Tata to beef up Singapore data centers

The Indian firm will invest US$357 million and increase staff over four years

Data center operator Tata Communications will invest S$440 million (US$357 million) in Singapore over the next four years to meet a fast-growing regional demand for data center capacity.

The company will spend that sum on expanding its data center capacity, more infrastructure and additional staff, an executive said on Thursday.

Two of the company's existing Singapore data centers cover a total of 72,500 square feet. The bigger one, Tata Communications Exchange, opened in September. The company would not say how it expected its Singapore floor space to grow over the four years, saying it would depend on shifts in demand.

More mobile devices are being used, and it's helping to spur new market segments, said Rajnish Arora, an associate vice president with IDC in Singapore. The data that is generated has to be stored effectively, he added.

Tata's senior vice president David Wirt said demand for storage roughly doubles every year, and the company will increase its capacity in Singapore in line with industry norms to handle that demand.

The company picked Singapore over other countries for the investment because of its infrastructure, government support for data centers, and its position as an Asian business hub, a Tata spokeswoman said.

The Indian company will add to its Singapore staff by 60 percent over the same period, the spokeswoman added. It currently has 127 staff in the country. Forty of the new employees will staff a control center, and others will help develop new technology.

Data centers at some companies are running out of space, power or cooling capacity, prompting them to considerleasing space elsewhere.

Clients of Singapore-based data centers can feasibly be anywhere in the world, as the country's communications infrastructure has reached a level where clients far offshore can easily access their data, Arora said.

Those clients could be investment banks, Web-based mail providers or app stores, he said.

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