DreamMark1: Shaping Korea’s tech dreams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Running a world-class IDC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 


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How Edge Computing will exponentially grow the China market

Over the past decades, there have been paradigm shifts from centralised to decentralised IT environments: from mainframe server to on-premise server and from mobile to cloud environments. In many ways, it seems like an electronic dance music loop.

Nowadays, the industry is continuing to see growth of Cloud computing, which experts believe will continue to lead the ICT infrastructure market. In that space, Edge Computing will become an exponentially growing market in itself, with the increasing penetration of network-related technologies and initiatives, such as 5G and IoT.

According to Reply’s new research ‘From Cloud to Edge’, edge computing will be an exponentially growing market in all “Europe-5” (Italy, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium), and “Big-5” (USA, United Kingdom, Brazil, China, India) clusters’ countries due to the growing usage of 5G and IoT solutions. It is expected that Edge computing marketing would reach a value of $8294.5 million by 2025, according to Reportlinker.com.

All the industries that require the computing tasks as close to where data is originated as possible will benefit from Edge Computing. It’s time for global enterprises to design and implement architectures that leverage the best of Edge and Cloud Computing, “while ensuring privacy and cybersecurity” commented Filippo Rizzante, CTO reply.

China: 100+ Edge Projects Deployed in China Leveraging 5G and IoT Infrastructure

According to a new GSMA intelligence report ‘Edge Computing in the 5G Era: Technology and Market Developments in China’, noted that China’s leadership in edge computing is being driven by government support for new technologies and operator investments in new 5G and IoT networks. According to the ECC, there are currently more than 100 edge computing projects up and running in 40 cities in China across various sectors.

However, even as “China’s 5G numbers might look overwhelming, the quantity is well ahead of the quality.” Explained Robert Clark, a news analyst. “The real challenge in China will be in the industrial Internet.”

Though it’s still early, as networks become virtual or software-based, 5G will be the impulse for the next wave of multibillion-dollar infrastructure spending to spur innovation across many industries along with edge computing.

Take Chinese Grids’ Transformation as an example, China’s State Grid Corp (SGCC), government-backed biggest electricity distributor, has adopted a new focus for its smart grid development to build an electricity network plus IoT (E-IoT, essentially, is to deploy blockchain, AI, cloud computing, 5G, edge computing, and other digital/tech solutions upon the physical grid operation) by 2026.

Start from 2019, SGCC has already took steps to run its digital transformation. In 2020, Kou Wei, the current chairman of SGCC set off a landmark “white paper” for the e-IoT development, which set a grand vision to “establish an initial construction of the E-IoT network by 2021 and complete the E-IoT network development by 2026.” At the same year, working with Huawei and China Telecom, a largest-scale 5G-based smart power grid project in Qingdao of Shandong province was completed. Innovations in 5G telecommunication technology applications are applied e.g. DP facility suitable for 5G distribution power lines is equipped which can automatically eliminate faults of the lines within dozens of milliseconds (the one-way latency of the DP device is lowered to 8 milliseconds and the protection can last for 50 milliseconds).

SGCC has already taken further initiatives to build edge infrastructure nationwide in the next few years to advance its E-IoT network, a source who did not wish to be named told W.media.

“Creating a favourable ecosystem environment that supports technology developments and fosters innovation will ultimately determine the pace and magnitude of edge deployments in China and beyond.” explained Sihan Bo Chen, Head of Greater China, GSMA.

In the next few years, we will see more breakthroughs brought about by edge computing in BFSI, medicine, transport, industry, agriculture and the home. Edge computing gains an ‘edge’ in performance with data processing in an intelligent way as near as possible to its source that will bring practical benefits to help with the digitization of various industries.

The year of the Ox has dawned in China, named after a zodiac animal noted for its slow-but-steady approach. The description of China’s emerging 5G private network market could not be more accurate.

How Data Centers in China Are Heading Towards Carbon Neutrality

After Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged that by 2030 China would cut emissions per unit of GDP by “at least” 65 percent compared with 2005 levels at the virtual Climate Ambition Summit, China has sped up its decarbonization and development of a low carbon economy.

The announcement was met with a mixed response with some environmental observers questioning whether China can go this far.

“The most challenging part of the shift is not the investment or magnitude of renewable capacity additions but the social transition that comes with it,” said Wood Mackenzie analyst Prakash Sharma.

In China, representing the information backbone of an increasingly digitalized society, data centers are still a net producer of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and major electrical power users. Research from Greenpeace and North China Electric Power University estimated that China’s data center consumed 161 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2018, equivalent to 2 percent of the country’s total usage. The power consumption is projected to grow 66 percent by 2023, to 267 billion kilowatt hours, which means 163 million tonnes of carbon emissions are produced assuming China’s energy mix remains the same.

Tier-I cities in China such as Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen have applied strict PUE rules as a method to push the industry towards greener operations. While Beijing has implemented a complete citywide ban on new data center construction, Shanghai only allows new data center with a PUE of 1.3 or below and refitted ones with a PUE of 1.4 or below. Meanwhile in Shenzhen, data centers with a PUE of over 1.4 receive no subsidies and those with less than 1.25 could obtain a subsidy of over 40 percent. Besides, central government policy on more use of renewable energy remains one of guidance and encouragement. China manufactures around 70 percent of solar energy equipment such as PV panels and modules.

Renewed Renewable Energy push

Different from traditional infrastructure like roads and railways, construction of “new infrastructure” in China is boosted to remain the primary driver of energy consumption in the foreseeable future. With data centers rapidly expanding and depleting environmental resources, the energy and climate impacts are being one of top considerations in China, as well as the world in general.

Intensive energy use can be costly both in terms of the data center’s operating budget (often representing more than 50 percent of the budget) and the impact on the environment.

Interest in renewable energy in China has been growing for several years, and leading Chinese companies have already undertaken the exploration of renewable energy use.

Research from Greenpeace and North China Electric Power University also states that China is outpacing the US in renewable energy, and has made huge progress in developing solar and wind projects.

However, nearly three quarters of (data centers’) power comes from coal, said Ye Ruiqi, a climate expert from Greenpeace. “To prevent this, China’s data centers need to decouple their electricity consumption from their carbon footprint by relying more on wind and solar energy. They can build their own renewable energy capacity, buy clean energy on the market or purchase green certificates to offset their emissions,” she added.

A Turning Point

In the backdrop of all this, China’s proposal to achieve net zero emissions by 2060 aims can be seen as a turning point. To fulfill the goal of carbon reduction and pollution prevention, China’s tech giants, state-owned energy companies and other important players are encouraged to make great efforts, from advancing technologies that produce less greenhouse gases or air pollution, accelerating energy transition and taking more social responsibilities.

In December 2020, China Three Gorges Corporation, a Chinese state-owned power company operating the China Yangtze Three Gorges Project (one of the biggest hydropower-complex projects in the world), announced plans to construct its Dongyue Temple Data Center. It is planned to build about 28,000 cabinets and invest 5.5 billion CNY (around $855.8 million). In Stage I, about 4,400 cabinets will be put into use by October, 2021, with an investment of 830 million CNY (around $ 129 million).

Responding to Chinese government’s pledge of “carbon neutrality” and the scheme of “New Infrastructure”, the group will further utilize the advantages of clean energy, stock land and real estate to promote the big data industry. Although it has been involved in the big data industry since 2017, it is the first time that the group announces its ambition to expand business with such massive spending on the ICT market.

Chinese private enterprises seem to have got off the block. On January 12, Chinese internet giant Tencent released its plan of achieving zero carbon emissions with the help of technology. With this announcement, Tencent became one of the first Internet companies to take action in achieving carbon neutrality.

“As China announces its carbon peak and carbon neutrality targets, Tencent will also accelerate its carbon neutrality plan. At the same time, we will also increase the exploration of the potential of cutting-edge technologies represented by artificial intelligence in coping with the major challenges of the earth, and make great strides to promote the application of technology in industrial energy conservation and emission reduction,” said Tencent’s founder Ma Huateng (also known as Pony Ma).

Chindata Group, a leading carrier-neutral hyperscale data center solution provider in China, also releases its roadmap to be carbon neutral for all its next-generation hyperscale data centers in China with its 100% renewable energy solution by 2030.

