Nikhil Rathi, President & CEO charts out Web-Werks sojourn in Maharashtra till now, the marquee customers they host and lays out the roadmap ahead with new datacenters across India.
What sort of data center infrastructure does Web-Werks have in India?
Web-Werks is a bedroom start-up which we started way back 23 years ago. We got our own datacenter facility in Mumbai, and the second facility in Pune. We are launching the third one in Noida which has just gone live. In the last 12 months, we added on number of customers in Mumbai. We are one of the best-connected facilities, especially if you look at the Cloudscene reports for the last 2 quarters.
These are all Tier III facilities. Mumbai is right now at 30,000 sq. ft and Noida has the potential to be roughly about 100,000 sq. ft, Pune has 30,000sq.ft as well and we have got plans to add more.
What according to you were the reasons for Cloudsecene’s positive ratings for Web-Werks?
We have added a number of networks which has basically taken us to number 5 on the Cloudscene leader board for the best location to be in, in terms of networks density. There are 5 types of customers that fill up a data center- cloud content carrier, government enterprise, starts ups & SMEs .The first variety of the 3C’s, cloud content carrier can only operate in the presence of an Internet Exchange within the facility as they want lower cost of connectivity and to be directly connected to the networks. 168 networks around India are connected into our location and this is collaborated by PeeringDB as well as cloud base.
The easier part of the business is getting enterprise clients..If you are Tier III facility, uptime certified, it is easy to get the enterprise and others coming, but what stands out about Web-Werks is that we are the Internet, which acts as a focal point for anybody who wishes to jump on the net. There are 2 types of traffic, one is IP Transit and the other is peering. Peering is like what you get over exchange fabric: everybody connects internally and then your traffic smoothly moves out to the other network. In simple terms, we have got an internal Internet Exchange in our location in Mumbai, Pune has been near disaster recovery site for us. Both the Rabale (Navi Mumbai) and Noida Web Werks data centers built and designed by IBM have very deep service line ranging from co-location, to cloud, to managed services.
In terms of contribution to the overall revenue of WebWers, what would be the proportion of co-location clients, manages services clients and cloud services clients?
Basically about 25 % of our business comes from co-lo because we have been primarily a regional player till now only based in Mumbai and Pune. The rest comes from all value-added services added to it. Fundamentally, that already has co-lo component in it like, bare metal cloud which is dedicated servers. This cloud has a component of co-lo and is located in data center in physical racks. Having said that they are all are related services and managed services are part of the entire gamut because if you do not give managed services to Indian customers then why would they come to a data center anyway? They would not just come for power and cooling purposes so managed services is part of the entire datacenter foray. However, what makes us stand apart is that people are just a hop away from 168 networks located inside the facility as well as the exchange connectivity which we already have. That also allows us to give direct connections into the cloud whenever clients want.
Beyond enterprise, what are the facilities offered to government clients?
We are one of the ten datacentres empanelled with the government MeitY cloud. We were one of the original six or seven people who were there. However, re-certification has happened and we are still empanelled with the government. We can basically host government cloud in our locations. In the government we can provide public cloud which is standard cloud of range. We can offer them private cloud and we also have a subset which is basically a domain community cloud which is like an isolated set up which only host government data.
Are the smart city infrastructures already there in this isolated kind of hosted set up?
We actually have one smart city via a third party vendor. I believe there was some smart city content in our location and we also have banks and others hosted inside. When we talk about government community cloud that does not mean that smart city has to go over there. If a Government department is very concerned that they want to keep their data specifically on government cloud cluster then they can elect to choose us and deploy and that has been a new addition initiated in the last 12 months. In lieu of the public cloud, government community cloud has now isolated themselves on to their own infrastructure where only government clients and no private retail enterprise clients are hosted which gives it its own security advantage.
What are the plans to expand beyond Noida and set up in other locations?
