Ministry scraps national data centres

Ministry scraps national data centres

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Ministry is scrapping the planned construction of national data centres, saying the initiative is just not worth the investment.

The government will allow public agencies to choose their own data centre service providers to manage their information systems. The initial plans were for agencies to build Thailand's first national data centres and migrate their information systems to them.

Sak Segkhoonthod, president of the Electronic Government Agency (EGA), which is under the umbrella of the ICT Ministry, said the number of data centres in Thailand is sufficient for serving public agencies without the need for new construction.

All ministries could build their own data centres to keep sensitive information for national security, while the public sector might consolidate their data centres into a single facility to reduce operating costs, he said.

"By September, we will submit the plan to scrap the construction of national data centres to the national digital economy committee, chaired by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, for approval," Mr Sak said.

He said the ICT Ministry aims to reduce annual operating costs of the government's data centres by at least 30% by 2020 through consolidation. The government spends around 10 billion baht annually to maintain data centres.

There are 300 traditional data centres owned by the public sector, with 170 operating for more than seven years.

The EGA found that only 10% of government data centres complied with international standards regarding quality of service.

Mr Sak said the EGA will set standards for data centre service providers who want to work for the public sector.

Thailand has at least 10 well-established and reliable data centre operators, he added.

The EGA is considering building its own data centre to provide services for the public sector. Construction work would take about two years, said Mr Sak.

It also plans to provide cloud-based computing services to the public sector.

Surapan Meknavin, acting president of CAT Telecom Plc, said the State Enterprise Policy Office has decided to combine the data centres of CAT and TOT Plc by setting up a joint venture to operate the facility.

CAT is seeking a strategic partner to build a 400-rai innovation park in Chon Buri province.

The innovation park will feature a data centre and a research and development facility for the development of the Internet of Things and self-driving cars to promote the automotive industry adjacent to the park.

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