Major Data centre challenges of CIOs: Security, software complexity, compute and budget

A large sector of India’s datacenter challenges that CIO’s face today is reducing budgets, higher compute requirements, security and increased complexity of software within their environment, says Vinay Sinha, Managing Director, Sales, AMD India Pvt Ltd

What are the recent launches of 2019 towards customer satisfaction through datacenters?
At AMD, we believe that setting up a comprehensive, strategic and reliable data center environment can empower modern dynamic businesses. In this age of rampant digital transformation, streamlining technologies and processes can make the organization more agile and efficient leading to faster decision making. With the school of thought that customers are the heart of a business, we believe that data center strategies set the foundation for delivering an outstanding experience to end users.

With our recently launched 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors previously code named “Rome”, AMD is bringing revolutionary new capabilities to server performance and has set higher standards for datacenters. This is the world’s first high performance x86 7 nanometer server CPU and has brought exciting new innovations in the technology space, with better power efficiency, optimization, scalability and security. When combined with PCIe Gen4 and leadership IO, 2nd Gen EPYC processors give customers outstanding TCO. EPYC processors are engineered to address the modern datacenter challenges through big data, virtualized environments and HPC workloads. We have seen very good customer traction with customers a and are on track to ramp up significantly faster than our first gen server processors.

AMD has always kept the customer at the center of innovation in all of what it does. The EPYC processor is one such innovation, the ability to offer performance similar to competing dual-socket platforms in a single-socket is an innovation which drives three strong pillars of energy efficiency, workload balance and security. AMD’s innovations in the datacenter in the areas of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence with its Radeon Instinct platform takes advantages of open platform compute using the ROCm (Radeon Open Compute) stack.

What is AMD’s understanding of the ever-changing/increasing workloads
Workloads are driven by emerging technologies led by digital transformation and the datacenter has gone through a huge evolution. This is driven by the data deluge, AI and ML led applications and Edge Computing. With all these rapid developments changing the way businesses function, CXOs want to harness real time data to make informed and smarter decisions. This has triggered the need for datacenters that offer enhanced performance, scalability, security at reduced total cost of ownership.

AMD foresaw this untapped opportunity and designed the Zen core architecture to provide high performance and efficiency to many workloads. With the server compute solutions, AMD delivers choice and innovation for the modern data center for high performance computing, enterprises and the cloud. With a robust roadmap, AMD’s server offerings and architecture can be harnessed for many workloads now and in the future.

AMD understands that the only thing constant is change and the only way we can keep up with the changes around us is by out innovating our earlier products. For example, AMD’s 25X20 roadmap which was set in 2014 provides a 25X improvement in energy efficiency by the year 2020. AMD has consistently either delivered or outperformed on this metric since its inception. The company continually refines the design of its processors to make them ever more efficient while delivering performance to meet the demands of new generations of more capable software.

What are the data center challenges faced by Indian CIOs?
Performance, Flexibility continues to be one of the core datacenter challenges that CIOs face with digitization and growing volumes of data and applications. With newer technologies, enterprises seek disruption that reimagines the datacenter, offering higher performance alongside improved efficiency. Traditional security is no longer enough as data is rapidly moving outside the enterprises’ cloud and datacenter and creating a strong perimeter on the cloud is as necessary as safeguarding the data. Furthermore, cost continues to be a challenging factor for enterprises, especially traditional organizations who are undergoing digital transformation. “Doing more with less” is becoming more relevant as IT becomes critical with digitization.

Indian CIOs are far ahead of the curve amongst their peers with the added responsibility of being the IT capital of the world and providing IT services to their customers puts them in a unique position to have visibility into large enterprises and governments alike to stay abreast of trends. In the early days of Artificial Intelligence, most CIOs in India used their own companies as test beds for conceptualization and presentation before their teams could carry forward the proposition to their customers. In the auto sector, the ever-changing demands of the consumer coupled with regulatory challenges and environmental responsibility led the CIOs in the manufacturing industry to adopt energy efficient practices way before their peers elsewhere in the globe. A large sector of India’s datacenter challenges that CIO’s face today is reducing budgets, higher compute requirements, security and increased complexity of software within their environment. AMD works closely with the CIOs to address these challenges in a collaborative way to drive development without compromising on resiliency.

Which businesses are having challenges with regards to increasing workloads? Which business functions and what kind of technologies are generating the most data?
Telecom, ecommerce, cloud service providers, BFSI, IT/ITES followed by SMBs are among the highest consumers of the datacenter market in India. With significant shifts in business strategies driven by digitization, CIOs are ready to make cloud investments to help solve business outcomes faster. With telecom, the demand is driven by the need to strengthen and elevate the current 4G network, and more significantly to prepare and become 5G network ready. Cloud service providers (CSPs) are next in line to ramp up and support the adoption of cloud across industries. Another significant large-scale generator of data is the Government. With massive campaigns such as Digital India, Smart City, Data localization and Startup India projects, the public sector is migrating largely to the cloud.

It would be unfair to state business’ as having challenges, while in reality the transition of technology is the clear challenge. Artificial Intelligence didn’t exist in the level it does today 5 years ago. The challenge of having a moving target as AI transitioned to Machine Learning and will transition to Deep learning at some point in time means that CIOs have to come to terms with the rapid changes. The regulatory challenges with upcoming bills such as the Privacy Bill pose a new set of record keeping compliance that CIOs have to grapple with. With the consumer being the single largest focal point for all companies, CIOs are faced with the daunting task of ever-expanding network of sensors (or data collection points) providing far greater insights into customer and buying behavior than they ever did. This scenario has resulted in volumes of data being generated which has led to explosion of data within the data center which are further analyzed by various software tools which then provide analytics.

Do you think ‘data localization mandate’ will be the single biggest driver for the data center market in India? Which are some of the other drivers which you already see manifesting? Please give examples.
We believe that increase in data consumption requires stronger security standards. Digital economy has led to more data being generated across platforms online and mobile devices. With data localization, companies can store critical data within the national boundaries, and this requires better infrastructure like smarter and modern datacenters to process, store and manage copious amounts of data of various kinds. This will create innovative solutions to augment the capacity and secure the information stored in that particular data center.

The thrust on digitization has fueled the boom of the modern datacenters with virtualized and cloud environments. Large investments from established cloud providers and industry winning partnerships like that of Reliance and Microsoft are setting to be major boosters to the datacenter industry. With a growing datacenter market in a country like India, AMD will continue to partner with HPE and major service providers to EPYC to large and medium enterprises for their various workloads including virtualization, big data, machine learning and AI. Channel partners, major OEMs and SIs will play an important role in the brand’s go-to-market plans as we continue to grow our market share.

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