As China becomes a more developed economy, accelerated efforts of decarbonization to accelerate technology innovation and industrial upgrading are made. China’s transition to a low carbon economy is not only possible but can be a driver of high-quality growth while bolstering the development of digital transformation.

How Far Behind

Since 2018, institutions globally are moving towards achieving carbon neutrality, even as concerns have been raised at the way in which this is computed.

Although more Governments and businesses are committing to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the world is still falling far short of that goal, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in November in his latest push for a cleaner, greener future. Guterres reported that so far, the European Union, Japan and the Republic of Korea, along with more than 110 other countries, have made the pledge, while China is set to join them by 2060. “The window of opportunity is closing,” he warned.

In January, following the inauguration, President Biden signed an executive order at the White House, to reverse the previous administration’s withdrawal from the 2015 accord, which returned the United States to the worldwide fight to slow global warming and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Alongside China, the United States is the world’s most carbon emitter.

Financial institutions have been accused of funding “dirty capital” into traditional power projects. All this is changing.

Goldman Sachs has ruled out direct finance for new or expanding thermal coal mines and coal-fired power plant projects worldwide, as well as direct finance for new Arctic oil exploration and production.

The policy makes a clear mention of protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,

Goldman Sachs said in a statement. Further, the bank has also committed to a phase out of financing for significant thermal coal mining companies that do not have a diversification strategy. Goldman Sachs’s new policy tightens the screw on thermal coal by including underwriting, and explicitly committing to phase-out, not just reduction.

This is a crucial step forward, as other US bank coal finance restrictions have geographic loopholes, industry watchers said.

While other major banks have committed to reducing credit exposure to coal mining, their approach restricts only lending, ignoring the large amounts of capital the banks facilitate for the coal industry from the underwriting of issuances of stocks and bonds. Activists have been vehement in their criticism of global financial institutions, which they say are turning a blind eye and undermining the Paris Agreement when it comes to phasing out coal-based energy production. Other financial institutions have followed suit too.

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

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

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

Countries like India have also committed to reduce energy emissions intensity by 30 – 35 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and increase the share of non-fossil fuel energy to 40 percent of India’s energy mix by 2030.

Internationally, there is broad recognition of the need to reduce power use and emissions. This motivates greater efforts in developing future policies, and changes in regulation, taxation and electricity market. In the changing global landscape, data center, an increasingly critical part of the infrastructure for the digitalised society, have outsized importance in climate change mitigation efforts. This is the time when this industry needs to take responsibility and look at sustainability beyond lip service.

For more insights on China, do check out our digital event China Datacenter Market Insights happening on March 5!

Bridge Data Centres Expands Footprint in Malaysia With Third Data Centre

Singapore-headquartered Bridge Data Centres (Bridge), a leading hyperscale and wholesale and carrier-neutral data centre provider in APAC, will build a third data centre in Malaysia.

This data center will deliver 16 megawatts (MW) of IT capacity, the company said in a statement.

The state-of-the-art facility, dubbed MY03, is located at Bukit Jalil region of Kuala Lumpur and is scheduled for service readiness in Q2 2022, company officials said.

Bridge is a subsidiary of Chindata Group, which got listed on Nasdaq in September last year.

Lim Dz Shing, President of Bridge said, “We are delighted to have embarked on this expansion journey in Malaysia, which is witnessingan accelerated demand for quality and scalable data centre providers due to digital transformation and cloud adoption across the country.

The new data centre will combine with the two existing nearby facilities and form a hyperscale data centre cluster, to provide our clients with a highly scalable and reliable solution in a cost-effective manner.”

Bridge’s two existing data centres in Cyberjaya area support a total IT capacity of 20MW and serve customers in multiple industry sectors, including financial institutions, technology companies, government and large cloud services providers.

“We are extremely proud of Bridge Data Centres’ commitment and their continuous support in Malaysia as it will help propel Malaysia’s progression to becoming a regional data centre hub and reinforcing the nation’s position as the Heart of Digital ASEAN.

While more businesses in Malaysia have started to understand the value of data and the benefits it brings to the local economy, especially in terms of job creations and upskilling of the local workforces, MDEC will continue to inspire digitally-skilled Malaysians and digitally-powered businesses on their data transformation journey,” said MDEC’s Chief Executive Officer Pn. Surina Shukri.

Bridge is a subsidiary of Chindata Group, which got listed on Nasdaq in September 2020. With the onset of COVID-19, technology adoption has surged and the same trend has played out in Malaysia too.  Also,  more businesses in Malaysia are starting to understand the value of data, the benefits it brings to the local economy and the job creation opportunities it throws up.

Malaysia’s data center market is expected to hit around $800 million by 2025.

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

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Why the Transformation of State-owned Chinese Companies Will Take Time

China’s ‘new infrastructure’ plan has become a buzzword for attracting more players and investments. Even as plans are afoot to attract new companies, traditional state-owned companies, more popularly known as Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs), are also keen to expand their role, so that they can catch up with the wave.

Since China’s reform and opening-up of the economy, CCP (Chinese Communist Party) has been striving to gradually allow the markets to play a decisive role in resource allocation, the situation in China’s state-owned companies is much more complex. Some big state-owned enterprises are entering the ICT market or considering to enter the market but things are not going well. Case in point – the acquisition of Global Switch by a Chinese consortium led by Chinese steel maker, Jiangsu Sha Steel Group.

Traditional Industry Faces Challenges

In the 2019 annual competitiveness ranking by World Steel Dynamics, five Chinese steel companies were among the top 50 companies.

The top Chinese steel maker is China Baowu’s Baoshan Iron and Steel Co Ltd (Bao Steel) which was ranked at No 15. It was followed by China Steel in Taiwan at 22, Anshan Iron and Steel Group Co Ltd (An Steel) at 24, Maanshan Iron and Steel Co Ltd (Ma’gang/ Ma Steel) at 31, and Jiangsu Shagang Co Ltd (Sha’gang/ Sha Steel) at 34.

As a key fundamental industry of the national economy, the steel industry, like other traditional industries, is facing challenges such as overcapacity, cost reduction, efficiency increase, energy conservation and emission reduction. Digitalization is the only way for the transformation and upgrade of the steel industry.

Bao Steel, the leader, is the first to have led the consolidation in the Chinese steel sector in the last decade, and has consistently expanded output through several mergers and acquisitions. In August 2000, Baosteel established a subsidiary called Bsteel which is fully owned by Baosteel to delegate its own e-business implementation and maintenance to a separate business unit. At the end of 2006, Bsteel transferred its ICT coding and development business to a similar company fully owned by Baosteel: Baosight (/Bao’Xin Soft). Baosight focuses on Baosteel’s internal ICT platform, ERP, production specific applications, ICT infrastructure operations and user support activities.

Now, Baosight has a bunch of data center facilities. Backed by the Baosteel group, Baosight enjoys significantly resources and cost discount, benefitting by the parent company’s extensive networks and partnerships. From October 2013, Baosight has completed the construction of Baozhiyun Phase I/II/III IDC project through a series of equity financing and self-financing in Baoshan District, Shanghai. The largest data center industrial base in Shanghai focuses mainly in wholesale business and then service outsourcing business (including maintenance and repair of information system, rail transit vehicle system control components, cloud computing operation service, IDC operation service) with an industrial scale of nearly 20,000 cabinets in 2018. The operating income has reached 1.29 billion Yuan at that time. In 2019, the fourth phase of Baozhiyun plans to add 9,000 cabinets so that the four phases of Baozhiyun reached total 27,500 cabinets. Besides, in 2019, the Wuhan Iron and Steel Big Data Industrial Park is set to be built with 18,000 cabinets in the following two years (Phase I: 2216 cabinets in 2019).

State-owned companies in steel industry has boosted a lot of initiatives to heighten its corporate competitiveness in the age of ‘big data’, steer its business direction to meet the market demands for information, and optimize the synergy between the traditional industry of steel manufacturing and the new industry of information technology. Despite the success of the transformation of Bao Steel, the other four Chinese steel giants are not going well when exploring new business.

Being a well-established enterprise in the steel manufacturing industry, Shagang (Sha Steel) has also committed to a business diversification to data and information technology since 2017. It became the controlling shareholder of Global Switch in 2019. Recently, the owners of Global Switch are exploring a sale that could value the London-based data center operator at 8 billion pounds ($10.9 billion) or more.

