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CIOs Can Majorly Gain From Edge Data Centers


Massive growth in smartphones and video streaming together with the emergence of the IoT, cloud, big data and AI, is changing the data center landscape today. As managing troves of data, and processing and storing them in real time becomes a big challenge, this push has created a whole new category of data center service providers who are coming up with “edge data centers,” where in order to manage this data efficiently, it first needs to be processed closer to the point where it is generated.

ResearchAndMarkets predicts the global edge data center market to grow at a CAGR of 19.14% during the period 2018-2022, and Edge Data Center will show promising growth. One trend that is expected to drive the demand for edge data centers  is increasing adoption of IoT that is helping in creating smart communication environments, such as smart healthcare, smart shopping, smart homes, and smart transportation.

This concept, though, has already gained some traction in the US, is relatively nascent in India. Raritan, a key proponent of this type of data center believes that while telecom is already in the forefront of edge data center revolution, other industries will also have to catch up with this trend in India. In an exclusive interaction with CXOToday, Anjani Kumar, India Country Manager, Raritan, explains how Indian CIOs can reap from Edge Data centers as well as other data center trends and challenges in the digital world.

CXOToday:   What are the factors that Indian CIO’s should consider with emergence of new technologies and data increase while planning their budget?

Anjani Kumar: Today, with enterprises adopting IoT, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, Big data etc. into their businesses, a CIO’s role has evolved from being an enabler of business to providing a ‘Competitive Advantage’ for the business. The factors that a CIO should keep in mind while allocating resources for IT spending could vary depending on the sector or the kind of technology that needs to be deployed by the enterprise. Broadly, there are four matters to be considered:

1) Investments on security is the foremost criteria while planning the IT budgets. Security of the data center continues to be a growing concern with the increasing number of data users, access points and software and hardware in use. Organizations need to invest in the most secure solutions even if they come at a higher cost as the cost of a data breach is prohibitive.

2) Budget allocation for training and skilling the resources in various IT departments is a crucial factor though CIOs often fail to look at it as an investment. With newer technological adoption, it is prudent to treat training and development as part of the budget planning.

3) Conducting an audit of existing resource utilization. Most importantly looking for redundancies in power infrastructure and usage is crucial. There is a huge amount of idol capacity in most data centers due to the significant difference between the nameplate rating and actual usage of power. Specially when looking at expansion of data centers, CIO’s would find it well worth the effort to first optimize existing capacity. A good power monitoring solution would provide ready access to this data.

4) With the increasing pace of digitization across industries, any budgeting exercise needs to keep in mind that the investments made today in data center infrastructure need to be able to support their needs for at least the next 5 years. Hence, they need to look at solutions that are modular, scalable and compatible to reduce costly rebuilds and to keep operating expenses at manageable levels. .

CXOToday:   What are some of the benefits that Indian CIOs can reap from Edge Data centers after its initial success in other parts of the globe?

Anjani Kumar: Consumer demand for high bandwidth services and business demand for high capacity needs such as the Internet of Things (IoT) are some of the primary drivers impacting the demand for edge data centers. This will exponentially increase needs of storage, compute and bandwidth. Edge data centers allow organizations to be closer to device users, thereby significantly reducing load on core data centers especially for non-critical, high frequency applications. Further they reduce the bandwidth requirements as this data does not need to be sent to centralized facilities. CIO’s of telecom, ISPs, BFSI & government would most benefit from these. From a security aspect too, edge data centers will help reduce vulnerabilities of the network, by keeping the flow of data more geographically contained. In the future, hyperlocal or mini data centers are likely to be part of residential & commercial complexes to support IoT driven services more cost effectively.

CXOToday:  Do you foresee a growth in the localized data center market in select segments like BFSI or Smart cities?

Anjani Kumar: We do expect a lot of growth happening in the localized data center market. Considering the emerging data center trends in hyper scale, hybrid cloud and cloudlets, we expect them to influence the Indian data center landscape too. In the coming years, Indian enterprises will focus on building intelligent data centers that will focus on utilizing the existing capacity effectively and efficiently. According to 451 Research report, India’s colocation and managed-hosting market could reach almost $2 billion in revenue by 2019, up from $1.3 billion in 2016, in the wake of the current digital boom. Government of India’s Smart City Projects and Digital India initiatives have given a major thrust to growth of localized data centers with many states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujrat taking the lead in investing in digital infrastructure on a large scale

CXOToday: What are some of the other trends that will rule in the Indian data center landscape for 2018 and beyond?

Anjani Kumar: With the spur in the growth of connected devices and digital transformation in businesses, we will see a lot of new architectures.  Firstly we will see a surge in the demand for hybrid architectures that can store, analyse and protect data in the cloud and inside a traditional data center. Due to the growth of connected devices and IoT, there will be a growing demand for low latency web applications and faster processing times. Therefore, the future lies in building micro data centers that can be used to locally host cloud services and process data closer to the users generating it.  

Secondly, CIOs will be increasingly looking at cost effective solutions in order to get a competitive edge in the crowded market space. Large companies will be seen adopting hyper scale data centers, which are designed to provide single, massively scalable compute architecture. Perhaps, hyper scale data center industry will boom due to the rise in cloud computing, social media, big data, online gaming, and other online applications.

Another prominent trend which the industry is going to observe is the rise of Colocation data centers. India has been viewed as a potential growth market for CoLos with many organizations looking towards managed hosting solutions for their ever growing data streams. Growing pressure on power, complexity in data center management and above all the need to rationalize costs of managing data is driving the growth of CoLos.

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