TIA Certification

OrionStellar accredited as Sri-Lanka’s first ever ‘TIA Rated 3 design certified’ Data Center

OrionStellar, Sri Lanka’s first carrier-neutral,, high-density data center, achieved another historic milestone after becoming the first facility of its kind in the island to be listed as a TIA- 942 Rated 3 Data Centre facility. Data center design conforms to delivering highest level of availability and resiliency in terms of uninterrupted power and cooling to the enterprises hosting their IT infrastructure at Orionstellar.

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) standard is one of the most widely recognized and globally implemented standards for reviewing and ensuring conformity with international best practices. The certification covers all physical infrastructure including, but not limited to, site location, architectural, electrical, and mechanical, fire safety, telecommunications, and security. The facility design ensures concurrently maintainability in critical infrastructure equipped with the redundant capacity components and multiple independent distribution paths in conformity with all applicable global standards.

“Since our launch in November of 2021, OrionStellar has been on a mission to simplify digital infrastructure challenges for Sri Lankan and regional enterprises. With this latest accreditation, we reinforce our position as a reliable destination for deployment of digital services and provide credible assurance to our customers and stakeholders. And we are also moving forward with the establishment of another historic milestone in the development of Sri Lanka’s IT infrastructure and capabilities,” said OrionStellar Managing Director, Jeevan Gnanam.

Located in the capital city’s Orion ICT Park, OrionStellar features capacity for 200 racks, a rack density of up to 15kW per rack and a design PUE of 1.4 achieved through in row cooling systems, which enables higher levels of power efficiency resulting power saving up to 40% for the customers who will be collocating their IT infrastructure at Orionstellar.

“Facilitating advanced technologies, OrionStellar’s state-of-the-art data center is poised to offer 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,” said OrionStellar Chief Operations Officer (COO), Nalaka Bandara.

Built in compliance with the latest ISO 27001 standards and global data center standards, the new data center aims to deliver the highest levels of reliability, efficiency, and redundancy with 99.98% uptime.

OSDC is geared to benefit enterprise and government sector customers across the country while simultaneously contributing to the technological advancement of the region.

The center features power infrastructure with 2 (N+1) UPS systems to ensure continuous cooling with a fully redundant battery backup system, and an N+1 generator system supported with two fuel bulk tanks with a total capacity over 50000 L to ensure reliable and uninterrupted power supply.

OrionStellar caters to enterprise IT infrastructure needs and with co-location packages designed to meet the varied requirements of different business segments and sectors. The facility is providing white labeled space for Telcos and larger MNCs and features dedicated cages with biometric access control for large enterprises, as well as individual racks for SME and startup hosting needs. Orionstellar data center has a unique capability to monitor the power consumption up to the individual server level (U level) such that customers will be paying for the exact electricity consumption they use on a pay as you use model.

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

OSDC Launch

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. 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.

Addressing the gathering, Digital Realty Chairman, Rajendra Theagarajah said: “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.”

“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.

“Sri Lanka also has 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.

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.

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 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.”

Sri Lanka the data center destination is making- A new type of hospitality: How data centers could help revive the Sri Lankan economy

~ by Nalaka Bandara ~

A new type of hospitality: How data centers could help revive the Sri Lankan economy

Historically, Sri Lanka has been an attractive destination for traders and travellers alike, and over time, our nation has become synonymous with hospitality. Prior to COVID-19, tourism was among the most dynamic sectors in our economy, generating between US$ 3 and 4 billion annually.

With the movement of people and goods severely restricted globally, tourism and many other crucial sources of foreign exchange will continue to face severe limitations. While all steps must be taken to provide these sectors with the support they need, it is of equal importance to also explore new avenues for growth.

Among the few positive developments to emerge out these disruptions has been the phenomenon of Work From Home (WFH). Leveraging these capabilities, many enterprises have been able continue their operations relatively uninterrupted, and in some instances, at an even greater scale than prior to the pandemic.

Fuelling these emerging opportunities are powerful new capabilities in digitalization, that in turn rest on a foundation of critical technology infrastructure. This includes everything from high- speed internet capabilities to data hosting. This is where we believe Sri Lanka has the potential to leverage on a new kind of hospitality. Not for people, but for data.

