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e-Businesses are prominent in driving visible growth for data center in India: Tata Communication

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“e-Businesses are prominent in driving visible growth. These are new-age companies that are getting a lot more funding than the stable businesses. And thereby, there is a lot more activity,” says C R Srinivasan, Vice President, Global Product Management, Data Center Service, Tata Communication in an interview with EC’s Mohd Ujaley.

What trends did you witness in the data center solutions space in India in 2015?

Last year we saw robust growth in data center business. India as a geography, there is a lot more activity in the data center space, as you know there are many e-businesses, not just e-commerce but many e-businesses that are growing bigger and faster than ever before. And thereby the demand for quality data center space has been robust. And scalability of data centers, energy efficiency of data centers have been something that has been embraced the whole of last year. Many of the businesses have moved from captive data centers to third party data centers. That is another trends that we saw. Cloud computing is something that is gaining significant traction. It is no longer in the category of being observed or being watched. It’s adopted quite rapidly. That’s something that we saw last year. And overall, it’s been very active and fast paced year for the data center in 2015.

From enterprise demands perspective, which verticals are primarily propelling the demand for data center in India?

e-Businesses are prominent in driving visible growth. These are new-age companies that are getting a lot more funding than the stable businesses. And thereby, there is a lot more activity. They are investing in infrastructure, they are building infrastructure. You see that segment taking a lot of data center capacity. In terms of the broader colour that we’re seeing, lot more of enterprise customers are actually taking to data centers and third party data centers, working on high availability.

Movement to the Cloud is becoming a lot more common. Customers when I talk to them go on to move their critical access to private clouds. So acceptance of private clouds is another thing that is coming of age. Customers are very specific of what they want in the Cloud services portfolio. They know where their workload is going to go. They are looking for a lot more of private cloud capacity. And building applications on those private clouds is something that they’re doing. Integrating it with their existing applications is another area that saw traction. So from a broad range the enterprises are definitely looking at using the cloud and migrating to data centers. This is cutting across verticals.

Some countries are mulling to bring policy around data sovereignty, will that impact the business?

Data sovereignty is being frequently referred by many customers. In particular, if you are dealing with intellectual property or if you are in an industry which has import or export restrictions or working on healthcare type applications, then there are local regulations that prevent the data from crossing a geographical or political boundary. And, thereby it becomes important for companies to make sure that they have their primary and secondary data centers in the same geography and there are environments around that.

The good thing about data sovereignty is that customers now understand that moving to the Cloud doesn’t mean you move your applications to the Cloud and you don’t really bother where the data goes and sits. So like us who really have physical infrastructure and who provide data centers, over a million square feet of data center space spread across the globe, we have the reach that is required to cater to the data sovereignty need.

Also, we have a data center alliances program through which we have expanded to newer geographies. So we have a strategic data alliance program which allows us to expand and sign up partners, build a web of data center such that we can cater to the data sovereignty requirements of our customers. But data sovereignty as you rightly pointed out is becoming a lot more prominent in our piece, procurement conversations. And data is anyway the new currency and thereby customers are worried about where the data is.

How have the technology shift such as cloud, mobility, virtualization impacted the overall data security segment?

Security is definitely a common factor between traditional IT and new age IT. Security requirements have always been there and continue to be there. So the more the cloud computing the move to bring in BYOD and all of that stuff in most of the enterprises have brought along with it the freedom that enterprise users are looking for. And the challenges that the IT managers have to deal with is about security of the data and how that can be managed. That is definitely there and thereby there has been an increase in consumption of security services.

Customers are worried about the solutions that are deployed to protect data leakage in an enterprise. Encryption of data where it’s stored that’s another thing that you see as a requirement. And there are also challenges that enterprises have faced with respect to data services being brought down on the internet by denial of service attacks. So we see a lot more of this distributed denial of service attacks, and in many cases there is a ransom demand behind such a data attack. We see ransom becoming a lot more prominent.

Last year saw many data attacks with capacity, the size of the attacks going up to 100K. And that means that enterprises have to protect themselves and their data from and their services from the vulnerabilities in the open world and be a lot more aware about the controls and the implementation of controls and the processes that they follow around security. So security defines how well the services available in the internet. And thereby it’s been one of the businesses that I think has grown fast and rapidly and we think it will continue to grow rapidly for us as well.

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