Equinix continues expansion plan, unveils new data centre - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
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Equinix continues expansion plan, unveils new data centre

Equinix continues expansion plan, unveils new data centre

12 Jun 2024

EQUINIX Inc, a global digital infrastructure company, has expanded its footprint in Malaysia with the opening of its Johor (JH1) International Business Exchange (IBX) data centre located at Nusajaya Tech Park in Iskandar Puteri, Johor. 

Built with an initial investment of approximately US$40 million (RM188 million), JH1 is the first of two Equinix data centres in Malaysia, with the second, KL1 IBX, operational in Cyberjaya since January. 

The two-storey JH1 facility spans 1,800 sqm and boasts a maximum capacity of 500 cabinets. 

Services available at JH1 include the company’s primary interconnect service, Equinix Fabric, as well as Cross Connect, Equinix Internet Access, Equinix Internet Exchange (IX) and Metro Connect. 

Equinix maintains a strong reputation for reliability, claiming a 99.999% uptime record. 

During a tour of the facility, president (Asia Pacific) Jeremy Deutsch said the company would maintain its standard at JH1. 

“JH1 is equipped with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) system, allowing the data centre to operate for up to 15 minutes during power interruptions. 

“Additionally, four onsite power generators are available to support the data centre during prolonged outages,” he said. 

Both JH1 and KL1 data centres have been running on 100% renewable energy (RE) since their inception. 

In line with Equinix’s commitment to sustainability, JH1’s cooling system is designed to convert the hot air emitted by servers back into cool air, which is then recirculated by the system. 

During the tour, members of the media observed a group of servers being set up for artificial intelligence (AI) workloads, while another set of servers was already functioning, though their purpose remained undisclosed. 

Deutsch did not reveal the owners of these servers but mentioned that several content providers, fintech players, gaming companies and AI outfits are already utilising JH1 and KL1. 

However, he said local tech giants such as TIME dotCom Bhd and Maxis Bhd are part of the Equinix ecosystem. 

Upon observation, the JH1 IBX data centre offers numerous benefits including access to a rich network ecosystem of highly connected data centres in Singapore and globally, with proximity to major IX. 

It extends its reach to the richest digital ecosystem in cloud and IT, content and media services, and financial exchanges via Platform Equinix. 

Additionally, it allows for expansion into Malaysia’s digital economy, tapping into the domestic market. 

Features and Facilities 

The JH1 data centre is equipped with various amenities such as a break room, loaner tools, crash carts, work kiosks, WiFi and a conference room, while also offering a range of products and services. 

The facility also includes private cages for enhanced security, secure cabinets for storing equipment, AC power circuits for reliable power supply, and IBXFlex office and storage solutions. 

Although it is yet to be confirmed, JH1 data centre plans to offer additional services such as Smart Hands for remote management, IBX SmartView for infrastructure monitoring, Equinix Infrastructure Services, Equinix Metal for bare metal deployments, Network Edge for network optimisation and Equinix Precision Time for precise time synchronisation. 

The JH1 facility was constructed using a combination of cast-in-situ concrete and steel structure. Plus, on-site parking is available for users’ convenience. 

The floors were made of reinforced concrete ensuring they could support the heavy equipment typically used in data centres. 

Additionally, the data centre is equipped with “Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus” and a comprehensive fire alarm system to ensure safety. 

The JH1 data centre has a power density of 4.8 kVA (3.84 kW) per cabinet and features two utility feeders. 

Meanwhile, its UPS configuration is block redundant with N+1 redundancy, ensuring continuous power supply. 

Standby power is provided by four 2,000 kVA generators in an N+1 configuration. The cooling system uses high-efficiency DX CRAC inverter-based compressors with N+ 20% redundancy. 

Security measures at the JH1 data centre include physical barriers such as a man trap, security gate, perimeter fence and gate. The facility is monitored around the clock by on-site security officers. Electronic security features include biometric readers, PIN and card readers, CCTVs and recorders.

After the tour, Equinix MD Cheam Tat Inn said the company underscored the pivotal role of digital infrastructure in meeting contemporary business challenges and seizing emerging opportunities.

“Digital infrastructure enables businesses to tackle challenges and pursue possibilities. Considering the staggering data volumes we are dealing with, by 2025, we expect to handle 181 zettabytes (ZB) of data in real time. 

