Laos’ first state-run data center opened recently, funded by a Japanese program supporting environmentally sound technology.
The facility marks “a big step” toward improving the nation’s IT environment, Science and Technology Minister Boviengkham Vongdara said at a ceremony held on Nov. 29 in Vientiane, the capital.
Laos’ information technology infrastructure is among the weakest in Southeast Asia, with state employees often using webmail for official business for want of government email accounts. The new data center will initially provide much-needed network capacity for government institutions.
A Japanese consortium involving internet service provider Internet Initiative Japan, trading company Toyota Tsusho and Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities supported the facility, which was built as a demonstration project.
All funding was provided by Japan under a program run by the government-backed New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, or NEDO. Once the trial phase ends in February 2018, the data center will be handed over to the Laotian government.
The data center’s servers are housed in shipping containers for easy transport and setup — an approach suited to developing countries like Laos. Containerized data centers consume 40% less power than facilities housed in self-standing structures. Setup involves simply transporting the containers to the desired site and connecting all the equipment. In the case of the Laotian project, construction took only seven months or so, or 70% less time than building a conventional data center.
The facility is estimated to cost less than 100 million yen ($850,000), a price that even developing countries can afford. Containerized data centers have also been used in Russia and hold promise as a building block for IT infrastructure in less-developed nations around the world.
Source: Nikkei Asian Review