The data centre market in SEA is expected to buoyant and grow at a modest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over six percent between 2019 – 2025, led primarily by new cloud providers and growth of the hybrid cloud.
iTNews Asia speaks to Joe Ong, Vice President and General Manager, ASEAN, at Hitachi Vantara to find out about the developing data storage landscape in Asia, and the considerations that decision makers would need to factor in before deciding their data storage strategy.
iTNews Asia: What are the trends driving data storage in APAC in the coming few years?
Businesses reckon the importance of long-term IT investment especially in the post-COVID era. Gartner projects that ASEAN nations including Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia are expected to enjoy a 4.7 per cent year-on-year surge in IT spending this year, while Singapore could see up to 5.2 per cent growth in 2021.
The Southeast Asia data centre market by investment is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 8% during the period 2021-2026, according to the latest Data Center Market in Southeast Asia - Industry Outlook and Forecast 2021-2026.
IDC forecasts that global data will grow to 163 ZB by 2025. Due to data explosion, a robust data strategy is a top business priority. Businesses are seeking economical solutions to scale fast and efficiently.
Rapid technological advancements have led to new heights in data acquisition across varied verticals, which is leading the need to store data in secure and reliable infrastructure. We are also seeing that there is demand for businesses to partner with third-party vendors and there is a wave of support from governments that wish to support SMEs to adapt to the fast pace of digital transformation.
iTNews Asia: What are the advantages and disadvantages of on-premise and off-premise data storage and management respectively? Which do organisations opt for, and what factors affect their decision making?
A large advantage of on-premise software for an organisation is its security. With on-premise software the business maintains, runs, and installs all applications and does not operate on the internet, which reduces cyberthreat risks as the network is not accessible to those outside the network.
This is particularly useful for industries that handle sensitive data, such as the financial services industry. Additionally, having control over server hardware permits maintenance to happen in-house and offers the flexibility to businesses to manage their company needs. However, the business needs to maintain on-premise software and to hire an adequate IT team to maintain the application.
With off-premise data storage, the cloud is being used by companies to maintain their data. Companies that engage third-party vendors for cloud storage solutions benefit from reduced IT staffing costs, since they do not have to maintain any internal infrastructure, and less costs from on-premise software, which allows for regular data backup of important company information.
Along with the cloud’s flexibility, this is advantageous for companies looking to scale. However, to operate on the Cloud, an internet connection is needed, which puts data at risk, as it can be exposed to external threats from on the network.
To decide on a suitable IT solution, organisations should look at their business model and determine their long-term goals and consider how the business can scale, what industry regulations may need to be complied with, and whether their data storage needs are going to expand. Different considerations would often lead some organisations to choose a mix of both solutions.
iTNews Asia: How easy is it for organisations to adopt cloud-based services, and what are the challenges?
It is relatively easy for organisations to adopt cloud-based solutions as a third-party vendor assists with the installation, implementation and maintenance of the cloud solution.
Challenges such as security issues are of concern, but the cloud has its benefits that outweigh the cons. It is of great importance for organisations to choose the right vendor. Some considerations include ensuring that the vendor has the technology capabilities to support current infrastructure, and the ability to scale with the business.
To decide on a suitable IT solution, organisations should look at their business model and determine their long-term goals and consider how the business can scale, what industry regulations may need to be complied with, and whether their data storage needs are going to expand.
- Joe Ong, Vice President and General Manager, ASEAN, at Hitachi Vantara
iTNews Asia: What are the advantages of a hybrid cloud strategy? How would data centre modernisation impact a companies’ hybrid cloud strategy?
A hybrid cloud strategy has advantages because it combines the benefits of on-premise software and cloud solutions for faster performance. The complexity of IT security has led to businesses having doubts on migrating their business to the cloud, but the hybrid cloud structure allows sensitive data to be stored within the company, while the rest of the business scales, due to the flexibility and agility of the cloud.
While a company’s hybrid cloud strategy can help in bringing in new applications and optimising the business, it is important not to forget data centre modernisation. There are three different pillars that help a business create a strong foundation and they represent a breadth of software, systems, and services, in order to maximise the efficiency and effectiveness of IT data centre operations on both on- and off- premises.
These pillars can be prioritised according to a business’s needs, and as a one-size-fits-all approach won’t always meet the requirements, a more suitable way may be to deploy a use-case-optimised data centre, which includes powerful all-flash arrays (AFAs), or hybrid arrays, for transactional processing.
This also includes converged or hyper converged solutions for cloud-delivered services and object storage for longer-term retention of data for both compliance and data lakes. These architectures should never operate in silos because you need the ability to easily move data to the system where it optimally resides and set policies in an integrated fashion.