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Should data centres developers take on operations?

August 2019
The Hiranandani Group acquired significant data centre construction experience in building data centres for NTT, says Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, Founder & Managing Director, Hiranandani Group. And now, the Hiranandani Group has forayed into data centre parks with a new business venture, Yotta Infrastructure, to design, build and operate 11 large-scale, hyper-density, Uptime Institute-certified Tier-4 data centres in Panvel, Chennai and Mumbai. To plug the gap in its data centre operational skills, the Group has brought in Sunil Gupta as Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer. “Gupta is known as India’s data centre man with 27 years’ experience in data and a proven track record of building 15+ hyperscale, hyper-density data centres,” adds Hiranandani.

That is not all.

“Importantly, the Group has in-house power resources, which are critical as power accounts for 30 per cent of the operational cost of a data centre,” says Hiranandani. “Cost efficiencies are critical to achieve our aim of making Yotta the provider of the cheapest data storage infrastructure per GB in the world.”

TUCO, a Hiranandani Group power distribution business, shall provide competitive and reliable power supply to the Yotta Data Centre Park at Panvel. Another group entity, H-Energy, in the oil and gas vertical, will be leveraged for gas as the energy source for the self-generation of power. The group is also building a captive 40-mw solar power plant that will power the first data centre in Panvel.

The target clientele for developers such as the Hiranandani Group who have decided to build and operate data centres would be Cloud service providers who would prefer to use the services of an existing data centre, rather than get their own built.

“We prefer to host our operations in Tier-III or Tier-IV TIA and ISO-certified data centres in cities like Mumbai, which have a great potential for emerging business,” says K Ashwin Kumar, Director, Linode Data Centre Operations India. “Moving into an existing facility with our servers, network gear and other hardware is faster and comparatively inexpensive. Also, it is easier to expand to a new data centre location as the market evolves.”

  According to Kumar, data centres providers in areas such as Powai and Navi Mumbai are considerably expanding their infrastructure in a 5-15 km radius of their existing data centres.

For developers that have successfully established a data centre business, there is always the possibility of selling out to an overseas provider looking at entering the country. Players such as Singapore Telemedia Technologies and NTT entered India through acquisitions. Obviously, that modus operandi gives the data centre provider immediate access to physical infrastructure and can cut short the time to operations. However, “an acquisition is subject to finding the right asset at the right price,” says Praveen Nair, Sales Director, Bridge Data Centres.

  CHARU BAHRI