South Korean tech conglomerate Kakao Corp. has celebrated the completion of its inaugural in-house data center. The Kakao Data Center Ansan, which commenced construction in 2021, is set to become operational in the first quarter of the upcoming year after preparatory activities.
The dedication ceremony for the Kakao Data Center Ansan took place recently and was attended by more than 100 individuals. It included Kakao CEO Hong Eun-taek, Hanyang University President Lee Ki-jeong, Ansan Mayor Lee Min-Geun, and other dignitaries and stakeholders.
The facility on Hanyang University’s Erica campus in the southern Seoul suburb of Ansan, Gyeonggi Province, can house 120,000 computer servers and 4,000 server storage racks. The facility is designed to store a staggering six billion gigabytes of data.
Kakao has already commenced integrating and transferring servers from its existing data center, which leases 100,000 servers from an external provider.
Additionally, the it paves the way for the company to launch its corporate cloud service. Kakao intends to persistently expand its operations, simultaneously maintaining and augmenting its existing leased center space to meet its growing demands and strategic objectives.
Although the data center partially opened its doors in 2021, it officially completed construction on September 26. It is set to commence full-scale operations after installing operational systems and successful stabilization tests.
This transition to its own facility is part of Kakao’s sustainability efforts as the facility incorporates renewable energy infrastructure and innovative rainwater, gray water, and heat recycling systems.
In the wake of a disruptive outage in October 2022 caused by a fire ignited by lithium-ion batteries at an SK Group data center, Kakao is keenly aware of the importance of robust emergency response systems.
To ensure continuous and stable service delivery, the facility can endure winds with speeds of up to 28 meters per second and earthquakes measuring up to magnitude 6.5. It features a comprehensive fire response system encompassing four stages, protecting against large-scale fires. Besides, it is also designed to withstand other natural disasters, such as floods, ensuring data security and operational continuity.
Kakao CEO Hong Eun-taek stated, “Kakao’s data center, designed to effectively handle any disaster or incident, stands as a vital pillar of our commitment and assurance to safeguard everyone’s everyday routines through reliable services.”
Kakao’s journey towards constructing its proprietary data center began with its 2020 announcement of a substantial investment, approximately 400 billion won ($336.6 million), dedicated to this project.
The core motivation behind this initiative was to establish a stable foundation for Kakao’s research and development efforts, particularly in big data and artificial intelligence.
Looking ahead, industry insiders reveal that Kakao has plans for a second data center, projected to be twice the size of its inaugural facility. This expansion will be at Seoul National University’s Siheung campus as another milestone in developing Kakao’s strategic data center.
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