The Hong Kong symphony! That’s what old “Asia Hands” jokingly call the incessant roar of jackhammers and pile drivers. But it is also the soundtrack for the city’s constant drive to grow and enhance its role as a global business hub and Asia’s world city.
Along with the steady flow of high-tech new buildings and other infrastructure has come an insatiable appetite for world class, cloud-ready data center facilities to support local, regional and international businesses. That includes the burgeoning electronic content and digital media industry, attracted by Hong Kong’s prime location in the heart of the Asia Pacific as well as its rich mix of submarine, overland and satellite communications links.
With four data centers in Hong Kong, Equinix is already playing an important part in supporting the city’s evolution into a digital hub. And this month we announced plans to extend that role further with over $40 million investment in the hub city.
The news comes hard on the heels of the March launch of two other data centers in Asia Pacific – SG3 in Singapore and ME1 in Melbourne, Australia – which takes the total number of new centers opened across the region during the last year to a healthy 21.
The investment will support the construction of the third phase of our second IBX data center (HK2), to meet the growing demand from cloud, content and digital media (CDM) companies for interconnection services. At same time, we will also build the ninth phase of our first International Business Exchange (IBX) data center (HK1).
Located in the western part of Hong Kong, the third phase of HK2 will provide space for an additional 900 cabinets, bringing the total capacity of the data center to 2,350 cabinets. It is slated to open in Q4 2015, in conjunction with the ninth phase of HK1, which will add another 275 cabinets.
The timing is excellent. According to IAB’s March “Digital, Social, and Mobile in APAC 2015 Report,” around 79% of the Hong Kong population is active on the internet, with 66% active on social media and 64% mobile internet users.
Given this high penetration, content and digital media companies are deploying in Equinix’s Hong Kong data centers at a rapid rate. And for good reason: it puts them in closer proximity to end users, which ensures lower network latency and enables them to provide an optimal end-user experience.
In fact, our Hong Kong content and digital media customer base grew 16% year-over-year in 2014. Content companies such as ChinaCache, Casale Media and MediaMath, to name just three, are deploying with Equinix Hong Kong to access our network-dense ecosystem of more than 1,000 networks, carriers, mobile providers and internet service providers (ISPs), such as China Unicom. Content companies are also deploying with Equinix to develop agile, hybrid cloud environments with access to multiple clouds including Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google Cloud Platform and networks via the Equinix Cloud Exchange.
That’s not the end of the story. Our cloud and IT ecosystem is also continuing to gain momentum in Hong Kong.
With IDC predicting that the cloud market will grow 23% in 2015, driven by rising interest from enterprises, local and international internet security and cloud service providers (CSPs) are increasingly choosing to deploy with Equinix Hong Kong as an entry point into Asia-Pacific.
We are already seeing happen – cloud service providers such as Macroview, Microware, Netswitch, Nexusguard and OneAsia are turning to Equinix Hong Kong to connect with an established ecosystem of over 6,300 potential customers and partners. And that’s definitely music to my ears!