Cloud is the new normal. CtrlS Datacenters’ Founder & CEO, Sridhar Pinnapureddy in an exclsuive interview to Dataquest takes a deep dive into the state of enterprise IT infrastructure today, the role of Datcenters and how ‘Community Cloud’ can offer an agile and cost effective delivery of IT. Excerpts:
What ails IT infrastructures today and how ‘on demand; will usher in the much needed panacea?
With globalisation and rapid developments in the economy and consumer behaviour there is ever increasing need for businesses to gain the desired competitive advantage to stay ahead of competition. The IT infrastructure is required to align with and support the fast changing business needs including the ability to ‘Speed-To-Market’, achieve security and compliance, and optimize IT resources. Moreover, skill shortage, maintaining availability of IT infrastructure round the clock (based on business needs) are other challenges faced by the businesses today as banks, ecommerce, government applications are required to be available round the clock to their respective customer groups. Now, if we were to take an example of retail industry, the festive season witnesses a huge sales of products requiring very high IT compute infrastructure as the number of transactions are very high compared to a non-seasonal sale.
This requires perhaps, 5X the infrastructure during the festive season, which cannot be met by conventional means of IT procurement (as it would take months to procure hardware and deploy the applications), however, with on-demand (cloud) infrastructure, it can be achieved in few days, as cloud provides has the ability to scale and de-scale on demand. In the case of retail industry, they can now purchase on-demand cloud infrastructure before the sale season and de-scale the infrastructure soon after the sale is over. Hence, cloud addresses business complexities with ease.
How do you see the trend of ‘computing on demand’ manifesting as Cloud and how it has changed the very taxonomy of IT Infrastructure across the world?
The world is now moving from Capex based IT infrastructure management to Opex based cloud models. With conventional model of IT infrastructure they had challenges of annual maintenance costs, licensing costs with restriction’s such as inability to scale on demand. With cloud computing they now get rid of capex, embrace software, development and hardware infrastructure through SaaS, PaaS and IaaS on a pay-as-you-use model. This helps them align IT with rapidly changing business needs and gain agility (such as speed-to-market), resource optimization allowing them to focus on their core business. For example, we have enabled over 12 banks in India on our Banking Community Cloud – they have fully embraced cloud on a pay as you use model. Through cloud adoption they were able to roll-out a branch within 3 weeks, while in a conventional model it would have perhaps taken them at least 8 to 12 weeks at the minimum. In fact, on our ERP community cloud, we serve over 300 customers.
As on premise shades out, do you think legacy modernisation and digital is the only way to survive in the new normal?
Transformation is the key, it is time to embrace new technologies such as cloud, IoT, artificial intelligence, block chain, virtual and augmented reality, 3D printing. This will help enterprises gain the much deserved agility, competitive advantage, make informed decisions and ensure customer delight. Digital transformation is the way forward for all CIOs, if they miss the bus, their respective businesses are likely to lag behind – which would be detrimental to their business growth.
We have been hearing about Public-Private-Hybrid cloud models, the 4th one – Community Cloud is touted as the key and an emerging trend- what is your take on this?
Community cloud provides shared infrastructure, security, compliance, governance and policies. The community cloud infrastructure is shared by a group of organizations belonging to a common industry vertical such as banks, manufacturing, healthcare, insurance, media etc. Community cloud is a combination of software applications, virtualized hardware, storage, network, security infrastructure combined with security policies, compliance and governance. Banks, manufacturing, insurance, healthcare providers immensely benefit from community cloud.
As an example, Our Banking Community Cloud is designed to tackle the core challenges faced by the Banking Industry from the IT standpoint, giving them complete control with reduced complexities, bullet proof security, increased uptime and lighting fast time to market. At the same time, a 40 percent decrease in pricing makes it an absolute no-brainer for any Banking CIO looking to make a difference in today’s competitive landscape. A Bank requires around 25 diverse applications for processes and offerings including ATMs, Credit and Debit Cards, Mobile Apps etc. to serve their business needs, apart from the core banking and regular business apps like CRM and HR. The emphasis on security is vital for the Banking vertical which deals with the most important assets of their customers like their life savings and investments that ensure a better future in today’s economic scenario. In order to ensure bullet proof protection for these IT applications from disasters like data loss and security breaches, banks usually require more than 40 controls using over 20+ security tools – all of them have been incorporated into Cloud4C banking community cloud.
CtrlS Banking Community Cloud is designed to tackle the core challenges faced by the Banking Industry from the IT standpoint, giving them complete control with reduced complexities, bullet proof security, increased uptime and lighting fast time to market. At the same time, a 40 percent decrease in pricing makes it an absolute no-brainer for any Banking CIO looking to make a difference in today’s competitive landscape.
A community cloud ushers in the much desired regulatory compliance, in our case we offer industry best uptime SLA of 99.995% and Single SLA at Login, robust security controls, scalability on demand, ease of deployment, low TCO on a pay-as-you-go model
Datacenters are considered as the nerve centre for cloud delivery- in your opinion what are the key elements that goes into creating a pro-active DC ecosystem for cloud delivery?
Datacenters host cloud infrastructure powered by the uptime service level agreements (SLAs) – uptime is critical for SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. A Tier-4 datacenter provides the highest uptime in the world and is best suited to host cloud applications. The key elements that go into enabling cloud in a datacenter include seamless (uninterrupted) availability of power, optimal cooling, security to protect the cloud ecosystem comprising of security policy framework, access control and Management, change Control procedures, segregation of duties etc. This apart, the datacenter should provide the ability to scale on demand. At CtrlS, we host leading cloud players and they have had zero downtime and have been achieving growth within the country well supported by our SLAs, uptime and disaster recovery services.
What are your two priorities for FY 19 and the tech roadmap you have put in place for your company?
We are planning an investment of Rs. 1,200 crores and building three new datacenters across India including a Hyperscale datacenter. Our priority focus remains on Customer and Employee delight, we are continuously innovating to ensure our customer challenges are met in the most unique manner through our motivated team of 1,800 employees.