Salesforce.com did it earlier this year in July, adding to its already heavy presence in Asia Pacific (by way of its Singapore HQ) with its first international data centre in Singapore. Now, Amazon has joined the data centre party, with its announcement that it will be extending the Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Asia, first to Singapore in the first half of 2010, before spreading out to the rest of Asia over the second half of 2010.
“Holy shit” – heard from a geeky friend of mine – is probably the most apt reflection of sentiments by the geeks residing in Asia Pacific at this instant.
All these developments are great milestones in Singapore’s plans to become a hub for infocomm and digital media, under iN2015 – IDA’s 10-year masterplan. Singapore got off the starting grid early, with a statement of its intent in 2007, and subsequently the launch of the first commercial grid service in Oct 2008. If we dial the hands of time further back, we see that the National Grid Office (NGO) – tasked with promoting the use of Grid Computing in Singapore – was first established in Jan 2003.
The grapevine once revealed that Google had considered Singapore for its data centres after extensive lobbying by our economic government agencies, only to be put off by the expensive cost of power. This should come as no surprise, given that Singapore largely runs off imported power from its neighbours. The equatorial location also does Singapore no favours, with the all-year-round summer temperatures adding on to the power requirements. Of course, this could all change, if Google (together with our bureaucracy) finds a way to build underwater data centres to harness wave power and minimise cooling needs (water-cooled!).
Oh wait, our seas are hot too. Crap.