Challenges and Dilemma

From the time Deng Xiaoping unleashed market reforms in an effort to increase investments in China, the onus was always on the government to whole heartedly lead the investment symphony. The scenario continues till this date. Recently, China has begun rolling out its ‘new infrastructure’ campaign all around the nation, which provides an opportunity for all market players. Compared with the traditional infrastructure, the main force for the investment of the ‘new infrastructure’ are market players instead of the government. Favorable policies have been issued not only for domestic investors but also for foreign ones.

Now, China is working on expanding and opening up policies to foreign investment, even more.

Under the ‘New Infrastructure’ push, it seems that the strengths of state-owned companies are weakened (although still have great advantages especially in resources) and they are brought to the same starting point in the race with other players. The difference is that they have their own responsibilities and path to step forward.

‘New infrastructure’ is not a strong stimulus, but a new economic growth engine for China in the future, which also serves as the most active and productive driver that is full of opportunities for productivity factor optimization and potential improvement. As the new infrastructure is closely connected with the development of new technology, all state-owned enterprises need to achieve their industrial upgrading before they explore new fields.

Besides, in terms of investment, it involves new form to attract public investments. In the process of promoting the ‘new infrastructure construction’, more attention will be paid to explore the innovation of investment and financing mechanism, so as to further stimulate the enthusiasm of private investment, foreseeably through Real Estate Investment Trusts or REITs.

Over years of development, the marginal utility and earnings of the traditional infrastructure decreases progressively. The ‘new infrastructure’, backed by technological innovation, will create jobs and increase earnings in a short period, and facilitate structural transformation and upgrading, thereby bringing along a sound economic development in the mid-and-long term.

Although the role of State-owned companies has been proved to be important in this economy as they have traditionally assisted the government in reforms, they face the challenges they never met before. Not to mention the state is encouraged to divest from other industries by decreasing its ownership.

With the geopolitical situation entering another new normal with the election of Joe Biden and the US President and a pandemic that still continues to hover, investment flows in the future will strongly depend on how age-old enterprises adapt in the post-COVID world. The sooner State enterprises realise this fact, the better.

For more insights on China, do check out our digital event China Datacenter Market Insights happening on March 5!

How China’s Data Center Industry is Likely to Shape Up in 2021

The year 2021 could be termed as a “Year of Renewal”. The world is still in chaos with continuing uncertainties, while at the same time rapidly accelerating and transforming.

As a distinct growth pole of global economy, China’s rapid recovery from the Covid-19 has been commendable. Since the last two decades, it has benefited from fast economic growth, and the country has stood out in the developing world for its unique strengths in its market size, diversity and vitality.

Moreover, with the renewed emphasis on infrastructure in its Five-Year Plan and long-term strategy as well as the new policies boosted to empower the digital economy, new infrastructure development and significant increase in demand for data center is being seen on the ground. Case in point- the undersea data center in Zhuhai.

New Infrastructure Push

Fueled by a surge in demand for local demand for digitalization of business and consumer environment, the construction of new infrastructure including 5G and data centers has developed into a strategy, which enables it to meet the twin urgent goals of increasing employment and preparing for new changes in the global economy.

At the 2020 National People’s Congress, the CCP first emphasizes a digital infrastructure public spending programme. Now, building ‘new infrastructure’ has already become a top development priority for China. Since the Covid-19 outbreak, China has witnessed the potential of cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud computing.

Several tech giants in China have announced plans to scale up their data centers. Following China’s ‘new infrastructure’ initiative, Chinese internet giant Tencent revealed its $70 billion investment on key sectors over the next five years towards making advances in cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) while Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba announced to invest $28.7 billion into its cloud and data center infrastructure over the next three years. Also, Baidu, the leading search engine in China, has planned to set up 5 million servers in the next 10 years.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) it is!

The National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China (NDRC) and the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) jointly issued the ‘Notice Concerning Work in Relation to Advancing Infrastructure Real Estate Investment Trust Trials’ in April, with an aim to channelise personal savings and private capital into infrastructure projects.

Then in August, NDRC announced that it had recently issued the ‘Notice Concerning Effectively Performing Infrastructure REIT Trial Project Application Work’, which indicates that the Chinese government will give priority to “national key strategic” infrastructure projects when receiving applications for REIT trials, as well as “encourage the undertaking of trials for new forms of infrastructure.”

The Notice further indicates that “national key strategic” infrastructure projects will include those associated with regional development plans for the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei (Jing-Jin-Ji) area, Xiong’an New Area in Hebei province, the Yangtze River Delta, the Greater Bay Area, and the Hainan Free Trade Port.

As per this new initiative, China expedites infrastructure REITs so that fresh capital could be converted into investment capital in the long term while reducing leverage. Dozens of companies have begun preparing for launching publicly tradable REITs since the trial released. However, the applications are still under consideration as the requirements are very strict.

In the next three to five years, such products are likely to provide about 6 trillion Yuan (around $900 billion) in financial support for China’s infrastructure construction, thus further improving the speed and efficiency of China’s infrastructure build out.

New Area

This is closely linked to new development and is being framed in new ways. ‘New Area’ has rocketed to ubiquity, especially when we consider the site selection. Government influence may steer investors’ location preferences here in China.

To promote urbanization and industrialization, and now digitalization, many new areas and zones have been established to concentrate investments and the labor force as well as resources within designated region with more flexible management systems.

For example, Xiong’an New Area, in Hebei province, was announced to be a National New Area as the “Millennium Plan, National Event” by the State Council and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. It has become the third new special zone with “national significance” after Shenzhen SEZ and Shanghai Pudong New Area while the other two have already driven the rapid development of the Pearl River Delta and Yangtze River Delta respectively. Xiong’an New Area connects the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-century Maritime Silk Road with the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area, so as to drive the development of the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei economic triangle in Northern China.

Currently, China is speeding up its digital transformation of economy with a plan to build industrial ‘big data’ centers nationwide, enabling massive amounts of information to be used for developing more efficient industries. Supported by government, construction of data center is boosted in these regions such as the Beijing–Tianjin–Hebei (Jing-Jin-Ji) area, Xiong’an New Area, the Yangtze River Delta, the Greater Bay Area, and the Hainan Free Trade Port.

Power Usage Efficiency (PUE)

The word ‘PUE’ never loses its power. The availability and cost of electricity are important factors influencing data center site selection in China. The energy consumption quota of data centers must be approved by governmental agencies including National Economy and Informatization Commission and National Development and Reform Commission.

Electricity resources in coastal areas and tier I cities are restricted as local electricity generation is insufficient to meet consumption, meaning that obtaining approval for large energy consuming businesses can be problematic.

In order to ensure effective control of energy consumption, improving energy efficiency in major energy fields and accelerating the application of energy-saving and low-carbonizing technologies have become the main goals and tasks of local government during the 13th Five-Year Plan period.

China’s Tier-1 cities, with their high concentrations of data centers and infrastructure, have been first to act, guided by the central government’s 13th Five Year Plan targets for energy use and intensity. Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen have already applied strict PUE rules when approving new data centers, pushing the sector towards greener operations with higher energy efficiency.

Although Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and other coastal areas are the major data center markets in the country, areas like Inner Mongolia, Gansu, and Guizhou pop up to be players under central policy support. National-level big data and data center pilot projects sprout up in these renewables-rich provinces for they offer ample electricity supply and cheap tariffs. Local governments in these areas also offer discounts for electricity consumption by data centers, which can further reduce operating costs.

Built-to-suit Data Center

Data center investment continues to rise in China with growing interest. Larger population bases, more social media activities, data protection and cyber security legislation forcing users to switch to onshore data centers. Does it mean that to invest in this market never fail? Of course not. The consensus of ‘Customer-centric’ is being embraced by players in China market.

As a part of this, ‘built-to-suit’ data center was developed. Customizing a data center, ‘built-to-suit’, is a much different, more challenging undertaking for a certain type of business buyer, or even specific client.

Different from before, one-size-fits-all data center solutions are no longer a priority at a larger scale. More data center service providers are looking to be in tune with clients from pre-development and align with their expectations.

At the same time, built-to-suit also provides a cost transparency and speed to market. As it is specifically designed to fit the clients’ every need, built-to-suit data center can meet the goals with best practices. In 2020, Dictionary.com selected “Unprecedented” as the word of the year. In 2021, it could be “Transformation”.

For more insights on China, do check out our digital event China Datacenter Market Insights happening on March 5!

