THE DATACENTER IS THE COMPUTER
IT organizations are breaking away from conventional technology consumption paradigms and embracing data centers in a big way
Reimagining and Reinventing- the two oftrepeated words one hear often times at this day and age. As we cut through the tech clichés, at the end of rhetoric lies the truth- is it hype or real? When you look at the IT infrastructure that is powering the on-demand ‘everything as a service age’, the data center is at the epicenter, it is actually powering today’s IT infrastructure and reimagining computing.
Setting the tone and context, Sanjay Agrawal, Director of Platforms and Solutions Group, Hitachi Vantara says, “ The current data center market in India is growing at an aggressive pace. The growth in data and digital intelligent devices have paved a new path for the IT infrastructure market.”
What is driving the India data center market is the need for agility the IT organizations are looking at. Many enterprises have acquired heterogeneous IT assets over a period of time - hardware to software spread across locations. Today that very technology plurality is a big challenge to them. The panacea to them is rationalizing the IT infrastructure to a data center driven cloud model that can manifest in many different on-demand ways.
The current data center market in India is growing at an aggressive pace. The growth in data and digital intelligent devices have paved a new path for the IT infrastructure market — Sanjay Agrawal, Director of Platforms and Solutions Group, Hitachi Vantara
Presently the Indian data center market is at an all-time high. India is poised to be the second-largest market for data centers in Asia-Pacific by 2020 and the investments are expected to reach $7 bn — Ravi Raj, Brand Head, Director Sales & Support, NetRack Enclosures
Quips M Muthukumar, VP, Engineering, Juniper Networks India & SAARC, IEC, “The India market is opening up to the global trends. From large telcos to banks to global financial giants are setting up massively scalable data centers – with compute, storage and network infrastructure on equipment mounted in 1000+ racks - running their corporate applications. The market is in its evolution stage and has a huge potential for growth in the forthcoming years.”
Presently the Indian data center market is at an all-time high. The emergence of startups and the unprecedented growth in data has been instrumental in the growth of data centers. Reflecting on this Ravi Raj, Brand Head, Director Sales & Support, NetRack Enclosures says, “Presently the Indian data center market is at an all-time high. India is poised to be the second-largest market for data centers in Asia-Pacific by 2020 and the investments are expected to reach $7 bn.”
Clearly, the India data center market is opening up for multiple opportunities- right from core compute elements to racks et al. While data centers have been around for many decades, but it was only recently that they have taken center stage due to the exponential rise in the consumption of data worldwide. Putting this thought in perspective, Prasanna Sarambale, CEO – Data Center Business and Head – Group BD, Sterling and Wilson says, “With the advent of technological innovations, the critical- ity of data has become paramount, especially in terms of supporting infrastructure for its transmission, storage, and processing etc. As opposed to earlier, when data centers were seen as physical spaces to store data, in this age of data overload, every organization – big or small – requires a data center. It may be located physically in-house or at an external colocation data center that are used to not only store data but also manage the process, and analyze it for various business processes including CRM, ERP, and other applications to meet tactical and strategic business objectives.”
Industry experts like Sarambale believe that around 50 billion IoT devices would be connected by 2020. The physical infrastructure segment, especially in India, holds immense opportunity and presents a huge market for companies in the industry. “This will result in more webscale mega data centers, complemented with edge data centers like mini and micro modular containerized data centers. The stupendous increase in data usage has led to personal data protection becoming a critical demand from the society, which may necessitate the government to bring federal laws for data sovereignty. This, in turn, will compel most multinational IT service providers to set up data centers in these countries, and not only from a legislative point of view but also for effective functioning and delivery of the services,” adds Sarambale. BEST PRACTICES FOR THE CIO The ongoing technology disruption has put the CIOs at the intersection. The top management wants them to reinvent the IT organization and roll out a digital transformation roadmap, but they are caught in the technology deluge. In this context what are the key things a CIO should look at before moving their IT assets to a data center?
“Security and ‘Data Loss Prevention’ would be #1, the simplicity of control, provisioning and management systems, high availability of applications, rich telemetry, with five nines uptime are key things that a CIO should look for,” says Muthukumar.
Agrees Sarambale, he says, “Moving IT infrastructure to a colocation data center is an extremely critical decision. Therefore, the factors that need to be evaluated prior to finalization of the data center would include the existing capacity to host server racks and the possibility of seamless expansion, continuous availability of power and water, construction quality of
physical infrastructure, fibre network availability, and cost of hosting/managed services. It becomes easier for a CIO to take a decision in case the data center facility is certified by UTI or TIA-942.”
So clearly CIOs need to do ample tech due diligence on the internal IT organization assets and capabilities and redundancies of the data center vendors and must have a phased approach to an offsite IT model.
Says Sridhar Pinnapureddy, Founder & CEO CtrlS Datacenters, “The assessment process of a data center would comprise of the uptime SLAs, low PUE, support environment, security infrastructure, carrier neutrality, contract (terms and conditions), geographic spread of facilities for disaster recovery (if there be a need) aligned with the business needs. The migration process itself would re- quire formulation of a project team, assessment of requirements, migration planning, visit the data center facility, contingency plan, logistics plan for safe movement of infrastructure, seamless communication, downtime planning during migration, migration, testing, auditing, and activation of infrastructure and related applications.”
Adds Rakesh Kumar Singh, Datacenter lead, Juniper Networks India, “Today most of the CIOs are comfortable taking the cloud plunge. Most of the traditional operations are moving to the cloud and hybrid cloud is becoming a norm. CIOs need to take a systematic approach and take a multi-pronged strategy and scale consistently as they move forward.”
TAPPING THE OPPORTUNITY
The market opportunity is big and vendors are making concerted efforts to tap into the opportunity. Quips Sarambale, “India features prominently on the global map with respect to data centers, and according to Gartner, is poised to became the second fastest growing market in APAC. Rapid digitalization, coupled with various efforts from the Government like Digital India, have been the key aspects that have led to the exponential growth we are observing in the industry. Given the population, the country is also home to a high number of mobile users (approx. 950 million mobile phone users), resulting in a huge potential for data usage. Data centers become extremely critical to support the IT infrastructure from crumbling under this sheer volume of data. The country is also home to some of the best minds working in the industry, enabling Indian companies to develop capabilities that match the expertise of our counterparts globally.”
Experts like Sarambale firmly believe that going forward, data center localization might become the biggest growth driver that the industry is likely to experience in India. Many countries have already implemented localization laws for data and the same is expected in our country in near future. Also, due to increasing data sensitivity coupled with regulations, most companies will need to set up their data centers in India, further driving the growth in the market. We are already seeing this trend in the telecom, Government and BFSI sectors, where data centers are fast becoming critical infrastructure given the vast amount of sensitive data that needs to be stored and processed.
Today most of the CIOs are comfortable taking the cloud plunge. Most of the traditional operations are moving to the cloud and hybrid cloud is becoming a norm — Rakesh Kumar Singh, Datacenter lead, Juniper Networks India
With the advent of technological innovations, the criticality of data has become paramount, especially in terms of supporting infrastructure for its transmission, storage, and processing etc — Prasanna Sarambale, CEO – Data Center Business & Head – Group BD, Sterling & Wilson
The India market is opening up to the global trends. From large telcos to banks to global financial giants are setting up massively scalable data centers – with compute, storage and network infrastructure — M Muthukumar, VP, Engineering, Juniper Networks India & SAARC, IEC