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The Silicon Review Asia

Explained: Why AirTrunk’sAward-winning Hyperscale Data Centres Have Been Recognised for Outstanding Innovation and Design

The Silicon Review
November, 2018

thesiliconreview-robin-khuda-founder-ceo-airtrunk-2018“Our ground breaking technology and innovation has allowed us to re-imagine the data centres of yesterday to deliver our customers higher reliability, efficiency, and responsiveness.”

Today’s digital transformation is driving rapid and fundamental changes in businesses and their operating models. To support this, IT must similarly transform its data centers.

In view of the above-mentioned scenario, we’re thrilled to present AirTrunk.

The company develops and operates large-scale data centres that lead the Asia Pacific market with proven reliability, technology innovation, and energy efficiency.

AirTrunk was incorporated in 2014 and is headquartered in Singapore.

AirTrunk: In a Nutshell

Taking Flight

AirTrunk, one of Singapore’s best-funded startups, is a hyperscale data center builder and operator. With a private equity fundraise of US$313 million from Goldman Sachs and TPG Capital; it came in third after Grab and Sea in the biggest disclosed funding rounds of 2017.

The company’s founder and CEO,Robin Khudaset up AirTrunkbecause he saw the growing demand for online services and the infrastructure needed to support them in the Asia-Pacific region. He has a background in telcos and data center companies like Singtel Optus and NextDC.

Seeing Challenges as Opportunities

The data center industry is very limited in human resources globally. Hence, Airtrunk’s major challenge was finding the right talent.

Nonetheless, the company has been able to hire people with significant experience. Its chief development officer, Paul Slaven, used to be senior construction manager for Amazon and Equinix. CTO Damien Spillane came from Digital Realty, while technical director Leo Chen was formerly a data center platform engineer for Alibaba Group.

Standing Tall Against the Competition

AirTrunk data centre solutions are tailor-made to meet the needs of cloud and content providers as well as large enterprises. It builds efficient, secure and flexible homes for your valuable data.

AirTrunk’s customers, who are public cloud providers, are basically doubling their infrastructure every six to 12 months. Typically, its competitors take a long time to build new infrastructure, whereas AirTrunk built two of the largest data centers in Asia Pacific in less than a year.

Beyond the Box Data Center Solutions

Even though it splits its headquarters between Singapore and Australia, AirTrunk has two data center facilities in the latter: one in Melbourne and one in Sydney. The Melbourne data center has a capacity of more than 50 MW and Sydney’s capacity is more than 80 MW. Those are significantly larger than other providers in the continent.

AirTrunk chose to go Down Under because it found customers there who were eager to enlist its services. As a smaller company, AirTrunk focuses on hyperscale to compete with larger data center operators in the region by offering lower costs and relying on our own design of server racks, cooling, and electrical systems.

By building its own infrastructure that revolves around electricity management and cooling, AirTrunk ensures that it provides clients with power-efficient centers for their server equipment. Data centers use a metric called PUE, or Power Usage Effectiveness, to determine their power consumption efficiency. The scale runs from 1 to 4 – 1 being very efficient.

AirTrunk’s PUE metric is less than 1.15. The industry average for the last few years has been around 1.8.

Staying Ahead of the Competition

Airtrunk competes with large data operators like Equinix and NTT, but it’s betting on its hyperscale infrastructure and its focus on serving public cloud providers to make its mark. To make that happen, AirTrunk has attracted experienced talent from companies like Amazon, Alibaba, and data center providers Equinix and Digital Realty.

Robin Khuda: A Brief Background

Robin Khuda, founder, is the Chief Executive Officer of AirTrunk. He’s responsible for the overall business and Asia-Pacific expansion of the company.

Mr. Khuda was a founding member at NEXTDC and has held leadership roles in various multinational technology companies across the Asia-Pacific region.

“As a smaller company, we focus on hyperscale to compete with larger data center operators in the region by offering lower costs and relying on our own design of server racks, cooling, and electrical systems.”


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