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Vietnam forges new market for data center and cloud services

As South East Asia absorbs massive data center investments made over the past two years, Vietnam has quietly built out facilities and services, creating a new cloud services market in the region, reaching near parity in terms of capacity with Thailand and Indonesia.

A new report from BroadGroup, Data Centers South East Asia, follows on from previous studies which have monitored sectoral developments in the region since 2012. 

It suggests that data center markets in South East Asia have undergone a period of adjustment and are still absorbing investments made in new capacity across Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand. 

The report estimates that around USD1.4 billion has been invested in building facilities over the past two years alone across the six markets covered. 

SUPERNAP in Thailand and Global Switch in Singapore feature among the highest spend projects.

Although Singapore remains the dominant market with 54% of capacity in the region, and with the highest percentage of facilities owned by overseas companies, land space for further development is now extremely limited. 

The report anticipates investors are now assessing alternative locations.

However, a concerted attempt to improve Vietnam's infrastructure has been underway over the past two years resulting in an increase of 37% in m2 capacity forecast by the end of 2018. 

Government-backed investment, the need to catch up with the rest of Asia, local demand and telcos seeking to provide cloud and e-commerce services are all contributing factors.

More recent growth regionally has been driven by the international expansion of mainland Chinese players, cloud service providers in Asia, sustained migration by enterprises pursuing a hybrid cloud strategy and mobile communications.

Power challenges persist, and the likelihood of renewable energy supply for data centers is remote across the next 15 years, with the exception of Thailand which is already on target and has an ambitious re-forecast of 40% for renewables to be achieved by 2030.

BroadGroup spokesperson Philip Low comments, “Outside of Singapore and Malaysia, the region's data center development is still evolving.

“However the map is uneven, where some have good connectivity, challenges emerge with the cost of the local fiber.”

“Financing has been problematic for some owners but the main issue remains building highly competitive ecosystems that will attract enterprises from the region and internationally."