Socomec energises Singapore with a powerful UPS training course

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Committing to a better world

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Digital Week 2021: The Philippines

DIGITAL

DIGITAL WEEK SEA: THE PHILIPPINES

EVENT BRIEF

The Philippines owes much of its digitalisation outcomes to the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME’s) that make up the country’s economies. According to PWC, over 99% of local businesses fall into this category, which means that the majority of the innovation that takes place in this market takes place in these MSME’s.

 

More and more organisations in the Philippines are utilising cloud computing to implement business intelligence solutions with lower upfront integration costs. 

 

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. 

 

Our final Digital Week day will start with a session covering the Philippines, The Digital Week the Philippines Session will take place on 25 February 9Am – 12 PM. 

 

Request Sponsorship or Speaker details to get involved!

This session is part of our larger, virtual conference: Digital Week Southeast Asia. To see the complete speaker and sponsor details, click below:

Digital Week 2021: Thailand

DIGITAL

DIGITAL WEEK SEA: THAILAND

EVENT BRIEF

Thailand’s cloud and data center market is on the verge of greatness; the country holds great digital potential as the second-largest economy in ASEAN. 

In 2021, the Thai government has committed to expanding its digital infrastructure and ICT capacities nationwide, with the hopes of establishing it as a digital hub that can compete with the likes of neighbouring countries Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. 

As more of Thailand’s population goes online, broadband quality and energy sustainability become increasingly pressing challenges for the market to overcome. But it’s strategic position geographically has piqued the interest of many tech giants already operating throughout Southeast Asia, who expect that investment in Thailand’s cloud and datacenter industries will deliver favorable ROI’s in the years to come.  

For our Digital Week Thailand Session, we’ll be focusing on one of Asia’s most interesting case studies in digitalisation, discussing all the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead for Thailand’s cloud and datacenter industries. 

The Digital Week Thailand Session will take place 25 February 2021 from 1PM – 4PM.  Request Sponsorship or Speaker details to get involved!

This session is part of our larger, virtual conference: Digital Week Southeast Asia. To see the complete speaker and sponsor details, click below:

Preparing for an edge data center future

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Challenges at the edge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

> Prepare for the edge data center future with Schneider Electric

By Stuart Crowley, Editor

Digital Week 2021: Vietnam

DIGITAL

DIGITAL WEEK SEA: VIETNAM

EVENT BRIEF

Vietnam’s growth in the cloud market is driven primarily by the surge of adoption of IaaS and SaaS platforms within Vietnam’s growing economy of small-and-medium enterprises. These trends, however, are slowly changing as larger corporations with a presence in the region begin to realise the potential of the vietnamese market. 

The country’s long coastline makes it a particularly exceptional market for ICT and submarine cabling, and a lot of the expansion of cloud is taking place in northern Vietnam. The cloud service market in particular is seeing the lion’s share of this expansion, and the CAGR of this market is expected to nearly double by 2024 (up from 2018).

To close out our digital week, we’ll be looking at the exciting potential of Vietnam, highlighting the remarkable innovation taking place in this market, along with all the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in 2021 and beyond.

The Digital Week Vietnam Session will take place 26 February 2021 from 1PM – 4PM.  Request Sponsorship or Speaker details below to get involved!

This session is part of our larger, virtual conference: Digital Week Southeast Asia. To see the complete speaker and sponsor details, click below:

The Top 5 Benefits of Gas Generators for Data Centers

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

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

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

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

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

1. Reduced Carbon Footprint

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Reduced Power Utilisation Effectiveness

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

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

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

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

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

ITIC Curve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Improved Electrical Infrastructure

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Reliability

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

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

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

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

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

5. Grid Systems Stabilisation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

> Discover i-Genz’s range of Gas Gensets

By Stuart Crowley, Editor

Digital Week 2021: Singapore

DIGITAL

DIGITAL WEEK SEA: SINGAPORE

EVENT BRIEF

The rise of Singapore in the Cloud Computing, and Datacenter sphere is remarkable, and startlingly impressive for a nation with limited space. Its position as a mature datacenter hub both lends it industry credibility, but at the same time motivates regional counterparts to emerge as market contenders. To that end, Indonesia, and Malaysia have emerged as the most formidable Cloud Computing and Datacenter competitors. Having led the industry in APAC for over a decade, the market is pivoting towards 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 regulatory structure in Singapore is fueled in part by the design inefficiencies inherent to the architecture. But these restrictions have bread ingenuity, and Singapore’s seen a massive leap in sustainable design among key industry players. Singapore’s immense amount of digital infrastructure and economic position in the region has also created an ecosystem for Fintech companies to flourish, along with other industries working to pioneer cloud technologies.

This session will highlight the remarkable innovation taking place in the Lion City, along with all the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in 2021 and beyond.

The Digital Week Singapore Session will take place 25 February 2021 from 9AM – 12PM.  Request Sponsorship or Speaker details below to get involved!

This session is part of our larger, virtual conference: Digital Week Southeast Asia. To see the complete speaker and sponsor details, click below:

Silver Sponsor

Digital Week 2021: Indonesia

DIGITAL

DIGITAL WEEK SEA: INDONESIA

EVENT BRIEF

Indonesia’s position as the largest economy in Southeast Asia has fueled its rise in the Cloud and Data Center industry. Coupled with relatively low startup and operational costs, the country is rivaling traditional Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity, and Data Center hubs. Data Centers 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.

The Digital Week Indonesia Session will take place 24 February 2020 from 1PM – 4PM.

Request Sponsorship or Speaker details below to get involved!

This session is part of our larger, virtual conference: Digital Week Southeast Asia. To see the other sessions, and complete speaker and sponsor details, click below:

Digital Week 2021: Malaysia

DIGITAL WEEK SEA: MALAYSIA

EVENT BRIEF

Our first country session will focus on Malaysia. With its expansive terrain, and proximity to the developed cloud computing hub of Singapore, Malaysia has the potential to challenge mature markets. Recognising this yet to be maximised window of growth, global players like Alibaba have shrewdly and rapidly moved to set-up operations in Malaysia.

The country’s 5G rollout has been delayed until 2022 but it is capitalising on digitalisation trends in other ways. The Government has created a Cloud Computing Committee made up of 5 separate task forces, aimed at accelerating the rate of cloud adoption in the country. Malaysia also saw spending on public cloud increase to RM 1.7B in 2020, a sign of the commitment being made by both public and private sector players to overhaul the country’s IT ecosystem.

This Digital Week Malaysia Session will hear from government representatives, Enterprise executives, and industry specialists who all have a special focus on the Malaysian Market. Tune in to learn about how national ICT investment will impact business growth opportunities, Malaysia’s plan for POST-COVID development, sustainability innovations, and more!

The Digital Week Malaysia Session will take place 24 February 2021 from 9AM – 12PM

Request Sponsorship or Speaker details below to get involved!

This session is part of our larger, virtual conference: Digital Week Southeast Asia. To see the other sessions, and complete speaker and sponsor details, click below:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What makes KIDEX an attractive place for investment?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How will KIDEX benefit Southeast Asian society?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Stuart Crowley, Editor

Be a part of Indonesia’s fast-growing cloud and data center industries

The cloud and data center industries in Indonesia are expected to witness epic growth in the next five years, with investments of over US$1 billion forecast.

And with new data protection laws proposed and recent data localisation regulations, the cloud and data center industries could continue to grow further.

It is an exciting time to watch Indonesia’s growth in the digital industry, and that’s why we will be hosting our Indonesia Cloud and Data Center Digital Summit on Wednesday 9 December!

We will be joined by experts from SpaceDC, Piller Power, H1 Systems, Telkom Indonesia, Telkomsigma, the Indonesia Cloud Computing Association, Northstar Group, Bank KEB Hana Indonesia, the Jakarta Post, and ZNet Technologies.

Accelerating Digital Transformation: The case for Indonesia

Data centers are the backbone of Southeast Asia’s digital economies and are poised to play a key role in the development of the ICT sector. 

As a destination for hyperscale data center investments, Indonesia has shown remarkable development in e-commerce and cloud adoption. This puts the country in a strong position to lead the region as a digital economic powerhouse.

“Indonesians are already looking to adopt digital products and services in their core business – everything from online payments to digital processing and scalability. There is a track record of growth within the Indonesian digital economy, and the 5G network will surely drive up the demand,” said Elisabeth Simatupang, the Country Manager of SpaceDC.

