India’s Data Center ‘Bulls’ Could Double By 2025

Asia Blockchain Review
August 1, 2020

The Data Centers (DC) sector in India has been moving in leaps and bounds in what has become the world’s fifth-largest economy. Progressive Indian states and companies are charging ahead in establishing data center hubs and parks.

A recent report by Arizton noted that data center market in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 4% during the period 2019–2025. According to the report few key factors that contribute to the data centre growth during the forecast period are:

  • The government’s digital economy drive through supporting data center developments,
  • Increase in the data center investments by Big Data, IoT and other nascent technologies,
  • Migration to cloud-based business operations, among others.

During the country’s Union Budget speech earlier this year, Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the data centers parks would be built keeping in mind the use of analytics and internet of things across industries.

“We will soon roll out a policy to enable private sector to build Data Center parks throughout the country,” Sitharaman noted. In line with her speech, several large enterprises including Hiranandani Group, Reliance Industries and Adani Group have already laid investment plans to set up data centers across the country.

Building Sustainable Data Centers

At this time of raising COVID-19 situations in India, data centers are soaring up demand, attracting interest from leading international and domestic players. Many large firms are running testing, research, and development data requirement within data storage locations and offsite locations. Vast-scale data centers are being constructed in city hubs across the nation.

Mumbai, the financial hub of India, is now home to the country’s largest data center. Announced last week, data center service provider Yotta Infrastructure, a business venture of Indian real estate giant Hiranandani Group, has inaugurated what it calls as Asia’s largest data center building.

Dubbed Yotta NM1 Data Center, the establishment is the largest Tier IV data center certified by Uptime Institute in Asia and second largest in the world. Integrated Yotta Data Center Park at Panvel in Mumbai is set to be the heart for five data center buildings. These infrastructures, once fully built, will have an overall capacity of 30,000 racks and 250 MW power, the release added.

Speaking at the virtual inaugural event of Yotta, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Hon. Minister for communications, electronics & IT, reiterated the importance of data centers. He said, “We shall never compromise on the data sovereignty of India. The data economy has a lot of potentials and in all its promise – a good data center is the pillar it builds on.”

What’s more interesting is that, besides Mumbai, data center parks are setting its foot at other major Indian cities viz Chennai and New Delhi. Another newest expansion revealed by STTelemedia Global Data Centers (STT GDC) has added up to 15 data centers under STT GDC India’s ownership and management, and increased the power capacity to over 90 MW of critical IT load across eight cities.

According to the company, this new data center includes design features of high-efficiency chillers, reduced water consumption through intelligent design, and energy-efficient uninterruptible power supply. The company built the first data center spreading over 400,000 sq. ft. in the country’s IT city Bengaluru.

The Future Is Bright

Despite tremendous opportunities, the challenges that these data centers face, are still significant. Uninterrupted power supply access in areas where the demand is and highly skilled professionals in specialized areas such as cooling, power, security, network are key bottleneck challenges that hinder the drive.

However, this is expected to change over time as there are more government job portals coming up to facilitate workers for industries to act a bridge between employers and employment seekers, minister Ravi Shankar Prasad added.

The Arizton report highlighted that $10bn is set to be invested in India’s data centre market over the next six years and that $3bn will be spent building data centres in the country.

“With the increasing focus on building highly efficient and reliable data centers, the investment in Tier IV facilities is expected to grow in India,” the report stated. “This trend is likely to continue during the forecast period, with many large operators expected to move (in).”

Sources: TechWireAsia, CBRE, & Data Economy

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