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Wed, 06/12/2024 - 07:34
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Kakao unveils 1st independent data center to improve service stability

ANSAN, South Korea, June 12 (Yonhap) -- Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea's top mobile messenger, has unveiled its first independent data center as part of its effort to improve service stability following a massive service disruption in 2022.

"A data center is a core asset for Kakao, crucial for the stable operation of the company's numerous services that are pervasive in people's daily lives," CEO Chung Shin-a said during a press tour of the center in Ansan, about 30 kilometers south of Seoul, on Tuesday. "We have worked to create the safest data center in South Korea with a strong sense of responsibility."

The opening of the 47,000-square-meter data center came more than a year after Kakao's flagship mobile messenger, KakaoTalk, suffered an unprecedented five-day service outage in October 2022 due to a fire at SK C&C building nearby Seoul that housed the company's main data servers at the time.

The fire caused disruptions in KakaoTalk and other services linked to the messenger, from online payment platform Kakao Pay to ride-hailing app Kakao T.

KakaoTalk has some 48.7 million monthly active users and processes an average of over 10 billion messages every day, according to the company.

The service outage of the country's most widely used mobile app sparked public criticism over its insufficient backup system or disaster prevention measures.

Kakao said it has placed emphasis on the stable operation of Kakao's services at the Ansan data center, which houses 4,000 units of rack, or 120,000 data servers, and stores six exabytes of data.

To ensure uninterrupted operations even in the event of a malfunction or natural disaster, redundancy has been built into most of the new data center's major facilities, including power supply, communications and cooling systems.

The data center also features a four-step fire extinguishing system designed to automatically put out fires originating from batteries and prevent flames from spreading to other batteries.

The company said it plans to start operating most of its services, including KakaoTalk, at the Ansan center later this week or next week.

Meanwhile, CEO Chung said Kakao is also pushing to build its second independent data center with more focus on artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in coming years. The company will also launch an AI service applicable to Kakao's original services within this year.