US-based global data management service provider Equinix said last week that it had opened its first data center in Korea in the Digital Media City area of western Seoul. Dubbed the SL1 Seoul International Business Exchange, the facility will enable its customers to connect with local suppliers and global partners, Equinix said.
Real estate investment trust Digital Realty is also expected to join the fray, with a plan to establish its own data center in the same area. Construction will begin later this year, as the firm signed a contract with the Seoul Metropolitan Government in August.
These forays into the Korean market by global data center operators accompanies a growing demand for digital transformation and cloud computing, as well as government measures to foster the industry. By enhancing ties with local conglomerates and government agencies, the companies aim to boost their global business profiles.
“Equinix’s entry into the Korean market is a significant milestone for our plan to expand business in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific region,” Jeremy Deutsch, who leads Equinix’s business operations in the region, said in a statement last Friday.
Last month, the Korean government pledged a massive investment to promote the “data industry” next year. Some 720 billion won ($592 million) will be spent on building infrastructure and developing relevant technologies.
In the private sector, tech startups and manufacturing giants are trying to figure out the best ways to manage massive amounts of data and use relevant technologies to improve their business operations.
Last year, Samsung said it would invest about 700 billion won to establish a cloud-based business management system by 2020. In March, LG Group said it would change 90 percent of its subsidiaries’ information technology infrastructure to a cloud-based system by 2023.
“For global data center operators, putting Samsung Electronics and the Korean government on their client lists is good news for their global PR strategies,” said an industry source. “That’s why they are so eager to enter the Korean market.”
With the service providers expanding by renting massive data centers to serve customers in Korea, global tech giants are also doing their part to boost their presence here.
With the aim of establishing its first data center in Korea by 2020, Google is seeking to receive security verification for cloud service from the government. Companies that pass a government test proving they have acceptable systems in place to protect clients’ information are eligible for a certificate in information security management.
Given the growing importance of data security, data backup hardware company ExaGrid is also enhancing partnerships with Korean firms. During a press conference last week, the company said it would provide its solutions to government entities and financial institutions.