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Equinix India- A Data Center Company Eyeing India’s Data Revolution

India is a high growth market experiencing a data revolution. According to JLL, Indian data centre industry capacity is expected to double by 2023.

Manoj-Paul-Managing-Director-Equinix-IndiaThe world’s biggest data center and interconnection company, Equinix plays a critical role in powering the internet infrastructure, and is helping their customers, especially those in critical sectors like healthcare and education. Equinix aims to empower Indian businesses to scale their digital infrastructure in the rapidly growing digital first economy. Manoj Paul, Managing Director, Equinix India during an exclusive interaction with Nitisha from BISinfotech talks about the data center market in India and its future growth.

Please share a brief on Equinix and its offerings.

Equinix’s global platform is designed to help customers embrace digital transformation in order to succeed in the digital economy. For more than 20 years, apart from investing heavily in building high quality data centers across all major metros around the world, which today have become the nerve center for the digital economy, Equinix has invested heavily in developing interconnection and digital services, including Equinix FabricTM, Equinix MetalTM Network Edge and Equinix Precision TimeTM, to help businesses more easily and flexibly build their digital infrastructure and seamlessly interconnect their IT infrastructures across the global platform. These services will be gradually rolled out in India to support Indian businesses in their digital transformation journey.

Globally, Platform Equinix comprises more than 230 International Business ExchangeTM (IBX®) data centers across 65 metros and 27 countries, providing data center and interconnection services for more than 10,000 of the world’s leading businesses, including more than 50% of Fortune 500 companies. After the GPX acquisition completion, Equinix now operates 2 IBX data centers in Mumbai, offering more than 1,350 cabinets, with the addition of more than 500 cabinets when the second Mumbai facility is fully built out. In Asia-Pacific, Equinix operates 50 IBX data centers across 13 metros in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea and Singapore.

Share insights towards the tech trends in India.

India is a high-growth digital market experiencing a data revolution. It is the fifth-largest economy in the world, with the second largest base of internet subscribers globally. According to the latest Global Interconnection Index (GXI Vol. 5), the pandemic forced economies into digital overdrive, with digital leaders, businesses who were already implementing a digital-first strategy, moving four times faster than pre-pandemic levels. These businesses in Asia-Pacific, including Mumbai, have compressed the time to deploy their digital infrastructure to multiple regions, expand to multiple edge locations and integrate multiple clouds.

There is a natural progression toward increasing cloud-led innovation across the board as more and more Indian organizations become digital-first businesses. We believe the following trends will influence the data center business in 2022.