“This will change the way we communicate and live our lives to work around the pandemic. Consequently, the gap to meet this demand will likely widen and we find a lot of companies looking to bridge that. Alibaba, AWS and Oracle are just some of the many riding on the trend,” added Ms. Simatupang.

First up on the show, we will be joined by Ms. Simatupang to share what businesses can do to enhance the country’s digital infrastructure, create new jobs for the Indonesians in the ICT sector and support even more companies hoping to digitalise and build for the future.

“Everyone has a different opinion on digital transformation, but most would agree it is essential for business continuity in this day. Digital transformation is an opportunity for businesses to reinvigorate their sales model and processes to eliminate time consuming, ineffective, and out of date procedures that are typically costly to business.

“Especially in Indonesia, where the infrastructure for this transformation sets the country ready in a pace faster than average, this summit will be an exciting scene where we will be able to witness some of the potential opportunities in the market,” said Ms. Simatupang.

To empower the digital economy and transformation in Indonesia, SpaceDC has launched their first data center in Jakarta, offering robust connectivity to the country and wider Southeast Asia region.

The best practice for data center deployment in the face of surging demand

Demand for data centers is exponentially increasing, as 150 million Indonesians are expected to access the internet by 2023 and 20 million new social media users have been added in the last two years.

“The data center industry is changing together with the ICT industry. The change in Indonesia over the last year is rapid, and with the digitalisation efforts of the Government and better connectivity, the landscape of data centers may also change rapidly,” said Tamas Balogh, Principal Consultant and Director of H1 Systems.

Therefore, it is essential to deploy the best and most efficient data centers to meet capacity and ensure reliability.

Join us in welcoming a panel of experts, including Palaniappan Muthuraman, of Piller Power, Tamas Balogh, from H1 Systems, Gunawan Santoso, of Northstar Group, and moderator Sabarinathan Sampath, from ZNet Technologies, to explore the best practices for data center deployment and new edge computing use cases.

“With these changes many new opportunities appear, which can be addressed by new business models and new technologies. Within our panel we will discuss a few of these approaches and possible solutions,” added Mr. Balogh.

Leveraging the digital ecosystem for Indonesia’s business growth

Indonesia is experiencing massive digital transformation, from the Internet of Things and AI to data centers and cloud technology.

However, Dian Rachmawan, the Director of Wholesale and International of Telkom Indonesia, believes that the telecommunications industry is stagnating due to the overemphasis on data centers and cloud.

“The telco industry is currently stagnating and in a state of survival due to telco companies being dumb pipe providers. By learning from the past, Telkom Indonesia aims to become more than just a dumb cloud provider that only acts as a data center and provides cloud services,” said Mr. Rachmawan.

For businesses to remain competitive, they will need to rely heavily on how they manage their data and adopt advanced technologies through effective digital transformation strategies.

Telkom Indonesia is leveraging its assets to provide its Beyond Connectivity, Cloud and Commerce to more than 2,000 local startups, helping them benefit from the digital economy era and bridge the digital divide.

“Indonesia’s businesses are predominantly MSMEs, therefore they should become the primary growth engines of the Indonesian economy. By providing our service, Telkom will be able to enable the local startup community to develop unique products to help the MSMEs expand their businesses in the digital economy era,” said Mr. Rachmawan.

At the Indonesia Cloud and Data Center Digital Summit, Mr. Rachmawan will share all the details on how governments, startups and the MSME community can gain a competitive advantage and take part in WINDigital, a new way to win and benefit the most from the digital economy era.

Also at the Indonesia Cloud and Data Center Digital Summit we will take a look at navigating Indonesia’s data protection landscape, edge computing and growth opportunities for AI and IoT, how the pandemic has changed business practices, innovations and trends in Indonesia’s online marketplaces, and leveraging the digital ecosystem for Indonesia’s business growth.

> Register now for the Indonesia Cloud and Data Center Digital Summit on Wednesday 9 December!

We would like to send a big thank you to our Platinum Sponsors SpaceDC and Piller Power Systems, Gold Sponsor Telkom Indonesia, Silver Sponsors H1 Systems, BlomTEQ and PowerShield Limited, and our Bronze Sponsor Onion Technology, as well as all our partners for helping to bring this event to you.

Digital Week 2021: Southeast Asia

Please Hold While we Direct You to the Digital Week Site this link.

Battling cybersecurity threats in the cloud

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

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

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

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

So how can we fight back?

Your livelihood is at stake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are you at risk?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Out with the old

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How can we stop the cybercriminals?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What should you do next?

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

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

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

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

> Protect your business against threats with Insyghts Security

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

Korea Cloud & Datacenter Convention 2021

Event Summary

Korea’s digital ascendency has been a long time coming, but can it be sustained?

South Korea has some of the fastest local Internet speeds in the world and with almost 90% of the population having access, and also known as the global leading country with a prosperous digital future with its great IT infrastructure and its continuous innovations in 5G, IoT, AI, etc.

Recently, South Korea is seeing a sharp increase in data center investments from global tech giants and data center providers, with even more expected from the mounting requirements brought by the demand for cloud services and mobile technology. 

South Korea is regarded as one of the top five leading data center revenue generators for APAC, which along with the other top generators, will deliver 32 billion dollars in revenue by 2023. Moreover, the size of the Korean cloud service market is also expected to exceed 3 trillion won in 2021 after exceeding $16.5 billion last year.

If you want to learn more about how domestic and international companies are taking advantage of Korea’s lucrative Cloud and Data Center market, join W.Media along with 300+ IT professionals as we dive in to all the current innovations and future trends you need to know!

Agenda

Full Speaker & Agenda Details coming soon.

Check back for updates!

Location

Seoul, South Korea
Venue to be Announced

Date
2 June 2021
Time
8am – 5pm

Who Should attend?

  • C-level
  • Procurement & Sourcing
  • Head of IT / Data Centers / Networks
  • IT / M&E Consultants & Engineers
  • System Integrators
  • Data Center Commissioners

Technology Showcase

Cloud Computing

Data Center Outsourcing

Data Center
Design &
Operations

Connectivity

Investment

Demographics

Who You Will Meet

74% Senior Management

19% Middle Management

7% Specialist

Projects

Key Industries

  • 5% Healthcare, Medical
    Tehnology & Pharma
  • 3% Logistics & Supply
    Chain Management
  • 3% Consumer Business &
    Professional Services
  • 2% Marine & Offshore
    Engineering
  • 2% Chemicals &
    Biotechnology

IT Products?
& Services
32%

Finance
& Banking
25%

  • 6% Emerging Business
  • 8% OTT Content, Media
  • 10% Gov, Cities,
    Infrastructure &
    Industrial Solutions
  • 2% Environment, Water,
    Energy & Clean Energy
  • 2% Aerospace & Precision
    Engineering & Electronics

Interest In

76%
Cloud

68%
Co-location

32%
Storage

48%
IT Strategy
& Leadership

38%
DC
Investment

Vietnam Cloud & Datacenter Convention (Ho Chi Minh) 2021

Event Summary

The Vietnam Cloud Service Market Set to Grow at over 10% CAGR through 2024, far outpacing many of its competitor markets. This spike in demand is spurred on by the region’s low cost of ownership, surging adoption of cloud computing services, and rapid development of SMEs across Vietnam. While the demand for Enterprise mobility in the wake of COVID-19 is driving hyperscale deployment on a global level, 98% of firms in Vietnam are SMEs, each with their unique IaaS and SaaS needs. Vietnam’s growing data storage needs reflect it’s increasingly competitive tech market. 

The evolution of the datacenter market in Vietnam is particularly interesting. The nascency of this country’s datacenter market means that Vietnam faces power challenges, but the country’s long coastline makes it particularly optimal for undersea cabling. 

Will the Vietnamese Cloud and Data Center Markets rise to meet this demand?

W.Media is hosting an exclusive conventions for over 300 IT professionals from Vietnam, to explore the best practices, future trends and past mistakes in Cloud and data center innovations. Join us!

Agenda

Full Speaker & Agenda Details coming soon.

Check back for updates!

Location

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Venue to be Announced

Date
17 June2021
Time
8am – 5pm

Who Should attend?

