India To Be Among The Key Data Center Hubs In The Near Future

Amit boasts of an extensive 24 years long career with specialization in the areas of IT Strategy, Professional Services, Data Centre, Management, and Software as a Service (SaaS). Prior to Web Werks, he has successfully key leadership & managerial positions across numerous companies such as Yotta Infrastructure Solutions, Cisco, EMC, Tatanet, Steria, Dell, and Reliance Communications.

What are your thoughts on the current data center services landscape in India?

The Indian data center industry is expected to reach a market size of $4.5 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 12 percent. This growth is being fueled by the government’s Digital India initiative, which aims to transform India into a digital economy, and nourish the growth of the e-Commerce sector within the country. Also, Mumbai is the biggest data center market in the country, accounting for over 40 percent of total capacity. Apart from leasing by co-location operators, hyperscale cloud providers have been acquiring land for development. Despite weaker overall demand, investor interest in emerging markets strengthened in 2022, and going forward, this will be increasingly focused on greenfield development of prime assets such as data centers with higher floor loading and/or sustainability certification.

Throw some light on the major security concerns associated with data centers. Also, how is technology solving them?

Among the numerous security concerns that data center providers will need to safeguard against at all times, physical security is the most obvious. Given how every aspect of a data center is digitized and automated, there is a potential threat that cyber criminals could target the IT systems that control various aspects of the physical security systems as well as core infrastructure like power and cooling systems. Other security threats include ransomware, malware and DDoS attacks that could lead to loss of data. Additionally, there is also the possibility of an insider attack, where an employee or third-party service provider becomes a threat to the data center facility. Technology like biometric systems, access control lists, multi-factor authentication, AI/ML based threat detection & mitigation techniques and activity monitoring help safeguard against potential attacks on a data center. Techniques and methodologies are continuously evolving to meet and stay one step ahead of a potential security breach.

How can data centers adopt sustainable practices in their daily operations?

Sustainable operation of a data center requires a comprehensive policy that outlines the ways in which a facility can reduce its carbon footprint and impact on the environment. In order to achieve such this goal, data center facilities must be equipped with energy efficient systems, right from physical security and cooling systems, to IT hardware systems that monitor the facility and the servers housed in the facility. This requires various technology innovations and adaptations like virtualization, airflow design, advanced cooling systems that conserve water, reusing water & excess heat, lifecycle management where IT equipment is recycled, and adopting international frameworks that are created to help lower the carbon footprint of data centers.

Briefly explain the role of the government in strengthening the regulatory frame works pertaining to data centers.

The Data Personal Data Protection Act is one major step in the direction of the government looking to strengthen regulatory framework and protect all stake holders in the process. The creation of these guidelines will help service providers protect user data while steering clear of misuse of information for private gain. The government can further improve upon by settling disputes legally and conducting regular third-party audits on data security, disaster management, and incidence reporting & management.

How do you expect homegrown data centers in India to evolve in the near future?

Due to the massive amounts of data that is being generated each day, India is fast emerging as a data center hub. While strong growth in data consumption has catapulted the industry to its current position, current numbers and future estimates are both promising and look real going by the fledgling industry trend. Every digital interaction creates new data which is stored in Data Centers. From flight & train tickets, gas connections to local grocery stores to patient files, more data is generated every microsecond. According to a S&P report, the data center capacity in India is likely to increase at a CAGR of around 10-25 percent over the next five years, showcasing a growth higher than an industrialized city nation like Singapore. On the capacity side, the industry in India has doubled to 722 MW in 2022 from 350 MW in 2019 registering a robust 27 percent CAGR, according to a JLL report.