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A Revolution in the Making - Changing Data Center Trends in India

Anjani Kommisetti, Country Manager, India & SAARC, Raritan & Servertech (brands of Legrand)

The Indian data center market is going through a fascinating progress. With the increasing focus on data localization, we saw the growth of hyperscale data centers that are leveraging better, more succinct resources and scalability to meet the needs of the market. Rising IoT devices have increasingly led to growing adoption of edge data centers.

In early 2020, a report by Research&Markets, predicted that data center market in India is expected to grow at a CAGR of over for percent during the period 2019-2025. However, the outlook for 2020 is subject to change with virtual setting being the ‘new normal’. During this lockdown period of restricted movement, business operations are disrupted. It is more important than ever to have access to information in a way that is convenient for IT managers. Remote management tools can help to keep vital IT infrastructure running and respond to unplanned situations. Solutions like high performance remote management, intelligent power monitoring, and software defined storage enable data centers to ensure continuous monitoring, processing, and maintenance without any human involvement.

Retail and BFSI are one of the sectors that require, remote access management solutions to cater to the rising demands as the lockdown continues. IT is playing key role in business continuation, even in these tough times as it has become an integral part of business in every industry. In countries, especially like India where we have surplus human resources to address anything quickly and at lower costs, we never thought about social distancing coming into play, no one did. This is where the challenge is ‘being there without being physically present’. So, the demand we see is on virtual desktop environments, cloud base applications that enable users to use their own devices which is getting popular in industry under BYOD, Remote console Access tools like KVM & Serial over IP, Intelligent Power, and DCIM solutions that enable the data centers to keep running.

Impact of 5G on Data Centers
With the influx of Internet of things (IoT) and Cloud, the demand for data centers in India is going up as it is responsible for both processing and hosting network and infrastructure-related information. 5G would implement IoT, allowing more intelligence in the system along with higher data speeds. 5G will connect people to everything. It will be the most advanced machine-to-machine communication that will enable secure connectivity between devices other than smartphones, such as sensors, vehicles,

robots, and drones. 5G will be helpful across sectors ranging from agriculture and healthcare to manufacturing and warehousing. In order to fulfil the rising demands, pushed further due to Covid, the data centers will need to go for data center diversification. This would include adoption of microdata centers, increased investment in proprietary data centers, CoLos, or, most likely, a combination of the three.

Retail and BFSI are one of the sectors that require, remote access management solutions to cater to the rising demands as the lockdown continues

The Green Data Centers
On the other hand, green data centers are an ambassador of the ongoing trends. A green data center is a computing facility that is built, managed, and operated on the principles of green technology. Functioning in a manner very similar to any other data centre, its features and capabilities are designed to use less energy and space, and its structural design is environmentally friendly. Such a facility is expected to use minimal power resources, both for computing infrastructure and supporting its functional systems such as cooling, lighting, etc. Typically, it operates with green or renewable energy, such as solar, wind or hydel power. Entire infrastructure is installed with the lowest power and carbon footprint and minimal e-waste backed by recyclable or reusable equipment.

Enterprises looking to setup of operations in India are leveraging the various options Indian geography offers. Locations that are close to affordable and sustainable geothermal and hydroelectric energy sources are ideal since data centre are heavy on energy consumption. Locations near water sources also help to cool down data centers faster.

In India, we do not have the advantage of being close to water or snow bodies. We have our own challenges in building data centers in those areas. The best way to comply with green technology trends is by optimising the power utilisation and using alternate energy. We believe that we are on the right path but are a long way to go. We are experiencing solar power adoption – data centers are planning to completely rely on solar power. However, green technology does not only refer to using natural resources, it is about energy utilisation. We still see that there is a lot of gap between provisioning and utilisation of energy resources and should work towards reducing this gap as much as possible so that we can really meet the goals of a Green Data center.

Aspects to Consider While Setting Up a Green Data Center
The data center market is witnessing the explosion of hyper converged infrastructure and Software Defined Data Centers which are likely to incorporate more robotics-driven technologies. Robotics will not only help in creating automation around repetitious human tasks, but also in mapping temperatures and optimization of the data center.

Location is a key factor to be considered while setting up any data center facility. In addition to that, following are the key factors to be considered while setting up a green data center:

• Cool but not overcool: Many enterprises believe that cooling data center using chilled water can prolong its life. On the contrary, data center managers can save up to 4 percent in energy costs for every degree of upward change in the baseline temperature, known as a set point. A higher set point means less frequent use of air conditioning, which in turn saves energy used to run cooling systems.
• Adopting complete energy management solutions: Intelligent rack PDUs, environmental sensors, energy management software that can manage virtually any rack PDU in the market are all desirables factors for building green data centers.
• Improving uptime and staff productivity: Remote rebooting of servers and IT equipment via outlet-level switching from anywhere in the world using a web browser helps improve uptime and productivity efforts.
• Data Center Infrastructure Management: With the help of DCIM solutions, 2020 will see enterprises designing smart data centers enabling operators to integrate proactive sustainability and efficiency measures.

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