Profiling data centres in Singapore

September 2, 2015 / By

In today’s world, we are in contact with data almost every waking minute, be it at work, while commuting or spending leisure time at the mall or in front of the television. In fact, we rely on data every time we use our mobile phones.

With the continual increase in demand for data, how has the physical structure where data is housed been evolving, especially in Singapore? What are the challenges that we face?

Singapore Data Centres

Within South East Asia, Singapore is one of the choice locations to host data centres as it offers a conducive business, social and political environment. These factors are essential for ensuring a secure and uninterrupted operation of the data storage facility.

Data centres are considered as e-business activity and allowed within industrial and business park zonings. As the majority of data centres are designed to suit the needs of a specific end-user, some developers acquire under-utilised light industrial properties at reduced prices, converting them into data storage facilities to suit the end-user.

It is estimated there are more than 40 data centres in Singapore, made up of captive data centres[1] for software companies, along with third-party hosts that support smaller data centre providers as well as end-user clients from a myriad of industries.

Supporting this demand, the government has set aside land in Jurong for the development of a designated Data Centre Park, slated to complete in 2016.

Some of the major data centre locations in Singapore


Source: JLL Research

Challenges ahead

Based on Cisco’s Global Cloud Index released in 2014, annual global data Internet Protocol (IP) traffic by end-2018 will almost triple that in 2013. Additionally, a recent press release from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) stated that global mobile data traffic would likely grow 40-60% in the next few years[2].

Given the high technological specifications and round-the-clock operation, energy consumption for a data centre is very high. Added to this is the need for energy-guzzling cooling systems to curb Singapore’s hot and humid climate. Going forward, the already high carbon footprint for this asset class is set to enlarge as global demand for data analytics and the Internet of Things boom, and the only solution is to use green technologies.

In response, numerous government initiatives such as IDA’s Green Data Centre Innovation Programme and the Building & Construction Authority’s Green Mark Programme for data centres are underway, encouraging collaboration among stakeholders in developing energy efficient solutions in formulating and applying best-in-class technologies. Nonetheless, given the blazing speed with which the internet is transforming, more can definitely be done to ensure a sustainable computing infrastructure.

[1]Captive data centres are data centres owned and operated by end-users/clients such as software companies.

[2] These figures are based on studies by industry players and consultancy firms such as Cisco, Ericsson and Gartner.


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