The need for datacenters—modern, agile, open and efficient—has grown significantly worldwide, especially in the APAC region mainly due to increased focus on trends such as big data, mobility, interoperable hardware, cloud computing, 3D printing, and artificial intelligence. The APAC region is also moving rapidly to leverage IoT (Internet of Things) for improving customer experience. But IoT is easier said than done as it requires robust support infrastructure and seamless connectivity for uninterrupted service. At the heart of this is a great datacenter. Consequently, large enterprises are on the lookout for setting up their datacenter in places where they have the minimum assurance of connectivity and support. Eyeing this as a business opportunity Digital Realty opened the second datacenter platform in Singapore recently.
While the new datacenter platform spans approximately 177,000 square feet, Digital Realty already has a datacenter platform in Singapore with an area of 370,500 square feet where it houses the datacenters of some of the leading companies in the region. Dataquest got a chance to visit the company’s first datacenter in Singapore recently. Digital Realty’s first datacenter became fully operational in 2011 and was recently awarded the Green Mark Platinum certification under the category of ‘existing colocation datacenter.’ At 370,500 square feet, it is the largest of the company’s datacenters in the Asia Pacific region.
The datacenter building claims to meet all security standards, not only to meet regulatory framework but to offer customers the desired trust. Digital Realty had to request for permission from its customers into the leased area to show us the various facets of the infrastructure it provides to its customers. “Our aim is to ensure that customers get the best infrastructure to run their datacenter on our premises. Our customers come from different industries. They are banks, retailers, and healthcare companies. This is the reason that our existing
facility is nearly leased out,” revealed Daryl Dunbar, Managing Director, Asia Pacific at Digital Realty. To ensure that the datacenter remains operational even in the event of grid failure or other natural disasters, there is huge space dedicated to high-capacity power generators. “To prevent any instance of power failure, we have high-capacity UPS installed on every floor through which the electricity passes. In addition, power generators are there to meet any crises,” told Dunbar.
EXPANDING THE OPERATIONS
Dunbar further said that Digital Realty is keen to explore new and emerging markets for the datacenter business . Its second datacenter in Singapore is a step in that direction. “We’ve developed the new datacenter, which is half the size of this to meet the growing demand for the reliable datacenter platform in the APAC region. We plan to invest $200 mn in the new facility for customer configuration, density, and scope,” added Dunbar. For its new facility, Digital Realty has entered into a purchase agreement with the seller and has obtained Jurong Town Corporation’s (JTC) consent for lease assignment. Legal completion is expected to occur in early July 2015, although power and fiber works are already underway, the company said.
Likewise, Digital Realty is keen to make inroads into the Indian and South Korean markets. While the company’s executives shied away from sharing any timeline to set up a datacenter in India, they expressed interest to soon for ay into the country. “Many of our Indian customers are already using our Singapore facility for datacenter. This gives us the confidence to enter the Indian market. However, it largely depends on the right time,” shared Dunbar. On being asked, whether Digital Realty would be keen on acquisitions, Dunbar said, “We are open to acquisitions for expansion in any APAC region.”
Digital Realty is not interested in any kind of pricewar and is willing to stay focused on providing the best infrastructure to large customers who want to leverage cloud and IoT to compete globally. “Our first datacenter in Singapore marked Digital Realty’s entrance into one of Asia Pacific’s rapid expansion markets and enabled our global clients to enter the city-state and serve other regional markets,” informed Dunbar.
While interacting with multiple stakeholders, we realized how significantly Singapore has risen up on the datacenter graph and emerged as the trusted hub for customers. India needs to learn from Singapore and come out with regulations that support and favor the growth of the datacenter business. Right now the entire European Union business is going to Singapore as India has failed to meet the data security standards set by EU. Besides, India needs to provide uninterrupted power-supply which is the biggest deterrent right now.
If these primary issues are addressed well in time, India could take a lead in the space. Already, major IT companies are setting up their datacenters in India. Soon, Microsoft will announce three datacenters in India and Netmagic has recently announced its fourth datacenter in India.