Demand for IT infrastructure is growing globally


Digitalization is the new norm and there is an escalating demand for IT Infrastructure services. Increasingly, instead of building up their individual server capacity, companies are outsourcing data storage requirements to third party data centers in order to centralize and accelerate shared IT operations and equipment. Data center migration services were projected to grow by 24% by 2024. Post pandemic, 87% of global IT decision makers seek to accelerate this journey.

Data centers can facilitate a new breed of technologies

A data center is a facility that centralizes an organization's shared IT operations and equipment for the purposes of storing, processing, and disseminating business critical data and applications. Modern data centers provide high-grade facilities and go beyond colocation into cloud and managed services.


While this was already a common trend prior to COVID-19, today the demand for server space and managed services is growing exponentially in Sri Lanka, and more so across the South Asian region. This positions us exceptionally well to service the rapidly rising demand for data hosting emerging out of local corporates, and regional enterprises seeking cost and operational advantages. If managed correctly, Sri Lankan data centers could be turned into a virtual goldmine.

Local growth, global potential

Sri Lanka was ranked among the top 25 destinations of A.T. Kearney's 2019 Global Services Location Index (GSLI) – a leading benchmark of national competitiveness in tech-services. This classification was based on financial attractiveness, skills and availability of qualified personnel, and a welcoming business environment, of which, our people remain one of our best assets.

Additionally, Sri Lanka is ranked the second best in the world for digital nomads, scoring, 238 out of 320 points. Colombo is also recognised as the fourth best city in the world to work remotely from. In calculating the digital nomad score index, cost of living, safety, average internet speed, and technology adoption, were considered. As much as Sri Lanka is known for its glamorous natural beauty, it has the potential to take centre stage as one of the world’s best tech hubs.

Building on the strong momentum gained so far will require greater utilization of the globally competitive data hosting capabilities that have been developed, and greater investment to boost capacity even further.

Most of Sri Lanka’s largest and most dynamic enterprises are already taking advantage of this quality infrastructure, resulting in significant competitive advantage. It allows them to meet their aspirations for digitalization while containing investments and operating costs.

Unique advantages

There are many other factors working in Sri Lanka’s favour, including a highly favourable policy towards attracting IT investment while developing local talent. The Government is also working towards ambitious targets for implementation of e-governance initiatives.

The country is increasingly recognized as an ideal location for new types of opportunities. New job categories – including a uniquely vibrant start-up culture and new approaches to work are also emerging, as evidenced by the rapid expansion of co-working spaces like Hatch. Sri Lanka is also introducing critical new data security regulations. The proposed Data protection bill is expected to establish the necessary institutional framework and safeguard the digital ecosystem.

All of these factors point to the start of a new phase of Sri Lanka’s development. Unlike previous eras however, in the ‘new normal’ our knowledge and IT expertise will be our greatest strength.

Positive progress already underway

Globally data centers receive their core certifications from the Uptime Institute, and The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). Uptime Institute certifies design and build of data centers based on evaluation of standardized and precise requirements, while TIA is responsible for setting standards on guaranteed availability levels (942 Rate) in the following tiers:

  • Tier 1 – 99.671%
  • Tier 2 – 99.741%
  • Tier 3 – 99.982%
  • Tier 4 – 99.995%
  • Already, Sri Lanka is home to two Tier 3 certified data centers operated by Dialog and SLT in Malabe and Pitipana. Meanwhile, construction of the new data center at Orion City by OrionStellar has already been completed and the facility is now ready to go live as Sri Lanka’s first carrier-neutral and high-density data center. This is the first Tier 3 certified Data Center within Colombo city limits.

    Together with ISO/IEC 27001:2013 (ISO 27001) certifications, Sri Lanka will also be able to offer confidentiality, integrity, availability, and security best practices on par with some of the most advanced in the region.

    Geographic advantages

    In addition to its globally competitive technical expertise, Sri Lanka serves as a vibrant maritime link between East and West.

