StarHub to offer hyperscale data centre services through AirTrunk

Available to StarHub customers from mid-2020, AirTrunk's 60-megawatt facility will be essential in meeting anticipated need for hyperscale data centre support with the emergence of 5G mobile edge computing capabilities, says the Singapore telco.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

StarHub has inked a partnership with AirTrunk to offer hyperscale data centre services for enterprises as well as support growing demand from sectors such as e-games, e-sports, and e-commerce. Expected to be available to customers from mid-2020, the facility will be an essential addition to the Singaporean telco's data centre network with the emergence of 5G services. 

StarHub added that the new 60-megawatt hyperscale campus would be "carrier-neutral" and could interconnect to public cloud providers also located at the AirTrunk SGP1 site. Located in Loyang and close to the Changi North Cable Landing Station, the Singaporean telco said in a statement Wednesday that the data centre would serve as a critical gateway for several major submarine cables that link Singapore with other global markets.

AirTrunk in April said it was investing SG$450 million in the new facility, which would push its data centre footprint in the region to three. The Australian company said the site would be the largest neutral data centre in Singapore and was specifically designed for hyperscale cloud, content, and enterprise customers.

StarHub's head of enterprise business group Arthur Tang said: "With AirTrunk, the benefits of the hyperscale data centre campus will be made available to our corporate customers, including optimising energy efficiency to lower their operational cost and reducing their corporate carbon footprints." 

"With 5G expected to be available in Singapore from next year, we envisage the proliferation of new services through 5G's mobile edge computing and campus networking capabilities," Tang said. "As such, we believe our customers will demand even more of such hyperscale data centre services to support their business innovations."

When ready, the AirTrunk campus is expected to meet security requirements outlined in key industry standards including ISO 27001, PCD-DSS, and the Threat and Vulnerability Risk Assessment set by the Monetary Authority of Singapore for local financial institutions. The data centre is also expected to secure the Building and Construction Authority Green Mark Platinum certification and industry-low power usage effectiveness (PUE). 

A StarHub spokesperson told ZDNet the telco currently fully owns or co-invests with partners on seven data centres across Singapore. Apart from AirTrunk, it has partners that include ST Telemedia Global Data Centres and Data Centre SG.

Hyperscale data centres are expansive facilities comprising hundreds of thousands of servers and highly scalable. According to Synergy Research Group, the top five hyperscale spenders in 2018 were Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple. The sector clocked nearly $120 billion in capex last year, up 43% from the previous year. 

Outside of the pack of five hyperscale spenders, Synergy Research pointed to China's Alibaba, Tencent, JD.com, and Baidu as among the world's leading hyperscale spenders in 2018. The year also saw telcos as big spenders including China Mobile, NTT, Deutsche Telekom, AT&T, and Verizon. 

The research firm said a bulk of the hyperscale capex went towards building, expanding, and equipping huge data centres, with the amount of these data centres having now grown to 439 worldwide. Synergy Research's chief analyst John Dinsdale said: "The hyperscale operators are quickly becoming the capex kings of the IT world. On average, hyperscale operator revenues are growing by 20% per year driven by expansion of cloud services, e-commerce, social media, and online advertising."


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