Charting the Course for APAC’s Cloud Future with BroadGroup

BroadGroup’s Datacloud APAC conference took place in Singapore this week, marking it one of the largest and most important gatherings for the Asia Pacific of leaders in the digital infrastructure industry. The event attracted over 270 attendees to participate in the two-day conference.

The region’s growth is driven by the rapid adoption of cloud storage solutions, a growing demand for low-cost data storage, and an increased need for faster data accessibility across various industries. Moreover, the Asia Pacific region is seeing a push towards innovative cloud technologies, influenced by the rapid digitalization of businesses and the increasing internet penetration.

Mayank Srivastava of BDx Data Centres opened the conference with a keynote speech describing what data centers in the APAC region face.

Followed by a panel discussion, there was much buzz around the challenges of navigating and preparing for increased demand, especially in finding the capacity to power data centers. Powering data centers is becoming an increasingly pressing issue because they are estimated to account for up to 3% of global electricity consumption today, with projections suggesting this could increase to 4% by 2030. The average hyperscale facility consumes enough electricity annually to power up to 37,000 homes. This level of consumption is prompting greater governmental scrutiny and regulation, especially in regions facing energy and water resource pressures.

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“The average density of data cloud centers is increasing, with current demand being AI,” said Mark Fong, Chief Executive Officer of Empyrion Digital, a member of the panel session alongside other industry-leading operators.

As cloud adoption spreads across more industries (BFSI, healthcare, retail, and government), there was also discussion about how to scale data center construction. In building new data centers, more consideration is being given to Sustainable Cloud Solutions, especially in light of the amount of power it takes to incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. The combined electricity use by major companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Meta, huge consumers of these services, more than doubled between 2017 and 2021, reaching around 72 TWh. This trend is expected to continue and grow.​

“Customers demand pragmatic sustainable solutions. They are operating with a global view and we as DC providers need to work with them on meeting their green requirements. Clarity and transparency are essential,” said Matthew Benic, the Head of Commercial, Data Centres & Networks Division, Keppel.

The rise of IoT and the need for low-latency processing are driving the growth of edge computing. Speakers discussed how this is particularly relevant in the APAC region, where large populations and fast-growing tech markets create a high demand for real-time data processing​.

Other issues the sector is grappling with center around security and privacy, regulatory compliance, cost management, and who is funding data center development, as well as performance criteria, including the complexities of maintaining high availability while balancing the load. For example, the demand for interoperability and data portability between cloud providers is essential but can incur significant costs or operational delays.

Another critical issue is the war for talent.

Skilled professionals who understand cloud architectures, security, and regulatory requirements are in short supply, which can hinder the deployment and management of effective cloud solutions. Speakers discussed ideas as to how to grow a pipeline of talent, the merits of cross-training, and whether adjacency hiring could overcome skill set matching.

Overall, the conference went exceedingly well, with participants commenting on how much they enjoyed interacting with like-minded professionals who are grappling with the same issues.

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“Events like Datacloud APAC 2024 are a great networking opportunity. Although competitors, we (in the industry) realize that everyone is facing the same common problems. What events like this can do is bridge the gap between private sectors collectively and attract and develop conversations with regulators to tackle critical pain points that are limiting the scale and potential of the data center industry,” said Hisham Muhammad, Head of Client Solutions Engineering Asia Pacific, Yondr, a visitor to the event.

Many who traveled far to attend the event found value in doing so. Samuel Jones, a student who journeyed from abroad, expressed his enthusiasm stating, “This is my first time attending a datacloud event, and I’ve gained invaluable insights from both the stage events and networking opportunities with industry experts. The panel sessions provided a deep dive into the scaling, cooling solutions, and power requirements of data centers. Hearing directly from operators was truly eye-opening and offered a perspective that simply can’t be replicated in a classroom setting.”

Speakers at the conference represented leading brands including BW Digital, Digital Realty, Empyrion Digital, GDS International, Equinix, Exyte, Keppel, Neutra DC, Princeton Digital Group, STACK APAC, and ST Telemedia Global Data Centres.

“This was the first time in a number of years that the Datacloud APAC event has taken place in Singapore,” mentioned Liss Boot-Handford, Head of Content for Datacloud. “The seniority of the attendees has been industry-leading for the region, with a focus on key decision-makers from the major Asian operators. We’re delighted with the turnout, and look forward to continuing to grow our presence in the region.”

Datacloud APAC 2024 was held 6-7 May 2024 at Voco Orchard Singapore. The second day is set to deliver engaging content on the sector’s emerging technologies, sustainability, data sovereignty, and the future of data centers. For more information and the event agenda, visit the Datacloud APAC 2024 website.

Currently, Datacloud APAC is part of a global series of high-profile global events. It is focused on the digital infrastructure and data center industries in the Asia Pacific region. Organized by BroadGroup, the event brings together industry leaders to explore critical trends, forge new partnerships, and drive regional growth.


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