    Moreover, Sri Lanka’s location in the North-Western region of the Indo Australian plate, well away from the destructive plate boundary, means it's safe from seismic events. Accordingly, our earthquake hazard is classified as very low with less than a 2% chance of a potentially damaging earthquake in Sri Lanka in the next 50 years. In terms of data storage, this is an unbeatable advantage as even a small seismic event can have serious repercussions on a live data center.

    Sri Lanka is a tropical country with favourable weather patterns and free from most natural hazards. There is no snow fall or hurricanes and tornadoes are rare, offering further peace of mind to potential offshoring clients.

    Sri Lanka’s location, and its historical affinity for communications technology means that today, the island is connected to no less than eight international submarine cables. This enables Sri Lankan data centers to offer globally competitive connectivity and reliability. By comparison, regional leaders like Singapore have seven international cables, whilst Hong Kong has 11.

    Like Hong Kong, Sri Lanka is ideally positioned off the mainland of India, a large and economically vibrant neighbor with strong trade and diplomatic ties. These pre-existing links could easily serve as a catalyst for new opportunities in Sri Lanka.

    Our central location on a global scale also means that Sri Lanka is never too far from any time zone, meaning that local IT and engineering teams can easily connect with global enterprises during their operating hours. In many ways, this represents an opportunity to serve as a virtual gateway between East and West.

    Electricity supply & connectivity

    Relative to its regional peers, Sri Lanka has a reliable and high-quality supply of power with 93% electrification coverage and an uninterrupted power supply. Also, being connected to eight international submarine cables, Sri Lanka ensures an ample redundancy and connectivity. Moreover, broadband, leased line and satellite connectivity is widely available with high-speed connectivity and seamless delivery of hosted applications.

    Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)

    Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and its reciprocal Data Center Infrastructure Efficiency (DCIE) are widely accepted benchmarking standards in measuring power efficiency. The Uptime Institute also recommends a comprehensive benchmark named Corporate Average Data Center Efficiency (CADE).

    PUEDCiELevel of Efficiency
    3.033%Very Inefficient

    1.283%Very Efficient

    The power utilization of a data center is dependent on the cooling of heat-generating server infrastructures. Therefore, the cooling technology used in a data center defines its level of efficiency. Here too, Sri Lanka is showing signs of regional leadership, with the upcoming data center at Orion City designed to use in-raw cooling technology to achieve an optimum PUE of 1.4 - well within the efficiency required limits.

    While economic development has been drastically impacted by the pandemic, the island has many significant projects, including most notably, the Colombo Port City Project, which is expected to give rise to a surge in local and international services sector investment, including IT. This too will create lucrative opportunities in data center solutions.

    Sri Lanka has also historically been quick to explore and adopt new technology. It was the first in South Asia to set up 4G infrastructure, and 5G services are already partially up and running. The country has a thriving ecosystem of start-ups and new tech ventures, as well as globally recognized leaders like 99x, Millennium IT, and Virtusa.

    Cashing in on a golden opportunity

    At present, it is estimated that Sri Lankan enterprises outsource just 15% of their IT requirements. In Asia Pacific that rate is closer to 25% and in Australia, it stands among the highest, with 75% of enterprise IT being outsourced.

    Given the above factors, Sri Lanka can offer fully-fledged data centers at costs approximately 25% lower than its counterparts in Singapore and Hong Kong.

    Drawing on the success that both these island nations have enjoyed in providing data offshoring to the mainland, the parallels for Sri Lanka become more enticing. Given all the natural advantages Sri Lanka enjoys, and backed by careful policy and investment, the island could become the perfect destination for offshore data centers.

    These capabilities can be used to attract leading regional enterprises to Sri Lanka –to set up operations in upcoming mega developments like Colombo Port City, or to utilize our globally offshoring and disaster recovery applications. If expedited, it could quickly become a much- needed source of strength for Sri Lanka’s weakening foreign currency reserves.

    The author is a specialist in enterprise communication solutions and data center businesses with over 30 years of collective experience, including the launch of Sri Lanka’s first ever Tier 3 certified data center. Currently he serves as Chief Operations Officer at OrionStellar. He holds a BSc in Engineering, an MBA from University of Colombo, and a Diploma in Management Accounting from CIMA UK.

