By Bill Barney, CEO of Turbidite
Posted on The Tech Capital
From the 1970s through the late 1990s many of us who lived in Asia experienced traffic congestion in many cities that we visited across the region. The reason was that citizens in many high growth Asian cities prospered and essentially moved from bicycles as primary transport to automobiles. When this occurred, massive amounts of people got on to roads that did not have highways, express lanes and sufficient traffic lights. Driving through those streets was chaotic to say the least.
A similar problem is occurring in the last five years over the Internet. Domestic networks and regional hosting centers are being overrun by new speedy and sizeable packets that far exceed the packets used to transmit emails and voice over the last decade. Making the situation worse, is the increasing demand for live streaming video, like bus services in cities, all needs to move in set times and at set speeds, whereas packets in the past could arrive on an as-needed basis.
This Internet evolution that mirrors the personal transport evolution will be the catalyst of new “super-highways” and local smaller data centers which can serve as onramps or bypasses for these new networks. The similarities are amazing!
Video content is king!
Over the past 2 years, we have seen increasing volumes and requirements for video on demand, Video as a Service (VaaS), video as a marketing tool, digital entertainment, gaming and more. Our networks and data centers are filling up with online video content created by everyone, for every purpose and posted every second across every corner of the world.
What does that mean? In our evolving virtual world, not just content, but video content is king! Video is increasingly the primary communications, entertainment and learning medium of the future.
The Fortune Business Insights Report in March 2022 predicted that, “the global video on demand market is projected to grow from USD 82.77 billion in 2022 to USD 257.59 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 17.6% during the forecast period.”
As our digital world continues to load up, we are witnessing video’s indisputable impact in the creation of metaverse, among other areas of high growth in the virtual realm. With digital innovation making new waves, are today’s networks and data centers ready for a potential video tidal wave in-the-making? Or do we need to more rapidly ramp up our existence to ensure we are aligned with the speed in which new technology is embracing the world we live in?
The bottleneck in the race to build
Investors, subsea cable operators, and data center operators have been making every effort to ramp up production to meet new growth demands for network connectivity and data center availability.
However, 2022 has been a year of ongoing challenges which are creating a bottleneck and delaying delivery of innovation across the fastest growing markets of Asia Pacific. Based on recent consolidated research estimates, Asia’s data center capacity per capita when last calculated was around .5MB per citizen. The US by comparison has almost 19MB per person.
Beyond the pandemic-driven supply chain disruptions and some politically motivated delays in new cable landings, we also witnessed more focus on sustainability targets in the midst of increases in data center power requirements.
Since the 2021 year-end United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), organizations have further prioritized the need to address issues related to sustainability and carbon footprint reduction, many targeting to reach net-zero carbon emissions in the near future.
Even with efforts to optimize power consumption, data center power requirements continue to surge. Research and Markets’ Data Center Power Market – Industry Outlook & Forecast 2022-2027 shows that “the APAC data center power market by investment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.23% during the period 2022-2027. Over the forecast period, < 500 kVA UPS systems will witness the highest CAGR in the region, owing to edge data centers, and rack and row level adoption by hyperscale operators.”
”Asia Pacific is set to become the world’s largest data center region over the next decadeCushman & Wakefield2022 Data Centre Global Markets Comparison report
Juggling through growth
Fueled by increasing transport requirements of high-density video that need scalable, robust capabilities and hosting facilities to deliver ultra-low-latency connectivity and workload, “Asia Pacific is set to become the world’s largest data center region over the next decade,” according to Cushman & Wakefield’s 2022 Data Centre Global Markets Comparison report.
It is evident that digital transformation is happening at an escalated pace as equipment vendors and technology innovators across the ecosystem continue to fine-tune their sophisticated wares. At their recent GTC conference, NVIDIA’s CEO Jansen Huang shared the company’s vision of transforming data centers into AI factories with “new AI and accelerated computing software and powerful new data-center-scale systems” being delivered.
The huge demand for more network infrastructure & data center facilities in every corner of the world, especially high growth emerging markets, will continue into the next decade. All said and done, it’s to support Big Tech and innovators in delivering the “big wow” in digital transformation that the world is anticipating!
The backbone: collaborating at the edge and beyond
While the infrastructure backbone to support delivery of high-resolution real-time video on demand has developed way beyond secured storage and facilities, it is even more mission-critical to ensure we provide scalable performance along with high-capacity bandwidth.
Primarily connected by subsea cables, collaboration in Asia Pacific means direct connectivity with submarine network infrastructure, in addition to ensuring hyperscale and edge data centers are aligned and working together to support requirements with minimal delays and interruptions.
AI, metaverse creation and innovative new technologies are delivering content to reshape every element of life as we know it –new channels of communications in the virtual world are changing how we live, work and play! Video is creating new waves –mirroring the personal transport evolution, its latest progression could hit us like a tidal wave so we need to be prepared! In this era, more so than ever, partnerships and collaboration will be the key to success for everyone as we build the digital “right sized” superhighways and access paths of tomorrow.