  • Cloud-native infrastructure will dominate: By virtualizing and/or containerizing workloads and abstracting them from underlying hardware, new paradigms have emerged, from infrastructure as code to immutable infrastructure, enabling the rapid deployment of infrastructure resources, especially in hybrid multicloud environments. Cloud-native technologies will become more prevalent and accelerated in 2021 across virtually every layer of the infrastructure stack, as well as digital infrastructure orchestration from the edge to the multicloud.
  • Edge-first paradigm will fuel innovation: In a world where data is increasingly created and consumed at the edge, computing is moving away from centralized data centers at an unprecedented rate to a distributed, interconnected infrastructure positioned at edge locations close to the source of data creation and consumption. Whether it’s video conferencing, collaboration tools, streaming, gaming or ridesharing, today’s modern applications are increasingly designed for automated and elastic deployment at the edge. In 2021, edge-first deployments will continue to gain traction, as will a wave of technology innovations across the infrastructure stack to address the increasing complexity of reliably scaling and orchestrating distributed infrastructure at the edge.
  • 5G will be powered by optimally placed edge infrastructure: With time, 5G will become to wireless what broadband was to wireline. 5G will be a major part of enterprises’ infrastructure deployment plans in 2021. Enterprises can reap the benefits of 5G by placing applications and “fixed-end” IT environments close to 5G access and core functions within a cloud-adjacent, richly interconnected data center. 5G will provide wider coverage, greater reliability, higher bandwidth, and improved security as an access network. This will open up new opportunities and possibilities for robotics, drones, autonomous vehicles, telemedicine, and tactile internet, among others.
  • AI will be distributed and move toward the edge: Since AI algorithms and training work best with large datasets and auto-scaling compute clusters, public clouds have traditionally been a popular place to deploy AI. However, there is a growing need to deploy AI in a distributed and edge manner for a growing number of use cases. In these cases, additional stringent requirements in relation to latency, performance, privacy, and security make it necessary that some AI data and processing, both for inference and training, be near users and sources of data creation and consumption. By 2021, AI deployments at the edge for both AI training and inference will accelerate, as well as an increase in as-a-service capabilities for infrastructure automation and orchestration of hybrid multicloud AI environments.
  • Data centers will shift toward grid-positive: Many data center companies manage their energy consumption and carbon emissions through design innovations and energy efficiency measures. By 2030, several operators promise to run their data centers on 100% renewable energy and carbon neutrality. In 2021, data centers are positioned to have a strong impact on the environment, given the growth of the digital economy. In 2022, we expect to see a significant increase in “grid-and-sustainability”-positive data center projects. The next generation of data centers will be decentralized and integrated into communities, serving as resilient ecosystems for computing, connectivity, power and heat.
  • Shaping digital infrastructure for the future: Digital growth and acceleration are here to stay, and with that realization comes the need for digital leaders to embrace the technologies and trends that will give their organizations a clear advantage. Business and technology leaders who understand and embrace these macro trends will be better prepared to contribute to our ever-changing future.

How does Equinix aim to empower Indian businesses to scale their digital infrastructure in the rapidly growing digital first economy?

Equinix’s expansion into India will create opportunities for Indian businesses expanding internationally and for multinational corporations looking to grow and innovate in India. As the nation prepares to roll out 5G,companies can get ahead in the digital era with Equinix and benefit from the ability to rapidly digitalize and scale their infrastructure, easily adopt hybrid multicloud architectures, and interconnect with more than 350 international brands and local companies in India. Equinix will introduce a full range of interconnection and digital infrastructure services, including Equinix Connect, Equinix Internet Exchange®, Equinix Fabric and Network Edge, in the new data centers.

We are giving digital leaders one global platform to scale, interconnecting their digital infrastructure for optimal performance, speed and flexibility so they can move fast, get to market first and pivot quickly when customer needs and market conditions change. This will enable customers in India to connect in real time, directly and privately, to more than 10,000 companies, including more than 1,800 networks and 3,000 cloud and IT service providers, through Platform Equinix® for increased performance, security and scale. ·Over the years, Equinix has supported India-based partners, including HCL Technologies, Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro, in deploying their customers’ digital infrastructure at Equinix IBX data centers outside of India.

Equinix is committed to India, and the recent launch of a Global Center of Excellence in Bengaluru shows our further commitment to the market. In order to improve our customers’ digital infrastructure resilience, the GCoE will foster the development of innovative, automated, and scalable digital technologies. As a result of a powerful combination of technical expertise, domain knowledge, and best practices from Equinix’s global engagements, the GCoE will offer innovative solutions to accelerate enterprises’ digital capabilities internationally, including in India.

How can businesses work towards being more digitally resilient in the new landscape?

Business resilience is no longer limited to reducing operational risks. When calculating their readiness for unexpected disruptions, organisations need to consider digital resiliency as a key factor. By embracing digital resiliency, organizations are able to adapt quickly to disruptions, take advantage of digital capabilities to maintain continuous business operations, and adjust quickly to take advantage of new opportunities. In such a dynamic environment, digital infrastructure is critical for revamping end-user experiences and ensuring business resilience.

