The Covid-19 scenario will fundamentally change the way we work, live and socialize for years to come. According to a report by JLL, with work-from-home becoming the new normal the corporate requirements for data storage gradually increased resulting into the outsourcing of data storage facilities.
This digital wave will also witness exponential growth with Cloud becoming the bedrock for every organization and sector. Hence, the demand for data centers is expected to increase two-fold from the current 500 MW by 2025 thereby creating a large amount of employment opportunities.
GPX is provider of Tier 4 carrier neutral data centers within the African and South Asian markets. The company offers highly reliable and secure carrier-neutral data centers to domestic and international clients looking to colocate their mission-critical business infrastructure.
Manoj Paul, Managing Director – India, tells us more. Exerpts:
DQ: What are the new jobs in data centers that will be most in-demand from now on?
Manoj Paul: Data centers are facilities that house and process data that form the crucial part of an economy which is in the progression of accelerated digitization. A typical data center can provide several thousand man-day jobs approximately, in its construction phase alone. This is followed by employment for data center operations and technical positions.
After the data center becomes operational, statistics suggest that it brings in over 150 direct jobs for a midsize data center and several hundred indirect jobs in the related supply chain and service delivery sectors. That is why, while across industries there is demand for IT engineers, data centers need highly skilled electrical and mechanical engineers too.
Data centers are generating high paying jobs for such engineers, especially those with hands-on experience with chillers, generators, UPSes etc. There is a strong demand for technical and IT skills; like skills to understand the customers’ business requirements and offer a solution tailored to meet their needs in the most cost-efficient manner.
The technical skill requirement covers knowledge of internet protocols, internet and cloud exchanges, compute and storage hardware, network components, facility operations including access and security control systems. There is also a requirement of IT professionals with an in-depth understanding of client network architecture to provide a suitable solution with minimum complexity.
DQ: How is the digital wave set to ease the abilities of industries to survive and thrive in the post-COVID era?
MP: Today, enterprise applications are becoming even more portable on the cloud. Compute cycles are becoming easier to procure in real-time, data integration platforms are streamlining connectivity, and vendors are forming cross-platform alliances. Soon, we are going to see businesses and individuals continuing with the increased use of WFH, video conferencing, webinars, video on demand and online learning.
Digital payment transactions enabled by Unified Payments Interface (UPI), e-commerce platforms and various FinTechplatforms in India have contributed to over 45 billion transactions in FY19–20, a significant growth from 20 billion transactions in FY17–18.1
Businesses need to develop/ adopt data infrastructure that can meet the real-time data requirements of customers in a scalable manner. However, the capital investments to own the complete infrastructure, and the technology needed to support the growing demand is always a challenge.
Hence this leads to a higher demand for data center collocationservices, which hosts enterprise’s IT infrastructure and supports 24×7 modus operandi during and in the post COVID era. The advancements in data centre offerings will provide more room for innovation, like the adoption of cloud with hybrid and multi-cloud strategy leading to better customer delivery and lesser concerns about infrastructure management.
GPX Tier 4 data centers, interconnection ecosystem and multi-cloud infrastructure are geared up to support the digital transformation of enterprises in India.
DQ: How is your organisation going in the direction of developing IT capabilities?
MP: Data centre facilities generate massive system performance metrics from different layers, including hardware, software, applications and physical components. It is challenging to manage such data without intelligent tools and efficient workforce that can analyse it for predicting and mitigating potential failures. Data centers prime objective is to sustain 99.999% reliable power and cooling infrastructure to support our customer’s co-located IT infrastructure.
Moreover, like phones are no more just about making quality phone calls; similarly, customers of data centers are also seeking additional benefits of interconnection with multiple service providers present within the data center ecosystem. Enterprises that embrace digitization of their IT operations will have a competitive advantage.
The interconnection will play an essential role in that process. GPX has multiple internet exchanges, direct cloud connect service and a cloud exchange, offering the capability to directly connect with various cloud service providers, bypassing the public internet.
With the constant advancement in technology, we are continually evolving and upgrading our services and technology skill sets of our team to meet customer’s advance requirements.
DQ: What are the challenges in this direction?
MP: GPX has been at the frontier of building the Enterprise Edge concept and has built an ecosystem which can be leveraged by our customers to accelerate their digital journey. A bank or a stock exchange can connect to an internet exchange at the data center and improvise their user experience.
An enterprise can co-locate to a data center and leverage the cloud available at the same premise. This will be a very cost-effective disaster recovery solution. Our challenge is to educate our customers on the benefits of shifting their network nodes to the GPX data center campus and leverage the benefits from interconnections with internet and cloud exchanges.
DQ: What kind of new solutions are you planning to bring in?
MP: GPX’s data centers are Tier 4 facilities, offering colocationservices with 99.999% uptime. The new focus is on the marketplace ecosystem that has evolved over the years. GPX has edge connect nodes of major cloud providers like AWS, Google and Oracle for direct connect, along with POPs of five other cloud service providers.
GPX also offers a cloud exchange, which is a fully GPX managed solution, providing connectivity to multiple Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) hosted inside GPX data center campus.
GPX has been offering enterprises the Direct Cloud Connect service for some time now. We have over 60 enterprise customers which include startups, large payment companies, eCommerce giants, media companies, among others. We see a growth in the workload migration to the cloud, and the recent trend among cloud users is adopting a multiple cloud approach to leverage the varied strengths of each cloud service provider. The GPX Open Cloud Exchange was launched to meet this need and accelerate enterprise’s multi cloud adoption.
Through a cloud exchange, GPX has come up with an easy and scalable way for enterprises to off-load their IT workloads to multiple CSPs. This also helps shift loads with high flexibility with scalable interconnection capacity from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps. Enterprises, hence, get a unique opportunity to efficiently develop public and hybrid cloud architectures that are secure, reliable, and scalable.
DQ: What are your thoughts on digital transformation, now that 2020 has nearly passed?
MP: Digitalization is now firmly embedded across all segments of Indian society. The rise of new digital business models has played a crucial role in the rapid adoption of the cloud. Enterprises are looking for on-demand scalability as the uncertainty of markets increases.
Having a robust and agile architecture where 3rd party data centers and clouds are used optimally, is not an option anymore but a mandate to be able to stay ahead in the game. With the usual office structures collapsing, enterprises are facing a massive challenge of re-establishing a new system relevant for the current times and that too, seamlessly.
Enterprises can now deploy in GPX edge data centers allowing them to choose from the multiple network and cloud connectivity options available and connect to them via a direct cross-connect owned and run by GPX. Such network nodes are known as “Enterprise Edge Nodes”. With growth in WFH, digital financial transactions and growing use of video conferencing, the role of an edge data center will become more critical. Enterprises will evaluate data centers with an eye on the ecosystem which is a critical parameter.