The Indian data centre landscape comprises 162 colocation data centres across 26 cities, along with 19 internet exchange points. The colocation oc­cu­pancy of these 162 data centres stood at 68 per cent, as of March 2022, and the current usage mix consisted of 39 per cent hyperscalers and 61 per cent enterprises (Sour­ce: Various sources and the Binswanger ANAROCK Data Centre Report, August 2022). The estimated us­age mix will be 50-50 between hyperscalers and enterprises by 2025. The th­r­ee factors that influence this mix are in­vest­ment, market and policy.

In the past five years, India has seen in­vestments worth $14 billion in the data centre domain. Some of the companies th­at have made significant investment are Mi­­cro­soft, Adani, Google Cloud and De­u­t­sche Commercial Internet Exchange (DE-CIX). By 2025, a total investment of $28 billion is expected in the sector. Glo­bally, cumulative investments in this sector are estimated at $1.3 trillion, with IT in­frastructure accounting for 77 per cent of the total data centre investments.

Competitive advantages

India has competitive advantages such as cost-effective operations and developme­nt, availability of engineering skills, and in­c­re­ased utilisation of existing outsourced data centre capacity in the data centre spa­ce. Major cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Be­n­­­ga­luru, Hyderabad and Delhi-NCR are popular choices for setting up major data centres due to their excellent fibre connectivity, proximity to customers and availability of a skilled workforce.

KPIs for data centres

Three key performance indicators (KPIs) for data centres are a wider geographical coverage of carrier and data centre neutral interconnection infrastructure, local access to a greater density and diversity of net­wor­ks, and a range of scalable and custo­mi­sable in­terconnection services that support en­terprises in digital transformation. How­ever, enterprise customers face some challenges such as ensuring flexibility by avoiding vendor lock-ins, reducing the co­m­ple­xity of their connections to partners and increasing their control over compliance within their partner ecosystem.

DE-CIX’s focus areas

DE-CIX is a Germany-based company that operates in data centre neutral internet exchanges across the world. DE-CIX serves as a catalyst for data centres of all sizes, fr­om micro and small data centres to large colocation and hyperscale data centres.

DE-CIX Global offers over 42 plus exchanges, connecting over 3,000 connected networks and 500 data centres. DE-CIX Mumbai is Asia Pacific’s largest internet exchange point among 154 ex­changes in 29 countries. Its unique selling pro­positions include peering service, DirectCLOUD, Microsoft Azure Peering Services (MAPS), which were launched in Mu­mbai and Chennai, and the upcoming Blackholing and GlobePEER.

Key offerings

DirectCLOUD offers slicing and dicing abilities that are not offered by many operators. It simplifies business decisions for customers and enables multi-service provisioning over the existing access port, working on the transfer price model. Me­anwhile, it provides a secure connection that bypasses the internet, offering protection against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, guaranteed service-level agreements (SLAs) and measurable quality. It ensures stable packet rou­tes, among other features.

MAPS was developed by the global engineering team at Frankfurt, DE CIX, and the Microsoft team at Seattle. It provides DDoS-free direct connection to Microsoft 365 over a single access port. Its benefits include guaranteed high performance connectivity with the lowest possible latency, a guaranteed DDoS-free connection even for the smallest bandwidths, binding SLAs and support by Microsoft. After thorough rounds of research, it was launched in India in February 2023.

Presence in India

DE-CIX’s growth in the Indian market is reflected in the data traffic experienced over the last 36 months (February 2020-January 2023). The company witnessed a 3,285 per cent growth in gaming, 3,525 per cent in over-the-top (OTT) services and video-on-demand (VOD), 800 per cent in hosting, 1,259 per cent in content delivery networks (CDNs), 1,317 per cent in internet service providers (ISPs) and 1,440 per cent in social media.

Interconnected data centres enabled by DE-CIX offer reduced costs, improved latency, secured interconnected networks, resilient networks and greater accessibility to interconnected centres. This will play the most important role in the future. DE-CIX is currently present in Mumbai, Del­hi, Chennai and Kolkata, and offers access to 17 additional data­­­­ centres through a part­nership with Lightstorm. Some of their customers include Porsche, Apple, Netflix and Amazon.

Based on a presentation by Sudhir Kunder, Country Director, DE-CIX India