Sudhir Kunder, Country Director, DE-CIX India

DE-CIX, an interconnection platform, has been enabling fast, resilient and secure connections between networks. As the demand for data centres continues to grow in India, the demand for dependable and fast transmission of data through such a platform is also rising. In an interview with, Sudhir Kunder, country director, DE-CIX India, talks about the role of an interconnection platform the company’s initiatives in the Indian market, key partnerships and future focus areas…

What role do interconnection platforms such as DE-CIX play in the evolving data centre domain?

In the evolving data centre landscape, an interconnection platform enables fast, reliable, resilient, secure and efficient network-content provider interconnection. As the number of data centres grows in In­dia, so does the demand for dependable and fast connections.

DE-CIX, being an interconnection platform, is becoming increasingly im­por­tant in the dynamic data centre landscape. Data can be sent and received bet­ween net­works without the use of costly and frequently congested upstream conn­ections. We connect networks in order to improve communication, content distribution and information sharing, thereby creating a thriving ecosystem.

We have also improved network re­d­un­dancy and resilience. These systems ef­fi­­ciently reroute network traffic during network failures or congestion by locating points of presence (PoPs) for key data centres around the world.

How is DE-CIX enabling growth in India’s data centre domain?

DE-CIX India is a crucial cog in the whe­el of expansion for the Indian data cen­tre industry. DE-CIX India, the lar­gest interconnection platform in the country, has a presence in major metro cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata. DE-CIX India is the only interconnection platform in India to offer a fully secured, high performance connectivity solution for data centres through its internet exch­ange, cloud exchange and Microsoft Azure Peering Service (MAPS), via single access ports.

DE-CIX India provides a neutral and carrier-neutral environment for networks to interconnect and exchange traffic. This allows data centres to boost network performance, decrease latency and improve service quality for their end users. DE-CIX’s presence in India also promotes the growth of a thriving ecosystem that inclu­des internet service providers (ISPs), small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and sm­all and medium businesses (SMBs), allowing for direct interconnection between domestic and global networks. By doing so, we can improve the efficiency of data tra­­ns­fer within India and lessen our re­li­an­ce on international transit links.

To add to that, DE-CIX’s global know­ledge and adoption of best practices in managing the interconnection platform aid in the development of India’s data centre industry. DE-CIX enables India’s data centre industry to develop and mature by encouraging the exchange of information, the cultivation of new skills and the implementation of best practices. When taken as a whole, DE-CIX’s presence and services in India are crucial in accelerating the growth and improvement of data centre infrastructure in the country.

What have been DE-CIX’s key initiatives in the Indian market?

The digital revolution is transforming bu­sinesses and global economics. Digital ca­pa­bilities are transforming automoti­ves/ mobility, healthcare, finance and media. The internet of things, artificial intelligence and 5G technologies are transforming Indian markets.

The company has taken significant initiatives to accelerate India’s digital transformation. As India’s largest interconnection platform, DE-CIX India offers many services such as internet exchange, cloud exchange and MAPS via single access ports. DE-CIX India’s world-class infrastructure interconnection platform connects 61+ content delivery networks (CDNs) from India and South Asian Asso­ciation for Regional Cooperation countries at peak traffic of over 3.2 Tbps.

DE-CIX India has been a trailblazer in several fields. It was the first interconnection platform to provide ISPs, enterprises, SMEs and SMBs with legally compliant services. The platform has established a global standard for uptime, guaranteeing the highest level of dependability. We were the first to implement IRRDB filtering, which is an important measure for im­proving network security. DE-CIX India simplifies customer experience by providing a single access number for all customer touchpoints. Furthermore, it beca­me India’s first interconnection platform to offer 400-GE access technology, de­mons­trating its commitment to staying ah­ead of technological advancements.

“Customer First and Customer Deli­ght” has become as well known as our outstanding offerings. We foresaw the potential for fibre cuts due to the ongoing civil infrastructure development in the Tidel Park Area. To ensure that the 17th PoP at the Sify Tidel Park, Chennai, has constant connectivity, we built infrastructure with four independent fibre optic lines.

Together with the government’s Di­gital India initiative, DE-CIX India’s initiatives are propelling India’s digital transformation, spawning new job opportunities and igniting an entrepreneurial spirit. Demand in the market rose as a direct re­sult of these efforts. Many well-known bu­si­nesses have benefited from DE-CIX’s DirectCLOUD and peering services, in­clu­ding NTPC, Bharat Petroleum Cor­poration Limited, Godfrey Phillips, Pow­er­grid and Udaan.

Over the past 18 months (November 2021 to May 2023), India has seen remarkable growth across a range of verticals. The growth rate in gaming has been as­tou­nding at 1,935 per cent, while the gro­wth rate in over the top (OTT) and video on demand (VOD) has been remarkable at 1,762 per cent. While ISPs and CDNs saw notable increases of 825 per cent and 797 per cent, respectively, social and online media grew by a whopping 946 per cent. In addition, hosting saw a meteoric inc­re­a­se of 444 per cent.

DE-CIX India contributes to the growth and development of the country’s digital ecosystem by providing cutting-ed­ge connectivity solutions.

What are the key partnerships that the company entered into during the past year? Are there any new partnerships in the pipeline?

DE-CIX is well known for its dedication to the development of strategic alliances that further its business goals and contribute to the expansion of its interconnection services.

With the advent of its four internet exchange and cloud exchange nodes, DE-CIX in India has increased its reach to 590+ connected networks. You can find these establishments in the cities of Mum­bai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata.

Lightstorm, AAA Cloud, Yotta NM 1, Tata Teleservices, Powergrid, Airtel Singa­po­re, SLT Mobitel (Sri Lanka), Mango Te­le­­services (Bangladesh), and many more we­re among the networks we partnered wi­th last year to increase our reach. DE-CIX’s connected customers will benefit fr­om these partnerships because they will increa­se connectivity options, broaden net­work co­verage and better the quality of service overall.

As part of our efforts to disseminate knowledge about best practices and en­co­u­rage innovation in the interconnection domain, we are in talks with Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and many prospective partners about expanding their presence in various markets, forming alliances with technology companies and collaborating with industry-specific organisations.

What are the company’s focus areas for the next two-three years?

Latency is the new currency. If latency de­mands continue to evolve at the same rate as innovation in recent years, digital servi­ces and applications will soon require lo­wer latencies. As a result, digital infrastr­ucture will become even more important in the future. These necessities are universal in today’s world.

As the requirement for lower latency increases, it becomes increasingly important to bring interconnection services as close to people and businesses as possible, ev­erywhere. As such, our current interconnection coverage would be compromised, and we would need to increase the number of markets by a factor of two.

To provide everyone with low-latency coverage of everything, we will need significantly more platforms at a much higher density. The next three years will be digital, and DE-CIX is ready for it. To summarise, DE-CIX is and will always be the medium through which digital services are made available to everyone, everywhere.

We are a natural choice for players lo­oking to expand into the edge data centre environment, and we are currently in discussions with multiple organisations looking to expand beyond metros and mi­ni-metros in various parts of India through edge deployment.

Our company’s past, present and futu­re endeavour is “Digital Everywhere, for Everything, and Everyone”. We make in­ter­connection easy anywhere.