0 In Data Centers

Launching SIN12 and Enabling Connected Data Communities with Digital Realty’s Mark Smith and Robert Davidson

7 April 2021

According to Mark Smith, Managing Director, APAC, and Robert Davidson, Head of Network Strategy, APAC for Digital Realty, Singapore is the hottest market for demand and interest right now.

Digital Realty’s commitment to investment in the region has not slowed down with their flagship data center SIN12 having launched on April 6th. SIN12 comes with an IT load of 50 megawatts and a Power Utilization Efficiency score of 1.25 making it Digital Realty’s largest in terms of power, and most energy-efficient, data center in the region.

We sat down with Smith and Davidson to discuss their insights into how the Singapore market is playing an important role as an interconnection hub, and how Digital Realty is designing facilities to enable interconnected communities.

Expanding and interconnecting the Asia-Pacific region

Having already contributed various facilities – bringing in around 85 megawatts – to the Singapore market, Digital Realty’s goal is to support future growth in the region and beyond with an interconnected ecosystem becoming part of a larger Pan-Asia solution for CSP and OTT markets.

When you consider that Digital Realty’s SIN11 is just across the street from SIN12, the vast number of fiber ducts between the two facilities, and the dark fiber capabilities built out to SIN10 in West Singapore, you begin to understand how the interconnection of highly valuable data center ecosystems is working to play a bigger role in driving business to the country.

When it comes to driving traffic through the Asia Pacific, Digital Realty has some big plans in place, with the aim to solidify Singapore as a major data processing and transformation hub for the wider region. By the end of the year, they will have launched six new data centers across five Asia-Pacific regions, including Osaka, Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Korea.

Smith says, “Singapore is a major transit hub where traffic can be processed and rerouted. The vast majority of data is actually not locally consumed; rather, it’s very likely being cross-connected, transformed, and passed on. At Digital Realty, we’re enabling customers to ship data around the world using Singapore as a major hub.”

Data-centric architectures enabling connected communities

Digital Realty is in the business of building solutions for the specific needs of various customer segments. Hyperscale requirements are one thing – and with major hyperscale facilities in core markets around the world, you could say the company has met those needs and then some.

It’s the more connected enterprise opportunity that’s heating up for Digital Realty with the Asia-Pacific launch of PlatformDIGITAL® the company’s enterprise retail offering, that’s enabling SMEs with the same level of flexibility and performance from their network and data center services, as the bigger players.

And yes, PlatformDIGITAL® is coming to Singapore, this year, too, with a focus on creating a “mosaic” of data center campuses, mirroring what they’ve done for hyperscalers, and taking this to enterprise customers to provide an environment where they can get everything they need from one platform.

Davidson describes the current state of enterprise colocation in Asia Pacific as a “closed walled garden” that is highly interconnected but also restricted to certain facilities. He says, “There is an opportunity to provide an open, highly-connected community in a lower tax environment, which we think is a huge value proposition for customers. We want to provide an open platform so everybody wins — everybody gets a chance to do what they do best.”

Digital Realty is designing and further optimizing their properties based on different customer use cases such as cloud, edge, and transit. With an unprecedented amount of data being generated globally, it’s these tailored solutions that will enable customers to truly extract the value out of their workloads.

This involves implementing low-latency communities at the edge, compute communities at the core, and then easy, cost-effective ingress and egress.

Davidson says, “With the way customers are thinking about how they architect their infrastructure, data is becoming the primary point. It’s becoming the primary driver. And, data needs to be stored, and computed against, and transported. We’re designing our properties with that in mind so we can better tailor our solutions to the needs of the customer.”

It’s clear that organizations aren’t just buying data center space any longer; they’re buying a solution. With increased expansion across Singapore and dedication to providing connected communities with the tailored data-centric solutions they need to execute on their network and IT strategies, Digital Realty is primed to deliver on this need.


Mark Smith
Managing Director, Asia Pacific

Mark Smith joined Digital Realty in December 2018 as the Asia Pacific Managing Director. His key role is to lead the company’s overall operational and business growth in the Asia Pacific Region. Mr Smith comes to Digital Realty with more than two decades of experience in APAC, most recently as Managing Director, APAC for Zettagrid Asia.  A Mandarin and Japanese language speaker, Mr Smith also has senior leadership experience with companies including Thomson Reuters Japan Ltd., where he served as President, and, CenturyLink (formerly Savvis Inc.), where he was Managing Director-Asia Pacific. Mr Smith has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration. Minor Degree in Mandarin Chinese from University of Puget Sound, Washington.

Robert Davidson
Head of Network Strategy, APAC

Robert Davidson joined Digital Realty in 2019, and currently serves as Head of Network Strategy, APAC. Based in Hong Kong, he has over 25 years of international leadership experience deploying and operating global networks across Europe, The Americas and Asia Pacific in industries such as Telecommunications and Engineering. Prior to joining Digital Realty, Robert was with CenturyLink Communications where he was responsible for building their global telecommunications infrastructure outside of the continental US. He also previously served as a Senior Engineer at Iridium Data Services. He continues to lead the regional network strategy at Digital Realty today with his extensive hands-on experience in pre-sales, service delivery and assurance for complex international solutions. Robert graduated from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, USA with a Bachelor degree in Philosophy.

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