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Market Highlight: Singapore's Data Center Ecosystem

For global tech companies and startups, the attraction of alpha+ world city, Singapore, can be linked to its prime location, large content distribution networks, pro-business government and political stability.

The city-state’s corporate tax rate of 17% (the lowest in the APAC region) and generous economic incentives have also aided Singapore’s bid to attract entrepreneurs and foreign investment. Home to 24 submarine cables, Singapore is one of the most connected locations in the world, with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM Softlayer and Google Cloud present in the island city-state. Last month, Alibaba also revealed that it had selected Singapore as one of seven locations to host its research labs, part of the company’s new US $15 billion global research programme.Singapore’s telecommunications sector is considered one of the most advanced globally, boasting an enviable network infrastructure and first-class connectivity. And with a strong government influence advocating innovation and growth, Singapore was able to top the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Network Readiness Index (NRI) for the second year running.Prior to the new millennium, Singapore’s government maintained a strong monopoly in the telecommunication industry with its home-grown telco, Singtel. However, it has since divested to a 54% stake in the company and, since deregulating the industry, Singapore has seen significant year-on-year growth. Singapore’s data center sector is robust and is expected to grow by nine percent this year, reaching SGD $1.2 billion, with Structure Research naming the main drivers of growth as big data analytics, cloud computing and data recovery.Despite Singapore’s small population of just 5.6 million residents, the city-state is home to 61 data centers and four network fabrics: Megaport, SGIX, Equinix IX and Console.Amongst Singapore’s 400+ service providers, Singtel remains one of the three major internet service providers, alongside Starhub and M1.A recent risk index report released by real estate services company, Cushman & Wakefield, ranked Singapore as the most robust market in the Asia Pacific region for the operation of data centers, ahead of South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan. Based on total facilities by country however, Singapore is ranked the 20th data center market in the world, trailing Belgium and Poland, and just ahead of New Zealand and South Africa.Equinix dominates Singapore’s data center rankings, with Global Switch, Cyxtera and 1-NET also having a considerable presence. Using Cloudscene’s rankings tool, we’ve taken a closer look at the city-state’s colocation data centers and can reveal that the top 10 data centers in Singapore are:

  1. SG1 - Equinix
  2. SG2 - Equinix
  3. Global Switch Singapore - Global Switch
  4. SG2 Singapore - Cyxtera
  5. 1-Net East - 1-NET
  6. Singapore - ASCENIX
  7. STT Tai Seng 1 - ST Telemedia Global Data Centres
  8. New Tech Park - Epsilon Telecommunications
  9. 29A International Business Park - Digital Realty
  10. 1-Net North - 1-NET

The ecosystem-style ranking is unique to Cloudscene’s data and calculated based on the number of known service providers and Points of Presence (PoPs) in each facility. Cushman & Wakefield’s recent study predicted that data center supply in Singapore would grow by 15 to 18 percent in the next 12 months, with data center occupancy rates to reach 70 percent by the end of 2018.There are plenty of industry news headlines to support this projection, with construction, expansion and investment announcements in Singapore dominating our data center newsfeeds. In March, real estate investor, Mapletree Industrial Trust, announced it had secured land in the West Region of Singapore to establish a build-to-suit (BTS) data center for an “established data center operator” which remained un-named. The six-storey US $42m data center is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018.Huawei and Keppel Data Centres confirmed in May this year that they would jointly develop a new-generation data center in Tampines, Singapore. The 183,000 square foot facility will showcase new technologies such as energy-efficient data center management systems, deep learning and AI. Earlier this month, Keppel Data Centres also announced it has signed an MOU with Singapore Internet Exchange Limited (SGIX), to set-up a PoP within its Northeast Singapore data center: Singapore 1.In July, Equinix declared it would be investing US $41.8m to expand its SG2 data center. The development will increase their data center capacity by 47,666 square feet and add 1,400 cabinets to the facility. Equinix's South Asia Managing Director, Clement Goh, said, “The expansion of SG2 reinforces Singapore’s position as Asia Pacific’s network hub, a gateway market for businesses looking to expand or make their first move into Southeast Asia.”Cyber security is also a dominant headline in Singapore, with Ernst & Young releasing a study earlier this year suggesting four in every five Singaporeans are worried about how data is collected, stored and used. “With high levels of connectivity and concentration of data centers, Singapore must also be extra vigilant of the cyber risk environment. The outlook for Singapore as a Smart Nation is positive, but there is no room for complacency given how digitally well-informed and demanding the population is,” said Ernst & Young’s Asean Advisory Digital Leader, Jonathan Rees.Singapore's favorable economy and data center industry has driven demand to the extent that there is talk of a land shortage problem in the future. Solutions such as converting industrial properties into data centers, and building multi-story data centers and underground facilities are being investigated to accommodate Singapore’s long-term growth.To find out more about the Singapore data center market, take a look at Cloudscene’s world-class directory. Looking for connectivity services in Singapore? Create a free buyer's listing on Cloudscene's independent telco marketplace.

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