Planet, Cisco join hands for portable data centre

Planet, Cisco join hands for portable data centre

Mr Prapat, left, and Mr Taveewat present the 'mobile data centre' which packs the power of an entire data centre into the size of a standard shipping container.
Mr Prapat, left, and Mr Taveewat present the 'mobile data centre' which packs the power of an entire data centre into the size of a standard shipping container.

MAI-listed Planet Communication Asia, a digital tech service provider, has joined hands with global tech giant Cisco Systems to develop a prototype mobile data centre to facilitate the smart city initiative.

The move comes as the government is pushing for smart city development.

On Wednesday, the National Steering Committee on Smart City Development, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, approved 15 additional places across 14 provinces for smart city development, bringing the total number to 30 locations in 23 provinces.

The government expects to see 20 billion baht in private investment in smart city development.

"We see an increase in demand for smart city initiatives where local cities will see the rise of investment in intelligence technology to improve people's quality of life in health, education, safety and environment," said Prapat Rathlertkarn, chief executive of Planet.

With smart city development, cities need to use more data from various devices, such as CCTV cameras, sensors and the Internet of Things, and an edge data centre is needed to support data transmission and facilitate the processing of a high volume of data and analytics in the local area.

The use of edge data centres will entail flexibility and reduce costs while supporting high-speed data transmission to the centralised data centre, Mr Prapat said.

From experience with Banchang Smart City in Rayong, the company has developed a "planet edge data centre" as a prototype of the mobile data centre.

This edge data centre is ready to use and quick to be deployed, he said. It entails flexibility, less customisation and scalability in line with city needs.

It supports instant access to information, data security and data analysis, which could be a boon for digital transformation for any urban areas which want to pursue digital city development, Mr Prapat said.

With the size of a standard shipping container, it can be shipped almost anywhere, which can also respond to the needs in remote areas of the country.

The development is in partnership with Cisco Systems, which supports hardware and solutions for the project, he said.

"We aim to have 20 provinces adopt this mobile data centre by 2023, particularly in the Eastern Economic Corridor," Mr Prapat said.

Taveewat Chantaraseno, managing director of Cisco Thailand and Myanmar, said Thailand was selected for its Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme in October last year.

This three-year programme will support funding and technologies which will build the country's tech inclusiveness in five areas, covering smart city, transportation, healthcare, 5G and cybersecurity.

The collaboration on the mobile data centre under the CDA programme is a major milestone in Thailand's digitisation journey, which will further propel economic resilience and social inclusion, he said.

The mobile data centre can help reduce capital expenditure by up to 50%, support 12-16 weeks in deployment and come with high energy efficiency, he added.

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