State data centre roadmap gets green light for 2016

State data centre roadmap gets green light for 2016

The government has outlined the first phase of a roadmap for construction of new state data centres, starting this year.

The facilities will be designed to accommodate all data categories of state agencies and improve the country's data management system.

Under the roadmap, the government has classified all state data into three categories: national security data, important data and general data.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Minister Uttama Savanayana said 8% of state data was sensitive information or national security data, 60% was considered important data, and 32% was general data.

"The sensitive and important data of state agencies will be handled by the public sector, while the general data will be handled by data centres owned or operated by the private sector," he said.

The centralised state data centres will be run mainly by the Electronic Government Agency and supported by state telecoms TOT Plc and CAT Telecom.

Mr Uttama said the government might rent data centre facilities of private companies to handle the general data.

The government has not determined a budget for the centralised state data centres, but the first phase of development is slated for this year, he said.

The second phase is scheduled for next year.

Mr Uttama said the government was looking to scrap an earlier draft of the national data centres project initiated last year by ML Pridiyathorn Devakula, a former deputy prime minister and vice-chairman of the ad hoc National Digital Economy Committee.

That plan required investment of 30-40 billion baht to establish more than 20 data centres nationwide, serving both state enterprises and private companies.

The Electronic Government Agency found state agencies had a combined 300 data centres with total space of 36,000 square metres. Those facilities have annual operating costs of 10 billion baht even though use is as low as 16%.

"We plan to scrap unnecessary state data centres," Mr Uttama said.

He supported the government's idea of encouraging the private sector to invest in the state data centres, cloud computing and software instead of the public sector. There are 17 potential private companies offering data centre services.

Col Sanpachai Huvananda, acting president of CAT Telecom, said CAT would establish a new company to run the data centre business by June.

A data centre company will be formed under a joint venture model, with CAT holding a 49% stake and a company 51%.

Five companies have expressed interested in participating in CAT's data centre project, Col Sanpachai said.

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