Digital Infrastructure is the foundation that is necessary to economy and businesses. It is developing rapidly even before Covid-19 forced the world into nationwide lockdown. As more people and businesses come online, and more companies invent more ways to serve their needs, the volume of digital traffic will continue to grow exponentially.
We talked to Mohammed Atif, Director of Business Development for India, Park Place Technologies, about how Data Centers play a major role in building a digital economy.
Park Place Technologies, founded in 1991, simplifies the management of complex technology environments for over 21,500 customers worldwide. It provides exceptional global service for data center storage, server and network hardware for all tier one OEM equipment.
The worldwide network of over 1,158,000 parts stored regionally, locally and on-site allows for fast parts distribution and service to drive uptime. Park Place supports 110,000+ data centers in 154+ countries.
Also recently, Park Place Technologies acquired Curvature, Inc., an IT support, products, and services company.
Excerpts from an interview:
DQ: Considering the global pandemic, how do you see the data centre ecosystem in India and globally?
Mohd. Atif: During a time of increased remote work, and work-from-home policies, companies must cater for and enable effective communications among dispersed resources, such as a dashboard to monitor how many active VPN sessions are needed per location and when VPN saturation will occur.
This creates a need for remote support technologies that minimise the need for physical presence and allow IT teams to visualise VPN activity over time, monitor how VPN activity fluctuates during business hours, and ensures that IT stays proactive in preventing saturation.
This strategy helps eliminate and avoid unnecessary on-site visits requiring multiple people. With fewer people on site, it’s important to ensure server rooms, labs and data centre environments are operating within normal parameters. It is critical to resolve issues remotely. Our plan and road map offer organisations the tools (ParkView suite of managed services and EntuityNetwork Analytics) for better digital and remote working,while ensuring the stability, management and optimisation of their digital platforms.
Even if the workplace culture one day finds itself in a “post-Covid-19 world,” many companies may allow their employees to remain remote. These suggestions will outlast the current crisis and help maintain strong and reliable VPN systems.
DQ: What are the challenges in infrastructure maintenance?
Mohd. Atif: Organisations are today challenged to create agility and they need to devote time and attention to strategic projects without the daily, “keeping the lights on” activities standing in the way. This is precisely what Discover, Monitor, Support, Optimize (DMSO) solutions offer; an easier way to keep up with digital infrastructure so you can get ahead. Market analysts see a $228 billion potential in this new offering by 2023, but we’re focused on what it can do for clients in the here and now.
With DMSO, customers that rushed their IT infrastructure into place in 2020 can discover exactly what they have in their infrastructure, and where, with automated asset discovery services. No matter how complex the environment has become through build-outs, cloud transitions, and acquisitions, at Park Place we can deploy hardware and software-level monitoring solutions to get a handle on it. Have more important things to do than respond to trouble tickets? Let us support you by supporting your hardware, network, and OS.
DQ: Can you share your thoughts on the future of data centres, globally and in India?
Mohd. Atif: The IT landscape of today is growing in complexity and scope. Digital transformation, cloud migrations, and evolving customer demands are driving a sea change in the traditional approach to IT, as well as the associated management costs.
Business initiatives like consolidations, mergers and divestments compound complexity as technology leadership faces the universal challenge of understanding what’s in the IT ecosystem.
The ongoing evolution of the traditional IT environment, coupled with the rapid pace of change, are creating the need for a sound method for discovery of IT assets, including reconciliation, prioritisation and true management of assets across the enterprise IT landscape.
In today’s dynamic environment, it’s important to not only understand what you have in your ecosystem, but what’s required to maintain and manage that information.
One of the tools of the present and future, IT Asset Management (ITAM), is about understanding what you have in your infrastructure. ITAM allows your IT team to oversee, manage and optimise all IT systems, including hardware, processes and data.
The objective is to continually assess whether IT assets require optimising or upgrading. Garnering these insights on a regular basis allows leadership to determine the ROI of IT assets and communicate to stakeholders how they’re supporting business goals for the organisation.
DQ: How is the merger and acquisition in the current scenario from a business point of view?
Mohd. Atif: Global reach and fast, high-quality delivery are imperatives in all markets around the globe. An M&A strategy that allows and caters for strategic business and geographic growth, as well as enabling superior service delivery for the end-user customer is critical in the third-party maintenance field. Park Place has an aggressive M&A strategy, with 15 acquisitions since 2016.
With the recent acquisition of Curvature, our infrastructure support and services offerings are stronger, smarter and further reaching than ever before. In an environment where IT infrastructures rarely rely on equipment from a single supplier, and where budgets and resources are tighter than ever before, we have created a new tier of TPM (third-party maintenance) that positions us as a more compelling option versus the OEM.
DQ: Can you elaborate on cost effectiveness of the Third-Party Maintenance market?
Mohd. Atif: Many hyperscale providers are breaking ground in areas like liquid cooling, alternative energy integration, and the use of artificial intelligence for data centre infrastructure management (DCIM) to eke out new levels of efficiency.
This is all very hopeful for the future of affordable, sustainable data centres and offers interesting things to consider when planning new construction. But, most India-based data centre operators have existing facilities in which they need to save money today, without major retrofitting. Fortunately, there are turnkey options to make that happen.
A full HVAC transition to liquid cooling and other major capital projects are often out of reach, but energy efficiency can be gradually enhanced through hardware acquisition by incorporating efficiency gains within lifecycle planning, setting energy efficiency targets and evaluating innovative products, such as those with server or rack-level liquid cooling to take advantage of advances impractical to incorporate at facility-wide scale.
The IoT-driven explosion in data volumes is just beginning. It’s time to re-examine what data the organisation is keeping, for what reason, and for how long. “Purge whenever possible” is good policy—and it saves money on storage.
Post-warranty and post-EOSL (end of service life) maintenance is available on nearly all storage, server and networking hardware from major manufacturers. This empowers enterprises to decide on a product-by-product basis which equipment is delivering value.
Once all assets, their warranty status, and risk profiles are identified, enterprises can then extract maximum return on these investments, without compromising reliability or security, and stretch Capital Expenditure (CapEx) further. Reaching out to outsourcing partners can access expertise on an as-needed basis, without paying full or even part-time salaries. It’s worth asking what data centre monitoring, maintenance, and optimisation tasks can be handed off to outside experts or even computers.
DQ: What are the contours of the Curvature acquisition?
Mohd. Atif: Park Place and Curvature were both pioneers in this industry, said Chris Adams, President and CEO, Park Place Technologies. With the addition of Curvature, our infrastructure support and services offerings are stronger, smarter and further reaching than ever before. In an environment where infrastructures rarely rely on equipment from a single supplier, and where budgets and resources are tighter than ever before, we have created a new tier of TPM (third-party maintenance) that positions us as a more compelling option versus the OEM.
The acquisition of Curvature assembles the largest team of field service engineers on the ground in the industry, triples the spare parts inventory with more than 1.15 million parts now available in 2400+ stocking locations, supports Park Place’s continuous global expansion plans with four new international markets: Denmark, Australia, Thailand, and Japan, and creates a new tier of TPM covering multiple OEM environments with the most resources globally for faster and cost-effective data centre support.
Park Place and Curvature have been leaders in building the third-party maintenance market for more than 30 years. They are a natural fit with very complementary market positions. Park Place’s experience and scale are well-suited to complete this acquisition successfully, said Dan Stone, Interim CEO of Curvature. This is a win for our team and for our customers, allowing us to continue our focus on exceptional customer service, while providing a wider range of new solutions to meet our customers’ needs today and in the future.