On July 11, 2012, SingTel launched its PowerON Compute cloud service in Hong Kong. While certainly interesting on its own, I believe this announcement is particularly noteworthy as a harbinger of things to come.

Some key points to consider:

  • As a hybrid offering, PowerON Compute is a dynamic infrastructure services solution hosted in SingTel’s data centers in Singapore, Australia, and now Hong Kong. The computing resources (e.g., CPU, memory, storage) can be accessed either via a public Internet connection or a private secured network.
  • This announcement confirms the findings of my February 2012 report, “Sizing the Cloud Markets in Asia Pacific”: that market demand for cloud-based computing resources in Asia Pacific (AP) will rapidly shift from infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) to dynamic infrastructure services.

While essentially identical to IaaS in terms of services provided (e.g., computing power, storage, and archiving), dynamic infrastructure services differ in two fundamental respects: They are hosted at a known location and can provide a clear mapping between tenants and the cloud provider’s servers. Given the strong concerns over data privacy and residency among AP organizations, this distinction is critical.

Don’t get me wrong: IaaS demand will continue to grow strongly across AP through 2015. We expect the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for IaaS across the region to be 55% between 2011 and 2015. But rapid standardization and commoditization will slow market growth from 2016 onward.

Outside of Australia, IaaS demand across AP has lagged North America and Western Europe. This is due to a lack of local players and limited presence of global IaaS leaders in the region — which has really only changed in the past 12 to 18 months. In addition to newer offerings from Google and Microsoft, sample IaaS offerings include Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Rackspace Cloud, and Telstra IaaS.

IaaS growth will be strong, but growth in dynamic infrastructure services will be stronger.

The strong growth for dynamic infrastructure services has really only begun in 2012 across all major AP markets, but we expect a CAGR of 75% between 2011 and 2015. In addition to this SingTel announcement, offerings have really only started coming to market  over the past six to 12 months.

Beyond service availability, the critical driver of dynamic infrastructure services is organizations’ increasing understanding of the distinctions between public, private, and now virtual private cloud solutions (of which dynamic infrastructure services is an example). As understanding grows further, so will demand.

Bottom line: If you’re in need of on-demand computing resources but have not seriously considered IaaS out of concerns over data privacy or residency, it’s definitely time to evaluate dynamic infrastructure services.