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Edge Computing is poised for a Large Growth over the Next Few Years: IDC

Ranganath Sadasiva, Director, Enterprise, IDC India and Rishu Sharma, Cloud and AI Practice Lead, IDC, spoke to Amit Singh on the emanating trends in the data center space and how the cloud is making enterprises to rethink their data center strategy

What is the transformation we are witnessing in the data centers?

Ranganath Sadasiva, Director, Enterprise, IDC India

Ranganath Sadasiva: As digital transformation reaches the next phase, it is compelling data centers (DC) to evolve. A modernized DC has evolved from core DC to cloud environment and is now entering edge DC landscape. The coexistence of different types of DCs and strategies help enterprises achieve the next level of innovation.

Rishu Sharma, IDC
Rishu Sharma, Cloud and AI Practice Lead, IDC

Rishu Sharma: Digital disruption forces enterprises to relook into their DC strategies, and enterprises should not sit idly if they want to survive in this era. Shifting IT infrastructures to public cloud models appears to be the top DC strategy. Workloads are transforming from traditional to next generation and enterprises are largely looking to third-party providers to deploy edge workloads. Solution providers play a significant role in promoting edge computing.

DCs in India have built capacity across the few years and have grown especially in third-party DCs. New workloads and business needs are the key drivers for DC enhancements in India.

How is the increasing cloud adoption benefitting the data center market in India?

Sharma: Enterprises are gradually seeking hybrid IT and multi-cloud operation. Enterprises’ DC operators need to have a holistic view of a modernized DC, one that can support enterprises on a digital transformation journey. The physical DC has been extended from a single location to multiple locations, hybrid cloud and multi-cloud, and virtually and physically.

The majority of technology spending of not only large enterprises but also medium and small enterprises is going towards digital transformation. Data centers are now evolving to take advantage of virtualization, support private cloud, and offer IT-as-a-service to accomplish IT projects faster and more effectively. These data center modernization initiatives include cloud project-oriented services that are being implemented, especially around network consulting and integration and system integration. Data center modernization includes a cloud solution that serves as a backup for data and is driven by the organization’s needs for agility and innovation.

Sadasiva: IaaS is still the largest revenue contributor for service providers and IDC predicts that it will continue to grow, however, SaaS will have a quicker growth rate amongst cloud adopters in India.

How is edge computing affecting the data center market in India? What are the future trends around decentralization of cloud and data center resources?

Sadasiva: IDC predicts that edge computing is poised for a large growth over the next few years with innovative accelerator technologies like IoT, AI, AR, VR, and software-defined leading the adoption. Realizing the value of data and utilization of the same will ensure the growth of edge computing.

Sharma: Edge computing is a pretty new concept in Asia/Pacific. Majority of the organizations in the region do not have an edge strategy as they do not see the value that edge computing brings to the whole organization and marketplace. There is a need to further educate enterprises to speed up the awareness of edge computing. Having said that, no vendor has a strong brand association with edge solution. There is an opportunity for anyone in the marketplace to take the lead.

How do you think India’s move towards data sovereignty laws and regulations would affect the India data center market?

Sharma: Vendors will have to prove their localized data center capabilities along with comprehensive security, which will become a key factor for vendor evaluation and selection. Regulated cross-border transfers are also likely to increase demand for private cloud. Environmental costs related to the running of data centers can also be ignored, especially as India is dealing with power issues, fuel availability along with challenges related to weak infrastructure.

For the customer, this, on the other hand, will result in heightened awareness, along with visibility and transparency in provider’s local data storage. This will result in greater adoption for multi-cloud, as customers will rely on multiple vendors to meet multiple demands including-local disaster recovery and back up and multiple vendors for multiple applications or departments.

What is the adoption all-flash storage is seeing among the data centers in India? How is it likely to grow over the next few years?

Sadasiva: SDS market growth is significantly outpacing enterprise storage growth. Led by HCI, the SDS adoption in India will grow and we expect over two-times exponential growth in CY 2018. Software-defined storage provides cost, agility and management benefits which are of great benefit for data centers and hence we are seeing growth in deployments.

All flash array deployments are driven by performance needs and are typically deployed for demanding workloads in data centers like database and OLTP. The all-flash array adoption will continue to grow replacing traditional SCSI based storage and we see all-flash array growth of over 50 percent for CY2018.

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