EDGNEX’s Experts: Noriel Ong, Senior Manager – Design Data Centres

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EDGNEX’s Experts: Noriel Ong, Senior Manager – Design Data Centres


What is your role at EDGNEX?


I am Senior Manager – Design Data Centres. My role has a deep focus on the design and implementation of EDGNEX’s data centre projects in local markets.

I work with the team to deliver efficient operational processes and meet industry standards by managing the entire design process across a wide range of different locations in the Middle East and across the globe.

My role makes it possible for EDGNEX to provide world-class data centres to hyperscalers, OTT players, cloud and content companies and enterprises while keeping our ‘always-on’ world connected.


What is your background in the data centre industry?


I’ve worked in the data centre industry for over 12 years. Most recently, I was at RED Engineering as Principal Engineer – Data Centres. I’ve gained a wide array of experience working in different roles involving strategic planning, data centre gap analysis, site selection and assessment and site supervision.


What are the trends you see shaping the data centre market?


The market is moving faster than ever before and for digital infrastructure providers to maintain a competitive advantage they need to be reactive to evolving trends. I think we will see a continuous shift in focus to overlooked and underserved markets. This will result in a growing suspension of development in well-established mature markets, globally.

Advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning will be integrated into day-to-day data centre operations and maintenance. This will aim to accelerate operations and create processes that are increasingly efficient.

We’re also seeing a gradual increase in demand for ultra-high density racks and cooling. As service providers need to store more and more data every day, they’re demanding more from the data centres they use.

I also expect to see a rise in the global expectations on embodied carbon reduction and that ‘big data’ will be replaced by the concept of ‘good data’.


What role do you EDGNEX playing in the market? What are the big opportunities?


EDGNEX are identifying new digital hubs in underserved and overlooked markets by building where the demand is.

Africa will be the next big market, just behind the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). It is all about identifying these locations and building digital hubs where the demand is.

There will also be a huge opportunity in South East Asia, especially the Philippines. The region is only just beginning its digital transformation journey and has started to gain data centre developers attention.


How will the data centre market evolve and change over the next two to three years?


Demand for data centres will continue to increase and more and more data centres will be built to serve this. The emergence & adoption of advanced IT workloads is also driving data centres across the Asia Pacific. More specifically, there will be a boom in South East Asia and GCC and Africa will slowly start to match this.

Research by Arizton found that Southeast Asia data centre market size will reach $12.34 billion by 2027 from $8.71 billion in 2021, growing at a CAGR of 5.97% during 2022-2027. The Southeast Asia market grew with over 25 data centre facilities and expansion projects in 2021 so it is definitely a front runner for the future.


What are you most excited about for the future?


I am excited to see a reduction of backup power assets as data centres become more integrated with the grid system and industrial development. As carbon neutrality becomes a bigger pressure to data centre providers it will be very interesting to see how different companies do and how customers react.

It’ll also be great to see the integration of data centre development into larger community or industrial development for waste heat or energy reuse comes together, at least in mature markets.