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Asia-Pacific Data Center Hub

Data center requirements in the Asia-Pacific region are currently growing rapidly, as economic development has now become significantly reliant on digitalization. According to Cushman and Wakefield — a leading real estate agency based in the US — the Asia Pacific region will surpass North America to become the world's largest data center market by 2021.

The report highlighted that Singapore has now become the most competitive data center city in the Asia-Pacific region, thanks to its stable political environment, the fact that it has the world's most stable power supply, its strategic location in Southeast Asia, and the presence of over 4200 company headquarters. Currently, the capacity of Singapore's internet data center is over 400 MW, the highest in the Asia-Pacific region. All of these factors make Singapore a veritable data center hub.

Data center hosting operator 1-Net has a strong presence in Singapore. A fully-owned subsidiary of Mediacorp — Singapore's largest content creator and national media network, operating a suite of TV channels, radio stations and multiple digital platforms. — 1-Net is fast becoming the preferred data center partner, backed up by the exceptional customer service experience it offers.

Green Data Center Requirements

The energy consumption of data centers in Singapore is exceptionally high. According to Infocommunications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), data center energy demand represents 10% of the country's total, significantly higher than the global average of just 2%. As an island city-state, Singapore lacks land resources and cannot deploy solar and wind energy on a large scale. An increase in data center energy consumption therefore directly leads to a linear increase in Singapore's carbon footprint. As early as 2012, Singapore began researching energy conservation and consumption reduction methods for data centers. In 2014, the country released the Green Data Center Technology Roadmap, clearly stating its intention to improve energy utilization using technological innovation. Under the Paris Agreement of 2015, Singapore agreed to reduce its carbon emissions by 36% by 2030, compared to its 2005 levels, and strive to create a low-carbon economy.

To match Singapore's overall energy strategy and its rapidly growing service requirements, 1-Net urgently needed to build green data centers, to reduce its overall carbon footprint, while improving operational efficiency.

1-Net North Data Center

1-Net North Phase 1, which came online in 2016, operates more than 1500 Information Technology (IT) racks. It was the first data center in the Southeast Asia region to obtain Tier-III certification from the Uptime Institute, for both 'Design Documents' and the 'Constructed Facility.' It was also awarded a Green Mark for New Data Centers (earning a GoldPlus), a green building rating system for data centers co-developed by Singapore's Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and its Infocomm Development Authority (IDA). North Phase 1 also underwent a Threat and Vulnerability Risk Assessment (TVRA), overseen by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). All of this means that 1-Net is accredited to provide data center services to financial institutions with overseas offices outside Singapore.

With the rapid development of its services, 1-Net planned to implement the second phase of 1-Net North. Based on previous operation experience and feasibility study on Media and Entertainment (M&E) infrastructure, 1-Net wanted to optimize the data center to achieve three main objectives.

Efficiency: The power supply system needed to be highly efficient regardless of whether fully or lightly loaded, minimizing power supply losses as well as the carbon footprint. In addition, the use of high power-density products can reduce the physical footprint of a power supply and distribution system, improving the out-of-rack rate of IT devices.

Flexibility: Flexible infrastructure allows improved power supply and distribution capabilities based on service rollout and load.

Reliability: The 1-Net field maintenance team is responsible for the first-layer response of data center Operations & Maintenance (O&M). Simplified device operations and O&M enables the team to solve basic problems onsite quickly.

Building a Green Data Center with Huawei

Simply put, traditional data center facility solutions could not meet the requirements of 1-Net. The company ultimately chose Huawei — already its reliable long-term partner — with its extensive architecture research, requirement analysis, and solution designs. Huawei's SmartLi Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) solution — which includes the ultra-high-efficiency modular UPS5000S, the smart lithium-ion battery SmartLi, the precision air conditioner NetCol8000C, and the IT cabinet system NetHos — was able to perfectly meet all requirements for the 1-Net green data center.

Efficiency: With 11.2 million kWh power predicted to be saved over ten years, over 60 new IT racks have been deployed for saving battery space, which will increase revenue by SG$14.4 million over those same ten years. The efficiency of UPS5000-S reaches 97%, 2% higher than the industry average. Modular hibernation technology is used to achieve high efficiency at low loads, saving more than 10 million kWh of electricity in the power supply and distribution field over ten years. Furthermore NetCol8000C uses efficient components and software optimization algorithms, improving energy consumption by more than 10% and saving more than 1.2 million kWh of electricity in the temperature control field in ten years. Compared with traditional ValveRegulated Lead Acid Batteries (VRLAs), the smart lithium-ion battery SmartLi slashes the physical footprint by 50%.

Flexibility: The fully modular SmartLi UPS can be deployed in phases, reducing Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) in power supply and distribution by 40%: UPS5000-S adopts a modular architecture and can be flexibly configured based on requirements. It supports online capacity expansion within five minutes without powering off, reducing initial investment. SmartLi also supports mixed use of old and new battery cabinets. When the load increases, battery cabinets can be expanded in phases, additionally reducing initial investment.

Reliability: With fully redundant device architecture, UPS5000-S prevents single points of failure, with hot-swappable modules meaning maintenance can be performed in just five minutes without affecting the running of the system. The NetCol power supply and control module supports hot swappable modules and fault self-diagnosis, guiding field engineers and reducing O&M time by over 80% on average. SmartLi UPS has a lifecycle of ten years and, fully digitally managed, reduces overall battery replacement and O&M costs while achieving optimal Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) in the lifecycle.

What's Next for the Future?

"1-Net believes that we can create value through purposeful collaboration and open and trustful relationships, while providing cutting-edge business solutions with an exceptional customer service experience. The cooperation with Huawei on the 1-Net North project is superb. Huawei provides an integrated solution that is not isolated using different products, making the whole greater than the sum of its parts," said Mr. James Yeo, Data Centre Facility Manager of 1-Net. "Currently, the data center market in the Asia-Pacific region and our business are growing rapidly. As an energy solution provider who understands Information Technology, Huawei's products are in line with the evolution trend of data centers in the future. We are very much looking forward to working with Huawei to build smarter and greener data centers in the future, contributing to the digital economy and low-carbon economic growth of Singapore and the overall Asia Pacific region."

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