Today, the way infrastructure is being set up, there is a total lack of connectivity in India.”

—BV Jagdeesh

Co-founder and CTO, Exodus
Communications ,As Co-Founder and CTO, Exodus Communications, BV Jagdeesh is not just
providing technology direction to the company. He is also actively involved in business
development and merger and acquisitions. Prior to this, he co-founded Fouress Technologies
and has also worked for Novell. Jagdeesh served as Chairman, Networld+Interop’s
Engineer’s conference during 1994-95. In an interview to DATAQUEST, Jagdeesh spoke
about the plans of his company and the significance of infrastructure in the growth of
internet. Excerpts:

  •  What kind of a role would Exodus play in the success
    of an internet venture?

Exodus is basically an
internet data center company. What it means is that we provide mission-critical internet
infrastructure for companies like Yahoo! Hotmail, Geo Cities, Sony Online and 1,300 other
such content providers who want their internet operations to be up and running for 24
hours. We manage their servers and detect any failures ahead of time. On the network end,
when people come in and open their sites, they have no idea of the number of hits they are
going to have. We provide them the ability to instantly scale from where they come to
where they want to go.

  • Are there any specific
    web servers that you use?

You know, interestingly, we
don’t buy any web servers. The customers bring them to us. If you look at our data
centers, 65% of the web servers are typically Sun servers, the remaining 35% are
distributed primarily among NT, HP, Silicon Graphics and Unix.

  • Apart from this, do
    you have any technology tie-ups?

There are lot of exchange
points in the US and a lot of infrastructure has been built up. What we do is called
‘peering,’ which means we peer with all the internet service providers, who
bring in the end-users. We have 14 data centers in seven locations. When the end-user
comes in, he just gets into the data center.

  •  If you look at India, what is the kind of business
    model that you will be following?

Today, the way the
infrastructure is being set up, there is a total lack of connectivity in India. The first
thing that we need is that metropolitan cities must get connected through some high-speed
link straightaway or through wireless technology. In each of these metropolitan cities,
you need to have local exchange points, where traffic gets exchanged.

  •  You mentioned
    some alternate plan that companies can follow to tackle the infrastructure limitations?

Knowing the infrastructure
bottlenecks that exists in countries like India, what many of the e-commerce companies are
doing is bringing their servers to the US. They are then given the level of scalability
and reliability that is needed to reach the global market at a very nominal fee or maybe
even cheaper.

  •  What, in your opinion, are the factors that will
    drive the growth of internet and e-commerce in the country?

I think India is the best country to do
e-commerce because you have a lot of issues like traffic and pollution. People don’t
want to move out of their houses once they come back from work. They are looking for
convenience. If we can provide the infrastructure that is needed through cable modems,
wireless connectivity or through dial-up access to get connected to the web, then
automatically you will see people using e-commerce applications.

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