    Chairman's appointment

    Rajendra Theagarajah appointed Chairman of Digital Reality Pvt Ltd

  • Mandated to lead the Board of SL’s first ever High Density Data Centre
  • At launch, it will serve as the only Tier 3 certified Data center in Colombo City
  • Envisages world class data hosting services and value-added services to enterprises, SMEs and startups
  • Set to attract regional clientele to Sri Lanka with Tier 3 certified offshore data hosting services
  • Data centre located at Orion City to go live early in Q2FY2021

  • Digital Reality (Pvt) Ltd, a joint venture between St. Anthony’s Property Developers (Pvt) Ltd. (SAPD) and Dialog Broadband Pvt Ltd, announced the appointment of highly respected banking veteran, technologist and business transformation specialist, Rajendra Theagarajah as Chairman.

    Theagarajah has been charged with leading its board as Digital Reality gears up for the launch of Sri Lanka’s first and most advanced High Density Data Centre, at Orion City, and ultimately, securing mandates for data hosting services from leading corporates, SMEs, and startups as well as offshore hosting for large corporates across South Asia.

    “All of us at Digital Reality are proud to welcome Thea on board. During his time in the banking industry, he has spearheaded powerful technological transformations which laid the IT and operational foundation for the innovations in digital banking that are now coming online across the island. This ability to leverage technology, and deliver results while commanding the respect and admiration of the entire corporate sector will be the catalyst to a new era in Sri Lankan IT capabilities,” Digital Reality Director and CEO, Jeevan Gnanam said.

    Established through a US$ 5 million investment between Dialog Broadband Pvt Ltd and SAPD, Digital Reality’s upcoming 200 rack High Density Data Centre will offer globally competitive Tier 3 class infrastructure services to support the rapidly escalating demand for computing power in an increasingly digital Sri Lankan economy. The new center is expected to go live during the second quarter of 2021.

    “Sri Lanka is a nation that is blessed in many ways, but especially with IT, we are yet to scratch the surface of this nation’s true potential. The fact that we are now able to establish Tier 3 certified data hosting services that are globally competitive, and yet significantly more cost effective than countries like Singapore and Hong Kong, will yield immense opportunities.

    “Our ultimate goal is to position Digital Reality to serve as the IT backbone for Sri Lankan enterprises of all sizes, as well as delivering the most reliable offshore data hosting and disaster recovery services for entities across South Asia,” incoming Digital Reality Chairman, Rajendra Theagarajah stated.

    Theagarajah will be ably supported in his mission by an illustrious Board of Directors including Dialog Axiata PLC Group Chief Executive Officer, Supun Weerasinghe, Dialog Axiata Group Chief Technology Officer, Pradeep De Almeida, Orion City founder, technologist and serial entrepreneur, Jeevan Gnanam, and WNS Founding Director, Eric Selvadurai.

    Theagarajah further noted that with major new developments such as the Colombo Port City, as well as the increasing demand for sophisticated IT infrastructure in Sri Lanka, Digital Reality would be well positioned to support the digitalization journeys of Sri Lankan corporates. Meanwhile, the island’s historically low levels of seismic activity, strong global IT connectivity through multiple submarine cables and extremely competitive cost structures would make it an ideal choice for international organizations and investors alike.

    Digital Reality’s entire High Density Data Center will be optimally located at the Orion City IT Park in Colombo, providing a particularly valuable option for Sri Lankan enterprises seeking a convenient, cost-effective site for their primary data centers. This central location will enable easy access, world-class supporting infrastructure with strong capabilities to serve emerging and established economic hubs in Colombo and in the areas around the Bandaranaike International Airport.

    In addition to the data center and related managed services, Digital Reality will also offer disaster recovery solutions and aims to launch a portfolio of value-added services, ultimately enabling a new breed of technologies such as AI, Machine Learning and Data analytics to help accelerate the digitalization of Sri Lanka.

    DR 1: Rajendra Theagarajah, incoming Chairman of Digital Realty, a joint venture between St. Anthony’s Property Developers and Dialog Axiata
    DR 2: Located at Orion City, Digital Realty will be Sri Lanka’s first High Density Data Centre