  • C-level
  • Procurement & Sourcing
  • Head of IT / Data Centers / Networks
  • IT / M&E Consultants & Engineers
  • System Integrators
  • Data Center Commissioners

Sponsors

Technology Showcase

Cloud Computing

Data Center Outsourcing

Data Center
Design &
Operations

Connectivity

Investment

Demographics

Who You Will Meet

74% Senior Management

19% Middle Management

7% Specialist

Projects

Key Industries

  • 5% Healthcare, Medical
    Tehnology & Pharma
  • 3% Logistics & Supply
    Chain Management
  • 3% Consumer Business &
    Professional Services
  • 2% Marine & Offshore
    Engineering
  • 2% Chemicals &
    Biotechnology

IT Products?
& Services
32%

Finance
& Banking
25%

  • 6% Emerging Business
  • 8% OTT Content, Media
  • 10% Gov, Cities,
    Infrastructure &
    Industrial Solutions
  • 2% Environment, Water,
    Energy & Clean Energy
  • 2% Aerospace & Precision
    Engineering & Electronics

Interest In

76%
Cloud

68%
Co-location

32%
Storage

48%
IT Strategy
& Leadership

38%
DC
Investment

Thailand’s CMKL University to accelerate AI research with NVIDIA

Thailand’s CMKL University has reached an agreement with IT hardware giant NVIDIA to drive artificial intelligence growth through NVIDIA’s DGX POD. 

CMKL University will set up an AI computing cluster and an AI analytics platform to support data exchange and competency building in Thailand. 

“NVIDIA DGX POD delivers groundbreaking performance that is designed to accelerate diverse AI training, inference and data science workloads. It will help accelerate CMKL University’s research to develop solutions that will benefit not just Thailand but also Southeast Asia and the world,” said Dennis Ang, Director of Enterprise Business for the SEA and ANZ Region at NVIDIA.

Established as a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University and King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, CMKL University provides cutting-edge engineering research and education in Southeast Asia.

“The platform that we are developing will allow researchers to store and manage their datasets with ease. They will be able to exchange their data with other researchers, and utilise the cloud HPC infrastructure to run machine learning codes and models at lightning speeds,” said Akkarit Sangpetch, CMKM Program Director (Thailand) at CMKL University.

The university’s new infrastructure will be modelled after NVIDIA’s DGX POD design and consists of six NVIDIA GDX A100 AI systems delivering 30 petaflops of AI processing power, as well as a range of the company’s other products such as NVIDIA Cumulus networking software, NVIDIA Mellanox Spectrum 100GbE and Quantum 200Gbps InfiniBand smart switches.

The system will deliver up to a 20x performance boost, which is greatly beneficial for AI projects such as automated speech recognition research that needs to collect and process 1,000 hours of voice input, and a bottle recycling model that contains 600,000 high-resolution images.

“This platform will accelerate AI work in various research and development fields to create substantial positive impacts on society. Examples are an increase in quality of life in cities through better management and logistics; better optimization of circular infrastructure, consumer insights, and biomedical research; and an increase in the quality and quantity of crop yields countrywide,” said Mr. Sangpetch.

Backing the project is Thailand’s Office of National Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO), an autonomous public agency affiliated to the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation.

NXPO looks to increase Thailand’s growth and level of competitiveness, and enhance its socioeconomic sustainability through technology and innovation strategic plans.

The Program Management Unit for Thailand’s Competitiveness will also be involved in providing the funding and support for this world-class research and initiative.

“Together with CMKL University and the new AI Infrastructure, the office looks forward to developing resilient economies in the age of AI,” said NXPO.

Aside from NVIDIA’s DGX POD, CMKL University also plans to use NVIDIA’s Jetson AGX Xavier and Jetson Nano, and is considering an extended cloud-edge processing model.

The plan is to make NVIDIA’s hardware central computing nodes that connect to research and university nodes across the country.

Earlier this year, Vietnam’s first artificial intelligence research lab, VinAI Research, claimed to be the first in Southeast Asia to deploy the newly-launched NVIDIA DGX A100 data center solution.

Got a story, opinion or more information on this article? Contact us at editor@w.media.
And sign up to the W.Media Newsletter to get the latest data center, cloud and cybersecurity updates!

Image credit: Reuters

Explore the state of Thailand’s cloud and data center market with W.Media

With 61% of Thailand’s gross domestic product expected to be digitalised by 2022, join the W.Media Thailand Cloud and Datacenter Digital Summit to find out how you can be a part of the country’s digital future by maximising opportunities amid the technological advancements taking place.

Register now to find out by joining W.Media’s action-packed Thailand Cloud & Datacenter Digital Summit on Wednesday 4 November!

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

> View all W.Media digital events

How to optimise database workloads to do more with less in the new normal?

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has shaken up enterprises and their work structures, with many being forced to enact digital transformation projects or further digitalise their operations.

This has increased the need for larger, more powerful and agile data storage solutions. Many have turned to migrating their workloads to the cloud to solve issues of scalability and flexibility.

But simply adopting new cloud technologies does not guarantee cost and time efficiency, as legacy application development models can burden systems and hinder digital transformation. That’s why data center consolidation is one of the next crucial steps needed to maximise your organisation’s capacity and agility.

“More than ever, enterprises need to maximise their technology investments to bring simplicity to their cloud operations and infrastructure,” said Vaughn Stewart, the Vice President of Technology Alliance Partners at Pure Storage.

Countries in Southeast Asia may lag behind countries in other regions for their cloud agility, which could in fact present opportunities to reposition existing infrastructures to leapfrog the competition and take advantage of opportunities in cloud technology.

On Thursday 22 October, we will be joined by the Pure Storage team to focus on how your business can reduce costs, streamline your systems and optimise performance agility in your workloads to effectively do more with less.

Optimising Oracle workloads to do more with less in the new norm

Recent economic volatility has revealed the ways in which traditional infrastructure can leave even the most robust enterprises on their backfoot when a shakeup in work structures occurs.

Following an introduction from Chua Hock Leng, the Managing Director for ASEAN at Pure Storage, we will take a look at how you can optimise Oracle Cloud workloads with Danny Higgins, the Head of the APJ Solution Architects team at Pure Storage.

Practicalities in Managing and Migrating Database Workloads

With so many digital infrastructure solutions available like on-premise, hybrid cloud, public cloud and private cloud, knowing how to successfully manage and migrate your database workloads is paramount.

In a panel session complete with industry experts, we will take a look at the key considerations to determine whether your database is suitable for the cloud and the potential risks of migration, and solutions to mitigate them, when these databases are mission-critical.

Joining Danny Higgins will be Rodelio Medrano, the Storage Team Lead for the Cloud Collaboration and Architecture Team at GlobalFoundries, and Aaron Tan Dani, the Chairman of IASA Asia Pacific.

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Spending on data centers almost at all-time high, says Synergy

Market intelligence firm Synergy Research Group’s new data shows that worldwide spend on data centers saw a 7% uptick in Q2 2020, reaching US$41.4 billion in revenue.

This is thanks to a 25% jump in spending on public cloud infrastructure from Q2 2019, which almost pushed it to an all-time high. But enterprise spending dropped slightly by 3%.

Original design manufacturers (ODMs) of cloud infrastructure dominate the public cloud market share, with Inspur as the leading individual vendor, followed by Dell, Microsoft and Huawei.

Enterprise market share, on the other hand, sees Microsoft as the market leader, followed by Dell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Cisco and VMware.

 

 

As predicted, the COVID-19 pandemic was the main driver behind record spending on data center infrastructures.

“In the middle of a global pandemic, spending on data center infrastructure was almost at an all-time high – second only to the fourth quarter of 2019. That speaks volumes about the continued robust growth in both enterprise and consumer cloud services,” said Synergy Research Group’s Chief Analyst, John Dinsdale.

The main hardware-oriented segments of servers, storage and networking in aggregate accounted for 75% of the data center infrastructure market, with OS, virtualisation software, cloud management and network security account making up the other 25%.

By segment, Dell is the leader in server and storage revenues, while Cisco is dominant in the networking segment. 

Microsoft features heavily in the rankings due to its position in server OS and virtualization applications. Outside of these three, the other leading vendors in the market are HPE, Inspur, Huawei, VMware, Lenovo and IBM.

According to Mr. Dinsdale, China is the breakout player in the market, as its cloud spending jumped almost 35% from Q2 last year. 

