Datacloud APAC: AI, liquid cooling, evolving data centre risk appetites

Here's my takeaway from Datacloud APAC 2024.

Datacloud APAC: AI, liquid cooling, evolving data centre risk appetites
Photo Credit: BroadGroup

Was at Datacloud APAC this morning and met up with many old friends. Here's my quick takeaway.

What are the predominant developments and trends in the data centre industry? And where is the emerging data centre landscape in APAC heading?

Here are my thoughts after hearing from some of the largest data centre players around.

  1. Room for colocation players: With the cloud gaining a significant proportion of compute workloads, will hyperscalers simply bypass colocation providers? Not likely, as data centre operators take on various risks and the uncertainty of demand.
  2. AI training: Don't expect much LLM training in Singapore soon. Cushman's Vivek Dahiya said that he'll be "pleasantly surprised" if AI training comes to this part of the world. He noted that the lion's share of training is currently happening in the US.
  3. Liquid cooling: Liquid cooling is changing how colocation providers work, says PDG's Varoon Raghavan. Providers have to go into the red zone, aka, server area, to address issues. However, Varoon sees this as an opportunity for colocation providers to more closely partner their customers.
  4. Keeping up with the technology: STT GDC's Lionel Yeo shared about the importance of keeping up with what end-users want, whether immersion cooling, direct-to-chip cooling, or hybrid cooling. By the way, STT GDC has a partnership with GPU cloud provider SMC for its unique immersion cooling platform that uses condensed (not chilled) water.

(Read "I saw the future of AI data centres" here:

  1. Changing risk appetites: Keppel's Matthew Benic pointed to his firm's upcoming floating data centre park as a sign of the changing risk appetite and pragmatism that has surfaced (my word!) in a bid to solve capacity challenges. Of course, he also observed that modern apps are far more resilient too.

(Read "Data centre on water" here:

Something to think about

A couple of data centre developments to contemplate:

  • Learned from BDx's Mayank Srivastava keynote that his CGK4 data centre in Indonesia is scalable to a staggering 500MW. But is demand anywhere near that? I asked around and it seems the current MW figure is in the low double digits.
  • Water and power availability might be a bigger issue than let on in Johor. Indeed, parts of southern Johor experienced water shortages during the Hari Raya period, according to a CNA report today. Would a data centre moratorium be needed in Johor?

As usual, would love to hear your thoughts.