Predictions for APAC data centres in 2018

The holiday season is under way for many around the world. However, in the world of data, things show no signs of slowing down. And 2018 looks set to be a transformative year in every way. Below we take a look at some of the reasons why. Everything from data centres and volumes, through to industries and technologies.

1. Singapore to grow as a hub

A recent Cushman & Wakefield report rates Singapore as APAC’s top location for data centres. This is based on criteria including energy, ease of doing business, political climate, geography, energy and internet bandwidth. “The network and IT services vertical represent the largest market share for colocation capacity in Singapore followed by the massive-scale cloud, financial services, and government verticals,” says Jabez Tan, research director at Structure Research.

2. Data and the exabyte era

APAC’s IP traffic will reach 108 exabytes per month by 2021, according to Cisco. What’s more, Equinix expect a massive (46% CAGR) interconnection bandwidth increase in the region. This is down to factors including increased urbanisation, the rise in mobile, and cloud.

3. Machine learning on the rise

Humans can only do so much to process the vast volumes of data. While data scientists continue to be in high demand, there’ll be a rise in machines that can understand context – a transformative tipping point – employed to help organisations gain a competitive edge. Pan Yee Pang, senior vice-president for commercial business in South Asia and Korea at Dell EMC, expects to ‘see a new type of IT professional focused on AI training and fine-tuning,’ with APAC being the ‘home of these skills, with AI dominating the skillsets of future talent.”

4. Evolving security threats

Expect a rise in demand for next-generation technologies to combat next-generation threats. Predictive analytics to identify and avert – at scale – threats to organisations. Real-time protection (vulnerabilities can take weeks to appear). In 2018 ‘we will see AI versus AI in a cyber security context. Cyber criminals will use AI to attack and explore victims’ networks, which is typically the most labour-intensive part of compromise after an incursion,” says Sherif El Nabawi, senior director of system engineering at Symantec Asia-Pacific.

5. Partnering and colocation

Across industries, the race is on to serve up ever-more personalised services and experiences. This level of agility and speed often requires partnering – for example banks and fintech startups. The solution for many is colocation, connecting networks directly and bypassing the public internet. According to Cloudscene, the world’s largest directory of colocation data centres, ‘It’s likely that we’ll see more APAC cities make their way to a top ten spot [in Cloudscene’s Top 10 Colocation Ecosystems].’

6. IoT goes global

Processing power continues to fall, which will help fuel increasing numbers of IoT applications at city level. That’s where APAC will experience huge growth, due to its many government-backed ‘smart city’ projects. Reports suggest there will be $60+ billion has been earmarked for the region.

Rise of the data ecosystem

None of these predictions exist in isolation.

After all, you can’t have predictive analytics without data. And you can’t partner with like-minded organisations if you don’t have the necessary bandwidth or networks.

The good news for APAC is that there’s still plenty of room for growth. A CBRE report finds that the region can absorb an extra 140MW of data, equivalent to 2-4 million square feet of additional real estate, making it ‘on a par with existing US and European levels.’ Taking advantage requires an ecosystem approach, where there are interdependencies. A next-generation data centre offers all this.


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