Data Centers

PlatformDIGITAL® and Growth Opportunities in the APAC Region, with Digital Realty’s CC Wong and Mark Smith

The growing need for network services and IT infrastructure has forced the data center industry to establish stronger connectivity between markets and diversify operations globally. Of all these markets, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region has seen the fastest growth over the past few years, and businesses like Digital Realty are facilitating this expansion.

In April 2021, we spoke with Digital Realty to discuss the value of enterprise data in the APAC region. Almost a year on, we wanted to reconnect with the team and sit down with the Managing Director of APAC, Mark Smith and Product Director, CC Wong to gain insight into growth opportunities in the APAC region and discuss the exciting development of PlatformDIGITAL®, Digital Realty’s first of its kind global data center platform.

The shift in the global data-center market

As we enter the third year of the global pandemic, the digital economy is experiencing unprecedented growth and showing no signs of slowing down.

“Since our last interview, everyone has been talking about ‘the new normal’, and we’ve seen exponential growth in the data center market over the past two years due to the dramatic transformation in the way we interact with each other. Our lives have become much more digital.”

The demand for data centers and cloud services are now coming from many different directions. Large-scale companies like Google and Amazon, as well as small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have over the past few years become increasingly reliant on digital solutions, and network service providers have expanded their operations accordingly.

Opportunities in APAC

The APAC region is the largest data center market in the world and is expected to continue to grow at a 13% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between now and 2027.

“In the past 12 months, Digital Realty has launched six data centers across five countries in the APAC region. It is an interesting market with new opportunities and market diversity,” says Wong.

Diversity is the primary reason there is so much opportunity for growth in this region. Tier 1 countries like Hong Kong and Singapore. Rapid growth in these areas indicate that demand and opportunities for further development still exist. On the other hand, countries like South Korea are less developed with a greater potential for growth.

“We recently launched the Downtown Seoul Megacentre – a downtown edge location, connecting all seven of the local carriers in one location. It is the first global carrier-neutral, fiber-neutral provider in the country,” adds Smith.

Essentially, the opportunity for growth is as vast as the region’s diversity.

PlatformDIGITAL® and the future of Digital Realty

Digital Realty continues to build upon its position as a global platform for data center solutions and interconnective workflows by providing a more streamlined experience for their customers.

In 2021, the company released an updated industry manifesto, outlining a new collaborative roadmap. One of the key objectives in the roadmap is to integrate several connectivity platforms and work with multiple partners to build the industry’s largest fabric-of-fabrics. The project will enable enterprises to further digitize their practices and grow in a more secure, global interconnected network.

The roadmap also outlines the plan for updates to Digital Realty's PlatformDIGITAL®. The platform is a multifaceted hub and enterprise retail offering, that allows scaling companies to optimize performance without risking security and control. Essentially, it allows SMEs to have the same level of performance and flexibility from their network and data center services as the bigger players.

The updated roadmap outlines new capabilities available to customers through PlatformDIGITAL®, here are some examples:

  • Coverage: customer and partner demand has led to expansions in new markets in EMEA, APAC and LATAM regions. In core markets, the platform is increasing land banks, adding incremental capacity and ecosystem density.
  • Capacity: PlatformDIGITAL® now facilitates increased density options for High Performance Computing, and a blended experience of colocation and mixed configuration deployments.
  • Connectivity: the platform has added open, SDN-enabled cross-platform orchestration, and the option for a multi-path with partners through native, direct network paths between campuses. Additionally, plans for the industry’s largest open ‘fabric of fabrics’, which will allow Digital Realty to effectively address the growing intensity of enterprise data creation and its gravitational impact on IT architectures.
  • Control: PlatformDIGITAL® now provides enriched APIs to customers and partners by extending direct systems access, based on ecosystem priorities. The platform also delivers a global portal with multi-platform interface, driven by the voice of the customer.

Ultimately, the goal of PlatformDIGITAL® is to cultivate an interconnected community of data center campuses and to remove legacy barriers in the industry to reduce the complexity of digital transformation.

Building a more sustainable future

Digital Realty has also taken steps towards balancing digitization with sustainability and plans to make environmentally conscious practices an integral pillar of their present and future operations.

The organization's key priorities, as outlined in their Sustainability Policy, are to measure and report on key energy, water and carbon metrics, empower clients and employees to improve their energy efficiency, and emphasize the importance of sustainable practices through industry education.

In 2020 alone, the firm achieved 100% renewable energy coverage in Europe, joined the EU Climate Neutral Data Center Pact (CNDCP) to achieve carbon neutrality for the EU portfolio by 2030, and reduced their global colocation power usage effectiveness (PUE) by 11%. These feats represent a fraction of the progress Digital Realty has made and indicate the firm's commitment to providing excellent service in a sustainable manner.

With the global digital market expected to grow even further in the coming years, companies like Digital Realty are helping enterprises thrive in rapidly changing landscapes. In this space, APAC will continue to flourish as more markets develop their infrastructure to keep pace with ever-increasing demand.

Think Digital Realty could be right for your business?

Visit their website or Cloudscene profile to learn how they can help your team further digitize your practices and grow in a more secure, global interconnected network.

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Contributor: CC Wong, Product Director, APAC

CC Wong joined Digital Realty in January 2021 as the Product Director for APAC Colocation Services. His key role is to grow the Enterprise Colocation services in APAC. 

Mr Wong comes to Digital Realty with more than 20 years of experience in the Data Center / Telecommunication Service industry, with experience ranging from Solutions Architect, Business Operations and Product Management. Mr Wong has a Bachelor of Engineering Degree and a Global Executive MBA degree from CUHK.

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