With the evolution of data centres, the speed to market has become the key driver of their design and construction. It is important for data centre developers and operators to reduce time to construction especially within the colocation and hyperscale sectors. Colocation providers discussed in W.Media’s ‘Mumbai Cloud & Datacenter Convention & Awards’ discussed developing data center’s at scale in the wake of accommodating to India’s growing digital economy demands’ on how their businesses have adapted and continue to evolve in the face of unrelenting technological change.
The panel session was moderated by Venkatesh Ganesh, Deputy Editor, W.Media, the panelists included, Sunil Gupta, Co Founder & CEO, Yotta Infrastructure Solutions, Sanjay Bhutani, Senior Vice President, AdaniConneX and Manoj Paul, Managing Director, Equinix India.
Scope of DCs in India
There are two sides to the growth of data centres in India. The demand and the supply side and the supply side reacts according to the demand side. “As of today the supply is trying to catch up with demand as the demands are increasing,” Sunil Gupta,Co Founder & CEO,Yotta Infrastructure Solutions.
He further explained that earlier, no one used to know what a data centre is. Enterprises gradually realised that there is no longer a need for their own captive data centre and would rather be better off at a third party data centre. Gradually then cloud computing came and India suddenly started adopting cloud in such a big way that all the hyperscalers thought of making their way into the Indian market. Either due to data localisation or due to latency or the user experience.
“Till the year 2014 many organisations were making 6 MW data centre with thousand racks and we used to think that it is a very big data centre but today it looks very small. Today we think of a 25 MW data centre with 5,000 racks. We talk about an ecosystem, creating our own power plant and creating multiple fiber passes. This is a bigger change and mainly because of the hyperscalers coming in because the adoption of cloud by enterprises has increased. If cloud is coming they are coming to hyperscalers and they are running cloud which is running in a physical building which is nothing but a data centre,” added Gupta.
An increase in the demand for cloud eventually leads to an increase in the demand for data centres. From building data centres organisations are now looking at building data centre parks as a few years down the line the customers would not want to shift to a different location but rather expand in the existing one. Besides cloud the new driver will be the localisation of data. The majority of the data of the banking sector is already in India but ,the majority of the social media data is not in India and once this happens. There will be an immense rise in the demand for data centres.
“The geopolitical aspect is one of the drivers of an increase in the demand for data centres. We have seen a major infrastructure upgrade in our country be it roads, metro, fiber, telecom or any other industry. When hyperscalers look at India, geopolitical is one of the reasons driving growth because they look at being for a longer period of time; they can’t be here for a short term,” said Sanjay Bhutani, Senior Vice President, AdaniConneX.
He further added that the geopolitical aspect is important and there are multiple components to it. While data is growing and there is a massive digitisation happening, a lot of policies are being put in place by the Government of India at the same time it is important for organisations to collaborate and see how they can make geopolitical a common agenda for all. Everyone is driving data centre parks either individually or in partnerships. It is important to see how they can make sure that it is a common infrastructure which can be leveraged by all organisations.
“All of us know enterprises are actually adopting cloud computing and while they are adopting cloud I think the kind of products and customer experience through geopolitical aspects could drive more growth. While data centre parks are coming in India the data gravity will increase in megawatts which has to be supported by a fibre and the pace at which the change is taking place all of us know that edge computing is going to come,” added Bhutani.
Earlier, Indian data centres were mainly catering to Indian customers and most of the MNCs were catering to India from Singapore, Hong Kong, UK and US. “With an improvement in the quality tier IV data centres like GPX came into the country, big players started deploying cloud in India and that is what elevated the quality of data centres,” said Manoj Paul, Managing Director, Equinix India.
He further explained that the size of data centres has also changed over the years. Earlier, we used to talk about 1 or 2 MW of data centres and now we are talking about 20 MW data centers. In the near future, there will be a distinction between hyperscalers and retail customer but today many data centre providers are trying to mix the two things by building a 50 to 100 MW data centre and try to cater to the same tam the same data centre having few floors for hyperscalers and one or two floors for edge and retail customers. In the international trends, the distinction is coming in. Hyperscalers need a warehouse; they need a big building with reliable cooling and power. More data centres will be built in tier II cities and in the outskirts of the city but the enterprise data centres will continue to be in the heart of the city.