Data centers in APAC: surging ahead into 2020

Asia Pacific / All

Paul Dwyer Regional Data Center Lead, JLL Asia Pacific
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A passionate sports fan, Paul is an expert in all things related to data centers and rugby.

Conference season for the data center industry is truly underway. I had the pleasure of speaking at DCD Converged in Shanghai and ICU in Hong Kong recently—and what’s apparent is that as we move toward 2020, APAC is at the tipping point of a data surge.  With that thought in mind, here are a few trends to keep a look out for:

Primary markets will continue to strengthen

Don’t let talk of the emergence of new market demand and supply detract from the fact that the big will get bigger. In the run up to 2020, expect to see further consolidation into the primary market powerhouses of Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney as their superior connectivity and infrastructure still gives them a clear advantage over secondary and emerging markets.

Get ready for a ubiquitous cloud zone

While speaking with a large US operator at one of the conferences, word on the street is that web service giants believe that we’ll soon see every country on earth eventually having its own cloud zone.  Whether you think that is fact or fiction, more zones—along with countries—will emerge quickly.  The issue will trigger the need for governments to create the capacity strategies required in order to meet demand.

Edge computing will evolve

The Edge—the concept of data collection at the edge of a network—is a likely solution for South East Asia in particular.  However, it will evolve into a slightly different model in the fact that it is still on the edge of the network but the deployment size will change to a multi-megawatt level. The concept will remain the same, but these multi-megawatt nodes will extend the network, bringing the source of data closer to the users.

E-commerce and social medianot yet old news

Some say “e-commerce and social media have reached maximum capacity”… wrong! Everyday actions such as dialing into your social media applications are not yet the norm for many in the region, and the emerging markets have some serious growth ahead of them.  Indonesia—the poster child of the emerging markets and the third-highest Facebook market globally—is only at 40 percent capacity for social media and even less for things like e-commerce and smart phone penetration. Any guesses on where the next wave of demand will hit?

IoT from the workplace and urbanization will grow

Where we live and work is evolving. As businesses, cities and individuals alike join the race to keep up with technology, the production and consumption of data will rise quickly—whether it’s in VR, AI or driverless cars, the data wave generated by IoT will be huge.

Pairing Hyperscale with Edge

Where possible, primary markets in the region will develop organically with large, hyperscale builds as the demand is there and the infrastructure is incredibly resilient.  The strategy for data suppliers to pair this with the emerging markets will be intriguing: headlines such as “Cloud company satisfies rapid growth demand in Indonesia by installing 15MW in Singapore and 5MW in Jakarta” will not be uncommon.

Surging into 2020

It’s apparent from speaking and listening at industry events that the data center market globally has exploded into life once again. There hasn’t been a complete evolution in the sector yet, but as data demand rises, I can easily imagine 2020 where a company’s data center strategy is discussed with as much importance as its bottom line.

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