Software as a service giant Salesforce.com has started notifying customers whose services are hosted on its Asia-Pacific infrastructure (including Australia) that it intends to shift their services onto a new datacentre which it is currently putting the final touches on in Japan.
“In late 2011, we plan to bring live a new world-class data center in Japan,” the company wrote in an email to customers today. “The new Japan data centre is built to the highest standard and leverages our latest data centre architecture for improved manageability. As part of this effort, we plan to migrate the Asia Pacific (AP1) instance to the new Japan data center. Going forward, we will leverage our world-class Japan data center to support the Asia Pacific and Japan business regions.”
The company told an unknown number of customers in the mailout that their organisation had been identified as being on the ‘AP1’ (Asia-Pacific) instance of Salesforce.com, and that in December this year, their service would be migrated to be hosted from its new Japanese datacentre.
“This new data center was developed to the same industry-leading quality and service delivery specification as our existing data center facilities,” the company wrote. “This does not change the instance (AP1) on which your organization resides. In addition, this will not impact the maintenance window or release window for your service instance (AP1).”
It remains unclear as to how widespread the changes affecting Salesforce.com customers will be, and what the future of the company’s Singapore datacentre will be. The Singapore facility was only set up in mid-2009, with Salesforce.com noting at that stage that it planned to use it to support strong adoption of its online services across the Asia-Pacific region.
The company told customers the migration would take place during a “standard maintenance weekend”, with the target date being early December. “Subsequent communications will provide further details on the migration window, as well as any action you may need to take in preparation for this move,” it wrote.
In response to a request for comment, a Salesforce.com spokesperson said in a statement that there was nothing more important to the company than the success of its customers — and that included providing customers with “the best performance possible”. “The new data centre in Japan will significantly progress our vision of being the industry’s most trusted cloud service with a state-of-the-art facility that leverages our latest data centre architecture,” they said.
The news comes as Salesforce.com has recently given Australian customers concerned about losing control of their data to other legal jurisdictions the first ray of hope in the past decade, confirming in May that it was evaluating the case for when to build a local datacentre, with the company noting that a local datacentre was not a matter of “an if”, but “a when”.
Lilke fellow cloud computing players Google, Amazon, Microsoft, NetSuite and others, Salesforce.com has come under increasing pressure from large Australian organisations in the past several years to create a local facility — with financial services and public sector groups particularly interested in onshore hosting due to regulatory concerns about keeping sensitive data in other jurisdictions. The demand has intensified as local customers’ interest in the burgeoning field of software as a service and cloud computing solutions has hit record levels.
Speculation over recent weeks has focused on whether Amazon.com, which also offers cloud computing facilities — although different from those being offered by Salesforce.com — will launch an Australian datacentre.