The Emergence of Osaka as a Digital Hub

Digital infrastructure expansion to unleash the power of technology and innovation

Kuniko Ogawa
The Emergence of Osaka as a Digital Hub

As the third-largest economy in the world, Japan has recently seen signs of recovery from the impacts of the pandemic, recording 5% growth in the third quarter this year.[1] As with other economies across the globe, digitalization will be a decisive factor in determining the path of recovery. Japan is planning to establish a digital agency in 2021 tasked with promoting the digitalization of Japan’s society.[2]  In addition, with the forthcoming World Expo in 2025, all eyes are looking to the metropolitan city.

Osaka has established itself as a key commercial hub, second in Japan only to Tokyo with its world-class infrastructure, prime geographical location and dense population. With a population of 8.8 million, Osaka Prefecture has a GDP of US$360 billion, similar to the size of Norway’s economy.[3] It is also worth noting that Osaka’s economy is fuelled by numerous industries that rely heavily on technology, including energy, healthcare and medical services, and advanced manufacturing. All of these industries are able to tap into the huge potential offered by emerging technologies, such as big data, AI, 5G, robotics and IoT, which will require a secure and agile digital infrastructure to facilitate interconnection.

Recognizing the demand for interconnection and data center services in Osaka and the wider Kansai region, we decided to further expand our footprint in Osaka with our new International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center, to be named OS3. With an initial investment of US$55 million, OS3 is scheduled to open in Q4 2021, and will offer businesses direct and low-latency connections to the Kansai region. The addition of OS3 will further complement our dual presence across Tokyo and Osaka, which will not only allow us to offer high performance, network reliability and low-latency connection, but will also provide geographic redundancy solutions for customers currently sitting in our Tokyo sites.

With an initial investment of US$55 million, OS3 is scheduled to open in Q4 2021, and will offer businesses direct and low-latency connections to the Kansai region. Kuniko Ogawa

Why Choose Osaka Data Centers?

To be named OS3, the new facility will enable local and global businesses to harness Platform Equinix® to bring together and interconnect the foundational infrastructures that power their success.

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Global business opportunities backed by favorable government policy

Propelled by local government support, Osaka is expected to continue to boom. The local government has created Osaka Innovation Hub (OIH) with the aim of facilitating a startup ecosystem. OIH is a startup community that brings together government bodies, universities, and the wider business community to pull resources to attract startups from Japan and the world.[4] The Osaka government’s intention is to nurture an international startup community, thereby attracting partners, investors and talent from all global markets to Osaka.

On top of driving innovation and entrepreneurship, the Japanese government also strives to support and capitalize on innovation with favorable economic policy. The Kansai Innovation International Strategic Comprehensive Special Zone has been established, where Japanese government and economic organizations will provide support to corporations that are planning to develop new business operations in the region.[5]  Attracting global companies and foreign investment to Osaka and the Kansai region will open up more business opportunities for the domestic SMEs and manufacturing players, and vice versa.

OS3 will offer a wide range of interconnection solutions including Equinix FabricTM, an on-demand SDN-enabled interconnection service, and data center-to-data center network connections. This will help achieve the aim of supporting businesses to fast-track their digital advantage and therefore realize the potential in Osaka and beyond. Platform Equinix® connects suppliers, manufacturers, service providers and enterprises under one roof, with more than 1,800 network and 2,900 cloud and IT service providers, 600 digital content providers and 760 enterprises. With this globally interconnected platform, customers are able to quickly, seamlessly and securely connect endpoints within IBX data centers anywhere they need.

Cloud-first strategy to create business impact

COVID-19 has disrupted the brick-and-mortar economy more than we initially expected. Having a cloud-native strategy will not only allow businesses to pivot, but will also provide resilience and agility. This will allow businesses to leverage any potential gains offered once the economy recovers. IDC research showed that in 2020, over 70% of CIOs in Asia-Pacific have a cloud-first strategy in place, including workload determination for hosted, public or local cloud.[6] However, it is never easy to transform traditional IT infrastructure, and all the more challenging to find a transformation that offers a secure yet flexible, high-performing yet cost-effective solution. With the commercialization of the 5G network in Japan earlier this year, the availability of hybrid multicloud solutions will become more important than before, as seen in the cloud giants’ moves to expand in Osaka. Located in close proximity to major internet and peering exchanges, OS3 will allow customers in Osaka to establish direct and secure access to cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft. This means the Equinix cloud ecosystem will offer customers the ability to choose a public cloud service provider and build the best combination of public, private and hybrid clouds to fast-track their digital advantages.

Thrive in the digital marketplace with Equinix

OS3 demonstrates our continued commitment in understanding the specific market needs while still driving the global digital economy.  We will continue building our footprint in Asia-Pacific, including Japan to empower digital leaders in the region to scale. By interconnecting digital infrastructure for optimal performance, speed and flexibility, companies can continue to move fast and pivot quickly in response to the global markets.






[6]IDC CloudPulse Survey, 2020

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