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Intertrust Group: Hong Kong offers world-class data centers

Sheila Lam, IDGNS | Nov. 4, 2011
Trust and corporate service company Intertrust Group has picked Hong Kong for the building of its Asia IT hub.

Trust and corporate service company Intertrust Group has picked Hong Kong for the building of its Asia IT hub.

The Geneva-based company recently set up its 600 sq. ft. data center in the SAR, after it was divested from Fortis Bank. To complete the divestment, Intertrust Group had to build IT facilities and consolidate all its systems from 25 locations into only two data centers: one in Amsterdam, and the other in Asia to support its upcoming regional growth.

The choice of its Asia IT hub location is a critical process, said Albert Shum, global head of IT-application development and maintenance of Intertrust Group. The company commissioned an external consultant to design its IT architecture and study the options for data centers locations.

Power cost in HK 12 lower than that in Singapore

Apart from Hong Kong, Intertrust Group also has operation in Singapore Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. While all these locations were being considered, Hong Kong and Singapore were the two final options for the company's Asia data center hub. Shum said Singapore, shares the same level of political stability and infrastructure maturity, but a couple major reasons made Hong Kong a more viable choice.

One of them is the stable and cheap power supply, he said. Shum noted that their study shows the annual power cost in Hong Kong is 12 percent lower than in Singapore.

Another reason is the stability of labor supply. He added Intertrust Group conducted study through a human resources firm to compare the labor supply between the two markets. Although the problem of high turnover rate is shared among many enterprises in Hong Kong, the labor supply in Singapore appears to be more limited, said Shum.

"Our study shows people tend to stay and are less likely to move around," he said. "It is actually more challenging and costly for us to hire in Singapore."

Nevertheless, there are other costly investment areas for Intertrust Group. On top of its own data center, Shum noted the company also needs an external secondary site, but the cost for co-location services could be steep. It was only through achieving a substantial saving in other areas by working with its global partner Dell (, Intertrust Group was able to complete the deployment within budget, he added. But he was impressed with the high quality of co-location facility available locally.

"I'm actually surprised to realize that there are such world class data centers in Hong Kong," he said. "Hong Kong is ready for developing a data center industry--it just needs a long-term vision and concrete plan."


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