Explained: Data Centre and its growing importance amid surge in digitalisation
Data Centre in India: Digitalisation is undoubtedly one of the most important trends in India of late. Data boom and local data storage, along with digitalisation, have resulted in an increase in demand for data centres. According to a recent report by rating agency CRISIL, data centres are expected to double by the fiscal year 2025. India has an 870MW capacity in FY22 and this is likely to be anywhere between 1,700-1,800MW in FY25.
What is a Data Centre?
A data centre is a physical facility that organisations use to house their critical applications and data. Data centres are vital to an organisation's daily operations because they house the most critical and proprietary assets. In simple words, a data centre is nothing but a five-star hotel for your IT equipment.
According to Vipin Shirsat - Managing Director, India, Princeton Digital Group (PDG) - there are four key elements of the colocation data centre (one of the four types of data centres) - uninterrupted power, precision cooling, diverse rich network and physical security and safety.
"The power supply is very crucial for data centres and it should never go down. This is why MU1 data centre of PDG, situated in Mumbai, is situated next to the 220kW Kalwa power station. In case the power goes down, there is close to 1.2 million litres of diesel as a backup. This makes sure that the entire data centre facility will run for 48 hours. The second is precision cooling. We make sure that temperature remains at constant temperature all the time. This temperature may change as per the requirement of customers. Third is that each data centre should be connected to multiple network paths coming from different sides. This is important to ensure that even if the of the network paths is disturbed because of certain issues, the other paths will make sure that the data centre is not isolated. Lastly, there should be tight security arrangements," Shirsat said.
Types Of Data Centres
- Enterprise Data Centre: They are built and owned by companies. Most often they are housed on the corporate campus.
- Managed Services Data Centres: These data centres are managed by a third party. The equipment and infrastructure are leased instead of buying it.
- Colocation Data Centres: Here, a company rents space within a data centre.
Importance of data centres?
Data centres are very important as they support business applications and activities that include following:
- Emails and sharing of files
- Productivity applications
- Customer relationship management (CRM)
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and database.
- Machine learning, artificial intelligence and data storage.
- Challenges for data centres in India
According to Shirsat, despite the growing demand in India, it is not easy to set up a data centre in India. Interestingly, the data centre industry in our country is currently governed by the policies of the respective state governments.
"While Uttar Pradesh has a very progressive policy, states like Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are working on their own regulations," Shirsat said.
It is to be noted that PDG recently launched its flagship data centre called MU1 in India with an investment of $300 million. The data centre at Airoli, Navi Mumbai, provides 48 MW of critical IT capacity. It has achieved the 'IGBC Platinum' certification, which is the highest standard of green building certification. MU1 will be powered up to 40 per cent by renewable energy and will operate on minimal water consumption.
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