Vietnam – Fast Forward

By March 2019Uncategorized

Vietnam – Fast Forward

Vietnam – Fast Forward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STOP PRESS: – Just In

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

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

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

Look forward to seeing you all then.

Author

Spencer Denyer

Chief Editor, W.Media

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