data centre in Oceania. It is located in Equinix’s flagship Sydney data centre campus, SY5, which is Equinix’s largest data centre in Australia.

UpCloud CTO Joel Pihlajamaa explains that UpCloud’s proximity to Equinix’s SY5 means better latency and improved service offerings to businesses with clients in Australia and Oceania.

“We’ve had a large base of users from Australia and New Zealand using our Singapore data centre for a long time. Many of them asked us to expand our service offering to Australia,” said UpCloud CEO Antti Vilpponen on the company’s decision to establish a new facility in Australia.

“We also believe that Australian users will value a new cloud provider offering a more premium level of features, such as 100 percent uptime SLA, 24/7 technical support and personal approach,” he added.

The company launched three new data centres in New York, Madrid, and Warsaw last year. AU-SYD1 is their twelfth in the world. UpCloud also said that it hopes to launch more data centres in multiple new locations this year.

Australia’s data centre market continues to flourish

UpCloud’s forage into Sydney continues to illustrate the city’s status as one of the world’s largest data centre markets.

This week, several data centre players have made moves that would greatly contribute to Australia’s data centre ecosystem. Homegrown providers Fibre Expressway and Leading Edge Data Centres have unveiled plans to bring data centres to regional and rural areas in the country.

AU-SYD1 will be available from 31 March 2021.

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.

Australia’s NextDC launches ‘first of its kind’ carbon neutrality programme

Australian data centre operator NextDC has announced the launch of a brand new data centre carbon neutrality programme, the ‘first of its kind’ in the country’s data centre market.

Named NEXTneutral, the programme marks the first carbon neutral colocation solution available in the local Australian market.

Under the programme, carbon footprint generated within NextDC’s data centres will be negated through the purchase of a portfolio of ecological projects in Australia, including the restoration of wetlands and rainforests, the protection of pristine Australian habitats such as the Great Barrier Reef, as well as supporting Indigenous culture and traditional sustainable land management practices such as cool fire burning.

The programme is also launched in conjunction with NextDC’s corporate offset partner Qantas, the national airline of Australia. Both have extended their partnership through Qantas Future Planet (QFP), a collaboration between Qantas and carbon offset solutions firm Tasman Environmental Markets.

“[NEXTneutral] is a testament to NEXTDC’s commitment to sustainable engineering and the important role offsets play in mitigating the environmental impact of energy use. NEXTneutral is evidence that big data can have a zero footprint,” commented David Young, Executive Manager of Sustainability & Future Planet at Qantas.

Craig Scroggie, CEO at NextDC, said that this move is in line with the company’s position as the first data centre operator in Australia to be certified as Climate Active by the Federal Government.

“The next step in our journey is to extend our own carbon offset programme to our customers. It’s with great excitement that we now invite everyone in our ecosystem to join NEXTneutral and offset 100% of their carbon footprint,” he added.

Gigaplex, a Mindspace REIT to sublease data center space in Mumbai

Gigaplex Estate Pvt. Ltd, one of the Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) of Mindspace REIT, has entered into a  sublease agreement with a leading data centre operator.

Gigaplex will sub-lease approximately 0.63 million sq. ft. at Mindspace, Airoli West in Mumbai, the company said in a filing to the stock exchanges.

In December 2019, the Board had amended in a memorandum of understanding with K Raheja Corp Pvt. Ltd. (KRCPL), for proposed transfer of leasehold land admeasuring approximately 16.4 acres to KRCPL at Mindspace Airoli West, Mumbai.

Consequent to the amendment, the area proposed to be transferred to KRCPL under the MoU stands reduced to 5.7acres. Gigaplex has proposed to utilise 7.4 acres of the retained land for the purpose of development of the data center as per the Agreement. The balance land (excluding amenity space), contiguous to the existing development, shall be used for future office development, the filing said.

With increased internet usage, growing demand for data storage and anticipated data localisation norms Mumbai stands to benefit due to its geographical and infrastructural advantage. Government’s focus on “Digital India” and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have further catalysed the process of digitisation.

JOIN W.MEDIA AT DIGITAL WEEK SOUTH ASIA

INDIA | BANGLADESH | SRI LANKA

When: 28-30 April 2021

Where: Online

Digital Week is coming up with experts to deep dive into the Cloud & Datacenter industries of three markets: india, bangladesh & Srilanka. Join us as we bring together 3000+ IT leaders from across South Asia, covering everything from data center investment & sustainable infrastructure to cloud security to digital work force management & transformation. Digital Week lets you expand your network and engage with new markets from wherever you are.
Want to learn more about these exciting developments in data and IT? Start connecting with peers and access exclusive pre-show content when you Register Today for Free!

This Australian startup is bringing data centers to regional New South Wales

Australian company Leading Edge Data Centers (LEDC) is filling the connectivity gap in the country’s data center industry with a mass modular data center rollout.

The startup is currently embarking on a plan to establish Tier 3 data centers across regional New South Wales (NSW).

The company is set to launch a modular data center in NSW’s regional Newcastle in mid-March, followed by six more in Tamworth, Dubbo, Albury, Coffs Harbour, Wagga Wagga and Bathurst respectively before December.

This means that businesses in those regions will soon have access to the cloud and its range of services, enabling them to scale their operations more smoothly.

CEO Chris Thorpe says that his company has had the idea of a regional data center rollout for two years.

“We were watching the growth of cloud in the US and Europe, and here, and what was becoming very evident was all the focus in Australia was for that to be built in Sydney, or Melbourne,” Mr. Thorpe explained.

“That’s great, but if you live in regional Australia your access to the cloud is limited. There are issues around choice, connectivity isn’t very strong, and you have latency issues because of distance,” he continued.

Founded in 2018, LEDC aims to bridge the digital divide in Australia. The company received a $20 million funding from domestic investment firm Washington Soul Pattinson in 2020.

More data centers are expected to arrive in the states of Victoria and Queensland in 2022.

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

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

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

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

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

Data Center sales on the rise

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

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

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