India is growing at a fast pace in terms of technological evolution. Specifically, in the case of data centers and data parks, the country is most likely to become a vibrant hub in the near future. Last year in July, the Adani group said it would invest up to Rs 70,000 crore to set up solar-powered data parks in Andhra Pradesh. This was followed by real estate major Hiranandani Group announcing a Rs 14,000 crore investment plan, and Reliance Industries partnering with Microsoft to provide cloud services to small and medium enterprises.
In October 2019, incumbent Oracle announced the launch of its Gen 2 Cloud region in Mumbai, with another planned in Hyderabad. ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC), which has a capacity of 70 MW spread over 2.14 million square feet, plans to double this soon and grow further to 200 MW over 4 million sq ft, within three years.
“In terms of growth in data, India is outpacing even the developed world. More data means more data centers, which are growing at almost 25% CAGR. To meet this growing need, existing and new providers are building new capacities across India,” said Sumit Mukhija, CEO, STT GDC India, a joint venture between Singapore’s STT and Tata Communications.
Moreover, the recent Union budget proposal by the Indian Finance Minister, Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman to introduce a policy to enable the private sector to build Data Centre parks throughout the country will play a key role in shaping India as the World’s Data Center Hub. Today, India’s data center footprint is estimated at 11 million square feet. It is likely to grow to 30 million square feet by 2030 and could perhaps cross 100 million by 2060 comprising 5,000 edge data centers across the country.
The growth requires to be powered by a unique policy on data center parks. The Indian Government should encourage the private sector to establish data center parks in major metros preferably or the secondary metros, while there should be thrust on the creation of edge data centers in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities to citizen technology inclusiveness in the country.
The Data Center policy could consider initiatives such as:
* Subsidized land acquisition cost for large hyper-scale data center parks
* Dual-power grid network to ensure seamless electricity supply
* Ensure zero power cuts for data center parks
* Subsidized power/fuel prices
* Internet Subsidy and reimbursements
* Robust and highly redundant multi-path optic fiber connectivity
* Incentives for the adoption of clean energy in the form of solar and wind farms in lieu of conventional sources of energy
* Permission for round-the-clock (24X7) operations with women to be allowed to work in night shifts
* Data Center parks to be treated as essential services
Understanding the importance of good digital infrastructure in powering national growth, the government proposed policy would encourage the private sector to build data center parts throughout the country. While the demand was already high, this could just be the trigger to unleash a fresh wave of foreign investments in data centers in the country.