Singapore remains the top hub for data centres in Asia Pacific, with record low vacancies of 2 percent in 2022, while Hong Kong ranks second despite climbing land prices, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s global comparison of homes for server farms.
The two Asian metropolises were also the only markets outside the US to land on the brokerage’s top 10 list worldwide, just behind Northern Virginia and Portland, which were tied for first place. In terms of sheer market size, Beijing stands out as Asia’s largest nerve centre for the industry, followed by Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Sydney.
Now in its fourth year, the annual report by the Chicago-based brokerage seeks to determine the world’s top overall data centre markets as well as the top-performing markets in each of 13 categories such as market size, power cost, fibre connectivity, and environmental risk.
Hong Kong rose to fourth place in this year’s overall global ranking from sixth last year, while Singapore slipped to third place after drawing even with Silicon Valley for the No. 2 position in the previous report. Sydney and Seoul were tied for third place on the list of the top overall markets in Asia Pacific.
Tokyo, Beijing, Mumbai, Shanghai, Melbourne, and Kuala Lumpur rounded out the list of the region’s top contenders, with Cushman & Wakefield noting that Asia Pacific locations accounted for 20 of the 63 global data centre markets reviewed.
Singapore features 23 operators, 47 data centres, and 876 megawatts in operation, according to the agency’s data. Ranking high in terms of market size, fibre connectivity and cloud availability, the city-state earned its top spot in Asia Pacific despite a three-year development moratorium that was in place until January of last year.
Google announced in August the start of operations at its third data centre in Singapore, a multi-storey development with undisclosed specifications in Jurong, bringing the tech giant’s total data centre investment in the country to $850 million since 2011.
Hong Kong maintained its status as a premier data centre hub despite limitations on land and power supply, particularly in Kwai Chung, Tsuen Wan, Shatin, Tsing Yi and Fanling. Average land prices for data centre developments have risen 20 to 30 percent citywide in the last few years.
The city has 16 operators, 39 data centres, and 417 megawatts in operation, with a 15 percent vacancy rate. Singapore and Hong Kong “both have strong ecosystems, excellent connectivity, consistent demand, and all major cloud services available and expanding where possible,” Cushman & Wakefield noted in the report.
Beijing made a notable appearance as the world’s largest data centre market after Northern Virginia, clocking in at roughly 1.75 gigawatts of total power. Both Beijing and Mumbai have seen substantial activity as enterprise-scale cloud service providers aim to grow their coverage for the populations of China and India.
Secondary and emerging markets that offer more availability of land and power at lower prices have drawn the attention of hyperscale tenants as well as colocation providers and developers, averred Todd Olson, head of Cushman & Wakefield’s Asia Pacific data centre practice group in a statement.
Kuala Lumpur rose in the ranking this year, claiming 10th place among Asia Pacific markets, in part because of the expanded presence of top cloud providers in the Malaysian capital. Cushman & Wakefield noted that the three major cloud services – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure – are now available in the city.
Google Cloud announced in August that Malaysia will have its own cloud region, marking the company’s third cloud region in Southeast Asia after Singapore and Indonesia, while AWS signed a framework agreement with the Malaysian government designed to accelerate cloud adoption in the country.
“We are seeing significant investment and interest in Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Hyderabad, Johor and Manila and we expect this to continue, along with interest in other primary and secondary markets in the region,” said Vivek Dahiya, head of the agency’s Asia Pacific data centre advisory team in prepared remarks.
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