Chinese data center operator Chindata’s success in raising over US$500 million for its IPO in the US shows the country’s determination to play a bigger role in the global cloud infrastructure market.

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Cybersecurity: Bank of Philippines Islands takes down 10 phishing sites a day during COVID-19 pandemic

The Philippines’ national bank, Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI), revealed it took down at least 10 phishing sites per day, as cybersecurity threats rise during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From March to August, the country has seen a sharp rise in COVID-19-related cyberattacks, according to the Bank.

“They send out malicious emails with COVID-19 themes to steal information and put up fake crowdfunding pages for supposedly personal protective equipment donations,” said BPI Executive Vice President, Ramon Jocson.

To date, the Bank has taken down over 2,000 phishing sites, many of which are local scammers targeting fellow Filipinos.

Cybersecurity in the Philippines

Like many countries all around the world, the Philippines is dealing with a surge in cybersecurity threats from unknown cybercriminals. As the country’s workforce retreats to remote work, the BPI has vowed to up cybersecurity measures to protect its employees and customers from online scams.

“On our non-technical side, we heavily count on the infomercials that we post on social media channels to inform clients about the different fraud schemes that have sprung up,” continued Jocson.

The BPI also provides tips on how to remain cyber safe, secure and smart during the pandemic.

“We try to detect abnormal behaviors. We track close to 22,000 events per second — every ATM withdrawal, log on and so forth — and we have analytics to track any aberrant behavior,” he added.

In September, seeing the rise in cybersecurity threats, Philippines conglomerate MVP Group established the private sector’s first Cybersecurity Council. Last month, Facebook revealed that it took down fake accounts spreading political misinformation, a handful of which were linked to government entities in the Philippines.

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How will Industry 4.0 tech change the legal profession?

With COVID-19 causing disruption to much of 2020, many industries are digitally transforming to remain connected and continue operations, and the legal profession is no exception.

Lawyers on the cloud

Traditional law firms and labour models of law firms are encumbered by routine legal work and mundane day-to-day administrative tasks. For lawyers who deal with such tasks, it distracts them from the core legal matter at hand, affecting their quality of work. For clients, a law firm spending time handling “grunt work” also means that they would be billed at a costly rate, paying hundreds or thousands for what is essentially paperwork.

With the global pandemic we are facing, such inefficiencies are compounded. Thus, law firms see an urgent need to reform the traditional mode of engagement and speed up operations while adapting to the future of work. And legal tech firms found a gap in the market and filled it.

Legal tech firms such as InCloudCounsel, who recently opened their first office in the Asia Pacific region, incorporate a range of cloud computing services and artificial intelligence (AI) to assist lawyers with routine transactional work. Negotiation and management of non-disclosure agreements, vendor contracts, sales and services agreements would be handled by technology. 

The outcome could be a win-win solution for all. Lawyers are no longer held back by geographical and time constraints, and petty legal matters, while clients could anticipate being billed less for routine legal work.

When lawyers offer their services on the cloud, these may be streamlined and highly tailored to your case’s needs. Perhaps the biggest advantage that legal tech firms can offer is transparency at a degree that is previously unheard of. Cloud-based case management platforms used by legal tech companies allow clients to track the progress of case negotiations in real-time very much like tracking your parcel and waiting for it to be delivered. 

These cloud platforms will then safely store the data when the case is resolved, a potentially better option than filing a case in an office folder and tucking it away in an unknown corner.

Blurring of work boundaries

Enabled by AI, some legal tech firms are also leaning towards delivering data-driven services, something that was almost impossible before the advent of cloud technology.

This year, AI made a historic, yet controversial, appearance in Malaysia’s justice system to assist in crunching data and sentencing during two drug cases. Machine learning can make a very manual process more efficient by automatically developing “mappings” between data sources and the application’s data repository. This cuts down integration and aggregation times.

Data extraction systems are able to collect and process data from hundreds of case precedents. And while IT infrastructures in legal tech firms may only be restricted to routine legal work, when an AI obtains new knowledge through large input and evolves to take on more complex tasks, to what extent will its work encroach on that of a lawyer? So, the question to ask is: Who is really doing the work here? The man or the machine?

At the same time, some standing against legal tech argue that although technology is doing more than ever before for lawyers, at the end of the day, the legal profession still needs a ‘human touch’. In other words, the law still relies on expert knowledge to interpret and apply them onto cases in order to correctly deliver justice.

Nobody has an answer to whether or not this is a good thing, but one trend that  is that the job scope of lawyers is slowly being redrawn, and lawyers have to refine existing skills to keep up with the times.

The Future of Legal Tech

The legal profession is one of few fields that is relatively slow in embracing the new normal. But as COVID-19 leaves no industry unaffected, perhaps it is time for lawyers and judges to usher in change and hop onto the cloud. 

The marriage between law and tech signals a need for lawyers to further diversify their skills. The entrance of, for example, data scientists, computer scientists and software engineers indicate that in-house legal professionals would perhaps need to expand their knowledge beyond law books and desktop research in order to thrive in a diverse workplace.

Lawyers not only have to interact with smart technology, but they now have to interact with other specialists across different industries. Cloud computing and AI has the potential to revolutionise the legal industry, and it is only by continually upgrading oneself that one would be able to survive in a post-pandemic digital world.

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Honeywell and Vertiv team up to tackle data center sustainability across the globe

Honeywell and Vertiv are joining forces to create more sustainable and efficient data center operations.

This will be the first joint effort to combine intelligent selection of energy resources with centralised visibility of operations and infrastructure to help reduce energy use.

Honeywell, a global leader in connected building, and Vertiv, a global provider of critical digital infrastructure and continuity solutions, will work together to create integrated solutions to optimise data center sustainability, resiliency and operational performance.

“Data centers face similar challenges as other buildings that have disparate systems that were not designed to work together, but they experience these challenges on a greater scale,” said Vimal Kapur, the President and CEO of Honeywell Building Technologies.

The partnership combines Honeywell’s building management systems and operational software, and safety and security products with Vertiv’s uninterruptible power supply, power distribution, thermal management and modular solutions to enable various data center operators to integrate multiple domains of data within a data center.

“We look forward to collaborating with Vertiv to offer integrated solutions that make it easier for data center operators to distill the mountains of data they pull from their equipment into actions that create more efficient and environmentally friendly operations,” added Mr. Kapur.

The companies will leverage building-operations data to drive optimisation of operations, reducing energy use and costs, whilst improving data center performance and sustainability.

Data centers help enable the online applications that people depend on for work, entertainment and communications, but they require significant power to move information around the world.

“There is need and opportunity for data centers to be more efficient, reliable and sustainable,” said Rob Johnson, the CEO of Vertiv. 

Keeping businesses online is becoming increasingly critical, especially as many organisations have been forced to digitalise and enact remote working policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Business continuity is more critical than ever, with more people working, learning and connecting remotely, driving a simultaneous explosion in data and demand for new data centers,” added Mr. Johnson.

Honeywell and Vertiv will target operators of hyperscale, large enterprise, colocation and edge data centers.

Data centers in 2018 consumed approximately 1% of the world’s energy use. And while the industry has made great strides to reduce and offset energy demands, including increasing the utilisation of renewable energy, more work can be done toward a more sustainable and carbon-neutral future, according to Honeywell and Vertiv.

“Our collaboration with Honeywell will help us to collectively better serve our data center customers. Our offerings complement each other to provide greater value to data center operators,” concluded Mr. Johnson.

Honeywell and Vertiv’s first offering

Honeywell and Vertiv’s first focus will be on microgrid solutions for data centers to enable more efficient integration of alternative energy sources such as solar arrays, fuel cells and batteries, and to provide a scalable approach for operators to quickly enhance functionality and improve total cost of ownership.

This solution will take the form of an intelligent power management solution that features an energy resource management and supervisory control system in a single, integrated platform.

By combining energy storage, analytics, forecasting and economic optimisation, the solution is said to provide data centers with intelligent and autonomous selection of energy sources and grid services to operate a data center load and reduce energy costs while maintaining uptime requirements.

The solution could help data centers meet availability requirements, while optimising energy costs, meeting corporate sustainability goals and reducing overall carbon footprint. It may also allow operators to better manage sustainability targets and account for external risk factors such as weather and grid reliability.

With data centers using a large amount of power for thermal management, building systems and physical security, this can increase the risk of costly and detrimental downtime.

