Global Switch completes build out of Hong Kong's largest DC
European and APAC-focused data centre operator Global Switch has, despite the hurdles of the pandemic, completed its buildout of a 100 MVA hyperscale data centre in Hong Kong.
Global Switch Hong Kong is now the largest multi customer, carrier and cloud neutral data centre in Hong Kong. The initial stage spun up in 2017, with a capacity of 34,400 square metres and 42MVA of utility power supply capacity. The second stage, completed this week, effectively doubles that footprint, delivering an additional 58 MVA of critical power capacity and bringing the site’s total footprint to 70,000 square metres.
In addition to being Hong Kong’s biggest carrier-neutral data centre, the facility comprises almost a quarter of Global Switch’s total capacity of 427 MVA - although the high real estate density of the Hong Kong market means it makes up just a fraction of the company’s global whitespace footprint of 428,000 square metres.
John Corcoran, Chief Executive Officer at Global Switch, praised his team’s successful completion of the project in the face of the unprecedented challenge posed by the COVID-19 crisis.
“Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Switch team, our contractors and supply chain have worked tirelessly to ensure that the final stage of our Hong Kong data centre was completed, allowing our customers to commence ramp up of their deployments on schedule,” Corcoran said in a statement to the press.
He added: “It is a fantastic achievement and strengthens our position as one of the leading data centre providers in the region, providing our customers with rapid scalability and a full range of cloud and managed services supported by highly resilient power and cooling infrastructure and state-of-the-art security systems.”
Global Switch Hong Kong’s design places strong emphasis on reliability, efficiency and threat management. The facility has a PUE of 1.3, and is LEED Platinum rated for efficiency.
The data centre is supported by two two completely independent 132kV power sources with three on-site 50MVA transformers in N+1 configuration for industry-leading standards of redundancy. Global Switch also revealed that its data centre “benefits from thermal storage tanks providing a total of 700m3 of thermal storage that ensure continuous cooling at full load in the event of a city power failure.”
NUS and NTU launch cooling project for tropical data centres
The National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), have announced a project in an attempt to source and develop new cooling solutions for data centres located in tropical areas. According to the companies, the programme costs S$23mn (US$17.1mn) and plans to research, build and test innovative and sustainable cooling solutions.
The Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT)
The NUS and NTU say that the Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT) will act as a research point and innovation hub for the project. Facebook, along with the National Research Foundation Singapore (NRF), is also involved, providing funding for the programme. Further support from other partners includes the Infocomm Media Development Authority, Ascenix, CoolestDC Keppel Data Centres, Red Dot Analytics, and New Media Express.
Commenting on working with the companies, Facebook Vice President of Infrastructure, Alex Johnson, said: “We are excited about the opportunity to partner NUS, NTU, Keppel Data Centres and the CoolestSG community to develop innovative solutions that reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption of the average data centre, particularly those located in tropical areas like Singapore”.
The NTU and NUS highlight that Singapore houses 60% of Southeast Asia’s total data centre market, and aims to supply 12% of the country’s total energy needs by 2030. This results in the need to reduce the carbon footprints and power consumption of data centres, meaning more innovative cooling solutions are required, the NTU and NUS said.
Professor Chen Thuan, Deputy President of Research & Technology at the NUS, said: “Data centres are a critical enabler of the digital economy, but the average data centre can exert a significant environmental burden. Aligned with RIE 2025, sustainability is a key research focus of NUS, and our researchers have deep expertise in developing integrated solutions for tropical, urban and Asian settings”.
How will the Sustainable Tropical Data Centre Testbed (STDCT) help to provide cooling solutions?
According to the NUS and NTU, the STDCT will be built using equipment such as a novel desiccant-coated heat exchanger and a StatePoint Liquid Cooling System (SPLC) designed by both Nortek Air Solutions and Facebook. The institutions also say they will adopt chip-level hybrid cooling to ensure servers remain cool.
Furthermore, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) will aim to manage the “smart operations” of the technologies so that the data centres are water and power efficient, as well as able to preserve equipment and servers.
The NTU and NSU said in a joint statement the combination of the cooling technologies could reduce energy consumption “significantly” and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25%, compared to traditional air-cooled data centres. If adopted industry-wide across the entire tropical region, the energy usage of the data centre industry could potentially be lowered by at least 40%”, the companies said.
The STDCT is expected to be operational by 1 October 2021.