IO expands into APAC with Singapore regional HQ

The U.S.-based company will assemble some of its modular data centers in Singapore to serve the Asia-Pacific region, which it expects will double in total revenue contribution to over 30 percent within the next 10 years.

IO data center
George Slessman, IO of CEO, and Jayson Goh, executive director of EDB, at the opening ceremony of the Singapore facility. (credit: ZDNet)

SINGAPORE--IO data centers has launched its Asia-Pacific operations with the opening of its regional headquarters here.

The facility is the company's first modular software-defined data center outside North America, which will count Goldman Sachs as its anchor client. Parts such as the frames will be manufactured and shipped from the U.S. to Singapore, where further assembly and customization will take place, which will help reduce the delivery time to clients in the region.

Singapore pivotal for international markets

According to George Slessman, IO CEO and product architect, Singapore could eventually become its international headquarters.

"Asia-Pacific contributes about 10 to 15 percent, I expect the Asian market will support in excess of 30 to 40 percent of total revenue stream over the next 5 to 10 years," said Slessman during a media briefing. He pointed out modular data centers had the advantage of being more energy and cost efficient compared with legacy models, and allowed owners to scale up incrementally.

From its base in Singapore, IO will deliver Data Centre as a Service (DCaaS) using the company's software-defined data center technology: IO.Anywhere and IO.OS. The country was chosen for its robust partner ecosystem, business-friendly environment, global talent and advanced technology infrastructure, the CEO explained.

Granular control
According to IO, many APAC customers have particularly shown keen interest in its feature allowing granular control, such as adjusting the cooling for individual servers. (credit: ZDNet)

Over US$30 million has been invested in the building to date, which comprises 140,000 square feet of data center space and 30,000 square feet of office area. There are currently 8 modular data centers deployed, with room for 122 more. IO currently has 420 staff globally, and expects to have 500 by year-end. It has 24 employees in Singapore.

In June, IO had announced a technology partnership with McLaren Applied Technologies on developing next generation technologies to build more efficient data centers. This included ways to improve cooling systems such as by leveraging wind dynamics.

Boost for Singapore ecosystem

The expansion by IO will help build a ecosystem for the data management industry in Singapore, where data will become its new natural resource , said Jayson Goh, executive director of Infocomms and Media at the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

"Where we see opportunities is where Singapore can one day become a proprietary data banking hub , where individuals will place their data or digital assets with trusted partners who can provide the service for them," Goh added.