Organizations that prioritize long-term digital resiliency and business success can focus on below:

  • Modernizing IT infrastructure to support emerging digital applications
  • Harnessing data to extract intelligence to create new organizational value
  • Using software to drive innovation
  • Reinforcing privacy and security to protect and gain the trust of key stakeholders
  • Enhancing the customer experience to generate more revenue

Savvy tech leaders are delivering on crucial business outcomes by modernizing IT infrastructure to a level that enables the organization to fully harness the capabilities and benefits of emerging technology. This enables businesses to deploy three key success drivers in a post-pandemic landscape:

  • Automation and augmentation: These have become key global trends amid social distancing measures, enabling businesses to make up for being unable to operate at full capacity.
  • Hyper-personalized consumer experience: With consumers shifting rapidly from physical service to online self-service, hyper-personalization has become the key to standing out in a crowded marketplace. This requires an agile digital ecosystem.
  • Platform-based organizational approach: Large enterprises with a complex and highly federated structure rely on a centralized platform to connect workloads, deploy interconnected applications and dynamic services, and facilitate agile financial decision-making.

What is the way forward plan of Equinix in India?

This year in September, we announced our expanded footprint in India with two data centers in Mumbai, providing more than 1,350 cabinets, with the addition of more than 500 cabinets when the second Mumbai facility is fully built out. Moving forward, we will continue to expand our footprint in Mumbai, and look for expansion into other key metros in India.

In addition, we are also working tirelessly to introduce more interconnection and digital services in India, including Equinix FabricTM, Equinix MetalTM, Network Edge and Equinix Precision TimeTM, to help Indian businesses more easily and flexibly build their digital infrastructure and seamlessly interconnect their IT infrastructures across the global platform. We will also continue to work closely with our partners in India to provide innovative solutions for Indian businesses.

Equinix has a highly experienced, skilled and knowledgeable team and a robust ecosystem of some of the world’s top CSPs, OTTs, CDNs and enterprises. We believe this will enable us to grow quickly in India and help our customers fast-track their digital advantage.

What is the Future outlook of the Data center market in India?

India is a high growth market experiencing a data revolution. According to JLL, Indian data centre industry capacity is expected to double by 2023. Mumbai, which accounts for 45% of the total capacity, is expected to further add 267 MW between now and 2023. India has immense opportunity for continued penetration of internet infrastructure and cloud adoption. In addition to government-led initiatives and incentives, India is benefitting from local influences as well as upcoming data sovereignty laws. The demand for data center infrastructure in India is growing exponentially with big investments being committed by multiple players.

The rise of hybrid multicloud adoption, increased data consumption and generation by half a billion digital users in India are driving the need for digital infrastructures exponentially. The number of Indian businesses embracing digital transformation is growing, and they are naturally progressing towards increased hybrid multicloud transformation journey. New technologies like 5G, edge computing and IoT rely on real-time processing and use huge amounts of data that depend on cloud computing. These data-dense technologies will drive the need for data centers because they offer more scalable and cost-effective cloud computing.

Any upcoming projects?

As one of the largest economies in Asia-Pacific, India presents unparalleled possibilities in the digital age. With our global footprint and the industry’s largest ecosystem, we are well-positioned to be a driving force of the digital revolution in India and we are committed to helping businesses to leap forward domestically and globally. We will expand further in Mumbai and other cities where our customers demand we should be present.

In addition, we are also working tirelessly to introduce more interconnection and digital services in India, including Equinix FabricTM, Equinix MetalTM, Network Edge and Equinix Precision TimeTM, to help Indian businesses more easily and flexibly build their digital infrastructure and seamlessly interconnect their IT infrastructures across the global platform. We will also continue to work closely with our partners in India to provide innovative solutions for Indian businesses.

Globally, we currently have 35 major builds underway in 25 markets, across 19 countries including seven xScale™ builds in all three regions of the world representing over 25,000 cabinets of incremental retail capacity through 2022, and 73 MWs of xScale capacity.

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Nitisha Dubey

I am a Journalist with a post graduate degree in Journalism & Mass Communication. I love reading non-fiction books, exploring different destinations and varieties of cuisines. Biographies and historical movies are few favourites.

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