Industry News: EPP3 > Data Centre
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September 27, 2011 - (Malaysian Business (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The government realises that there will come a time when most businesses will need data centres and Malaysia has the geographical stability to meet this need. And today, home grown data centres are slowly but surely making their presence felt regionally and globally.
Demand for data centre services and facilities are expected to remain robust in Southeast Asia, and there will be increased competition between Singapore and Malaysia in particular as critical locations.
According to BroadGroup Consulting's study, competition at regional level is intensifying, which presents location insensitive enterprises with a choice most often influenced by the most critical factors.
The study shows that data centre decisions present significant challenges, as user transaction demand is accelerating, storage requirements intensify and the need for bandwidth and connectivity increases.
Added to all this, global pressures to reduce carbon emissions, curtail energy requirements, introduce green technologies and comply with a range of legislative and regulatory mandates have collectively provided a new dynamic to enterprise IT decisions.
`On that note, Malaysia could well see data centre space more than double over the next four to five years,' says Steve Wallage, managing director of BroadGroup Consulting.
He points out that Malaysia would be an ideal location for IT- based centres due to its stable geographical environment with no major disasters like earthquakes and with growing opportunities in cloud-related services in the country. At home, the Malaysian government believes data centres can play a vital role in the country's economic growth.
In fact, it expects this space to contribute about RM2.4 billion of gross national income and create some 13,290 jobs by end-2020.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak last year announced a national master plan comprising public-private sector economic activities to transform Malaysia into a high-income nation. Dubbed the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) and facilitated by its government arm, Pemandu, the scheme seeks to double the country's per-capita income to US$15,000 by 2020.
It encompasses 131 entry-point projects (EPP), which the government says will outline actions required to grow the local economy. One of these involves the upgrading and development of three data centre providers - MyTelehaus, CSF Group and Teliti Datacentre - for approximately RM400 million, aimed at turning Malaysia into a data centre hub.
As part of this, the Prime Minister outlined his government's aspiration "to grow the data centre space from 0.5 million to 5 million sq ft by 2020 and establish Malaysia as the preferred destination for regional data centre investors".
Teliti is currently building a fully-integrated, carrier neutral, `green' data centre which, at 120,000 sq ft of net lettable area, will be one of the largest in Asia. Located in the Bandar Enstek technology park in Negeri Sembilan, the facility is scheduled to open in the first half of 2012.
OTHER PLAYERS Other home grown data centre operators are also stamping their marks in this space by offering better and new services and solutions that appeal not only to local customers but also to companies at regional and global level.
For example, AIMS Group, a data centre operator that owns and manages network neutral data centres, is set to further invest RM80 million to expand its existing data centre and build a new centre.
Chief executive officer Chiew Kok Hin says the company, already considered as one of South-East Asia's leading carrier-neutral data centre operators, wanted to add two more floors at its current data centre in KL.
`As of now, we have six floors here in KL and we are working to add two more floors to offer better services,' he explains.
In addition, the company is also in the midst of two more data centres in Johor Baru and Cyberjaya respectively.
Chiew reveals that the group is already running at full capacity at its existing data centre and the new centre would help increase its capacity.
`The centres in Cyberjaya and Johor Baru are expected to commence operation in the first quarter and fourth quarter of 2012 respectively,' he adds.
Chiew hopes with the new capacity in place, the company will also be able to increase its ARPU (average revenue per user).The ARPU varies from few hundreds to few thousands.
Today, AIMS is the only Internet data centre that offers a carrier- neutral environment to international carriers to establish a point of presence in Malaysia.
The data centre is also the home to the Malaysian Internet Exchange, providing solutions for Internet peering and exchange of Internet traffic. It has also expanded its customer base to include the financial services industry, known for their stringent information security standards.
AIMS has been registering double-digit growth in terms of number of carriers it hosts (as with Maxis Bhd, DiGi Bhd and Celcom Axiata Bhd) over the past few years. The group currently has about 200 carriers and service providers from various industries.
Moving forward, Chiew discloses that the group also plans to move up the value chain by offering more value added services. He adds cloud computing would be the foundation on which to provide such value-added services.
CLOUD OFFERINGS Speaking of cloud solutions, another home grown data centre operator, iPerintis Sdn Bhd, recently opened its private-cloud services to other enterprises, especially those in the oil-and-gas industry.
The company, the ICT (information and communications technology) arm for Petronas, is working with virtualisation-software vendor VMware to provide services that include software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, and infrastructure-as-a-service.
Its chief executive officer, John Miller, says the company is positioning itself as a major provider of storage-on-demand, as well as compute-on-demand, for the oil-and-gas sector.
Over the years, iPerintis has expanded its services portfolio to include consultancy, ICT project management, business solutions and solutions integration, as well as the cloud computing solutions.
`We have to be innovative in order to provide our clients with solutions that will drive both business improvement and reduce cost. Our private cloud computing model is a great example of this.' `With private cloud, our customers can expect not only improved business efficiency across the board but also a reduction on its total cost of ICT ownership,' Miller says, adding that it is primarily eyeing the growing Indo China market.
HeiTech Managed Services (HMS), another local data centre operator, is also keen on offering cloud solutions.
Early this year, the company launched Padu M.O.B.S (Managed Online Backup Services), claimed to be the first such hosted backup service in Malaysia, designed especially for small-to-medium businesses (SMBs).
Based on Avamar technology from EMC Computer Systems (Malaysia), Padu M.O.B.S. remotely stores data backed up from an organisation's servers, desktop and notebook PCs, as well as mobile smart phones onto servers at HeiTech Padu's Tier IV secure data centre in Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam.
Its chief executive officer Abdul Halim Md Lassim says this solution enhances the company's competency in providing cloud services in the area of business continuity management, disaster recovery and data protection services.
However, he admits that cloud-related services are still relatively new but its potential is growing, and it had swiftly moved from mere industry hype to a top IT initiative.
GREEN INITIATIVE Another company, Basis Bay, which launched two of its newest data centres - Basis Bay Data Centre (BDC) Cyberjaya and BDC Glenmarie last year, is approaching the market with its green initiative.
Before it launched these two green data centres, Basis Bay already had two data centres in the Temashya Industrial park in Shah Alam and the Kulim Hi Tech Park in Kedah.
Datuk Praba Thiagarajah, Basis Bay Group chief executive officer, realises that more businesses are looking for outsource partners who not only provide IT outsourcing infrastructure services but which can also help them reduce their carbon footprint, without the need for high capital outlay and time lag necessary to build a data centre of that standard from scratch.
He estimates that these green initiatives can save between 20% and 30% of costs, depending on the servers and other equipment hosted within. These data centre's centralised monitoring system monitors the temperature around different devices and adjust the cooling in the vicinity accordingly. Today, Basis Bay has a regional presence in Singapore, Indonesia and India. While leveraging the strength of countries like Malaysia and Singapore that Praba sees as strategic partners, he wants to take this green IT approach to the West.
He shares recently that Basis Bay is looking to expand to Europe and had established an office in the Netherlands, employing local staff. Basis Bay already has a rep office in Switzerland.