DCs should be ready to deal with changing latency and workloads: Nikhil Rathi, Web Werks – DATAQUEST

As data centres confront or embrace, the new-world forces of co-location, hyper-scalers, low latency, cloud workloads and cooling imperatives, a lot is changing inside and around them. Nikhil Rathi, CEO and Founder of Web Werks, shares insight on some of these shifts with Shubhendu Parth.

With everything moving to the cloud, how has the role of data centres changed, particularly in terms of customer needs and demands?

Today, organisations with on-premise data centres are moving to the hybrid cloud because of its performance, stability, security, and quality. Cloud adoption is unlikely to deliver the best results unless and until it is supported by reliable, robust, secure and low-latency network infrastructure. Co-locating in a third-party data centre like Web Werks enables our customers to access the cloud and connectivity to various other multiple network connectivity providers.

“Cloud adoption is unlikely to deliver the best results unless and until it is supported by reliable, robust, secure and low-latency network infrastructure.”

Web Werks has put together the most extensive range of cloud hosting services designed to allow our customers to work seamlessly. With public, private and virtual private cloud options available, as well as on-demand cloud services offering rapid deployment for a range of niche industries, we support our customers’ business requirements. We focus on low-latency connectivity and exceptional network performance to ensure that customers’ workloads are supported no matter what the capacity is.

What implications have low-latency apps brought for the data centre industry?

Digital will soon become a lifestyle choice, thanks to the burgeoning Indian millennial population. Due to high bandwidth and transmission demands, data centres will need to be ready to deal with changing latency and workloads. Latency becomes a significant factor as the majority of businesses are migrating their critical data to the cloud. Data centres need to incorporate hybrid computing architectures. Web Werks is geared to capitalise on hyper-scale and the edge with a strategy that seeks to extend its interconnection advantage. Web Werks offers a network dense interconnection ecosystem comprising of all major Telcos, 180+ ISPs, three major internet exchanges in India (NIXI, De-CIX, Extreme IX), large CDNs and OTT providers.

Enterprises can achieve application performance and user experience by deploying direct, private connections at the DCS. Businesses connect to their customers, employees and partners inside the data centres, offering an interconnection ecosystem.

“Businesses connect to their customers, employees and partners inside the data centres, offering an interconnection ecosystem.”

Web Werks recently signed an agreement to form a joint venture with Iron Mountain. How much of the Rs 1,086 crore investment by Iron Mountain will go into creating cloud infrastructure?

Web Werks has entered into a strategic joint venture with Iron Mountain, a global provider of data centre and colocation services. Our customers have access to 18+ world-class data centre facilities across Web Werks DCs in India and Iron Mountain DCs in the Asia Pacific, USA and Europe.

Together, we believe in providing secure, compliant data centres with efficient access to top carriers, cloud and IT services providers. Our initial focus will be on expanding data centres in all major cities in India. IMDC will be investing in Web Werks over two years to move into Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Web Werks data centres offer dynamic digital infrastructure spanning private and public environments, choosing multiple providers and distributed geographies. With public, private and virtual private cloud options available, our customers can adopt a hybrid multi-cloud architecture.

“With evidence of a shift of demand from the Asia-Pacific to the Indo-Pacific, the Indian government encourages investments in the data centre industry.”

Are our data centres adapting well to cloud workloads, modularisation, solar-powered servers and localisation?

Let me first talk about renewable energy sources. We are committing to using 100%renewable energy and efficient solutions. Web Werks data centres are carbon-neutral, contributing towards global go-green concepts. We run efficient PUE, which is 1.66 using efficient technology and plan to have captive solar power as a renewable energy source. Web Werks and IMDC’s continuous focus on sustainability attracts more customers co-locating their IT infrastructure in our DCs. The two companies share respective operational expertise for building DCs with clean energy for energy-efficient cooling systems.

As to cloud workloads, Web Werk’s cloud offerings provide businesses with the tools, infrastructure platforms and expertise they need to succeed at each stage of cloud maturity. The portfolio comprises public cloud, private cloud, virtual private cloud, SAP cloud and a suite of backup/ storage/ DR Services and an innovative hybrid cloud management tool for service automation and orchestration.

How serious are challenges like cooling, power efficiency, space and real estate costs?

The proportion of energy used in the data centre is: 52%for IT equipment, 38% for cooling and 10% for supporting devices. Relatively, cooling systems use much electrical energy because most data centres operate with air conditioners. Therefore, adjustments to the cooling system are needed to improve the efficiency of electrical energy consumed. This will also reduce maintenance costs and electricity usage. Immersion cooling meets the needs of an ever-growing data centre power density and will likely increase the demand in future.

Reports indicate that the co-location data centre market in India is expected to grow from 375 MW in H1 2020 to 1,078 MW by 2025, a CAGR of 21%. What is driving this demand?

Home to a rapidly advancing economy, the geographical location of India puts it at a perfect distance from other business hubs such as Singapore, Dubai and Shanghai in APAC. India’s extensive coastline also makes it an ideal point for cable landing. The pandemic has also opened gates to a spurt in cloud computing. With evidence of a shift of demand from the Asia-Pacific area to the Indo-Pacific, the Indian government encourages investments in the Indian data centre industry. The Indian market has millions of active internet users making the country an ideal segment to be tapped. In 2020, the data traffic in India grew by 36%year-over-year primarily due to a rise in 4G data consumption as 4G subscribers surpassed 700 million with 100 million new additions during 2020.

“Our initial focus will be on expanding… IMDC will invest in Web Werks over two years to move into Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad.”

The increase in data volume would be supported by high growth in e-commerce, increased usage of social media, greater preference for over-the-top (OTT) platforms, the government’s impetus to the Digital India initiative and rapid digitalisation of services across industries (5G).

Growing at a CAGR of 21%, the market is expected to reach 1,100–1,200 MW from the current 360 MW by 2025. Furthermore, the Indian government aims to develop cable landing and submarine cables and low-earth orbit satellites to improve connectivity and reduce latency across the country, particularly addressing the needs of Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities.

By Shubhendu Parth

shubhendup@cybermedia.co.in