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ICICI Bank: Unique distinction of a platinum rated green data centre

Providing a major impetus to CII- Indian Green Building Council's (IGBC) efforts in greening of Indian data centres, ICICI Bank Data Centre in Hyderabad has gained the unique distinction of becoming India’s first Platinum rated project under IGBC Green Data Centre Rating System

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ICICI Bank operates a captive data centre in Hyderabad and the bank has been achieving great strides in capacity expansion keeping in mind the sustainable development aspect and also operational efficiency.

Providing a major impetus to CII-IGBC’s (Indian Green Building Council) efforts in greening of Indian data centres, ICICI Bank Data Centre in Hyderabad gained the unique distinction of becoming India’s first Platinum rated project to be rated under IGBC Green Data Center Rating System. Late Dr Prem C Jain, Chairman, IGBC, had presented the IGBC plaque to the bank, in 2017.

Balaji V V, Head – Business Technology Group, ICICI Bank

IGBC Green Data Centre Rating System would facilitate in providing tremendous tangible and intangible benefits. Tangible benefits include: 20 to 25 per cent reduction in Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), 25 to 30 per cent reduction in water consumption. Intangible benefits include: enhanced air quality, excellent daylighting, health and well-being of the staff operating such facilities.

“ICICI Bank would continue to partner with IGBC in taking forward the green building movement in the country. Today, more than 150 professionals from ICICI Bank are now IGBC Accredited Professionals (APs) and they are fully equipped to manage the green building facilities of ICICI Bank,” says Balaji V V, Head – Business Technology Group, ICICI Bank.

Some of the green features incorporated in ICICI Bank’s data centre include the following:

  • PUE (Power Usages Effectiveness) as 1.36 at 33 per cent loading
  • Wheeling of 15 MW off-site renewable energy (9000 units to offset grid energy)
  • Photovoltaic installed at façade for onsite renewable energy generation
  • LED based energy efficient lighting fixtures and procurement of green certified products and materials
  • Comfort and well being

“ICICI Bank operates with a captive data centre model however the advantage with a managed data centre model – especially the large ones is ease in daily maintenance. The second advantage is with the readiness of adopting an advanced technology. The managed DC provider would have a trained human resource on most of the technologies available. In case of companies adopting a captive model, they will have to experiment and then implement new technologies,” states Balaji, adding that with a captive model, the control rests completely with the company without being dependent on the managed services provider.

Energy is the single biggest cost component of the data centre. When asked about the steps being taken to reduce energy bills, Balaji informs, “ICICI Bank is already using renewable energy like solar power as one of the sources. The bank is also in the process of implementing software defined data centre and we are positive about it,”

Security is also a critical aspect of running the data centre. It’s important to take care of the daily detailing of the security checklist and adherence. For example, patching, discipline, review and rigour in managing the ports; managing the firewalls, routers, switches, software layers. “This is the most difficult job in the data centre i.e.

to keep systems always updated to the recent patches and versions,” states Balaji. For organisations with a massive IT footprint, it’s critical to keep tabs on technology infrastructure getting obsolete and how it can be refreshed from time to time.

Organisations always vie for 100 per cent uptime of the data centre. “The applications, data centre, operations and the business teams should work hand in hand to achieve 100 per cent availability,” suggests Balaji. Banking has become a 24x7x365 days business with the introduction of UPI, NEFT and many other features. Thus the systems have to be up and running. The DR also has to be tested for availability.

The future of data centres will be cloud based. Companies will have to tread cautiously and the way they will transition to the cloud. “The top five technology companies are investing heavily on the cloud part of running the data centres rather than the traditional mode. The cloud model adoption will also be fragmented. The adoption will be on the lines of private and public cloud acquisition from multiple cloud providers. The strategy will be more on the multi / hybrid cloud model.

ICICI Bank is aggressively moving towards making a green data centre. Efforts are being made for shifting to a solar electricity mode. The bank will soon be on a virtual private cloud that is operational within the bank’s network. This achievement of ICICI Bank will go a long way in encouraging other data centres in the country to go the green way. IGBC aspires to facilitate 10 billion sq ft of green building footprint by 2022 (75th year of India’s Independence).

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