Data centers: The way forward in India realizing its Digital India vision

by October 24, 2016 0 comments

By Shrirang Deshpande – Country Head -Data Center Business, Emerson Network Power, India

The rapid gravitation towards cloud computing and the exceptional demand for storage space, are just some of the factors that are leading to the rapid growth of the data center segment here in India. The popular perception, that the rise of cloud meant the death of a data center doesn’t hold true. Infact, the movement towards cloud has only accelerated the construction towards datacenters and high-speed networks. Today, the society shifting to a digital economy, and we have and will increasingly witness an explosion of data which will mean increased storage capacities, as the data generated must live somewhere and flow across the global Internet to users’ doorsteps.

Shrirang Deshpande - Country Head -Data Center Business, Emerson Network Power, India

Shrirang Deshpande – Country Head -Data Center Business, Emerson Network Power, India

Hence CIOs and CTOs are always looking for new places where massive amounts of data can be stored and utilized with efficiency and security. The digital revolution in India is progressing at a rate faster than one would have imagined. It has also been propelled, by the current government working round the clock to realize its goal of making India digitally active by 2019, as well as moving towards E Governance at break neck speed. This scenario augurs well for the prospects of the data center market here in India, as increasingly datacenters will come to play a crucial role in driving the government’s Make in India, E Governance and Digital India dream and vision.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Scenario in India

This is set to increase in the year 2016, considerably, as the investments in the ‘Digital India’ initiative, will be led by a focus to allow access of government services on mobile devices (part of the mobile government) and expansion on broadband, thereby acting as a stimulus for the governments ICT initiatives.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will come to play a vital role in the way the Indian government will come to deliver its services to its citizens and the world now as well as in near future. Keeping this in sight, it is imperative that the Indian government has a farsighted Data Center strategy in place much like some of the other nations most notably Australia, who have put in a strategy that is co-ordinated, efficient and sustainable.

Governmental Role of Datacenters in India

Like organizations, government too generates large amount of data that requires data centers too store critical information. As the stored data contains confidential information of citizens, government have to ensure that their data centers perform at the highest levels. Whether large or small, both the state and the national government must slowly manage a significant number of their E Governance functions with the help of data centers.

We are seeing this transformation taking place steadily as more and more state governments are beginning to realize the importance of datacenters and the value they can bring to serving citizens efficiently.

Other examples for which state governments could deploy data centers include: Bill paying capabilities for residents for city services, such as garbage collection and water, information on departments within a particular ward, such as parks and recreation, government relations, finance, public works, economic development, emergency management, transportation, etc. All of this indicates that the data center infrastructure market is growing and evolving in India at a steady pace. Talking of evolving, September 2015 saw, Microsoft announcing that it will be investing hugely in local data centers across Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Likewise Amazon made a commitment to opening up cloud data centers in India in 2016.

Datacenters -Governmental Benefits, and Datacenter Technologies

Optimizing government operations is at the heart of the government’s nation-wide initiative to cut waste and reform the way agencies are managing and consolidating data. Additionally the state governments and the national government must look at virtualizing critical applications delivering strategic benefits, as this is a key step toward cloud service delivery. These applications require high levels of security, resiliency, performance and operational efficiency and therefore it becomes important to condense storage space, as it not only decreases physical footprint, but also drives down costs. Further it will help create more efficiency in government systems, thereby lowering environmental impact in the process.

The complete scenario can also be aided by the deployment of smart solutions that are now available in the market. Tying in to the above scenario, smart solutions can help governments save and manage data without having to build new datacenter space. A smart solution is one enclosed system which comes complete with all other solutions like precision cooling, UPSs, power management, monitoring, control technologies, and fire suppression. Solutions like this are a good proposition for governmental agencies as they help the government implement huge IT initiatives, amid budget limitations. The use of such solutions can help governments bring down power and cooling costs by up to 30% and speed up IT administration request responses by nearly 40%. Such solutions can also help standardize and automate processes and allow energy savings of upto 30 % which will bring down operational expenditure by a huge margin for the government.

Given the significant role a data center can play in government operations, the government must continually analyze vulnerabilities and potential threats, especially risks that could affect strategic operations, internal processes and financial performance. To ensure the lowest possible risk to continued operations with a government data center, the government should also ensure that the right systems are in place to provide continuous service levels, even during a disaster. This operation must, easily and cost-efficiently scale up to address future requirements.

The Way forward

As virtualization, modern cooling technologies & DCIM are transforming datacenters, IT departments across state and national government too have move with times and acquire new skills. The aim must be to simplify the processes, when it comes to managing the day to day operations, which may eventually optimize the number of staff required to cater to the citizen’s demands, resulting in automation and quicker delivery of services. Most importantly, a Gartner forecast hails data centers as one of the major areas of spends, for the Indian government as we will witness rising demand from across state governments for the right technology partner who can help them identify and implement technologies to reduce operating costs and increase data center efficiency.

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