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Sri Lanka’s first carrier-neutral and high-density data center launches at Orion City IT Park



In a major step forward in Sri Lanka’s rapid transformation towards becoming a South Asian hub for IT and tech-enabled services, Digital Reality (Pvt) Ltd. Last week launched the country’s first carrier-neutral, high-density data center built to TIA Tier-3 standards and a capacity over 200 racks at Orion City IT Park, Colombo 09 under the brand name OrionStellar.

The launch event featured Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) Chairman, and Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) Director General, Oshada Senanayake as Chief Guest, in addition to attracting enthusiastic participation from numerous high-ranking representatives from Sri Lanka’s burgeoning IT, telco, and corporate sectors, as well as academia and key Government officials, a news release on the event said.

Addressing the gathering, Senanayake said: “Today’s launch of Sri Lanka’s first carrier-neutral data centre is part of an interesting paradigm shift that is already underway. So it is great to see entrepreneurs stepping into this vital space and taking up the challenge of establishing the vital infrastructure necessary for Sri Lanka to unleash its true potential. Particularly in the context of unprecedented volatility, technology has been a key enabler in Sri Lanka’s ambitious transformation towards a US$ 3 billion digital economy

“We have continuously and aggressively invested in the next generation of technologies, and today, many of the essential components – including 7 submarine cables that connect us to the rest of the world – are now in place for Sri Lanka to become one of the region’s most attractive destinations for data hosting. This in addition to digitizing Sri Lanka’s public and private sector. However, we cannot afford to be complacent. Other SAARC countries too are making bold advancements and we cannot afford to fall behind.

“We see immense growth potential for Sri Lanka through the embedding of artificial intelligence and machine learning into public and private sector operations. Together with the robust 5G capabilities that are being set in place today, we believe that Sri Lanka will be able to unleash hyper-growth. Today’s launch of a truly globally competitive data centre is a vitally important advancement in this direction,”

The newly launched high density data center is designed to offer world-class services to support the rapidly escalating demand for computing power in an increasingly digital Sri Lankan economy. It promises the highest energy efficiency and power density up to 15 kW per rack with a total power capacity of 1.5 MW.

“The launch of Sri Lanka’s first, and most power efficient high density data center and the impressive capabilities it offers represents a historic milestone in the development of the island’s IT infrastructure. It is also a momentous step in our mission to radically simplify digital infrastructure challenges for local and regional enterprises, and drastically improve the speed at which they conduct their business.” Digital Realty Chairman, Rajendra Theagarajah said.

“Sri Lanka enjoys several uniquely valuable natural and cultivated advantages which make it an ideal option for safely and reliably storing data at scale. Geographically, we are situated just offshore of one of the largest emerging IT economies and in close proximity to key markets in Asia,” Orion City Founder/Director and Digital Realty Managing Director, Jeevan Gnanam said.

“Our nation also possesses outstanding IT talent and adopts one of the most proactive stances in the region with IT and connected infrastructure. With our DC now online, we will be able to provide clients with best-in-class, globally competitive services to accelerate their digitalization journeys, rationalize core infrastructure costs, and establish stronger levels of security and redundancy, all while reducing energy costs and contributing towards a green and prosperous economy,” Gnanam added.

Built in compliance with the latest ISO 27001 standards and global data center standards (TIA-942 Rated 3), the new data center will deliver the highest levels of reliability, efficiency, and redundancy with 99.98% uptime. The center features power infrastructure with 2 (N+1) UPS systems with 30 minutes battery backup up time, and an N+1 generator system supported with 72-hour fuel bulk tanks ensuring reliable and uninterrupted power supply.

Notably, the facility was also designed with an unmatched focus on environmental sustainability enabled by an in-row cooling system with best-in-class efficiency ratings. As a result, OrionStellar guarantees the best power usage efficiency (PUE) with a design PUE of 1.4. This will translate to power savings up to 40% for clients migrating their IT loads to OrionStellar. The facility also features an unloading bay ready to receive customer inventory for hosting and a staging area to test equipment prior to entering the data hall.

OrionStellar is poised to offer an array of digital infrastructure solutions and value-added managed services to enterprises. It will support the rapidly escalating demand for computing power in an increasingly digital Sri Lankan economy and the region at large, with a special emphasis on providing highly cost-effective data offshoring services for regional enterprise powerhouses.

The long-term business purpose is to “simplify enterprise digital infrastructure challenges to accelerate digitalization and growth” according to COO of OrionStellar, Nalaka W. Bandara, a specialist in enterprise communication solutions and data center businesses with over 20 years of collective experience.

OrionStellar colocation solutions have been designed to meet the needs of different business segments with varying requirements. The facility has already designated white labeled space for telcos and larger MNCs, featuring dedicated cages with biometric access control for large enterprises. Individual racks with biometric or lockable doors and U level hosting for SME and startup hosting needs are among the product options complemented with “Remote Pair of Hands” service as a value addition.

