NicK Tanzi, President and CEO, GPX Global Systems

What are the global trends for data centers in 2020+?

A recent RBC Capital report published in April 2020, according to their first annual Foundations Global Interconnection Survey, >70 per cent of their respondents said that they are connecting or have plans to connect to cloud service providers, and more than 60 per cent are using or have plans to use Network-as-a-Service platforms within the next 12 months. On-premise infrastructure usage continues to be on the decline with the shift towards Private Cloud, Public Cloud and SaaS. This represents an opportunity for third-party Edge Data Centers that deliver cloud computing resources and cached content with low latency to its customers along with a colocation environment and a multitude of connectivity options. Enterprises hosted inside an Edge Data Center, can not only gain access to multiple Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) via a Cloud Exchange hosted inside the same data center, but also have access to various other multiple network connectivity providers including—Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Carriers, Content Distribution Network (CDNs), Software-Defined Network (SDNs), Internet Exchange Providers (IXPs), and Content Providers.

You have introduced a concept called Enterprise Edge Node, Please elaborate.

Historically Edge Data Centers were a critical element of a service provider (Cloud, Content, CDN, Telco, and ISP’s) IT and network architectures allowing them to interconnect their services and networks with other providers achieving higher resiliency, efficiency, security, and lower latencies. As Enterprises move toward outsourcing their IT to cloud the edge datacenter now plays an equally critical role for them also. Enterprises can now deploy in their nodes 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 the company operating the data center. Such network nodes are known as “Enterprise Edge Nodes”. An Enterprise Edge Node that is hosted in a connectivity-rich and carrier-neutral Edge Data Center typically comprises networking equipment owned and operated by the Enterprise customer in a colocation environment. The customer has 24×7 access to their infrastructure deployed in that data center, in this case, an Edge Data Center; where their Enterprise Edge Node is co-located.

How can enterprises in India benefit from Enterprise Edge Nodes?

The value proposition of an Edge Data Center is directly proportionate to the density of networks and cloud service providers present in the data center and can offer a multitude of connectivity and service options to the Enterprise customers. GPX is a highly reliable Edge Data Center that is not only carrier-neutral but also hosts eight of the largest global Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) and offers private, secure, low latency connectivity to the CSPs allowing enterprises to bypass the public internet which is less secure and has higher latency. This allows Enterprises the unique opportunity to easily build secure and scalable hybrid cloud architectures enabling their migration to the cloud.

An Enterprise Edge Node co-located at GPX can connect to one or more carriers and implement a highly reliable, scalable, and a secure network interconnecting their on-prem infrastructure to their infrastructure co-located in GPX. In the same GPX campus, there are nodes of multiple Cloud Service Providers (CSPs), 12 Telcos, and 130+ ISP’s. Enterprise Edge Node can establish dedicated private connectivity to cloud providers who offer direct connectivity services (i.e. AWS Direct Connect, Oracle FastConnect, and Google Dedicated  Interconnection, Oracle FastConnect etc.). GPX also offers a cloud exchange, which is a fully GPX managed solution, offering connectivity to multiple Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) hosted inside GPX data center campus. A big differentiator for GPX Open Cloud Exchange is that it is not dependent on any other data center or network carrier as the cloud exchange and the CSPs are in the same data center campus where the Enterprise Edge Node is co-located, offering high reliability and scalability benefits to our Enterprise customers. The Enterprise Edge Node forms the basis of a vital connectivity platform for the enterprise to develop secure, reliable, and scalable private, public, and hybrid cloud architectures.

GPX connectivity-rich Interconnection Ecosystem hosts multiple  CDNs, ISPs, and Carriers inside the data center campus. Therefore Enterprise Edge Nodes co-located in GPX data center campus have the unique opportunity to build their network architecture utilising the GPX Ecosystem which includes 4 Internet Exchanges, 12 Telcos, 130+ ISPs, the largest global Content Providers (OTTs), and GPX’s Cloud Exchange. This becomes a vital building block of any enterprise’s IT and business strategy.

You launched Cloud Exchange recently, How will cloud exchange transform the digital infrastructure of the nation?

If we see the global trends, the number of customers using direct connection to the cloud instead of the internet has been growing.  While we are seeing growth in the workload migration to cloud, the recent trend among cloud users in India is to adopt multiple cloud strategies instead of utilising just one cloud provider. This allows an Enterprise to leverage the varied strengths of each Cloud Service Provider (CSP). This has encouraged us to launch GPX Open Cloud Exchange.

GPX Open Cloud Exchange solution is a multi-homing solution which is a fully GPX managed solution, offering connectivity to multiple Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) hosted inside GPX Mumbai data center campus. Enterprise customers’ network edge nodes (‘Enterprise Edge Node’) co-located at the same GPX Mumbai data center campus can connect to multiple CSPs through a common and neutral switching architecture owned and operated by GPX. The CSPs’ edge nodes are deployed inside the GPX data center enabling GPX to offer highly reliable, flexible, and scalable ways to connect to CSPs. The GPX Cloud Exchange allows Enterprise customers an easy migration from on-prem computing to the cloud and as an Enterprise’s cloud usage grows they also have the option of continuing to use the GPX Cloud Exchange or use GPX’s cross-connects to directly connect to the CSP routers at GPX data center. Thus GPX provides a clear and unique roadmap for growth in future for enterprises, which other data centers and cloud exchange providers cannot claim.

What are the future plans of GPX in terms of expansion and growth?

GPX has India’s most comprehensive content, carrier and cloud-rich interconnection Ecosystem that has been built over the last over 7 years. This ecosystem does not exist in any other data center and thus is a big factor for greater efficiency and improved user experience leading to the growth of the internet and cloud services adoption in India. The model provides access to multiple cloud providers, allowing customers to choose a mix of Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) to achieve the most advanced, efficient, and competitively priced cloud partners for their business needs. GPX’s 2nd data center launched in December 2019, which can support 16MW capacity, has the required space to support the growth in demand from enterprise customers, who want to migrate their IT set-up from on-prem to GPX data center campus for better manageability. We will continue to expand within Mumbai and the rest of the country, so that customers get the benefit of our Tier4 data center facilities for co-location and our Interconnection Ecosystem for establishing their Enterprise Edge Node within the GPX data center campus.

Post the initial launch of Open Cloud Exchange, GPX will also continue to roll-out new features and functionality for the GPX Open Cloud Exchange service offering. GPX will continue to work with additional CSPs and provide increased options for customers to establish a direct private connection to the CSPs—whether it is via GPX Direct Cloud Connect service or via GPX Open Cloud Exchange service. Additionally, we will continue to announce additional Cloud Value-Added Services for our customers.