Pacnet Opens Data Center Behind Great Firewall of China

Partners with government to help establish tech park in Tianjin Wuqing District as major technology hub

Jason Verge

October 28, 2014

3 Min Read
Pacnet Opens Data Center Behind Great Firewall of China
Pacnet’s new facility in China features Pacnet’s PEN, a hybrid cloud gateway based on OpenFlow. The company is using software-defined networking as a differentiator. (Image: Pacnet)

Pacnet has opened a 225,000-square-foot data center in Tianjin, China, its fifth in the region. The facility will serve data center and managed services demand in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebel region with capacity for 2,000 racks.

It is located in the Gaocun Science and Technology Innovation Park of Tianjin Wuqing District. The park is trying to establish itself as a major technology hub in northern China, and the new facility is a joint initiative between Pacnet and The Tianjin Wuqing Government.

"To date, the district has attracted over $1.9 billion in investment capital and is home to over 1,400 enterprises," said Zhang Yong, secretary of Wuqing District Committee of the CPC.

The government is planning to integrate the Beijing, Tianjin and Hebel provinces the new facility will serve into a single megalopolis.

"We are excited to launch one of our largest data center facilities in the rapidly developing city of Tianjin,” Carl Grivner, CEO of Pacnet, said. Pacnet will serve both domestic and multination corporation needs in the facility, he said.

Like other Pacnet data centers, the new one leverages software-defined networking to allow customers to self-provision bandwidth on demand, a capability the company has been one of the leaders on. "Today's opening of TJCS1 also positions Pacnet as an innovator in the data center industry in China, enabling the delivery of SDN solution in China," said Grivner.

The TJCS1 is connected to the Beijing data center of China International Data System via Pacnet Enabled Network, the SDN service platform.

“Through this strategic collaboration, we can leverage TJCS1's strategic location, innovative SDN capabilities and world-class power, security, environmental and connectivity features to enable our customers to dynamically provision and scale bandwidth between our Beijing and Tianjin data center locations," said Zhang Nianlu, CEO of China International Data System.

China remains an active data center market

Research firm Gartner pegs data center capacity growth in China to grow at a compound annual growth rate of over 11 percent through 2016. IDC expects the data center services market to grow from $1.7 billion in 2012 to $3.9 billion by 2017, which indicates a CAGR of 25 percent.

However, tapping that growth is not simple. China employs the Golden Shield Project. Also known as "the Great Firewall of China," it is a surveillance and censorship system that filters cross-border traffic. Foreign companies are also often forced to partner with Chinese companies to establish presence in the mainland.

The market remains attractive, as the Chinese economy continues to grow, and many technology giants both inside and outside the country are trying to establish themselves within borders to capitalize on that growth. CenturyLink recently launched a data center in Shanghai, its first in mainland China. That data center is in a GDS facility, a growing Chinese provider with 17 facilities.

Brian Klingbeil, CenturyLink’s senior vice president of international development, told Data Center Knowledge that the Great Firewall of China slows down cross-border traffic for service providers and sometimes causes errors, which is one of the major reasons the company went through the trouble of setting up a data center on the mainland, even though it already has significant presence elsewhere in the region.

IBM and Microsoft Azure entered China by partnering with 21Vianet. Amazon partnered with ChinaNetCenter to establish an Amazon Web Services cloud availability region there. It’s footprint outside China includes Tokyo and Singapore, as well as edge locations in Osaka, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Sydney. Oracle is working on bringing a cloud data center to China as well.

In China, Pacnet operates data centers in Tianjin, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Beijing, and Shanghai. Across Asia-Pacific, it has data centers in 15 cities. It recently opened a 155,000-square-foot data center in Singapore, dubbed CloudSpace II. That facility achieved Uptime Institute’s Tier III Certification for Design. Hosting and cloud provider LeaseWeb has taken space in the facility in support of an ambitious growth plan in the region.

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