By now, a year has passed since online marketplace giant Amazon rocked the North American business scene by making a contest out of which city in the region will become host to their second corporate headquarters outside of Seattle, the highly-coveted “HQ2”. Some 238 cities, towns and states have filed their bids, only 20 locations made it to the shortlist, and since then the final decision has yet to be made. Where Amazon’s choice is still mysterious, social media pioneer Facebook holds no secret. For a place to put their first data center in in Asia, Singapore is the one.
According to CNN, Facebook has jumped onto the bandwagon started by fellow internet big-names like Microsoft and Google in investing on infrastructure at the island nation of Singapore in Southeast Asia. To that end, Mark Zuckerberg’s company will be pouring upwards of $1 billion on a project to build the first Facebook data center in Asia there, to further improve the social platform’s networking and power up their online services in the region. Facebook was candid in its statement that Singapore was chosen for the data center for its business-friendly environment, not to mention a high-quality tech infrastructure and workforce.
Of course, considering the size of Singapore Island, the proposed Facebook data center will not be a sprawling campus with plenty of open space in the vein of most tech companies’ offices. Instead it will be a gleaming 11-story complex that looks like a silver block, its entire area occupying 170,000 square meters. The social network said in a statement that the data center could open up to hundreds of new jobs for tech-savvy Singaporeans. It also helps that the small country is not as restrictive as mainland China or India when it comes to routine data storage and transfer.
Facebook has several data centers across the US and Europe to manage the vast amounts of information coming from the users of their in-demand social network platform. Once the Singapore center is up and running the company expects the possibility of more to be erected at other Asian nations. The facility had its official groundbreaking ceremony this Thursday, September 6, with Singapore Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing in attendance. On his prepared speech he spoke of the country’s vision on this great development, “We want to connect in the non-physical dimensions to the rest of the world. That includes data.”
With construction on the data center underway, Facebook has put up a job listing for needed people on the project, all based on Singapore. Their priority hire is a construction manager who would later be in charge of future data center construction in the Asia-Pacific.
Image from The Straits Times