There has been a huge transformation in the data centre industry. From small spaces we are now talking about data centre buildings and parks. Most Indian organisations are at the early stages or are still undecided about cloud maturity, adoption and find it challenging to look at the future of cloud in the coming few years.
The growth and the future of smart data centres was discussed in ‘W.Media’s ‘Mumbai Cloud Datacenter Convention & Awards 2021’. This session was moderated by N.K Singh, Founder, Data Center Guru. The panelists included Sreejith G., VP- Data Center Operations, STT GDC India, Saandeep V Dandekarr, Senior Director, NTT Global Data Centers and Cloud Infrastructure, India, Shankar KM, Associate Director, Data Centre Operations, STT GDC India and Azizbeg Mirza, Senior Director – PDS Projects & Operation – Corporate Solutions – Mumbai, JLL India.
From the last 18 months during the COVID19 pandemic there has been a gradual growth in the implementation of technology in many organisations. Organisations are embracing digital transformation. Technology will play a vital role in shaping the businesses.
“It is important to implement a correct strategy for the business growth as technology will be the backbone of the business. There are various strategies that enterprises are adopting at the moment looking at the growth in the industry. Colocation, on-premise data centre and hybrid data centre strategies are being adopted widely,” said Azizbeg Mirza, Senior Director – PDS Projects & Operation – Corporate Solutions -Mumbai, JLL India.
He further explained that every strategy has its own advantages and disadvantages. Organisations make use of the available data analytics which is being evaluated and the data is being categorised as critical and non-critical and based on that they are taking a hybrid strategy decision in which they still have on-premise data centre for the critical data and hosting some of the non-critical data in the colocation data centres because of the added advantage that they are getting with regards to the infrastructure, uptime and customised services that some of the colocation providers are offering.
Smartness in Data Centres
The COVID19 pandemic has pushed us two years back and many organisations have accelerated their journey of digital transformation.
“We build and operate data centres which are a mix of legacy data centres and the new data centres. The main work of the data centres is to host the mission critical applications of customers and most of the customers go with the hybrid strategy. Today the data centres are built with advanced technology. If you look at the performance of data centres it is mostly 100 per cent and the performance consistency is getting better,” said Sreejith G, VP- Datacentre Operations, STT GDC India.
He further added that the future data centres will be smart built and there will be mini data centres as well. It is important for data centres to be smart and safe.
Additionally, the safety and security of data centres is another important aspect along with the culture and operations of the data centre built. In earlier days it was availability and technology but today with the changed momentum and the coming of hyperscalers and MNCs safety and security is being given the utmost importance.
“We build data centres keeping the safety and security in mind, during the construction and operational phase. We have stringent procedures and compliance certifications as well and we are als building intelligence in data centres. Intelligence refers to technology building in the data centres if you look for example a BMS, BMS in a 10 MW data centre there are more than 1 lakh IO points. The 1 lakh IO points contribute to about a GB of data per day.
So how do you collect this data? Integration into a common platform is needed and the future is automation. We have legacy and intermediate challenges. Be it fully automated or semi automated data centre the future is automation. When the data centres are fully automated the reliability will be good. It supports the reliability and it brings efficiency at all levels be it saving cost, operating data centers with optimum manpower and providing better experience to the customers,” added Sreejith G.
The technological transformation is an ongoing journey. One can never say that we have reached a destination as there is something or the other new coming and the technology will keep evolving as it is evolving right now.
Saandeep Dandekarr, Senior Director, NTT Global Data Centers and Cloud Infrastructure, India explained the technological transformation in data centres by giving an example.
“Any data centre lets say have 700 cameras. In earlier days there used to be people sitting looking at the panel to understand what was happening so having 700-800 cameras and having few people sit and keep a watch is difficult. It is as good as not having the cameras.
Now with IP and artificial intelligence what is happening is it is moving from direct intelligence it is becoming predictive, real time one can pre-feed some parameters and the system tells you for example even when you want to check the feed now with motion sensors the recording of 10-12 hours will now be of 10-15 minutes particularly in the areas of data halls because only when there is motion there is recording so it becomes easier to track back and see the incident.”
He further added that in outer areas where there is a constant motion there some parameters can be pre-fed and as soon as that parameter occurs the system tells you real-time as to what is happening.
Any system which is the heart of the data centre like batteries, UPS, chillers, the function of the chillers and the cooling and temperatures that you have in the data halls there is a lot of close to real-time data that is coming that data becomes useful with the analytics as well. One gets data and the analytics on it and also helps in the preventive actions. It is important to have a clear objective before embarking on a strategy. Some could be for economy, uptime, to reduce human intervention which in a way reduced the overheads as well as the chances of error. Depending upon each function there is automation.