Ascendas India Trust announces 90 MW campus in Mumbai
Ascendas India Trust - part of the CapitaLand real estate investment group based out of Singapore - has announced that it is investing heavily in its first data centre site in India. The campus will reportedly be one of the largest facilities in Airoli - a rapidly expanding data centre hub just outside of Navi Mumbai.
Currently, the first phase is scheduled to be operational by Q2 of 2024, and will cover an approximate footprint of 325,000 square feet, representing more than half of the total campus’ available space for data centre installations. When completed, the 6.6-acre greenfield site will have a total built up area of around 575,000 square feet, and be capable of delivering up to 90 MW of critical IT capacity.
When fully developed, the campus will have an overall capacity to host approximately 8,500 racks and operate at a PUE of approximately 1.4. Ascendas has reportedly set aside $216.6mn to purchase and develop the site. It’s likely that this initial investment just covers the first development phase, and will require further capital injections later.
The move is the latest in a string or real estate funds dipping their toes (and enthusiastically diving headfirst) into the data centre industry - where the combination of the stability provided by concrete physical assets, combined with the vibrancy of digital infrastructure, interconnection, and tech, is making for a high-growth yet stable investment. This is particularly true in light of both the COVID-19 pandemic (which caused the amounts of data being processed around the world to spike last year) and the adoption of new, data-intensive technologies like 5G, IoT, AI, and increasingly powerful data analytics applications.
“Our entry into the data centre sector in India will diversify a-iTrust’s portfolio into an attractive and highly scalable asset class,” said Sanjeev Dasgupta, Chief Executive Officer of the Trustee-Manager of Ascendas India Trust in a statement. He added that, with India currently holding the position of second-fastest growing digital economy in the world, the country’s “ large market size combined with the increasing trends towards data localisation validates our market entry strategy.”
He added that the company’s move into data centres was part of a larger push by Ascendas to “improve our portfolio resilience through diversification into new economy asset classes such as data centres and life sciences.”
Demand for data centre infrastructure is on the rise globally, but is being particularly keenly felt in India, where the transition from large areas with little to no digital infrastructure, to highly digitalising industries and smart city projects, requires a much larger leap forward in terms of adoption.
“India’s rising data consumption and demand for quality solutions present a good opportunity for CapitaLand’s entry into the country’s burgeoning data centre market,” added He Jihong, Chief Executive Officer, Data Centre, and Chief Corporate Strategy Officer at CapitaLand Group.
Microsoft hyperscale plans prompt Lab3 New Zealand launch
Lab3, an Australian cloud migration specialist, has announced it is launching in New Zealand after being prompted by a surge in demand for cloud services and Microsoft’s investment into hyperscale data centres.
The company, which was founded in 2017, has appointed David Boyes as Chief Executive Officer and Rich Anderson as Chief Operating Officer. According to Companies Office records, Boyes and Anderson each have a 10% share in Lab3’s New Zealand business. Commenting on cloud migration, Boyes said: “Across New Zealand, in government and every industry sector, organisations are looking to migrate to the cloud to modernise their technology environments.” He added that the Coronavirus pandemic was fuelling a “ need to tap into the power of data, facilitate remote work and meet public expectations of a virtual world.”
Chris Cook, Group CEO of Lab3 said the business was "first and foremost about client success" which drives the company’s product innovation and motivation to expand into New Zealand. “We look forward to working closely with Microsoft to deliver more for New Zealand clients,” he said.
Microsoft’s New Zealand hyperscale data centre investment plan
Microsoft’s investment into a hyperscale data centre region in New Zealand meant the resulting facilities will aim to provide several organisations with access to the security and scalability of a public cloud without sending data offshore.
Vanessa Sorenson, Managing Director of Microsoft New Zealand, said: “We’ve seen a tremendous acceleration in cloud migration over the past year as organisations have responded to global disruption and conversely, recognised the global opportunities a digital operation brings.
“Our research with IDC shows public cloud technologies are set to create 102,000 local jobs and add [NZ]$30 billion to the New Zealand economy over the next four years, so we’re delighted to welcome a partner of LAB3’s calibre to New Zealand, to help more organisations realise those gains even faster," she added.
Lab3’s clients include several fintech organisations, a global software vendor, Australian federal and state government agencies, and insurance and banking corporations. The company employs over 200 staff and has three advanced specialisations across migrations, Azure virtual desktop, and security.