View from India: Bangalore gets its first tier 4 data centre

CtrlS, Asia’s largest tier 4 data centre which has already established data centres in Hyderabad, Noida, Chennai and Mumbai, has expanded to Bangalore, where it inaugurated a facility on 22 February 2018.

The 1,500,000 sq ft facility generates its power using solar and other sustainable sources. After the drone-driven inaugural event, an insight into the facility revealed that this is a green building probably like no other in India.

“Our data centre has been awarded a Platinum LEED certificate by the US Green Building Council, making it the only data centre in the world to receive such certification. We will continue to innovate and ensure our business is both profitable and environmentally sustainable,” said Sridhar Pinnapureddy, Founder and CEO CtrlS, addressing the gathered media and IT leaders, many of whom shared industry trends.

As Prakash Mallya, managing director, Intel (South Asia) pointed out, the amount of data generated in India is more than anywhere in the world thanks to Aadhaar or the unique identification number of citizens complete with a photograph. “Yet only five per cent of the data is stored, analysed and secured. This is a collective challenge and an opportunity for data centres,” pointed out Mallya.

Clearly, the need of the hour is to secure data and this explains why CtrlS, celebrating its 10th anniversary, is investing heavily in its services and infrastructure. An investment to the tune of Rs 1,200 crore has been set aside to scale up the data centres, R&D, services and infrastructure in the next three years. Also on the agenda is to make the data centres sustainable by converting them to solar power over the next five years. Around 60 per cent of the budgetary revenue is being generated in-house. As of now, CtrlS has planned to launch a second data center both in Hyderabad and Mumbai.

In addition to that, an 18-acre hyper-scale data centre is being planned in Hyderabad, which is where CtrlS is headquartered. Given the magnitude of a hyper-scale data centre, this will perhaps be the first for the company.

It is estimated that investments in each data centre will create 400 direct and indirect jobs. As Bangalore is already the hub of IT Companies and startups, the new facility will serve the country’s banking, insurance, e-commerce and Internet organisations. Basically, the thrust is on these and many such organisations that are data sensitive, security conscious and cannot afford even a minute of downtime on their data.

“For SAP, data security is mission critical. The choice of data centre is not easily taken. We’re very thrilled to work with CtrlS; they meet our every need and satisfy our very stringent standards,” said Margaret Anderson, senior VP of SAP.

Bangalore is around 4.5 on the Richter scale, but the new facility has been built with 7.5 on the Richter scale - on par with other parts of the country which largely fall into seismic zones. The swanky facility has been built with over nine levels of security - both physical and virtual - implying that valuable data is never compromised. That’s not all, it also offers robust data management and distribution networks, with 0 per cent downtime and 100 per cent redundancy.

“Energy is fundamental to our data centre and we believe that every part of our operations is energy efficient. Our focus is on low energy consumption. We have a 360-degree approach that takes into account innovative measures, along with waste management initiatives and sustainable landscaping,” added RS Prasad Rao, director, CtrlS.

As Internet usage expands across the country, and the demand for mobile internet and content creation increases, the requirements for an “always-on” data centre is crucial. Organisations such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media providers will need to ensure 0 per cent downtime for their services. Similarly, with growing e-commerce and online payments for products and services, including online food delivery apps and websites, a reliable, robust backend support is essential.

In a statement issued to the press, Priyank Kharge, Minister for IT, BT and S&T, government of Karnataka stated, “I’m happy that CtrlS’ latest data centre is being situated in Bangalore. Our city, which is already the leader in software services, is also fast becoming a hub for global organizations and I’m sure the CtrlS data centre will be the start of an ecosystem.”

We hope so, too.

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