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January 15, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 10:07am

Commercial collocation giant plants huge footprint in Thailand with mega data centre

News: APAC already took over EMEA’s colo lead as cloud and digital services try to reach 4bn people living in the region.

By Joao Lima

Known for its jumbo data centres, US provider Switch has now unveiled plans to build yet another large facility, this time in Asia.

Rumours of the expansion into Thailand first surfaced in October last year, but at that time the company played down the prospect.

Under its plans to expand internationally, the company will be investing $300 million to build a 6,000 data server racks hub in Hemmaraj Industrial Estate, in the eastern province of Chonburi next to Bangkok.

Switch’s APAC data centre comes in a time the region is experiencing a boom in this sector, fuelled by digital and cloud services.

According to 451 Research, APAC’s top four data centre markets (Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia) are nearly equivalent to the EU’s top four (UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands).

The data centre space in the region has not only been bolstered by collocation providers like Switch, Equinix or Digital Realty. Cloud and services providers, like Microsoft, Google and AWS, have also tapped into the APAC market with the construction of data centres worth millions of Dollars.

According to Gartner, the public cloud services in the APAC region has in 2015 reached $7.4 billion, up from the previous year’s $6.5 billion. By 2018, this value is expected to increase to $11.5 billion.

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As the worldwide collocation market is expected to be $36.1 billion by the end of 2017 – up from 2015’s $22.8 billion – the APAC region has already taken over EMEA in this segment in Q1 2015, according to 451 Research.

Jihann Pedersen, marketing director Europe at Digital Realty, told CBR: "The current data centre boom in APAC reflects a growing confidence in the region, thus also reflecting a maturing data centre collocation market.

"Although each country has different characteristics, strong fundamentals in the region are driven by both consumer demand supported by a large demographic base, high mobile penetration, the modernisation of enterprises’ ICT infrastructure and adoption of cloud services (public and private cloud)."

In terms of operational square feet, the APAC region is the second largest in the world with 26.51% of the market. North America represents 42.58%, while EMEA follows APAC close by with a 26.36% stake, 451 Research has found.

Operator Switch is now in place to help the APAC region grow its importance even more in the collocation spectrum.

The company claims the Thailand facility will be the largest in the country and the first Uptime Institute rated Tier IV Gold data centre in Asia.

Covering 12 hectares of land in total, the complex will join 14 other data centres currently operating in Thailand joining companies like NTT Communications, CAT Telecom, KIRZ, JasTel Network and T.C.C. Technology.

The hub will be strategically built outside the flood zone, 110-meters above sea level and 27 kilometres away from the international submarine cable landing station, which links the facility to national and international telecoms and IT carriers.

The data centre will be supported by two separate and newly-installed power sub-stations in order to provide additional redundancy and resilience to the facility.

The SUPERNAP Thailand data centre is expected to open in the first quarter of 2017. SUPERNAP International is developing the project in partnership with a group of Thai organisations, including CPB Equity, Kasikorn Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and True IDC.

Executives from local Kasikorn Bank and Siam Commercial Bank said the development of the SUPERNAP Thailand data centre will enhance the banks’ use of technology to better serve their customers and provide a home-grown solution for Thai companies that seek to expand their IT capabilities.

Khaled Bichara, CEO of SUPERNAP International, said: "The SUPERNAP Thailand data centre is a mirror of Switch SUPERNAP US facilities, which are the first Tier IV Gold carrier-neutral collocation data centres on the planet.

"With the emergence of the AEC and with Thailand’s focus on digital growth, this data centre will set a new precedent for quality, security and innovation in Asia Pacific."

Siam Commercial Bank CFO and SUPERNAP Thailand chairman Deepak Sarup, said that the facility will play an important role to support the country’s business development by showcasing Thailand as a regional hub for data centres.

Switch’s SUPERNAP Thailand data centre is the lasted to be announced by the company following months of heavy expansion.

The American firm is currently also building what it claims to be the world’s largest data centre in Reno, Nevada, at nearly 6.5 million sq ft with up to 650 MVA of power. Ebay is set to become an anchor tenant.

The company is also investing a further $2 billion to expend its Las Vegas data centre campus. The Las Vegas Digital Exchange Campus is the world’s second largest data centre. Once the site’s construction is finished, the hub will be 2,365,838 sq ft with power reaching up to 325 MVA.

In October 2015, the operator unveiled its first overseas expansion in Milan, Italy. The $300 million, 450,000 sq ft, and 40MW hub in Milan has also been designed to achieve Uptime Institute’s Tier IV certification.

In November, Switch has confirmed plans to invest $5 billion in a new campus in a pyramid shaped building is located in West Michigan, US. The company has been granted the tax benefits it requested, and was on January 1 handed the total ownership of the land in which the building sits in by Norman Properties.

Last week, the company made public that it will power all its Nevada hubs with 100% renewable energy, covering 180-megawatts of power.

Daniel Beazer, analyst at Cogeco Peer 1, told CBR: "At the moment, green data centres are a niche requirement. For SwitchNAP it is different because they put their data centres in the middle of a great big desert, so it makes sense for them."


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