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Singapore welcomes new data centre

An international data centre operator officially opened its third data centre in Loyang, bringing its total investment in such centres in Singapore to US$1 billion (S$1.3 billion). This comes as Singapore was ranked among the top 10 data centre markets in the world recently. Data centres are used by organisations to store, process and transmit large amounts of data.

Data Centres, once a niche investment and inflexible asset for global enterprises, are now a cornerstone of the information economy. Over the past decade, US$100 billion has poured into the asset class, according to a Data Centre Market Comparison, a ranking of the global Data Centre markets. This significant capital inflow has been matched by an equally major technical shift, as enterprises have chosen to move workloads off-premises, first to colocation facilities and more recently to a mixture of colocation and public and private clouds.

The new data centre in Singapore called Digital Loyang II, spans 34,000 sqm, or the size of about 27 Olympic-size swimming pools. Digital Loyang II can carry an IT load of 50 megawatts. This is larger than the combined IT load of about 40 megawatts for the first two data centres – Digital Jurong launched in 2010 and Digital Loyang I launched in 2016.
Speaking at the newest data centre’s launch, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said the facility received the highest certification that a data centre can attain under a government Green Mark scheme for such centres. As the digital economy continues to grow, it is important to ensure that the digital infrastructure is as environmentally sustainable as possible, and Digital Loyang II has done well to be over 30% more energy efficient than the industry norm, said the minister.

Recently, the Data Centre Location Index 2021 ranked Singapore as the second-most attractive city to build data centres, out of a total of 50 cities. Another report ranked Singapore’s data centre market as No. 5 out of 48 markets in total.

Moreover, Singapore was also ranked number six in the global data centre market rankings, the only Asian country to be named after the American markets of Northern Virginia, Silicon Valley, Dallas, Chicago, and New York/New Jersey.

Also, a Data Centre Advisory Group advises that enterprises must determine what to do with their on-premises facility, which workloads to move to the cloud and how to implement a hybrid IT strategy. Developers and operators require a parcel with robust fibre and access to power as well as a thorough grasp of the permitting process and all risk factors. Investors must be able to assess the long-term potential of a data centre to hold its value and how easily it can be upgraded. All involved require access to capital and a clear understanding of objectives.

Singapore’s undersea cables and strong business climate have enabled developers to build data centres in the last few years, although the future of its development pipeline hangs in the balance as the city-state pushes forwards with plans for a 36% target reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. Future government allocation of more land to develop data centres will need to factor the pressure on its carbon footprint. Additional data centres mean additional power consumption, resulting in an increased carbon footprint. Singapore may not be the largest in terms of footprint, but it is one of the highest consumers of power per capita.

Singapore will continue to score well in cloud availability and fibre connectivity. Faster, denser fibre generally allows for the lowest latency and better network reliability when functioning with major cloud services. Singapore’s robust fibre network will enhance its position as a regional hub supporting the storage of data that is generated in megacities nearby including Jakarta.

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