Telco strengthens hold of Cebu’s growing data protection market

By Jose Santino S. Bunachita May 15,2018

Eric Alberto, ePLDT president and CEO,(top photo, 5th from left) together with PLDT officials discusses the opening of Vitro Data Center 2 also known as Vitro Cebu 2 at the PLDT Compound along A.S. Fortuna St. in Mandaue City on Tuesday. CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON

PLDT opens 2nd Vitro Data Center in Cebu; P1B facility can support more local businesses

With the growing need for businesses to expand into the digital landscape, protecting their data and systems also becomes an imperative.

It is this demand that has prompted telecommunications giant and digital services provider PLDT to open its second VITRO Data Center in Cebu.

In a press conference at the facility yesterday, ePLDT President and CEO Eric Alberto said the VITRO Cebu 2 is part of the company’s effort to support local organizations and enterprises of all sizes to store, manage, and safeguard mission-critical data from both cybersecurity threats and physical disasters.

“The pace of technology adoption has accelerated. More companies are looking at technology to make their business competitive, forcing a lot of business owners to rethink their digital transformation plans,” he said.

1st data center

According to Jovy Hernandez, SVP and Head of PLDT and Smart Enterprise Business Groups, they have received good feedback from the business in Cebu and the rest of the Visayas as evidenced by the occupancy of its first data center in Cebu.

Established in 2012, the 173-rack capacity Vitro Cebu 1 is currently at 96 percent occupancy.

Hernandez recalled that back when the first data center was established, companies were still lukewarm on the services provided by a data center.

“We are seeing that the demand is already there. Companies even from Bacolod are looking at hosting their services in Cebu. The vision is for the VITRO Cebu to be the central data center for the whole Visayas region,” he said.

4 times bigger

The P1 billion VITRO Cebu 2 is four times bigger with an 800-rack capacity.

It is the 10th data center of PLDT all over the country with the others located in Pasig City; Makati City; Clark, Pampanga; Paranaque City; Taguig City; Subic Bay, Zambales; and Davao City. With the opening of the second data center in Cebu, ePLDT now has a total of 9,150 racks capacity.

Services provided by VITRO include collocation, disaster recovery, server hosting, and connectivity.

According to Alberto, the top industries that are availing of VITRO’s services are banking and insurance; retailing; public sector; business process outsourcing (BPO); and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

SMEs, foreign firms

Hernandez also noted that SMEs are “very fast” in adapting to the need to avail of services of a data center given that they don’t have the baggage of their legacy systems, being smaller enterpises.

Decision-making is also faster among SMEs as they don’t have to go through large corporate structures.

Although there are more local and Philippine-based companies and businesses availing of VITRO’s services, international and multi-national companies have actually acquired more racks compared to locals.

“More and more companies from our Asian neighbors are looking at the Philippines. Before, when you talk about data centers in Asia, it’s just Singapore and Hong Kong, and even Taiwan. Now, the Philippines is being looked at even by international companies,” Hernandez said.

34% capacity

The company’s capacity utilization across all its VITRO Data Center network is currently at 34 percent.

Alberto explained that it used to be over 40 percent but it had to go down after they went online with the additional capacity in Cebu.

By end of the year, he said they target to reach capacity utilization of 50 percent. Once it goes beyond that, the company will be looking at developing another data center in the country.

Vitro Cebu 2

The VITRO Cebu 2 is built from the ground up and uses up-to-date and globally competitive technologies which include finger-vein scanning features, special CCTV cameras, and 24/7 monitoring and surveillance.

Infra redundancy

It also boasts of a minimum of 11 layers of security checkpoints.

“We’ve made sure that all our critical systems — uninterruptible power supplies, switch gears, and transformers — are fully redundant, so collocated clients need not worry about service interruptions that could temporarily halt business operations,” said ePLDT Group’s SVP and Chief Operating Officer Nerisse Ramos.

“This infrastructure redundancy allows us to conduct IT maintenance without any disruption on client operations, ensuring that crucial data remains safe, all of which resides behind 11 formidable layers of security,” she added.

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