Data centre provider Equinix on Tuesday revealed that it has opened its first hyperscale facility in Asia as part of a planned $3 billion global expansion.
Dubbed TY12x, the project in Chiba prefecture — just northeast of Tokyo — is designed to support 54 megawatts of power when all phases are complete, Equinix said in a release. The company terms its largest data centres “xScale” and designs the facilities to meet the requirements of Internet heavyweights such as Amazon and Google.
“Our xScale data centres are engineered to meet the technical, operational and pricing requirements of hyperscale companies that require large amounts of space and power to support massive scaling across thousands of servers for cloud, big data analytics or storage tasks, with 10, 20 or even 50 megawatts of power, all while meeting Equinix’s sustainability commitments,” said Krupal Raval, managing director of xScale at Equinix.
The project, which officially opened on 1 March, is the first of three hyperscale facilities that the company has planned for Japan after last year signing a $1 billion-plus joint venture with Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC to expand its network in the country.
Big in Japan
Equinix has already secured an anchor tenant for the first phase of TY12x as well as for part of the second, with the project planned to yield more than 186,000 square feet (17,300 square meters) of colocation space upon completion.
Equinix counts some of the world’s biggest providers of cloud computing services as partners, including Alibaba, Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle.
In addition to TY12x, the OS2x xScale data centre in Osaka, likewise part of the GIC joint venture, is under development and due to open in the fourth quarter of this year. Equinix also anticipates developing one additional xScale data centre in Japan. The three collectively are planned to deliver 138 megawatts of power to hyperscale customers in the country.
Under the terms of the joint venture, which was completed in the fourth quarter of last year, GIC is contributing an unspecified amount of cash in return for an 80 percent stake. Meanwhile, Equinix will transfer TY12x and OS2x, together with the development rights and land for the additional data centre, in return for a 20 percent equity interest in the joint venture and net cash proceeds of about £100 million ($139 million).
The agreement was announced last April, just nine months after the two parties established a separate $1 billion joint venture to build similar projects in Europe.
“The new facilities under this JV will allow our hyperscale customers to streamline their continued growth, while strengthening Equinix’s leadership position in the cloud ecosystem,” Charles Meyers, Equinix’s president and CEO, said at the time of the Japan joint venture’s launch.
Before the launch of this latest project, Equinix already had in operation a network of 13 data centres in Japan and has more than 500 staff in the country.
Centre of Attention
Japan’s server-hosting market heated up last August when Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners introduced its new data centre operator under the name Digital Edge and under the leadership of chief executive Samuel Lee, who formerly served as president for Asia Pacific at Equinix.
On the day of its debut, Digital Edge wasted no time in announcing two Japan investments: a partnership with Keihanshin Building and Kanden Energy Solutions to develop a 12 megawatt data centre in Osaka, and a strategic partnership with ITOCHU Techno-Solutions on the Mejirozaka Data Center in Tokyo.
Dutch design consultancy Arcadis this month ranked Japan as the third most attractive place in the world for building data centres, trailing only the US and Singapore.
Arcadis cited Japan’s near-universal mobile broadband penetration, underlining the need to manage the country’s high level of data consumption.