Empowering the AI Boom in the APAC Region

By: Braham Singh

As the world turns and rapidly moves into a new era driven by digitization and accelerated by artificial intelligence, we reflect upon the tumultuous storm provoked by COVID-19. In the APAC region where the pandemic originated, data centers exponentially rose to the occasion and swiftly adapted to create a resilient front line across sectors to defend against the catastrophic effects brought on by the novel coronavirus. On its path of destruction, COVID-19 uncovered brand-new ways of conducting business, creating opportunities for a region that has historically lagged behind North America or Europe in technology adoption to lead the way.

History has a way of repeating itself, and while we hope for a crisis of this magnitude to never strike again, the stark reality is that one most likely will. This realization brings us to how an emerging region leverages its recent boom in the AI market to position itself as a global frontrunner over the next decade to sustain a disrupted society.

Rewinding to a few years ago, AI was merely a buzzword, in its infancy as data centers and colocation space across the Asia-Pacific region started to explode. Early adopters made a paradigmatic shift to this intelligent technology enabling a powerful stance. Together, established AI-powered organizations and those forced to adopt and pivot quickly control the narrative, despite difficult times.

Data centers and AI applications have a symbiotic relationship: one won’t be successful without the other. The fact that these two industries have grown side by side across the emerging APAC region is not a coincidence. APAC data center companies have a responsibility to continue innovating to keep up with an exponentially growing demand. Supporting the use of AI applications that will help foster advancements across critical sectors such as healthcare, education, agriculture, manufacturing and more, data centers are establishing APAC as an attractive region for companies worldwide in which to conduct business.

AI inside data centers

Inside the data center, AI becomes vital from both operational and customer demand perspectives. Consider it in concert with machine learning (ML): these two progressive technologies are instrumental in reducing expenditures and increasing efficiency. Roughly 60 percent of data center operational costs can be attributed to power requirements; AI and ML provide data center operators the intelligence needed to save significantly on power and cooling. With environmental concerns and sustainability becoming more vital than ever, AI plays an important role in becoming part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

Moreover, AI plays an essential role in detecting issues that may lead to outages, resulting in significant customer losses. Before AI technology took center stage, data centers were monitored entirely by humans. When an outage arose, internal data center staff would need to isolate the issue and recover. Today, with the support of AI and ML, technology pinpoints developing issues, which informs staff of an outage that may be lurking. Humans can then take the necessary steps to prevent the blackout, keeping customers online and preventing costly downtime. Not only is technology playing a critical part in keeping businesses operational, but it allows them to continue serving customers and prevents loss of productivity and revenue.

Implementing AI-powered automation within data centers is a growing trend because it offers greater resiliency and efficiency. Executing automation helps operators monitor sites via remote capabilities. Additionally, end-users can remotely monitor their networks and racks virtually 24/7. During the pandemic and beyond, the demand for colocation is on the rise as travel restrictions and concerns heighten, making remote hands and virtual monitoring an essential part of keeping facilities operational and maximizing up-time of critical importance.

With a shortage across the region in skilled tech talent, AI will assist in achieving more with less human resources. By increasing the use of next-generation technologies and artificial intelligence, data centers are able to maximize the productivity of staff. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) also come into play as AR and VR devices that leverage AI are being implemented to manage the data center better. At the same time, AI-powered predictive analytics allow operators to realize lower maintenance costs. 

APAC’s AI revolution

Outside the data center, AI-driven trends are commanding data center enablement across the Asia-Pacific region. There is a pretty simple choice for those that want to succeed: go AI or go home. It is no longer an option to employ and support AI-powered technologies; it is required, especially if APAC is to continue leading the world


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