Singapore Gets New Cloud Center

The island-nation of Singapore, located in the southwest of the ASEAN region, competes with Hong Kong more than 1,500 miles to the northeast for business and attention. It is now also competing with the Chinese special administrative region (SAR) as an emerging cloud-computing center.

A recent development comes from Citic Telecom International CPC Ltd., a Hong Kong-based company that’s launched what it calls a SmartCloud center in Singapore. The center joins similar facilities in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China.

The company expects cloud services to grow to 20-25% of its overall business within three years, according to a statement from company CEO Stephen Ho.

This is a complex facility, belying any belief one might have that cloud is simple. It incorporates technology from Dell, Riverbed, VMware, and HP (which is adding security management into the mix).

The Riverbed technology, designed to optimize performance, is a key aspect of Citic’s implementation. A local Riverbed spokesperson said the company’s technology will address “the vagaries of the Internet” with the idea of maximizing QoS (quality-of-service) issues.

Citic says Singapore will be its “communications hub” for Southeast Asia, and also says it will extend its presence to Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines in the near future.

The Singaporean government has been an active supporter of cloud computing, encouraging investment and developing an aggressive government cloud program that provides XaaS cloud services to local businesses. A non-profit organization in Hong Kong called Asia Cloud developed a “Cloud Readiness Index” last year that aggregated several factors into an Asian ranking. Hong Kong slightly topped Singapore, followed closely by Australia.

I prefer to be in Manila for many reasons, and think there is potential for any of the large-to-massive cities of the region – Manila, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok – to emerge more fully. Sydney and Melbourne are present in regional-hub discussions as well.

With Singapore as its communication hub for the ASEAN region, Citic plans to extend its presence to Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines in the near future. Apart from Singapore, it has deployed more than 50 points of presence already in the Greater China and Asia Pacific, including Malaysia, Vietnam and Australia.

Several network-security vendors are also involved with the project, including Certes Networks, Juniper Networks, Fortinet, and McAfee. The goal is to get Citic’s regional centers to work as disaster-recovery centers for one another.

Note that the technology vendors named here are all US Companies. Is anybody in Washington listening when we plead for them to pay more attention to the great and vast US cloud-computing innovation culture?

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