Equinix has watched the growth of Singapore’s dynamic economy and data centre market first-hand, setting up two world class facilities – SG1 and SG2.
On March 18 (2015), they were joined by a brand new facility – SG3 – that will offer customers in Singapore access to more top-quality data centre space.
To get the story from the horse’s mouth, we talked to Thiam Poh Goh, Operations Director of Equinix Singapore, who offered some insight into what makes SG3 such a special development.
Q: What’s unique about the new facility?
A: While SG1 and SG2 occupy existing buildings, the new SG3 site has been built from the ground up. That’s a tremendous advantage and enables us to exercise a phenomenal degree of freedom and control in terms of design, physical construction and the overall management of the facility.
For example, we are able to incorporate the concept of “Security by Design” to the development and construction of SG3. Physical security is more holistic, extending into areas such as building access and vehicles entering the driveway. The net result is that SG3 offers more compliance-oriented features to customers in sensitive, highly regulated industries such as banking and finance.
Equinix worked with a consultant to conduct a detailed Threat and Vulnerability Risk Assessment (TVRA) during the design stage of SG3. The TVRA adopts a robust assessment methodology that encompasses a broad range of risk parameters, including:
- Defining threats and scenarios
- Establishing the probability of an occurrence
- Identification of current / proposed level of protection
- Conducting a damage assessment for each scenario
- Calibrating the risk calculations
- Determining the recommended level of protection
The recommendations were incorporated into the construction of the building to ensure that it is fully compliant. You might say that compliance at every level is in SG3’s DNA!
It also offers incredible connectivity. It is located next to SG1 – which is the most carrier-dense data centre in Singapore – enabling customers in SG3 to enjoy the same high carrier density and access to a vast ecosystem of partners and potential customers. With dedicated fiber connectivity between each of its Singapore data centres, Equinix is able to offer all three sites as one virtual data centre.
Q: How big is SG3?
A: The seven-floor SG3 facility boasts 385,000 square feet of gross floor space. There are five dedicated data centre floors, with each 5,000+ square metre floor capable of accommodating up to 1,000 cabinets, taking the total footprint to 5,000 cabinets at full build. It will be opened in Phases, with Phase 1 seeing one data centre floor immediately available to customers. The additional floors will come on line, driven by customer demand.
We have a healthy pipeline of requirements from customers in the financial and cloud segments, which is where the biggest growth appears to be coming from.
Q: Will any SG1 and SG2 customers migrate to SG3?
Absolutely. There is definitely interest, particularly from existing customers that have outgrown their existing capacity and are keen to move to an environment that supports their expansion needs
As their business has grown, so has Equinix’s. Now they are ready to move up to the next level with us.
It’s hard to predict precisely, although the timing will be driven by demand from our customers.
Q: How green is SG3?
A: The answer is very. Of course, all our data centres are built with environmental issues firmly in mind, however, there is a limit to how much you can do with an existing building.
SG3 is different. It is not only Equinix’s largest data centre in Asia-Pacific, it is also our greenest in Singapore because it was designed and built that way. It includes a host of sustainability enhancing features, such as some 1400 solar panels to provide power for ancillary spaces which helps save over 300,000 KWh annually and the use of industrial water for the cooling system.
SG3 has also received Singapore’s highest green building certification – the BCA-IDA Green Mark Platinum award for Data Centres.
In fact Equinix is currently the only data centre operator in Singapore able to legitimately claim that all three of its IBXs – SG1, SG2 & SG3 – are BCA- IDA Green Mark for Data Centre certified.
Q: What about disaster preparedness?
A: Equinix IBX is known for operational resilience and all of its facilities feature resilient, failsafe systems and back-up solutions for a host of electrical, mechanical or fire events.
SG3 was specifically designed to meet the stringent safety and data security guidelines of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Precautions against significant threats – whether natural or man-made – include no exterior windows in data halls and robust vehicle access control to prevent the unthinkable, such as a terrorist car bomb.
All of the more likely scenarios, such as grid-wide power outages are managed in much the same way as SG1 and SG2 – with on-side power generation capacity – although on a significantly larger scale.
We have four generators in place now, but the facility is designed to accommodate a total of 36 generators. Enough to power a suburb, the generators are more than capable of keeping SG3 running smoothly at full load, with sufficient fuel to maintain that level of activity for a full 24-hours. That can easily be extended for as long as necessary simply by bringing in tanker trucks from time to time to top up the fuel bunkers.
No matter what fate throws at us, Equinix is confident that our customers will be able to keep operating and doing business as usual!