Data Center Networking In 2020

With more than 22 years of experience in Telecom and IT industry, Manoj has helped business to scale up for IT and Telecom Service in Corporate/SMB customers, P&L management, Sales, Operations, and Product Management.

Data Center industry is witnessing rapid growth where a new DC building gets occupied totally and then sold within 2-3 years. However, when customers are located in one DC and expand in a new DC building, they require high-speed connectivity, an approximate of 100gbps between two locations. This is why Data Center Interconnect (DCI) Network is the new emerging requirement.

Carrier Neutral Data Centers are becoming more popular so that customers have multiple options for building their network switch fabric based connectivity like Internet Exchange, Cloud Exchange, and direct peering between Telcos and ISPs with Content providers (OTTs) over multiple 100gbps links.

Adoption of Hybrid Cloud And Data Center Virtualization
Cloud adoption has been seeing steady growth worldwide and also in India. According to Gartner, with the total public Cloud services spend in India at $2.4 bn in 2019, India has recorded the third-highest growth rate of 24.5% in 2019 after China (33%) and Indonesia (29%).

It is expected that by 2022, over 60% of all mid and large enterprises would have migrated some of their apps and workloads on the cloud. The cloud industry in India is expected to grow at the rate of 30%+ YoY with the largest share being for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Eg: An organization, instead of buying a CRM package and procuring hardware to run it and deploying IT manpower to manage it, are preferring solutions on the cloud so that they can avoid Capex and grow easily on-demand and scale down whenever required without worrying about the uptime issues.

According to Gartner, with the total public Cloud services spend in India at $2.4 bn in 2019, India has recorded the third-highest growth rate of 24.5% in 2019 after China (33%) and Indonesia (29%)

During this adoption of public cloud, organizations are most concerned about safety and reliability. Hence, a Direct Connect Service wherein an enterprise can have a leased line/MPLS connection to cloud service providers instead of the unreliable and unsecured internet, is helping cloud adoption.

CIOs Lookout at Data Centers During Covid-19
During COVID lockdown, many organizations realized that their in-house DC is very difficult to maintain in the situation wherein staff was not available in office and could not get to the office for rectification/upgrade due to travel restrictions during lockdown, many buildings also had their centralized ACs switched off by the officials to discourage people from coming to work. This meant the servers kept in those buildings had to operate without AC and some started malfunctioning. This resulted in many companies facing problems with their corporate email as the server malfunctioned. Moreover, since suddenly several employees were logging in remotely, the internet bandwidth at head office got choked leading to poor performance. This experience would push enterprises, small or large, to move out of their in-house Data Centers (Server farms) and either migrate to cloud or move their in-house IT infra to the third party Data Centers.

Third-party Data center service providers come under ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act) and so they can continue operation even during such lockdown period. So, if an organization has their servers and other IT infra deployed in a DC, it's assured for continuous power, cooling and around the clock surveillance and maintenance, it also means that in case any maintenance support is needed, the engineers present inside the Data Center can provide the necessary Remote Hands Support and take care of the enterprises need without any employee of the Enterprise having to travel during a lockdown.

Moreover, in a situation like today, due to WFH, so many more employees and partners are logging in remotely and all that means need for additional bandwidth. This can be a challenge if only one or two service providers are present in the building of the enterprise. However, In a Data Center which has 12 Telecom Service Providers and over 130 ISPs present with their fiber infrastructure, an enterprise customer can easily get additional bandwidth of several 10G or even 100G at a competitive price in a matter of a few hours. Telcos have deployed infrastructure and are providing several 100G links and provisioning additional bandwidth for an enterprise which is generally at 100mbps/500mbps or 1gbps is very easy.

Covid-19 Effect on Data Center
Next few years we are going to see businesses and individuals continuing with the increased use of WFH, Video Conferencing, webinars, and online learning, more digital payments wherein even grandpas and grand moms will start paying online, higher adoption of cloud services and more enterprises would move out from in-house DCs to third party DCs. All these would lead to a higher demand for Data Center Colocation services. Note, that growth in Cloud Services also means growth in Data Center business where the CSPs host their servers.

Cloud Services Impact on Business Environment in India
Today enterprise applications are becoming even more portable on the cloud, compute cycles are becoming easier to procure in real-time, data integration platforms are streamlining connectivity and vendors are forming cross-platform alliances. With this, the multi-cloud trend might start looking more like an Omni-cloud one in the near future and a Cloud Exchange will be pivotal for this change.

Customers can establish a direct private connection to a CSP or can connect to multiple CSPs through a common and neutral switching architecture owned and operated by data centers. The CSPs' edge nodes are deployed inside the data center enabling them to offer highly reliable, flexible, and scalable ways to connect to CSPs. So, if an enterprise requirement grows from sub 1 gig to over 1 gig, they can directly connect to the CSP router at the data center bypassing the Cloud Exchange, thus they provide a clear roadmap for growth in future for customers.