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Need a data center in Indonesia? Three questions to ask yourself

Data center

As the internet welcomes millions of new users every month, the demand for new data centers and the modernization and expansion of existing ones are increasing daily, particularly across the Asia Pacific region. According to Cloudscene, the region is the fastest growing data center market in the world and Indonesia, the third largest market in South East Asia, is poised for further growth.

The Asian Development Bank said that since 2000, the Indonesian data center market has experienced significant growth and major changes in its landscape. It is projected to grow at eleven percent annually with a large portion coming from the telecommunication, financial and government sectors.

Another reason for the increased demand is the implementation of a new regulation in Indonesia pertaining to data storage. The ruling states that the country’s financial and banking sector must store all Indonesian-related data within data centers located in the country.

Clearly, these stimuli are driving increased awareness and implementation of data centers across Indonesia. For companies that are considering building, expanding or modernizing their facilities, the following are three critical questions to ask yourselves before taking the next step.

As a business, you have two options: first, to build your own center or second to outsource to a co-location provider, which include companies like Telkomsigma, Indosat, NTT, DCI and Biznet.
 
How do you decide which option suits your business better? You can proceed with the following key considerations:
  • How do the stored data influence your business’ future needs?
  • How much budget do you have for the project?
  • What is the current and future size of your business?
  • How many existing or future IT staff are expected to manage and maintain the center?
  • Are there any laws in your industry regulating data storage and management, and how would this impact your choices and requirements?
In my experience, I have come across many people who often underestimate the cost of building and the complexity of maintaining their own center. The most important criteria for your business is to ensure maximum uptime and to keep servers’ downtime to the minimum possible.
 
These days, maximum uptime is an undisputable criterion, although a new perspective has further evolved from this called “high availability”. A highly reliable and redundant Tier IV data center will not necessarily ensure the best availability. Main reason is the high complexity of managing such a data center. We want to reach highest availability of data.
 
For example, this can be experienced on how fast a website or video is loading and running or in today’s times of Industrial 4.0, how fast a robot processor can access crucial data stored in the cloud.
 
Other factors must be considered as well like the distance to the data center, network speed and reliability. Edge computing is a widely discussed term within this topic but we will not elaborate on this here.
For most business owners, building a new center might seem to be a more attractive proposition. However, such an undertaking requires lots of financial resources, time and knowledge. I have come across many such cases, where this was underestimated by business owners and by project teams in larger corporations. Impacts of this are project cancellations, delays (sometime years) or negative surprises during project execution.
 
The other option most people do not give enough consideration to is to modernize their existing facility. Business owners and IT managers are often surprised that by introducing small changes in the data center’s design, optimizing prevailing equipment and spending comparatively smaller upgrade investments can substantially improve the data center reliability and efficiency while helping to optimize its operating expenditure costs.
 
An important index in the topic of modernization and efficiency of a data center is the ‘PUE’ factor of a data center that typically range between 1.5-3.0 in Indonesia, where 1.5 is most efficient.
The rising demand of data center facilities and business digitization has led to the increase of new solution providers and IT system integrators claiming to be experts in building and designing data centers. Therefore, one must be cautious while reviewing and selecting the most appropriate vendor and system experts matching to one’s business needs and industry.
 
A good way to evaluate the potential vendor’s capability is to inspect its number of certified data center specialists (uptime certified) and the number of service engineers available for installation and after sales services support.
 
Another aspect to scrutinize is the vendor’s commercial and technical access to the manufacturers of the core/main equipment operating within the data center. If there are too many layers between you and the manufacturers, this will increase the project cost and maintenance fees. In addition, it will result in a slower response time in the event of a breakdown or equipment failure as there are added layers to reach the technician required to fix the problem.
 
Downtime is the worst impact for an IT service facility. For some industries, even a one second downtime can result in a multimillion-dollar loss. That is why one should always have its vendor strive for a zero percent downtime target or a 99.99 percent uptime target.
 
Here is an example of how a leading telecommunications company in Indonesia transformed its’ data center to meet the demand of its customers.
Adrien Kehlstadt

About the author

Adrien Kehlstadt joined DKSH in April 2015 as Project Manager, Business Unit Technology, responsible to drive various initiatives across the South East Asian region. Since 2016 he has been heading the Data Center business of DKSH in Indonesia. He holds two Master degrees in finance and international management from St. Gallen and CEMS and has considerable experience with the Asian market having spend the last five years studying and working in Asia.