The drive for Digital, both among enterprises and the government, is leading to a boom in data centres. The market in India is estimated at over $2 billion right now and could touch nearly $5 billion by next year. Business Today spoke to Sharad Sanghi, the Managing Director & CEO of data centre service provider Netmagic to understand the trends.
The company has been building and operating data centres for 17 years and currently runs seven operational ones. Netmagic, according to Sanghi, has been growing at a CAGR of 34 per cent, faster than the overall data centre market that is clocking growth in the 18-20 per cent range.
What's driving market growth: The growth of global cloud providers and multinationals - Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Google - is one reason. Second is continued investment by the banking industry. They are not only investing in primary data centres, but also in "near disaster recovery (DR), and "remote DR". A third growth driver is manufacturing companies, who initially used captive data centres for SAP implementations. They have begun preferring third party data centres when technology refresh cycles come up - when their older equipment has outlasted their useful life, they are migrating to managed service providers. Service providers generate efficiencies of scale and pass on those cost benefits to customers.
Energy efficiency: Data centre builders are innovating more on the construction piece. While security and resilience are now hygiene factors, energy efficiency is a trend to watch out for. Servers are getting more powerful which means a lot more power per rack is consumed. New designs focus on cooling the data centres more efficiently.
In data centre lingo, there is a Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) measure. A PUE of 1.5, for instance, means that for every one unit of power needed, you waste 0.5 units in cooling. So lower the PUE, the better it gets. Netmagic says that initially, its data centres had a PUE of 1.8 - today the company is designing data centres with PUE below 1.4. That's a 40 per cent reduction in wastage of power.
Automation: The other significant trend, when it comes to technology within the data centre, is automation. Everything is 'software-defined'. Whether it is compute, storage, or network, it is all software controlled and managed. Automation makes the data centre more efficient because there are lesser number of people to manage. Less human intervention also translates to lower chances of human operator error as well.