Datacenter business in India has gone through a fundamental change as organisations shifted their focus to issues such as speed of deployment, manageability, scalability, efficiency and security, said a senior executive, adding that hyper-convergence started taking a larger role within the datacenter infrastructure as business requirements drove.
In an interview with TechObserver.in, Ankesh Kumar, director, product management and marketing at Emerson Network Power India said, “The focus was on ensuring modularity with a razor-sharp focus on maintaining energy efficiency and growing demand for remote monitoring solutions for the datacenter.”
What trends did you witness in the datacenter space in India?
The year 2015 saw data centres undergo fundamental changes as management shifted its focus to issues such as speed of deployment, manageability, scalability, efficiency and security. Hyper-convergence started taking a larger role within the datacenter infrastructure as business requirements drove. This demand ensured that customers demanded further simplifying the datacenter infrastructure and asking for more efficient solutions within IT departments. The year 2015 saw the cloud expand its foothold and become an engine of innovation in the datacenter.
We also saw integrated systems helping organisations deploy and scale applications faster while reducing risk and total costs. With rapid changes in many markets being driven by innovation, digitisation and mobility, the need for speed that integration and convergence deliver was greater than ever. As a result, integration and convergence expanded beyond the IT stack to the systems that support that stack.
Most notably, data centre facilities were beginning to be designed and constructed from integrated, prefabricated modules. This new approach by Emerson Network Power to facilitate organisations like Facebook, to develop fully customised, high performance data centres in 30 per cent less time than it took using traditional construction processes. Overall the focus was on ensuring modularity with a razor-sharp focus on maintaining energy efficiency and growing demand for remote monitoring solutions for the datacenter.
How the market will span out for the datacenter solutions segment?
According to research carried out by Gartner, the value of the Indian data center infrastructure and solutions market will show a 5.2 per cent increase year-on-year, totalling $2 billion in 2016. We are increasingly going to witness companies looking at migrating towards hybrid and cloud-based solutions as they can be assembled on-site. We expect organizations to request more efficiency inside the datacenter as well as a need to cut down on capital expenditure which can be facilitated with modular and smart datacenter solutions. As more and more organizations become confident about adopting hybrid and cloud-based solutions, we believe that 2016 is going to be the definitive year when they will consider infrastructure as a service to overcome their infrastructure issues.
From Emerson Network Power's point of view, our smart solutions portfolio comprising precision cooling, UPSs, power management, monitoring, control technologies, and fire suppression in one enclosed system is advantageous as businesses look for cost-efficient and easy-to-maintain solutions. We are expecting to see good demand for these products of ours as with traditional datacenter set-ups, balancing datacenter best practices for capacity, space utilization, availability and efficiency will become paramount.
What verticals are propelling the demand for datacenter in India?
From an enterprise demand perspective, we are currently focusing on start-ups, SMBs and SMEs. With a view, to reaching out to as many companies as possible we are running various on-ground programs for them, wherein we display our solutions so these companies can have a first-hand view of how these solutions work and benefit their businesses. In terms of verticals, we are primarily focusing on the BFSI and manufacturing sectors.
Has the technology shift such as cloud, mobility, and virtualization impacted the overall datacenter solutions space in India?
With technologies such as cloud, mobility and virtualization being adopted rapidly, datacenters solutions too are seeing change. We have already seen a couple of prominent announcements that are expected to expedite the demand for datacenter infrastructure management solutions.
Primarily driven by the government's agenda for creating a Digital India, even initiatives like Smart Cities, Start-up India and Make in India will ensure that more and more companies veer towards investing in datacenters. Cloud and virtualization in the datacenter is no longer a myth with quite a few prominent players like AWS, Netmagic, and Microsoft announcing extensive plans to invest in state-of-the-art datacenter facilities in the country. This is also expected to add millions of square feet to the datacenter space. The rapid proliferation of smartphones and social media adoption in India has ensured that we will be soon ready to embrace Big Data and IoT which will also significantly impact our dependencies on datacenters.
The SMB and SME segment will propel the growth of enterprise infrastructure solutions as enterprise networking will be one of the key trends that we will come to see this year.
How do you look at the concept of data localisation? Will it increase the datacenter business in India or would there be some other impact?
Capital expenditure, operating expenditure, along with regulatory compliances and security guidelines impact the decision of enterprises in setting up datacenters. Depending on the criticality of data being processed in the datacenter, organizations also take a decision on whether they want their assets stored in one place or different places so as to have multiple backups and redundancies for the data involved. For most companies, customer data is akin to their intellectual property and ensuring its security and 24×7 availability is of utmost importance for business continuity.
A combined approach between both cloud-based platforms and data centres will continue to gain momentum, especially in a country like India where industries including managed services, gaming, and tier two financial services are driving adoption. Another important point that companies have begun to consider is the location as data centers located closer to the virtual server can experience enhanced connectivity, boosting speed of operations and reliability. The location of collocated data centers thus is expected to become a key consideration point in 2016 for many organizations.
What are the major challenges that datacenter segment face today and how they could be overcome?
Technology is progressing at a rapid rate as are the challenges. Some of the common challenges that are being faced by the datacenter segment in India:
Bandwidth: The growing demand for increased network bandwidth is one of the most critical issues faced by datacenters. With operators adding more of the same devices to the network to meet the growing demands they face a huge challenge in their quest to efficiently scale bandwidth in modern datacenters.
Connectivity: The role of datacenters has evolved in the last few years. With companies and organizations seeking 24×7 access and connectivity to data it is important to have a solution that allows for this.
Power availability: Power and heat continue to be a grave issue in the battle for datacentre architectures. However, vendors have spent much time trying to reduce power consumption along with boosting performance. Our Smart Mods and Smart Cabinets help in reducing the power consumption thereby reducing operating costs.