Data centres central to any digital strategy

The fifth edition of Data Centre India 2018 International Conference was organised in New Delhi. The objective of the conference was to understand and formulate strategies to enhance their data centre infrastructure in line with business needs.

The inaugural session of the event witnessed a panel discussion on the role of data centres in digital e-inclusion, privacy and e-governance and private cloud for Digital India. Neeta Verma, Director General, National Informatics Centre (NIC), Ministry of Electronics and IT who was the guest of honour for this discussion which kick started the event by sharing that in the last five years there has been transformation in the way data centres are being looked at. She affirmed that data centres are central to any digital strategy and the data centre Industry has a promising future. NIC has witnessed exponential growth in its Meghraj cloud adoption and similar growth in users and well as transactions volumes year-on-year.

According to her there are two major causes for this transformation. First the data explosion that we have been witnessing and the second is the new technologies that are coming in. The number of mobile connections has grown many folds in the last three years and the smartphone users have multiplied and connectivity via broadband too has improved. The use of social media has increased and there is a large amount of content being generated. As a result, we are not just downloading a humongous amount of data from these data centres but also generating a lot of data on a daily basis. All this data needs to be stored securely and even needs to processed and accessed seamlessly from time to time.

The businesses now have a very different asks in terms of up time, in terms of architecture and infrastructure needs. Even the bandwidth requirements are very different from what we had a couple of years ago. Apart from this, new technologies like machine learning, block chain and crypto currency are transforming the data centres of today.

"In nutshell what we are looking from data centres is seamless customer experience, timely procurement of infrastructure, we are looking for a lot more automation, increased efficiencies, and lastly a lot of security and regulatory compliances," said Neeta.

As per Sumit Mukhija, CEO, STT GDC India, India has been experiencing rapid strides of progress in becoming a digital first economy, catalysed by the government's endeavour to boost the digital infrastructure coupled with a host of other economic reforms. He added, "At the heart of Digital India is the data centre, and all services, offerings envisioned through digital India to transform India will only be as good as the data centre powering it, from a scalability, speed as well as physical security standpoint. There is a need for an IT infrastructure model that can deliver reliable, innovative and cost-effective solutions to the business in a timely manner thus driving digital transformation initiatives".

Pankaj Dikshit, SVP, IT Infrastructure, Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) said, "GSTN has digitally transformed the way the businesses become complaint to the tax regime. From a paper based system we have moved to a completely paperless system."

Digital transformation is a driver for change across all segments of the markets from consumers to corporate. The need for anytime and anywhere availability of content combined with on-line transactions etc. is driving an explosion of data. This is driven by shifts in demand, usage and technology change.

GIFT City is India's first operational smart city and is focused on deploying world-class infrastructure that leverages technology in order to drive efficiencies in operations and service to its constituent customers. Sharing insights about this model city, Sunil Joshi, President-Business Operation, Gift City shared, "GIFT City has already made operational the infrastructure that enables potable drinking water from every tap, 99.9 per cent uptime on electricity, automatic waste collection segregation and management, a district cooling system that provides an efficient operational benefit and a tier 4 data centre with 900 rack capacity. GIFT City provides the necessary platforms to businesses to grow in both the domestic and global markets."

During the course of conversation, the panelist also discussed the ideal strategy that businesses should adopt to economise the cost and security challenges that are being faced. In the times that we live in, there is also a need to have green data centre. As per the market reports the green data centres will grow substantially with a CAGR of around 27 per cent in the coming years.

Vineet Kshirsagar, Director for Government Business, NetApp Marketing and Services Pvt. Ltd. said, "We need to get the data management right and a hybrid Data Centres are the way forward."

Data Centre India 2018 International Conference was put together by Bharat Exhibitions and was sponsored by BSNL, NetApp, TATA Projects, Savitri Telecom Services, Juniper Networks, Data Center Group and Sterling and Wilson. The event was supported Ministry of Electronics and IT, Govt. of India and Broadband India Forum was the Knowledge Partner.

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