LinkedIn opens first international data centre in Singapore

Spanning 23,500 square feet, the Singapore site costs S$80 million so far and supports LinkedIn's Asia-Pacific traffic as well as one-third of its global connection.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

LinkedIn has opened its first data centre outside its domestic US market, choosing its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore as home for its latest facility.

The new site spanned 23,500 square feet in Jurong and was one of six such sites, the executive networking platform said in a statement Wednesday. Costing S$80 million (US$58.34 million) so far, the Singapore facility was built to improve the experience of LinkedIn users in Asia-Pacific, the company said.

It revealed that its Asia-Pacific member base more than doubled from January 2013 to 85 million as of end-2015, including 16 million in Southeast Asia, 34 million in India, and 7 million in Australia. Globally, there are more than 414 million LinkedIn members.

The company added that its revenue from Asia-Pacific more than tripled over the last three years.

The Singapore data centre would handle all online traffic in the region as well as one-third of global traffic. With 4.2 megawatts of allocated power, the site would have the same power consumption as its Oregon, data centre when the next US facility was slated to go live later this year, according to LinkedIn's director of data centre services, Michael Yamaguchi. The company also operates data centres in Virginia and Texas.

"The smart design features we're implementing in Singapore will reduce the annual energy consumption of the data centre by a magnitude that is equivalent to powering about 100 private homes in Singapore a year," Yamaguchi explained.

He said Singapore marked the first time his engineering team was able to install 52U racks instead of the typical 48U, enabling four additional servers to be housed in each. This was possible because of how the country different power frequency, compared to the US, that required specific compatible equipment. Singapore also calculated its 3-phase power differently, he added.

"The increase in the number of servers enabled the team to better utilise the port capacity on the switch, which is a more efficient cost-to-serve model," Yamaguchi said. "This new increased density per cabinet design helped drive the decision to use a 415-volt delivery at the Oregon data center we are building now."

He added that LinkedIn had chosen to partner Digital Realty to co-locate its data centre in the Asian nation. It also leased its Virginia and Texas facilities from Digital Realty.

The company's storage and processing requirements growing at 34 percent last year, LinkedIn said, noting that Asia-Pacific was its fastest-growing region outside of US, in terms of member numbers.

The company's Asia-Pacific managing director, Olivier Legrand, said: "Singapore is the natural choice for us to locate this new data centre, as it is already our Asia-Pacific headquarters, and it offers the cutting-edge infrastructure and talent we need to continue to improve the service and global connectivity we provide to our members and clients."

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