Gaming, Gambling and the Cloud – The Rise of Osaka

Kei Furuta

 

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By Kei Furuta, Managing Director, Equinix Japan

 

There is a buzzword around Japan’s second largest economy, Osaka and it is ‘integrated’.

As the hub of a multi-billion dollar plan to launch integrated leisure and entertainment resorts and attract foreign investment, Osaka has garnered international attention as a rapidly emerging business destination. Integration is in many ways the key to what makes this vibrant city tick.
Equinix and its partners have invested significantly in its newest data center, OS1, officially launching today and follows the recent opening of its fourth data center in Tokyo in August.

Located in the Kansai region, which has a population of over 20 million, Osaka Prefecture boasts a population of 8.8 million and a gross domestic product of US$435 billion. Osaka City’s GDP is US$239 billion and is fuelled by an economy that has integrated the best of breed local and international innovators across a range of progressive industries including technology, electronics and biotech industries, such as pharmaceuticals and regenerative medicine.

The local government has also displayed innovative approaches to ensuring that cutting edge companies and industries are given the tools and infrastructure to thrive in the region, such as the creation of specialist commercial industry zones including ‘Umeda’ and ‘Namba’.

Not only is Osaka gaining international recognition as a regional Asian center for innovation, according to our global customer research, Osaka consistently ranks in the top five most requested cities for expansion. OS1 represents the first carrier neutral network hub facility in Osaka, enabling companies to do just that: expand.

Connectivity to Osaka is bolstered by its position as a hub for five international cables and submarine cable landing stations in the metro region, which offers redundancy to facilities in Tokyo. Specifically, OS1 has direct connectivity via optical fiber to Dojima, the network core in Osaka, as well as offering peering opportunities with JPIX, one of the largest Internet Exchanges in Japan.

The government is also assisting in promoting the region with subsidies and special tax incentives to attract regional and international interest. In fact, the Osaka government’s track record in procuring and retaining local and foreign investment from market giants is extensive, with companies Sharp and Kyocera noted as key stalwarts for the city.

The re-styling of Osaka as a travel and leisure destination is also amplifying capacity needs. The current plans to create a resort style precinct will demand high network redundancy, storage and security. The influx of foreign investment capital will also lead to a flurry of new activity and enterprises in the region. And lastly, the advent of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games also means that capacity and redundancy issues will be a high priority for the city.

OS1 is a great example of the integrated alliances, enabling the city to meet these capacity needs. Equinix partnered with K-Opticom, one of the largest IP/FTTH/CATV network providers across enterprise and consumer markets in the Osaka and neighbouring Kansai region, providing customers dedicated network connectivity services via multi paths with high reliability. It also partnered with KENES, a utility service company for data centers that provides technology, management and maintenance, enabling Equinix to exceed building and operating standards and provide a state of the art, global data center in Osaka. Additionally, O-BIC (the joint initiative by Osaka Prefecture Government, Osaka City Government, and Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry) is assisting in promoting the internationalization of Osaka to support foreign owned companies to establish presence. The organization recognizes the importance of getting the technology platforms right in order to attract and support the new phase of growth for the city. As such, O-BIC is promoting OS1 as Osaka’s public infrastructure for global companies to expand their businesses.

These types of integrated efforts are critical to establishing Osaka as a key business hub in Japan, enabling international companies to expand their businesses and helping the city to meet its capacity needs.

 

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Kei Furuta
Kei Furuta Managing Director, North Asia