Philippines' first Internet Data Center

The Philippines joins the league of advanced countries in the virtual e-commerce space with the setting up the country's first Internet data center (IDC).
Written by Edu H. Lopez, Contributor

The Philippines joins the league of advanced countries in the virtual e-commerce space with the setting up the country's first Internet data center (IDC).

MANILA (Manila Bulletin) -  The P1.6 billion data center implemented by telephone giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) would not only boost the country’s e-commerce but also put the Philippines at the forefront of convergence — data, voice and video.

Powered by the leading technology vendors, this Internet Data Center (IDC) will provide important services for businesses throughout the Philippines and overseas.

The facility would soon serve its first customers that will be able to utilize its unique technological capabilities.

Key equipment and software systems for the new center will be provided by Sun Microsystems and a list of other technology partners are supporting PLDT’s thrust into the e-commerce and Internet world.

The IDC is highly secured building and staffed by well-trained IT professionals that will host, co-locate and or manage the computer servers, software applications and bandwidth needed by PLDT and its customers for their Internet and multi-media operations.

PLDT chief information officer Ariel A. Roda said that while almost every business needs to embrace the Internet and the communication advantages that it offers, many of them simply don’t have the time or resources to manage their own facilities.

“More and more companies now realize it makes better business sense for them to concentrate on their core-competencies and to ‘outsource’ their Internet requirements to professional suppliers who can provide secure, state-oftheart facilities.

For other sectors particularly banks and finance houses, there is actually a legal obligation to establish ‘offsite’ business continuity facilities, Roda said.

PLDT’s new IDC with its best-of-breed software and hardware and its secure facilities will meet many of their needs and will offer a very cost-efficient solution.

The company has infused additional investment of R641 million (US$15 million) to acquire the most latest hardware, software and support systems.

Sun Microsystems has initially provided the first two powerful computer servers.

PLDT’s IDC includes the following features: Specially-engineered building with high earthquake resilience, redundant environmental control systems, redundant UPS back-ups and emergency power supply.

Two Sun Enterprise 10,000 servers — Sun’s most powerful and highly scalable data warehousing, decision support and high volume OLTP with dynamic system domain for partitioning.

The Sun Enterprise 10,000 servers can be used simultaneously by many different customers in complete security and provide exceptionally fast, uniform memory access.

Almost every business with a need for Internet facilities, regardless of size, will be attracted to the services offered by PLDT’s IDC.

Initial principal users are expected to include multi-national companies (MNCs), banks and large companies establishing their first Internet presence.

The data center has been designed to meet their requirements for end-to-end solutions; secure facilities that are scaleable for potential capacity increases; and professional support from strong IT teams.

At the other end of the scale, the IDC is likely to prove popular with Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), including fledgeling dot.com companies, with requirements for services such as e-mail, word processing, spreadsheets, data management or even web site hosting.

“PLDT is proud that it’s the first company in the Philippines offering such advanced services, especially as they’ll be of benefit to the entire business community,” said Mr. Roda.

“But the Internet is a global force and our research shows there is a huge potential market in the rest of Asia for our product. We’re sure we’ll be able to attract overseas business as well with our winning combination of world-class features and competitive pricing.”

The data center will offer hosting and server collocation services to small and medium-sized businesses and is being positioned as a data center of choice for local application service providers (ASPs).

“The Internet data center is an open access and multimedia center where a lot of companies can bring in their computing resources and we will manage it for them,” said Roda.

The center will offer server collocation, hosting, content creation and data management. Its services can also be bundled with PLDT’s network services such as nationwide frame relay, Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and the upcoming Asymetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) services.

This means that customers can host their applications at the data center and outsource their networks to PLDT.

The data center can also be used to showcase pioneering initiatives in convergence. Customers can use the data center for applications in voice over IP or perhaps video. PLDT can also accommodate requirements for WAP (wireless application protocol)-enabled content, in cases where customers want their content to be delivered over mobile telephones.

PLDT would also partner with content providers to deliver content throughout PLDT’s network, which includes Home Cable or Infocom Technologies. It also plans to grow the data center into an incubator to help startups, with good ideas but without a lot of resources to grow.

But perhaps the biggest initiative under the data center project involves local application service providers (ASPs). Roda said they want to attract application vendors who are interested in renting out applications through the Internet.

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