Enterprises want to reduce data center footprint by 50 percent

By : |July 13, 2015 0

MUMBAI, INDIA: Shiva Sankar, Director, Next Generation Data Center Solutions, Dimension Data India, discusses the current and future trends in data centers with CIOL.

CIOL:  How has the data center segment evolved in the last couple of years? What are the new trends?

Shiva Sankar: The year 2014 is considered by many to have been the most crucial periods for the data centers. The year saw a great influx of various technologies such as cloud, mobility and Internet of Things (IoT) which have fueled demands in the IT domain. This technological shift will result in the emergence of the various trends which have been enumerated below:

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· Data centers are shrinking: This has nothing to do with the decrease in the number of data centers but rather refers to the reduction in data center footprints. Enterprises are looking at ways to reduce their data center footprints and this is where cloud comes into the picture. Enterprises are now concerned with budget allocations for cloud and benefits that they will derive from the same. In doing so, they aim to reduce data center by a margin of nearly 50 percent.

· New skill set requirements: In today’s scenario, organizations are more concerned with deriving business value from technology and this forces IT leaders to hire people who can help them to harness the power of social media, thereby maximizing big data and analytics. This results in organizations focusing on hiring people who can help on automation, API integrations between technologies, the outcomes of user experience and how to integrate the new with the old.

· Data center management is becoming mobile: With the emergence of BYOD and mobility trends, employees no longer need to bother much about data center management. This task can now be done through the phone.

· Agility-based solutions will be in demand: Due to technological advancements, enterprises will look for open and scalable solutions that prevent vendor or product or solutions lock-in. As a result, a number of vendors are already in the process of developing these solutions.

CIOL: How big is this market and what are the key trends driving it?

SS: The Indian data center is undergoing a phase of transformation and the data center transformation market is growing at a steady rate due to the various initiatives undertaken by the government such as the Make in India campaign which is currently transforming the landscape.

As per a recent Gartner report, the Indian data center infrastructure market is pegged to touch the $2.03 billion mark in 2015 and will see a 5.4 percent increase. Gartner has further stated that India will be the second largest market for data center infrastructure in Asia Pacific by 2015. With the economy poised to grow at a healthy pace due to the initiatives undertaken by the government, major players are seeing the benefits of setting up their data centers in the country.

The main verticals which are driving this growth is BFSI, telecom, IT and social media. Already, a number of financial institutions, telecom and e-commerce players are working towards setting up their own data centers to cater to their data storage needs. It is safe to say that the data center industry in India is growing due to the presence of broadband initiatives and the emergence of various disruptive technologies like cloud and virtualization.

CIOL: What are the tactic and strategic points a CIO must consider to transition to an open DC?

SS: Traditionally, one would think that the data center is the concern of the CIO but in reality, the CEO too faces as much pressure as the CIO. For the CEO, it’s all about maintaining budgets. Therefore, it becomes increasingly important for CIOs to be sure of the kind of data centers they implement. To this end, they need to keep the following points in mind.

Firstly, they need to ensure that an effective data center is not just responsive to the business needs but it is aligned to the same. Businesses are constantly evolving and hence the data center should be able to adapt to these transitions. It should be able to support the speed at which employees and customers access the data. Also, today with the increasing concerns due to security issues, CIOs need to be extremely careful to select a data center which will provide them with the security blanket needed to ensure safety of their data. This is a prime area of concern and the CIO needs to tread with utmost caution while considering this transition.

CIOL: How many Indian organizations have shown readiness?

SS: As per reports released by Gartner, the data center and co-location business in India is expected to reach $ 1.3 billion which is being fuelled by increased outsourcing of data center requirements by banks and the government.

Most of this growth is driven by large organizations which see immense potential due to the government’s Make in India initiative which is opening up opportunities for them in e-governance, finance, healthcare and education. Over the past decade, the data centre has been steadily evolving. It’s transforming from a mega facility, filled with disparate infrastructure that’s difficult to integrate, maintain, and manage, into a more agile business response centre. With the change in the way data centers are used, we are now seeing a fair amount of growth internally in the usage of services provided by service providers.

Earlier data centers were not in one place and hence today with the changing business role, it becomes important to consolidate it in the first place.

CIOL: Technologically, a lot has changed. A lot of focus has shifted toward the open data centers.

SS: The open data center is becoming a reality primarily due to the interoperability concerns. With the changing times, the hardware and software technologies too are undergoing rapid changes. This poses a hurdle for organizations to keep a track of the same.

Therefore, establishing standards that are open and vendor agnostic will enable software manufacturers to develop open data center products with predictable features and functionality. In turn, this should ease performance and availability problems, while effectively addressing and streamlining elements needed to support cloud computing.

CIOL: How will the technology transform in coming two to three years?

SS: Technology is constantly transforming the business landscape. This is an exciting period for us, since IT industry is looking at more ways to stay ahead and at the same time be agile.

Gartner has predicted that by 2017, Web-scale IT will be an architectural approach found operating in 50 percent of global enterprises, up from less than 10 percent in 2013. In order for us to reach there, 2015 is an important period since a number of major strides will be taking place with the evolving IT and to stay ahead, organizations will have to adopt this for better success.

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