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Space DC eyes Indonesia datacentre market

Space DC opens first of two datacentres with reliability and green features to tap Indonesia’s growing demand for datacentres

Singapore-based datacentre service provider Space DC has opened its first datacentre in Jakarta to tap the growing potential of Indonesia’s booming digital economy.

Called JAK2, the 1.45MW facility at Jakarta Barat incorporates a range of design choices and systems that makes it reliable and secure.

For a start, its Uptime Institute tier-three design accreditation means it will be able to offer 99.982% availability. It also features eight distinct levels of security, including a 3.2-meter impact resistant perimeter fencing to keep intruders at bay.

Besides having an onsite security team, the facility is concurrently monitored from a network operations centre in Singapore around-the-clock.

Reinforced concrete floors support up to 15 kilowatts per rack without the need to deploy additional cooling equipment, allowing it to easily host power-hungry hyper-converged systems or artificial intelligence workloads.

But perhaps the most interesting aspect of JAK2 are its green-centric features, which Space DC said put the facility in line with the Indonesian government’s effort to reduce global greenhouse gas emission.

An outer facade of vertical slates reduces heat absorption from the sun during the day to lower cooling requirements.

Thermal wall technology

In the data halls, thermal wall technology is used for cooling together with a hot aisle layout. Outside, high-efficiency air-cooled chillers used in place of traditional cooling towers keep evaporative water loss down.

Space DC claimed that JAK2 delivers a PUE (power usage effectiveness) of 1.3, significantly lower than the industry average of 2.0. PUE, the ratio of the total amount of power entering a datacentre to the power consumed by IT equipment, is commonly used to measure the energy efficiency of a datacentre.

Backup diesel generators are fitted with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) unit to lower the carbon emission, which Space DC said was a first in Indonesia.

This puts Space DC “two steps ahead of the regulation”, said Space DC’s Indonesia country manager Elisabeth Simatupang at a virtual launch event last week, as the generators are Euro VI compliant despite current regulations only requiring Euro IV compliance.

Finally, an onsite natural gas power plant offers an additional avenue for mains power apart from the power grid. Natural gas is less polluting than coal, which, according to a 2018 PricewaterhouseCoopers report, remains the major source of energy in Indonesia. Built-in absorption chillers also recycle waste heat that can be utilised for cooling the datacentre.

However, it is understood that the gas-fired generator is available as an option for customers and is not currently in operation.

Darren Hawkins, CEO of Space DC, explained the rationale behind the gas power plant: “Indonesia has a large natural gas reserve, which is much better than coal. Still not ideal, certainly, but we’ve got that option for customers that want to do a green datacentre option where we look to save 30-40% of the carbon that's associated with traditional datacentre operation.”

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Speaking at the same event, Alex Perkins, Asia-Pacific datacentre solutions lead at JLL, pointed to the rising awareness of sustainability.

Beyond location and power capacity for datacentres, Perkins noted that the next most common question he gets often revolve around sustainability: “Can I get renewable power? It is becoming a ubiquitous sort of question across the board”.

But sustainability isn’t easily achieved at a later stage, said Joseph Lembayung, country general manager for global technology services at IBM Indonesia. He added that while many datacentres try to enhance their PUE, doing so during the design phase is easier and cheaper.

The panellists noted that current datacentre market’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Asia-Pacific is between 16-18%. But while enterprise demand is significant, the supply of reliable, high-quality datacentres is sorely lacking.

“If you look at the data in Indonesia, we have 2,600 datacentres but only 3% of them are accredited to global standards. Enterprise demand for datacentres in Indonesia is triggered by digital transformation in Indonesia, which is accelerating,” said Lembayung.

JAK2 is one of two datacentres that Space DC had planned to build in the Indonesian capital city. A much larger JAK1 datacentre with 24MW of capacity is currently under construction and expected to launch in 2021.

Read more on Datacentre capacity planning

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