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India’s Biggest Hyperscale Data Centre

  • 01 Nov 2022
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: 5G, Yotta D1, NIC, e-Governance

For Mains: Need for a National Data Centre Policy, Role of Data Centres in e-Governance.

Why in News?

While inaugurating north India’s first hyperscale data centre ‘Yotta D1’, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh explained that the state achieved the target of installing 250 MW of storage capacity with an investment of Rs 20,000 crore within a year of launching its data centre policy.

What is Yotta D1?

  • About:
    • Yotta D1, built at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore, is the country’s biggest and UP’s first data centre.
      • It is spread over an area of 3 lakh square feet at the upcoming Data Centre Park in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
  • Significance:
    • The data centre will increase data storage capacity of the country, which until now stood at 2% only despite the fact that 20% of the world’s data is consumed by Indians.
    • It is also expected to increase Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) significantly while creating new avenues for investment and huge employment opportunities.
    • Yotta D1 features Internet peering exchanges and direct fibre connectivity to and from global cloud operators, making it extremely useful for global connectivity.
      • Yotta D-1 will be the first pillar of North India's 5G revolution.
    • India's data analytics industry is estimated to reach more than $16 billion by 2025. Therefore, paying special attention to promoting investment in data centre infrastructure is a step in the right diretion.
    • The presence of a data park would allow big companies like Google and Twitter to have a data centre for hosting, processing and storing data.
      • With 5G and edge data centres rolled out from this centre, consumers will get easy access to videos and banking facilities at a fast pace.

What is the Growth Story of India’s Data Industry?

  • Impact of Covid-19:
    • The current size of the India data centre industry is ~USD 5.6 billion and the unprecedented Covid-19 crisis propelled the data centre business providing an unexpected tailwind.
    • Technology adoption and digitization across the sectors were fast-tracked globally and India also leap-frogged at least a decade in the past couple of years.
    • The lockdown and subsequent restrictions became a massive catalyst for digitisation across the sectors like banking, education, and shopping etc.
      • This led to increased use of data consumption and internet bandwidth across the country.
  • NIC Data Centres:
    • The National Informatics Centre (NIC) has set up state-of-the-art National Data Centres (NDCs) at NIC Headquarters in Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad and Bhubaneswar and 37 small Data Centres at various State Capitals.
      • The first Data Centre was launched in Hyderabad in 2008.
    • These NDCs form the core of e-Governance Infrastructure in India by providing services to various e-Governance initiatives undertaken by the Government of India.
    • The foundation stone of the first NDC for North Eastern Region (NEDC) was laid by in Guwahati, Assam in February 2021.
  • Present and Upcoming Data Centres:
    • Currently, there are about 138 data centres (DCs) across India with at least 57% of the current IT capacity being in Mumbai & Chennai.
      • The primary colocation data centre area in India is Mumbai with its location facing the west coast making it well connected to the Middle East and Europe due to multiple submarine cables landing there.
    • The Indian DC industry’s capacity is expected to witness a five-fold increase involving investments of Rs 1.05 -1.20 lakh crore in the next five years.
      • Over 45 more data centres are planned to come up in India by the end of year 2025.
      • In terms of IT capacity (nearly 1,015 MW), over 69% of this planned new supply will come up in Mumbai and Chennai, with 51% in Mumbai alone.
      • There is additional potential of nearly 2,688 MW of future unplanned supply in India.
  • Legal Provisions for Data Centres:
    • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology plans to introduce a National Policy Framework for Data Centre soon under which it plans to offer incentives worth up to Rs 15,000 crore.
    • However, some states like Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha have their own State Data Centre Policies.

Way Forward

  • India is poised to create up to $1 trillion of economic value from the digital economy by 2025, and North India is already a preferred destination for Fortune 500 companies.
    • Recognising the region's potential and underserved data centre demand, continued investments in data centres will lay a robust foundation for the Digital India growth story.
  • Companies, worldwide, are relooking where they would like to relocate and where do they want to manufacture, distribute and set up their database and technology facilities.
    • Data centres are currently a fulcrum for a lot of the decision-making, especially in Asia Pacific and in India.
    • India has potential for establishing new projects, however, this capacity must be judiciously released into the market to ensure price stability.
  • For India to become one of the major hubs of data centres, there is a need to bring down power costs as electricity is one of the major costs of running a data centre.
    • It is also of great importance to ensure that such DCs use as much renewable energy as possible.

Source: IE

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