Data Center News Roundup: Asian Markets Surge, AI Chatbot Developments

In this week's top data center news, Southeast Asian markets are poised for expansion, and the latest AI chatbots grab headlines.

James Walker

May 17, 2024

4 Min Read
Data Center News Roundup: Top Data Center News
pichetw / Alamy Stock Photo

With data center news moving faster than ever, we want to make it easy for industry professionals to cut through the noise and find the most important stories of the week.

The Data Center Knowledge News Roundup brings you the latest news and developments across the data center industry – from investments and mergers to security threats and industry trends.

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Asian Expansion 

A new report indicates that the Vietnamese data center market is set to experience “substantial growth” over the coming years, driven by an expanding digital economy and increasing data consumption across the region. 

According to fresh insight from JLL, Vietnam’s tech-savvy population is driving growth in data-intensive services including social media, e-commerce, gaming, and cloud technologies. This is expected to fuel a “significant expansion in the market” over the next decade. 

“Vietnam has recently climbed the priority list of countries investors and operators are looking to understand as they work out their market entry,” said Celina Chua, Data Centre Client Solutions Director, Asia Pacific, JLL. 

The report came on the heels of a recent Reuters article indicating that the AI boom was set to fuel data center deals across Asia this year. 

According to the outlet, private equity investors and asset managers are gearing up for significant M&A and investment activities in Asia-Pacific's data center sector, driven by the surge in demand for digital infrastructure fueled by the AI boom. 

In 2023, Asia-Pacific witnessed $3.45 billion in data center deals, Reuters said. This figure is expected to be surpassed this year with several large transactions already in the works. 

AI Chatter 

It was another big week for AI developments, as OpenAI announced it would soon launch a faster and cheaper version of the artificial intelligence model that underpins its chatbot, ChatGPT. 

During a live-streamed event this week, OpenAI debuted GPT-4o. It’s an updated version of its GPT-4 model, which is now more than a year old. The new large language model, trained on vast amounts of data from the internet, will be better at handling text, audio, and images in real-time. The updates will be available in the coming weeks. 

Meanwhile, rival AI startup Anthropic has launched its Claude chatbot and subscription plans in Europe, a more tightly regulated market that has challenged some of its rivals, as the company works to boost users and revenue.  

Anthropic said the company’s basic software offering already has some traction in sectors like finance and hospitality across Europe. Now, it’s looking to build on that. CEO Dario Amodei said the startup’s cloud-computing partners – Amazon and Alphabet’s Google – will help it meet the tighter restrictions on data usage for businesses operating in the European Union.  

In related news, the UK’s AI Safety Institute has launched a new platform allowing businesses to test their AI models before launching them publicly. 

The platform, named Inspect, is a software library designed to assess AI model capabilities, scoring them on areas like reasoning and autonomous abilities. 

Amid all of these developments, InformationWeek writer John Edwards asked: “Is an AI bubble inevitable?” 

New Developments 

In data center build and construction news this week, Airtrunk has officially opened its second data center in Tokyo. One of the largest data centers in Japan, the TOK2 facility spans more than 4.6 hectares and is scalable to over 110 MW.  

In South Korea, LG Uplus, one of the nation’s largest telcos, said it is planning to build a new data center in the northwestern city of Paju to service growing demand. 

According to The Korea Herald, this new facility will span approximately 73,70 sq.m and surpass the size of the company’s two existing large-scale data centers in Pyeongchon, south of Seoul. 

Elsewhere, US colocation firm DataBank held a dedication ceremony for its new Orangeburg Data Center Campus in the Hudson Valley, New York State. The company’s first data center on the campus – the 30 MW ‘LGA3’ facility – is currently under construction and will open in early 2025. 

And in North Africa, US-based tech startup Iozera has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Moroccan government to establish a 386 MW data center and AI hub in the city of Tétouan.  

For more of the latest data center development news, read our May roundup.

Sonic Boom 

And finally, a report in New Scientist this week indicates that some underwater data centers may be vulnerable to ‘acoustic attacks.’ 

“Experiments show computer hard drives placed within submerged metal containers can experience destructive vibrations when sounds are played underwater,” the publication said. 

Pressure is said to amplify these noises to force a computer network shutdown or even cause permanent physical damage over time. 

Check out the full report [paywalled] for all the details. 

Microsoft’s Project Natick is one of the most famous underwater data center projects – something we included in our World’s Most Unusual Data Centers feature last year.  

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About the Author(s)

James Walker

James Walker is the Senior Editor of Data Center Knowledge. He has more than 16 years of experience writing for business and technology publications, with a focus on translating technical issues to make them more accessible and engaging.

Before joining DCK, James was editor of The Daily Swig, an award-winning cybersecurity news website, and his work has been featured in The Times and BBC Online, among other publications. His first full-length book, HIT: Once Upon a Field, was published in 2023.

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