“Just a few years ago, we were talking about petabytes, and now we are dealing with ZB,” he said. 

He added that today’s data is not just structured text, it includes unstructured data like videos, which are growing at an unprecedented rate. 

Cheam said the increasing deployment of AI technologies highlighted the exponential growth of the market. 

“Every day, we hear about new AI applications and use cases. Many of you have likely tried tools like ChatGPT, which showcase the vast potential AI holds for businesses and personal use. 

“The AI market, valued at US$6.2 billion in 2023, is projected to soar to US$16.2 billion by 2028. This growth within the digital ecosystem has also led to a 60% reduction in data transfer costs among ecosystem partners as more players join, driving down overall costs,” he added. 

In Malaysia, the digital economy is a substantial contributor to the GDP, accounting for 22.6% and is expected to rise to 25.5% by 2025. 

The Asean region, recognised as the fifth-largest economy globally with a population of 691 million, is projected to achieve a GDP of US$5.5 trillion by 2028, Cheam said. 

He added that this shift is further accelerated by the proliferation of AI, which has significantly increased demand for digital infrastructure. 

“Malaysia, particularly Johor, is emerging as a preferred data centre hub due to limited capacity in Singapore and strong governmental and ecosystem support. 

“The lower cost of land in Johor makes it an attractive investment destination,” he said. 

Cheam added that cloud-adjacent storage is crucial. 

“Many applications are moving to the cloud, but data might be located elsewhere, causing latency issues, especially in analytics. 

“Cloud storage ensures data is close to the cloud, enhancing performance and reducing latency. 

“This trend is evident in our data centre deployments,” he said. 

Connected to Everything 

Cheam said Equinix’s data centres offer access to a diverse global ecosystem. 

With over 462,000 interconnections, businesses can access the largest and most dynamic global ecosystem. 

Equinix’s platform includes more than 2,000 networks, 5,000 enterprises, and 3,000 cloud and IT service providers. 

This extensive network facilitates interconnection opportunities, enabling businesses to discover and transact with customers, suppliers and partners, thereby creating and consuming new value. 

Key Features and Benefits 

To echo Cheam’s earlier remarks, the JH1 facility is strategically located just 15km from Singapore. 

This proximity addresses the heightened demand from both local enterprises and organisations in neighbouring regions. 

Similarly, the KL1 facility in Cyberjaya, a key part of the Multimedia Super Corridor, is expected to provide 900 cabinets and 2,630 sq m of colocation space once fully built out. 

Equinix’s data centres in Malaysia are entirely powered by RE, aligning with the company’s goal to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. 

Both JH1 and KL1 adhere to the globally accepted A1A standards from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, enhancing their overall efficiency and helping customers reduce their Scope 3 carbon emissions. 

Equinix will provide robust interconnection and digital services at JH1 and KL1, including Equinix Internet Access in both locations by the second quarter of 2024 (2Q24), Equinix Fabric and Equinix Fabric Cloud Router at JH1 by 2Q24 and KL1 by 3Q24, and Equinix IX shortly after. 

These services enable seamless connectivity, enhanced scalability, optimised performance and increased flexibility, empowering businesses to thrive in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. 

In reflection, Equinix’s expansion in Malaysia, exemplified by the opening of the JH1 and KL1 data centres, represents a significant leap forward in the nation’s digital infrastructure. 

By providing access to a vast global ecosystem and advanced digital services, Equinix is well-positioned to support Malaysia’s digital economy ambitions and drive sustainable economic growth in the region. 

Malaysian businesses will now have access to a global ecosystem of over 10,000 enterprises, networks and cloud service providers, while global businesses can tap into the digital opportunities presented by the nation. 

As businesses continue to embrace digital transformation and advanced technologies such as AI, their need for a network-dense cloud-adjacent, and on-demand digital infrastructure becomes paramount. 

Platform Equinix plays a pivotal role as a facilitator of innovation, economic growth and empowerment for businesses in Malaysia. 

Notably, content, fintech, gaming and AI companies have already chosen to deploy their IT infrastructure on Platform Equinix in Malaysia. 

As mentioned by Deutsch, leading global and local network service providers such as TIME and Maxis have joined Equinix’s network ecosystem in Malaysia, providing a highly interconnected and secure environment for customers. 

In his speech during the launch, Deustch said Malaysia is a cornerstone market and top destination that is highly sought after by our valuable customers. 

