STT expands into South Korea with new planned campus
Singapore-based ST Telemedia Global Data Centres that it has inked a new strategic partnership with South Korean manufacturing firm Hyosung Heavy Industries. The new 60:40 joint venture will see the two firms design, build and operate STT’s first carrier neutral data centre campus in South Korea.
According to a press statement from STT, the joint venture is in the final stages of acquiring a land parcel in the greater Seoul metro area which, once obtained, will be host to an unspecified number of data centres “built to the highest quality standards”.
The campus will, STT claims, be one of the few carrier-neutral facilities in South Korea capable of hosting both hyperscale cloud operators (like Korean tech giant Naver) and retail colocation customers.
“South Korea ranks among the world’s most digitally competitive economies and we are delighted to be partnering Hyosung Heavy Industries as we expand into South Korea, growing our presence in Asia to five markets,” commented STT president and group CEO, Bruno Lopez.
He added that “Hyosung Heavy Industries has strong local capabilities in power, industrial systems and construction technology. Leveraging our global track record in designing, constructing and operating state-of-the-art, carrier-neutral data centres, we are well poised to support the increasing demands from our customers and businesses in the country and region, brought about by the rising adoption and consumption of cloud and digital services globally.”
A Booming Market, Closely Guarded
South Korea is unique among global markets for a few reasons. First of all, a mixture of national sentiment and protectionist government policy have largely kept US big tech farms like Google, Facebook and AWS out of the country. Koreans use Naver and Naver Maps instead of Google services; Kakao Talk and Kakao Pay instead of WhatsApp and PayPal; and apart from a couple of data centres owned by Naver, the country has a remarkably underdeveloped hyperscale and colocation market considering its position as one of the most technologically advanced nations on the planet.
That’s not to say Korea is anti-corporation; the country’s economy is dominated by just a few massive firms, including Samsung (which also runs banks, builds houses and is a major player in several other major revenue streams in the country) and Lotte (which covers everything from supermarkets and housing to car rental services and theme parks). Korea is just anti-foreign corporations.
This probably goes a long way towards explaining why STT is moving forward with its project as part of a joint venture rather than retaining full ownership. As the owner and operator of more than 110 data centres across Singapore, China, India, Thailand and the UK, the fact that STT is only now gaining a foothold in Korea is itself a testament to the barriers foreign operators face when trying to break in.
In 2019, the World Economic Forum . The same year, South Korean telecom companies were the first to launch commercial 5G networks, and Samsung has led the world in 5G handset development ever since. The country enjoys more than 96% internet access, its mobile device connections are 118% of its total population, and the country is fast approaching .
The market is certainly attractive to foreign data centre operators, with the South Korean public cloud market expected to rise from $1.5bn in 2018 to more than $3bn in 2023.
“The world's first commercial 5G network was launched in South Korea in 2019. With faster data speeds, it enables businesses and consumers alike to enjoy the benefits of consistent ultra-low latency and high quality real-time digital content and services such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and virtual reality,” commented Hyun-Joon Cho, chairman of the Hyosung Group.
He continued, noting that, “It is an opportune time for us to expand our offerings and delve into the data centre business based on our collective industrial capabilities with STT GDC, who is recognised as a leading data centre provider in Asia, to build the infrastructure needed for the thriving digital economy.”
Schneider Electric reveals new IT Innovation report
Schneider Electric has released a new IT innovations report titled “Digital Economy and Climate Impact”, with the aim of gaining an understanding of how digitised and smart applications will be powered in the future. The company says that the report predicts that IT sector-related electricity demand is expected to increase by almost 50% by 2030.
Despite this, the report also shows that emissions would not increase by more than 26% by the same year, following the decarbonisation of the electricity system. In an attempt to reduce this rise in emissions the Schneider Electric TM Sustainability Research Institute recommends continued efforts in achieving efficiencies on the IT and energy sides at both the component and system levels.
The report highlights how the rise of edge computing technologies require a “specific focus” due to these systems being less efficient than hyperscale data centres. “When the world locked down, it also logged on and internet traffic soared,” said Pankaj Sharma, EVP, Secure Power, Schneider Electric.
“It’s misleading to assume that digital activity will inevitably result in a deeply problematic increase in CO2 emissions. The analysis from the Schneider Electric Sustainability Institute puts to rest many of the worst-case scenario claims predicting IT-related electricity use will double every five years. That said, as an industry, we must remain vigilant in finding new sources of sustainability gains while ensuring resiliency as digital keeps life moving forward”, he added.
As well as the release of the report, Schneider Electric also announced several updates to its EcoStruxure IT data center infrastructure management software, Galaxy VL 3-phase uninterruptable power supply (UPS), introducing an industry-leading single-phase UPS, the APC™ Smart-UPS™ Ultra. All introductions are designed to advance the industry forward in meeting sustainability goals while increasing the resiliency of IT and data centre infrastructure, the company said.
Managing hybrid data center and edge IT environments
Also showcased in Schneider Electric’s report are the increasing demands on digital consumption. According to the company, these create a more complex hybrid environment inclusive of enterprise, cloud, and edge data centres. Addressing the unique management challenges of a hybrid IT environment, Schneider Electric has announced updates to its EcoStruxure IT software to increase efficiency and resiliency, including:
- Increased remote management capabilities: New granular remote device configuration features enable users to change configurations on one or more devices – including the new Galaxy VL and APC Smart-UPS Ultra single-phase UPS units – from one centralised platform with EcoStruxure IT Expert. This update, combined with previously released software insights on device security health, enables the user to identify faulty devices or configurations and address them in a matter of clicks, keeping their hybrid IT environment secure.
- Improved environmental monitoring: Environmental monitoring systems ensure users have eyes and ears on data centre and IT deployments from anywhere, anytime. With this update, users can push mass configurations remotely for NetBotz cameras 750 and 755 quickly and efficiently increasing security across the critical infrastructure.
- Enhanced remote capacity modeling and planning: With EcoStruxure IT Advisor’s new capabilities, users can remotely compare an unlimited number of racks and easily identify available capacity, view what assets are deployed and their dependencies.
Sharma concluded: “Schneider Electric has been focused on sustainability for the past 15 years and was recently named the most sustainable corporation in the world. We have embraced the mindset that future innovation will deliver better efficiency across the broader connectivity landscape. By making smart intentional choices, our industry can help mitigate how much electricity and emissions result from the rising appetite for digital technologies”.