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Cloud Computing Seen to Boost Asian Data Centers

This Year So Far Has Seen a Rebound from a Down 2009

It's the Year of the Tiger throughout Asia, even in the overwhelmingly Christian and Muslim Philippines. Nothing like a good icon to give people an excuse to party.

The year may be propitious in bringing back some growl to a region once famed for its "Asian Tiger" economies, if the growth of Cloud Computing continues to have a positive affect throughout the region.

One specific growth area is that of data centers, or server farms. I worried a week or so ago that it was simply too hot to afford the air-conditioning required in most of this region to make server farms a valid business proposition, ie, one that is not propped up by government subsidy year after year.

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Then again, roads, trains, airlines, and even one of the world's two major airline manufacturers are propped up by governments, given what is considered their utilitarian, essential nature for a healthy society. So I'll stop worrying about server-farm profitability for the moment.

Certainly, a number of private companies in the region have already worried enough about it to create significant business.

A colleague of mine recently reported to me the continued construction of server farms in India, as well as a high demand for data center services in Singapore; the latter opinion was recently corroborated by an analyst at IDC Asia-Pacific.

One fascinating company is the Asia Data Center Alliance, a collection of four companies based, respectively, in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Collectively, these folks have about 450,000 square feet consumed by servers, a space approximating 10 acres in size. The collective is projecting anywhere from 18 to 30 percent growth over the next 12 months.

But hold on, Cloud Computing is not the only driver. In fact, managed services--which are outsourced, too, but provide very specific resources without the virtualized flexibility and pay-as-you-go approach of Cloud--seem to be the primary driver.

A government official in the region recently and tersely told me that security is, in essence, a dealstopper for Cloud Computing to be considered for government work today. Yet, you'll get a grave nod of heads if you ask whether the datacenter vendors are planning for a serious upsurge in Cloud Computing requests, including from government agencies.

Singapore's status as regional financial capital also makes it the most attractive location for datacenters currently. But it's a crowded place. As you move away from financial services (and that industry's serious need to attack latency), and as companies (and the countries that will host them) focus on uptime, security, and flexibility, we can expect the data farms to sprout up throughout Southeast Asia.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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