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Edge data centres in smaller cities a golden opportunity for India


SUNDAY Special

New Delhi, March 31 : With the global data centre industry evolving significantly over time, within the Indian market, two noticeable trends are emerging – an increasing demand for colocation data centres and the emergence of newer edge data centres.

As data consumption rises in smaller cities, the demand for edge data centres will explode which is a golden ticket opportunity.

According to Jaganathan Chelliah, Senior Director-Marketing, India, Middle East and TIA, Western Digital, these trends highlight the unique demand dynamics within the region.

India currently holds the 13th position globally for the highest number of operational data centres, with 138 in operation, and an additional 45 new facilities expected by the end of 2025.

As a result of the strong government push, the data centre opportunity is growing. For example, the capacity expansion which is expected to cross 1,300 MW by the end of 2024, a significant jump from the current 880 MW.

“Nearly 500 MW of additional capacity is currently already under construction across major cities like Mumbai, Chennai, and Bengaluru. This opportunity also extends beyond metros,” explained Chelliah.

While the demand for data centres is growing, not all organisations are inclined to invest in and manage their own facilities.

“As a result, colocation services are also an impressive alternative,” Chelliah responded.

The colocation market in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16 per cent, nearing a value of $1.4 billion by 2025.

Colocation means renting space for your servers and other computing hardware at a third-party provider’s data centre facility.

In the meantime, the scarcity of a skilled workforce poses a significant hurdle, requiring proficiency in specialised areas like structural design, cooling design, sustainability, edge computing, AIOps, and automation.

“Moreover, India’s ambition to emerge as a global data centre hub underscores the need for robust infrastructure. The uninterrupted supply of electricity is paramount to prevent operational downtime and data loss, necessitating reliable power backup systems and grid stability measures,” Chelliah said.

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