The debate around how the widespread use of technology impacts power requirements across nations- both developed and developing ones is an intense topic.
There is no denying that increasing digital consumption, in the aftermath of the pandemic, has seen a dramatic increase in data consumption. According to a report, as of 2020, there are an estimated 18 million servers deployed in data centres globally. Whenever you use any services on the internet, you are connecting to one of many millions of servers located in one of many thousands of data centres around the world.
The Indian data centre market by investment is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 12 per cent during the period 2020-2026.
Mumbai and Chennai lead domestic Data Centre space:
According to the Uptime Institute, the total number of certified data centres are around 35 in 13 states across India, which includes local and global facilities. The number of Tier III certified data centres is higher than Tier IV and Tier II. Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, and Gujarat are the major states with certified facilities. In India, several under-developed projects fall under the Tier III category. This trend is likely to continue during the forecast period, with many operators expected to shift to the Tier IV category with the growth in rack power density and critical applications. There are five data centre facilities in India situated in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh, according to the uptime institute.
The procurement of lithium-ion UPS solutions is likely to be high among colocation providers. Modular operators are likely to promote less than 500 kW lithium-ion UPS systems. The adoption of single-rack prefabricated solutions will include single-phase lithium-ion systems with a power capacity of less than 10 kVA. There is a growing interest among large and mega facilities to procure UPS systems of more than 750 kVA. However, small and medium facilities are procuring UPS systems with a capacity of less than 500 kVA, added a Research and Markets report.
The report further explained that the use of air-based cooling dominates the Indian data centre market share with over 90 per cent shares. The scarcity of water in the major metropolitan cities is expected to pose challenges for the growth of the water-based cooling technique in the market. The construction of facilities with a power capacity of over 10 MW is expected to contribute to the growth of cooling solutions in the market. Most facilities in India have a flexible design that allows the use of up to 52U rack sizes.
The data centre market in India has a strong presence of construction contractors and sub-contractors. Sterling and Wilson and L&T Construction are among the leading contractors in the market. These providers can perform installation and commissioning services. Thus, the increasing construction of new facilities is likely to influence multiple global construction contractors to enter the market. Installation and commissioning services are essential aspects of data centre development. Several Tier III and Tier IV facilities in India are certified by the Uptime Institute for design, construction, and operational stability. This is commonly needed for colocation service providers to attract customers for their service offerings, the report added.
Here’s a sneak peek of what the industry experts have to say:
“Data centres used to hide in plain sight, but the growing global reliance on cloud computing, 5G, AI, and IoT technologies has seen them take on increasingly important roles across industries. India is currently home to over 80 third-party data centres and is witnessing investment from both local and international players that are expected to touch $4.6 billion per annum by 2025, according to a recent report by Nasscom. As data centres take up their critical role in upholding the digital economy, it has made it an exciting and rewarding place to develop a career.
At the same time, data centre staff requirements are forecast to grow globally from about 2 million full-time employees in 2019 to nearly 2.3 million by 2025. Most demand is expected in the Asia-Pacific region, followed by North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Thanks to the fast-growing demands for data centre services and staff, the industry needs more skilled professionals to staff and maintain facilities,” said Hwa Choo Lim, VP of Human Resources, Equinix Asia-Pacific.
“The International Data Centre Day celebrates the ‘silent’, but the impactful role that data centres play in our lives. A majority of digital platforms that we use regularly, wouldn’t exist and the world wouldn’t be so connected if it wasn’t for data centres. As the role of data centres in today’s age couldn’t get any more important, the idea behind this initiative holds greater importance in a hyperconnected digital world. About a decade ago, data centres were considered a part of the IT sector, but they have now grown to become an industry in itself,” said Sunil Gupta, Co-founder and CEO, Yotta Infrastructure.
“In the land of pacesetters & innovators, data centre solutions need to be ahead of the curve to accelerate digital adoption. At AdaniConneX, we embrace this opportunity and are working towards furthering India’s digital leap by building a 1 GW of green data centre platform by 2030 to help empower every citizen with digital advancements,” said Sanjay Bhutani, Senior Vice President, AdaniConneX.
“The Indian Data Centre market is all set to double its capacity in the coming years. An increase in data localisation, Cloud adoption, and strong digitisation is driving the demand in the region.
Over the last year, the Data Centre market in India roped in around 20 new projects in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana, followed by the other states. Interestingly, the impact of COVID-19 accelerated the digital transformation in Tier-II cities, bringing Data Centre capabilities to a wider network. In line with this, higher Colocation demand is expected both globally and domestically with an aim to attain a renewable energy capacity of 450 GW by the year 2030. Telecom players are also pushing for the 5G rollout, further driving up the need for Data Centres in India. With modularity, flexibility, efficiency, and sustainability being the four-point plan for Data Centres today, the International Data Centre Day acts as a catalyst to address these needs consciously and collectively,” said Nikhil Rathi, Founder & Director, Web Werks India.
Talent in the DC industry
“Having long-standing association with the data centre industry, it is truly remarkable to witness this feat. This gives us even more reasons to educate people about data centres and their importance in almost everything we do on the internet,” Gupta said.
He further added that India is a nation of the young, digital-native generation that is very innovative and problem solvers, and the data centres industry needs just that. This is a promising space that’s rife with opportunities.
“Through this International Data Centre Day, we must pledge to educate more people, present more opportunities, inspire the future leaders and innovators, and invite them to take data centres to new heights. As an industry pioneer, I assure you that Yotta will continue to invest its efforts to nurture the next generation of data centre talent,” added Gupta.
“Equinix believes we have the responsibility to step up and take the lead to encourage individuals to consider a career in the data centre industry. We strive to build an inclusive workplace for employees where they can say “I’m safe, I belong and I matter.’ Designed to bring employees together, Equinix Employee Connection Networks (EECNs) play an essential role in advocating for the needs and goals of communities with common identities, cultures or backgrounds. Additionally, we continue to identify new channels and avenues to connect underrepresented communities to meaningful opportunities at Equinix. Our Pathways Program, new-to-career partnerships, and expanded talent marketing strategy offers multiple paths to reach a diverse pool of candidates at different stages in their career journeys. In Singapore, five trainees who joined our SGUnited traineeship program were converted into full-time data centre operation employees,” said Hwa Choo Lim.
Hwa Choo Lim further added “Today, we continue promoting initiatives that foster a culture where talent thrives and inspire the next generation of talent to join the data centre industry, demonstrating that there is a place for everybody at Equinix. We’re proud of our progress to ensure an inclusive, diverse, and strong workforce. One that continuously recognises all our employees’ achievements and great work, especially those who do a tremendous job to keep our mission-critical services running.”