Projections from datacenterHawk and many data center providers see the Asia Pacific region significantly growing over the next few years. This is a brief overview of how the Singapore data center market got to where it is and will give you enough knowledge to understand the biggest drivers and advantages of the market from a birds-eye (or Hawks-eye) view.
History leading to Singapore's Success
Singapore is seen as one of the major business gateways from the Western world to Asia. The city-state began as a port city colonized by the British and Chinese in the early 1800s. When Singapore became independent in 1965, they set up a government similar to the United States and England. The first prime minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, promoted rapid economic growth, especially in high-tech industries. As trade and technology sectors have driven the economy, Singapore has consistently grown in wealth and influence.
Over the last 50 years, Singapore has been an active cultural and diplomatic bridge between the Western world and the East. They have done this by helping introduce trade back into China and being the mediators for other Southeast Asian countries to make their materials available to the rest of the world. Singapore’s relations have led to one of the most diverse cultural populations, with people from all over the world that have made it their home.
How the history affects Singapore’s data center growth
The history of Singapore explains what makes this such a prime location for digital infrastructure.
First, Singapore’s location at the tip of the Malay Peninsula that made it an outstanding trade location also has made it a connectivity hub for cables across the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Singapore offers the largest concentration of sub-sea cables in Asia.
With the deep ties to Europe and the primary business language being English, many international companies see Singapore as the easiest location for the first step into Southeast Asia.
Next, the political stability and mature economy have given Singapore a headway to be the best option to serve many region's digital needs. Singapore's data center market serves countries across Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, and even India, to an extent.
Unique Challenges for Singapore Data Center Development
Even though there are many advantages in the Singapore data center market there are some issues that need to be addressed in order to support data center development.
Singapore is a very dense city with little land available. The land that is available is expensive. Data center providers have adapted by making all large purpose-built data centers multi-story buildings. Some are up to 11 stories tall, much different from the European and North American hyperscale data centers, which are more spread out. There are buildings and parcels that are designated for digital infrastructure in the future.
Singapore has had trouble supplying enough power to all the new data centers that are being built. Singapore’s small size as a country means that they need to import most of their energy from neighboring countries.
The government put a moratorium on new data center construction in 2021. The government is focusing on expanding renewable energy and is concerned that there are not enough power solutions to serve the city and the data centers.
Singapore has fallen behind many other developed global cities regarding renewable energy use. Google published a report on the carbon emissions of each cloud region, and its Singapore location had the lowest amount of renewable energy utilized at only three percent of its overall usage. Sunseap Group is the largest solar energy provider in Singapore and is leading the way to address the need for renewable energy. Sunseap has signed three large agreements over the past eight months, with Amazon and Facebook purchasing over 260 MW of solar power that will be used for their data centers.
Singapore’s colocation market is one of the largest in the region and will continue to grow. You can get a view of individual facilities using our search tool. You can also get a clear view of market dynamics including market size, vacancy, pricing, and Singapore’s supply pipeline with our upcoming market analysis in Hawk Insight.
Cloud and Hyperscale activity
Cloud providers are the largest and fastest-growing users across Singapore's data center market. Some of the biggest hyperscale cloud providers with data centers are Amazon Web Services, Alibaba Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
The Singapore data center market has a substantial presence of hyperscale owned and operated facilities with more currently under construction. Facebook has one of the largest data centers with an eleven-story data center that was announced in 2018 that will have just over 150 MW of total power when fully completed. The first phase of 30 MW will be delivered in Q2 2022.
Cloud and hyperscale companies are not only building their own data centers but signing multi-megawatt long-term leases in Singapore.
Welcome to the APAC Journey
At datacenterHawk, we take our role of providing accurate information seriously. As we extend our coverage to the Asia Pacific region we want you to be a part of our journey as we keep people around the world informed on the global market. If you are interested in our in-depth analysis on data center markets in Asia Pacific, click here and we will reach out to you to serve your needs.