“Our unwavering dedication to the South-East Asia region underscores our belief in its immense potential to drive digital transformation and accommodate a growing digital-savvy population,” he said. 

The digital infrastructure company is dedicated to delivering exceptional digital infrastructure solutions that empower businesses to thrive in this dynamic landscape, fuelling innovation, economic growth and societal advancement. 

Equinix’s entry into Malaysia also aligns with the MyDIGITAL initiative introduced by the government, which outlines a strategy for accelerating the development of digital products and services. 

Equinix data centres in Malaysia are powered entirely by RE. It is on track to achieve climate neutrality by 2030, with a strong focus on incorporating clean RE sources throughout its worldwide operations. 

Equinix’s commitment to sustainability is another critical aspect of their operations, Cheam said. 

The National Energy Transition Roadmap provides a solid framework for Malaysia’s transition to RE, aligning with the demands for sustainability from hyperscalers. 

“We are dedicated to protecting the planet, aiming for 100% RE and global climate neutrality by 2030. We have invested US$4.9 billion in green bonds towards green building, energy efficiency and renewables,” he shared. 

Despite its business expansion, it has reduced its absolute emissions by 23% since 2019. 

Its innovations include liquid cooling, heat recovery and low-carbon fuel cells, all designed to minimise environmental impact. 

In 2023, Equinix achieved 96% RE coverage across its global operations. 

Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said Equinix’s decision to expand its presence in Malaysia reflects its continued confidence in the country’s industrial landscape, which is undergoing key transformative initiatives as outlined in the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) 2030. 

He added that one of NIMP’s missions is for Malaysia to tech up rapidly to be a digitally vibrant nation, and Equinix’s new data centres in Kuala Lumpur and Johor will support this mission by enhancing Malaysia’s digital infrastructure.

These data centres will provide businesses, particularly domestic SMEs, with seamless connectivity and access to a vast global network, while driving innovation across diverse sectors in Malaysia.

“Most importantly, Equinix’s investment will pave the way for the creation of high-value job opportunities and propel economic growth, empowering our people and businesses to excel in the digital age,” Tengku Zafrul added.

Also present at the launch was Johor State Executive Council and chairman of Investment, Trade and Consumer Affairs Lee Ting Han. 

“We welcome Equinix’s investment in Johor, which is expected to become the most economically developed state in the country soon,” he said. 

He said Equinix’s world-class facility would enhance the nation’s technological capabilities, attract global businesses, create new job opportunities and drive economic growth. 

He said this partnership will position Johor as a key player in the digital economy, fostering innovation and propelling the state towards a prosperous future. 

Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) CEO Mahadhir Aziz seconded the strategic importance of Equinix’s new data centres. 

“We are proud to have facilitated Equinix’s market entry into Malaysia with its investment in the JH1 and KL1 data centres,” he said in a statement. 

These new facilities will significantly enhance Malaysia’s digital capabilities and further strengthen Malaysia’s digital infrastructure backbone, in line with its national strategic initiative, Malaysia Digital. 

“I believe data centre investments will certainly create economic spillovers, particularly high-value direct and indirect jobs along the value chain. 

“MDEC is committed to fostering effective collaborations to firmly establish the nation as the digital hub of Asean,” Mahadhir said. 

On a similar note, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) CEO Sikh Shamsul Ibrahim Sikh Abdul Majid said Equinix’s expansion in Malaysia reinforces the country’s standing as a digital hub in the region. 

According to him, Equinix’s advanced data centres will create significant opportunities for businesses, especially local enterprises, to innovate and grow as they integrate with the global ecosystem. 

“MIDA is dedicated to facilitating investments like Equinix’s, which not only drive economic growth but also foster innovation and create sustainable employment opportunities in Malaysia,” he said. 

These endorsements from key stakeholders showcased the positive impact of Equinix’s investments in Malaysia. 

The new data centres are set to bolster the nation’s digital infrastructure, drive economic growth and position Malaysia as a leading digital hub in the Asean region. 

Moving forward, Equinix’s data centres in Malaysia are set to revolutionise the digital landscape, providing businesses with unparalleled access to global networks and cutting-edge technology. 

This expansion is supporting the nation’s digital economy ambitions and fosters economic growth, positioning Malaysia as a key player in the global digital economy. 

Source: The Malaysian Reserve