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Q&A: Aim for a SEA data centre hub

Zafar Anjum | July 10, 2013
There is a unique opportunity for the various emerging markets to pool their resources and collaborate to form a South East Asian data centre hub, says CEO of CSF Group Adrian Yong.

There is a unique opportunity for the various emerging markets to pool their resources and collaborate to form a South East Asian data centre hub, says CEO of CSF Group Adrian Yong.

Singapore is making a major push to become a data centre hub in the region. You propose that Singapore should abandon this drive. Why do you think this is a fool's errand or a wild goose chase for Singapore?

We reckon that Singapore should leverage on South East Asia's value proposition to push itself as the data centre hub. We realised that we should harness SEA's skilled resources, land space, connectivity, political stability and growing market. Not a single country has all of the requirements.

Heavy competition between countries in this region will be detrimental to all parties involved. Moreover as cloud computing continues to gain adoption, we must remember that the data centre location is invisible to the end user and the ideal location must be able to cater to the said requirements.

Will it be more appealing if countries in the ASEAN region made a joint push for being a data centre hub?

There is a unique opportunity for the various emerging markets to pool their resources and collaborate to form a South East Asian data centre hub. When two parties both have something the other needs, it is only logical that they band together to provide a complete, competitive offering. 

With the advent of cloud computing, and increasing connectivity requirements it makes sense for data centre operators to spread their operations across multiple countries in the region. For example, instead of simply expanding a data centre in Singapore, one could opt to host their data in Iskandar, Malaysia as well and use the Iskandar facility to store and process data while their Singapore centre can be used to as a connectivity hub. This would ultimately lead to significant savings due to Malaysia's lower infrastructure and energy costs and Singapore's cheaper connectivity.

The real pull factor would be if these countries band together to provide just one set of compliance and billing requirements, improving the ease of doing business in this region.

Spreading operations across multiple countries in the region is also a good way to avoid placing all your eggs in the same basket. Even with the lack of natural disasters, one never knows when a catastrophic failure may occur. Having a backup facility in a neighbouring country would allow one to negate such a possibility, ensuring uptime and still allow for ease of access to the facility.

What will you say to the companies that are expanding their data centre business in Singapore? Should they pack up and leave?

 

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