Malaysia Data Center aspirations


A bernama report a couple of days ago mentioned that Malaysia was ‘well-positioned’ to be a world class preferred hub for data centers:

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 (Bernama) — Malaysia is well-positioned to be a world-class preferred hub as a data center thanks largely to the government’s liberal investment policies, solid infrastructure and a large supply of people with expertise on information technology.

Besides this, the country’s multilingual talents offer clear advantages for foreign investors, particularly in terms of disaster recovery and offshore relocation, Fumitoshi Imaizumi, the President and Chief Executive Officer of NTT MSC, said in a statement here Thursday.

The reality though is starkly different. Data centers consume huge amounts of power and huge amounts of space, so the two primary resources needed to operate a data center are electricity and real-estate. Of course you need skilled technicians and engineers to run it, but the scale of most data centers usually require a small-ish team to operate even the largest data-centers, as these things usually take care of themselves.

Now, even though Malaysia offers cheaper electricity and far cheaper real-estate, and even cheaper skilled labour that Singapore–where does Amazon choose to host their Asia-Pac Datacenter? You guessed it–Singapore.

So why then, does the world’s leading IaaS provider choose to have their data center in far more expensive Singapore, then it Malaysia? Could it be that the communications infrastructure in Singapore far exceeds anything Malaysia currently has–or is planning to have? Could it be that top-notch IaaS providers are less interested in driving down the cost of real-estate or electricity, but feel an urgent need for multiple connection points for their hubs to connect to the rest of the world?

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