Notably, each co-location space or rack will be individually monitored, even to U level, for power delivery and consumption to ensure that clients only pay for what they use, enabling cost visibility and control in their digital infrastructure investments.

Further, the OrionStellar data center offers an array of value-added services including storage as a service, back up as a service to secure mission critical enterprise data, disaster recovery solutions during unexpected downtime and cost-effective data center migration services with minimal disruption to core business functions.

Orion Towers at Orion City is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and a full spectrum of services, offering prime workspace solutions ranging from custom-built, office spaces, dedicated seating space, shared seating and BCP Seating. OrionStellar client companies can conveniently co-locate their IT Network Operations Centers (NOCs) closest to the data center with convenient access to banks, shopping centers, recreational facilities, food-courts, and fine-dining restaurants.

“The OrionStellar data center is guaranteed to unleash a new wave of tech-enabled opportunities across the entire spectrum of local enterprises – from SMEs and tech-startups to large corporates and regional MNCs,” Jeevan Gnanam asserted. He further explained that “with the launch of this high-density data center, we aim to establish the most secure and scalable infrastructure to position Sri Lanka as a hub in this digital economy.”

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David Cameron kicks off Port City Colombo’s global investment drive



David Cameron

Representatives of top corporates in the UAE, accompanied by high-potential investors, property developers, hotel owners, and leaders in the hospitality and real estate industries, converged on the iconic settings of the Ritz Carlton in Abu Dhabi and the Armani Hotel at Burj Khalifa in Dubai to explore, understand, and assess the investment potential of Sri Lanka, with particular emphasis on the transformative Port City Colombo project, a press release said.

The release adds: ‘This elite gathering took place in the presence of the ruling families of the UAE, engaging in a structured conversation led by David Cameron, former British Prime Minister, who outlined a compelling case for investing in Sri Lanka. The discussion was moderated by Niranjan de S Deva Aditya, a former British and European MP, currently serving as the Presidential Advisor to the President of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe.

‘The event was held in partnership with Port City Colombo’s regulatory authority, the Colombo Port City Economic Commission, and the primary developer, CHEC Port City Colombo, with the invaluable support of the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, representing an astounding $12 trillion in assets.

‘David Cameron, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, engaged the audience in an interactive session with his insights on the fast-evolving trade and investment trends in the South-Asian region, the role of the UAE, and the pivotal role of Port City Colombo in transforming the global business landscape.

‘Commenting on Sri Lanka’s recovery over the last few years, Cameron stated that while the country has had its share of challenges, these challenges have also presented ample opportunity, with Port City Colombo at the center of such opportunity. Further commenting on the UAE, Cameron stated, “The UAE is a good case for the potential that can be reached if the right environment is created. I strongly believe Sri Lanka has the potential to reach this, particularly at this point, with all the right reforms taking place and supported by the commitment of President Wickramesinghe.”

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‘Sri Lanka’s Banking Guide for Investors & BOI Companies’ launched



Left to right: Ms. Priyanka Samaraweera, Executive Director – Research & Policy Advocacy – BOI, Ms. Renuka Weerakone, Director General – BOI, Dinesh Weerakkody, Chairman – BOI with Sampath Bank’s Harsha Amarasekera – Chairman, Ms Ayodhya Iddawela Perera – Managing Director, Tharaka Ranwala – Senior Deputy General Manager – Marketing & Customer Care, Ms Nirmalie D Rajarathna – Senior Manager – Strategic Business Coordinations and Sanjaya Gunawardana – Chief Strategy Officer.

Sampath Bank PLC, in collaboration with the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka (BOI) and the Ministry of Investment Promotion, unveiled a comprehensive Banking Guide titled, ‘Sri Lanka’s Banking Guide for Investors and BOI Companies’, a Sampath Bank press release said.

The release adds: ‘The event was held at the Sampath Bank’s corporate office on August 28 with the participation of senior dignitaries from the BOI and Sampath Bank PLC.

‘This Banking Guide serves as a strategic initiative to support the nation’s drive to attract foreign direct investments. It further offers comprehensive banking insights tailored for investors and BOI companies, addressing key areas such as investment accounts, operational banking, borrowing solutions, and related financial services.’

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Public Finance Committee calls for report on wheat stocks



SJB MP Dr. Harsha de Silva has instructed the Auditor General’s Department to estimate the stock of wheat flour currently available in warehouses and submit an audit report within 2 months. He said that if a pricing formula for wheat flour had been adopted, unscrupulous elements would not have been able to exploit consumers.

The matter was discussed when the Committee on Public Finance met recently under the Chairmanship of Dr. de Silva.

The members of the Committee pointed out that wheat flour was sold at different prices. However, according to the prices declared by the Ministry of Finance, one kilo of wheat flour had to be sold at Rs 198.

Recalling the efforts made to prepare a price formula for gas and milk powder last season, the chairman pointed out the need for a price formula for regulating the price of wheat. The Committee emphasised that a price formula should be prepared immediately.

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