The new scalable and easy-to-implement intelligent power management solution from Honeywell and Vertiv is designed to enable remote monitoring and maintenance, reduce costs, eliminate redundancy and improve power usage effectiveness, for which data center operators strive to meet the ideal 1.0 PUE.

The solutions by Honeywell and Vertiv are expected to be available this year.

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ByteDance moving to bigger office amid billion dollar investment plan in Singapore

ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, is set to move to a bigger office in Singapore after reportedly planning to invest billions of dollars and recruit hundreds in the country.

The Chinese multinational has signed an agreement to lease three floors measuring over 60,000 square feet at One Raffles Quay, according to people familiar with the plan.

The office expansion will pave the way for ByteDance to make Singapore its beachhead for the rest of Asia.

Controlled by billionaire Zhang Yiming, ByteDance is pushing its social media service across Asia following setbacks in India, the UK and the USA, where Chinese tech companies are facing growing hostility amid security concerns.

The new office is being refurbished and it’s likely that employees will make the move by the first quarter of next year and will be informed about it later this month or November.

The Chinese tech firm’s move in Singapore coincides with other tech giants’ plans to expand in Singapore, including Tencent.

Singapore is seen as an attractive base for both Western and Asian firms because of its political stability, developed financial and legal system, especially as its rival Hong Kong is still grappling with upheaval and China’s tightening grip.

Bytedance’s move to One Raffles Quay, which is jointly owned by Hong Kong Land Holdings, Keppel REIT and Suntec REIT, will be a boost to the office building since its anchor tenant, UBS Group, is moving out after securing another office space to consolidate its operations in Singapore. 

Bytedance currently has a shared space at one of the floors in Asia Square Tower 1, which is owned by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund.

The tech firm currently has more than 200 job openings in Singapore, for positions from data analysts to product policy and legal counsel. Some of the positions are based in the city, but will deal with issues in other Southeast Asian countries, according to its career site.

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

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

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

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DICT calls for increased Philippines national broadband budget

Despite possible savings of US$15.4 million in 2021 alone, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) has had to continue calls for an increased national broadband budget.

Reiterating the need for a Government-owned broadband network to improve Internet quality, coverage and affordability, the DICT appealed to the Senate for an additional budget of US$842 million (18 billion pesos) to complete the network through the National Broadband Program (NBP).

Senator Imee Marcos supported the DICT’s call, citing other countries’ success in improving Internet services through a national broadband network.

“Until today, the government has not invested in ICT unlike the other countries in ASEAN where it is nationally and publicly owned, we are entirely reliant on commercial investment,” said Senator Imee Marcos.

“And then we complain when they fall apart or they fail us or they are expensive and raise rates wantonly when in fact they don’t belong to us,” he added.

The 2021 National Expenditure Program-approved budget for the DICT’s NBP is only at US$42.2 million (902 million pesos).

“I would like to support some augmentation for the DICT (budget) given that the only jobs available are online. Our entire educational system is reliant on the online capacities and even the senate is depending only upon our Internet,” Senator Marcos added.

Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) reiterated the need for a Government-owned broadband network. He noted that in other countries, governments are the ones that spend capital expenditure and build infrastructure, and all telcos just lease from the national government.

“That is the model that is being used in other countries, so their service is pretty good. They have no problem with the right of way and they also have no problem with permits because it is the national government that is doing all of that,” said Commissioner Cordoba.

The DICT said it is high time for the government to prioritise ICT programs as the country transitions to the new normal.

“We accept the fact that the appreciation of the government sector for ICT being the future is still limited. What you want is what you can handle, roads, bridges, those that are physical. That’s the infrastructure component. But from where we see it, we believe that we can actually do these simultaneously,” said DICT Secretary Gregorio B. Honasan II.

DICT Assistant Secretary for Digital Philippines, Emmanuel Rey Caintic, explained that the completion of the NBP will result in cheaper and better Internet service quality. He said the Internet in the country is expensive because telecommunications companies like DITO, Globe, PLDT and the new NOW Telecom spend much capital in building ICT infrastructure to deliver Internet services.

Secretary Caintic suggested it will be beneficial if the spectrum users fee that the telcos pay to the Government was reinvested in creating a digital infrastructure.

“The Internet is expensive because the deployment of fibre where towers will be linked is similarly costly. So, if the Government is to deploy fibres, so that Smart, Globe, and DITO can connect to our fibres and distribute Internet to residential areas. We do not wish to compete with the private sector market,” said Secretary Caintic.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, Vice Chairperson for the Senate Committee on Finance, also expressed his support for the immediate completion of the NBP.

“This is the backbone of the economy. In this day and age of modern information technology, we have no reason to not catch up or be at par with the neighboring countries considering that investors look at Internet speed, among the factors considered for investment,” said Senator Lacson.

In comparison to neighbouring countries, the Philippines has a lower budget for its National Broadband Network. Indonesia is reported to have allocated over US$22 billion for its 5-year plan, Vietnam allocated US$820 million on a 23,000km system submarine cable, Singapore is improving their networks by spending US$550 million, while Australia and New Zealand have allocated around US$37 billion and US$1.19 billion, respectively.

For the DICT, ‘South Korea, one of the countries in the world with the fastest Internet, is a model country for those who aspire to improve their Internet connectivity’. In 1995, the Government of South Korea initiated the Korean Information Infrastructure Project, a 10-year program that started with laying internet infrastructure between government buildings.

In 1995, South Korea had only one Internet user for every one hundred citizens, but by 2002, the country had increased this to around 55 Internet users per hundred citizens.

The South Korean Government allocated US$27.6 billion to build a national broadband backbone network, mainly through optical fibre cables, and was able to roll out country-wide broadband by 1998.

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Nintex completes acquisition of K2 Software to become ‘world’s largest private process automation provider’

Workflow automation services vendor Nintex announced that it has completed its acquisition of US-based K2 Software Inc., a low-code process automation platform.

This acquisition makes Nintex the world’s largest privately-held process automation software vendor.

“It’s exciting to officially bring two technology innovators together to help organizations everywhere solve their process problems and automate work with easy-to-use and powerful software solutions,” said Nintex CEO Eric Johnson.

Nintex is expected to scale K2’s medium-to-high-level process automation technology to expand its global footprint. K2’s strong presence and capabilities in Europe will also help Nintex enhance its partner ecosystem in the region.

“We look forward to providing our customers and partners with more new and innovative solutions that truly do improve the way people work,” added Mr. Johnson.

K2 is Nintex’s third acquisition since Thoma Bravo became the company’s majority investor in early 2018.

K2 is said to have thrived in the area of medium-to medium-high-level process automation complexity. Nintex has thrived at the wide end of the DPA market, with a huge customer base, many of which have deployed thousands of applications on the platform.

“Rapidly growing markets offer great opportunities as well as risk. When SharePoint exploded in the 2008 time frame, both Nintex and K2 leveraged the moment and grew rapidly. As we now face another huge market shift, the two will have the opportunity to do it again as teammates instead of competitors,” wrote Principal Analyst and VP for Forrester, Rob Koplowitz.

Nintex serves half of the Fortune 500 companies and generates over US$200 million in annual revenue.

“Nintex’s growth strategy is paying off and this move will further accelerate its plan to become one of the largest providers of process automation. While both firms have geographic distribution, K2 has some strong capabilities in Europe that will help to enhance the overall Nintex global customer community and partner ecosystem,” said Aragon CEO and Lead Analyst, Jim Lundy,

K2 has 1.5 million users in 84 countries and currently serves several high-profile clients including Microsoft and Louis Vuitton’s parent company LVMH. Therefore, the acquisition is set to be mutually beneficial to both companies and their portfolio of clients.

“Combining K2 with Nintex expands the total addressable market available to Nintex as K2’s portfolio brings in the ability to work with more complex data types as well as case management. This combination also shores up the company’s position as a leading provider of process automation and workflow tools running on Azure,” said IDC Program VP for Integration and Process Automation, Maureen Fleming.

Microsoft leveraged K2 Five to build an automated solution to handle the content publication process for Microsoft.com and its global team that operates over 450 eCommerce sites. Microsoft efficiently streamlined the product promotion process, saving time, and reducing publishing errors by ensuring the right content and asset information is captured from the initial request and accurately represented across its digital stores in 240 markets.

Terms of the deal between Nintex and K2 will not be disclosed.

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