The data center industry in India is booming. According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the Indian data center market is estimated to reach USD 1.5 billion by 2022 from USD 1.0 billion in 2018, growing at a rate of 11.4% during the period. The mushrooming of data centers in India can be attributed to the rise in internet penetration coupled with the advancements in cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Unfortunately, the data centers in India have failed to keep pace with the burgeoning demand for data storage, processing and management. Their inability to operate at optimal efficiency hampers the quality of their service and also wastes precious resources.
So, what are the key challenges faced by the data centers in India?
Let us deep dive and find out.
1) Ineffective Monitoring of Assets
A data center houses several assets: applications, connecting cables, storage units, cooling systems and so on. With so many complex systems working simultaneously, it becomes cumbersome for data center managers and operators to monitor and report the key performance metrics in near real-time.
Real-time metrics offer insights into data center operations allowing the personnel to act immediately and take well-informed decisions.
In the absence of real-time reporting, data center operators take manual readings. A manual reading taken a few days back does not hold much relevance for a data center where workload, consumption and temperature fluctuate widely every couple of hours.
2) Excessive Energy Consumption
Data centers have constantly been under the scanner for being energy hogs. Data centers by design consume a vast amount of energy in a wasteful manner. According to an estimation, data centers waste nearly 90% of the electricity they pull off the grid.
Worldwide, data centers consume 2% of the electricity produced and emit as much carbon dioxide as the airline industry. With data traffic doubling every four years, the situation can reach unmanageable levels soon. Data centers need to implement drastic measures to bring down energy consumption to acceptable levels and do their bit in reducing carbon footprint.
3) Inefficient Capacity Planning
Most data centers in India have no system to determine if their assets are running at full capacity. Data center managers tend to over-provision resources in order to avoid any delay or unscheduled downtime. While such an approach does ensure a higher uptime and availability, it also leads to wastage of a significant amount of resources in the form of unused space, electricity and cooling power.
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4) Poor Staff Productivity
In many data centers, manual reporting systems are used. These systems require the staff to spend a great deal of time logging activities into spreadsheets. Such tasks hamper the productivity of data center operators and prevent them from focusing on other vital aspects of data center management.
Replacing traditionally used manual systems with automated systems can help data center personnel work with higher efficiency. They can spend time on strategic decision-making and improving their offerings.
5) Long Recovery Periods
Most of the data centers in India do not have requisite tools to get information on how the assets in a network are connected and where these assets are located. As a result, whenever there is a downtime, the data center operators take a lot of time in identifying and fixing problems. Such long recovery periods can be detrimental to the long-term growth of data centers.
6) Growing Security Concerns
Data centers in India store, manage and process massive chunks of data. Being a trove of valuable enterprise information, data center facilities are vulnerable to security risks. One of the biggest threats comes from people-this can be from their own employees, third-party users accessing the network or privileged users such as IT admins.
Data centers often overlook the physical security of their IT assets. Servers or hard drives no longer in use often lie idle and, if not sanitized properly, can lead to leakage of valuable information.
In addition to this, advancements in IoT technology bring more devices and connections in the data center network creating new, unforeseen challenges for managers.
The Bottom Line
With the proliferation of digital devices and high-speed networks, the growth of data centers in India will continue unabated. This will exacerbate the aforementioned challenges, and possibly, bring newer ones to the fore. Data centers need to act well in time to prevent these from overstraining their resources.
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