Yes, we have actually planned a 10MW facility in Bangalore and a 10-20MW facility in Chennai which is a landing station. We also have plans for a 10MW Hyderabad, 20MW in Mumbai all in the next 24 months. We have also planned a 2 MW in Kolkata to serve East and seven sisters of North East and Bangladesh. We have visibility on customer demand .We have always been a regional player and a Maharashtra centric company till now. Since we are debt free, bootstrapped, self-funded with no initial investors, we grow only that fast but the plans are on to make sure that we are able to expand to locations with our own internal accruals.
Does that mean most of your customers have been Maharashtra and Mumbai centric until now?
Technically yes, but people use our Mumbai facility for disaster recovery. Now that the Noida facility is live, it allows us to get regional customers from Delhi or NCR who can then do a disaster recovery play in Mumbai or a customer who wanted Delhi-NCR from us but we never had on the offering can now look at us.-There is customer which needs a Delhi NCR, unlike before we will now be able to fulfil that with this new data center. That same customer if he is in Bangalore, let’s say a bank or a content provider, as soon as Bangalore data center is up we become a provider choice for them. Our idea is to take our current expertise and expand into all of these locations while making sure that all of this location became hot for our existing customers and we are able to target regional markets.
As you mentioned, many of the customers use your facility as a DR. Does that mean cross selling and upselling would also be popular with the new location?
Absolutely. As new locations start to roll out the upsell & cross-sell increase dramatically Traditionally with 30,000 sq./ft in Mumbai we are not catering to wholesale and hyperscale. Wholesale is about 500KW and hyperscale is about 1MW and above and we have not been able to cater to those customers till now. Now with Noida, that is our first endeavour to ensure that at least in the North this could be achieved. Hence, we bought our own land, we own that land we built our own building, now we are building further core and shells so that it allows us to sell into these wholesale and hyperscale customers. So far we have always been a retail datacenter player.
In Noida what are the targets plans in terms of number of customers? What is the overall business plan to focus on this facility?
Noida, Gurgaon and Delhi are IT hubs and the way we look at it is, it is an underserved market because there are not many data center players. Frankly, Mumbai has a bulk of facilities today — out of 400MW all over India 218MW are currently in Mumbai. Delhi on the other hand is probably 20MW or 30MW max. So it is an underserved market, there is demand but it does not have as many players as you have in Mumbai and barely any hyperscale players. All the data centers are about 4MW or2MW there are not many large facilities in NCR; this allows us to also cater to customers and makes us an national player.
So, for customers asking for another seismic zone, disaster recovery or backup we can actually offer that to them something we could not do only with Mumbai and Pune. As I said, national play is now possible, so even a Bangalore customer can be turned up, he can have primary in Mumbai, secondary in Delhi, those options are now open, so we see lots of new customers that we can actually add. The facility itself is actually going to be Uptime Tier III certified, it already has the Uptime Tier III design, and its again built and designed by IBM. It is very strategically located in Noida where we have all the telcos right outside our door and we already have major telcos inside. We are also SAP certified, SAP cloud, SAP infrastructure, SAP hosting certified and that capability now allows SAP customers to choose our data centers as their first preference.
We have Vodafone inside, Tata Comm inside, Tata Tele inside, Airtel inside and we have Jio just building out and RCOM in the process of building out. All of these guys are built out into these facilities or rather they established their fibre into the facility because this plot is so strategically located at we have all carriers outside our door and we just have to extend the fibre so that is the beauty of the location and we were able to take advantage day one.
Coming back to the existing facilities which are some of the biggest customers even if they are Maharashtra centric?
We have with us Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation in the government sector. We have certain payments gateways from Yes Bank, hosted in our location. There is a third party Hindustan petroleum hosted too and we got Maharashtra Knowledge corporation and the local state board hosted in our facility. In terms of cloud content carrier, we have IMO instant messenger, Express VPN which is one of the world’ss largest VPN providers, as well as the likes of content providers like AKAMAI. We were also the first location for NETFLIX to host their shows in India.
What about growing inorganically through partnerships? Recently there was one partnership with Plesk. Can talk about that and similar partnerships?
Plesk is the industrial leadership for Windows management. Partnership with Plesk allows us to deploy their ODIN platform straight into the equipment of the customer and then the customer can install, play with or do whatever that they want, open stack, open development environment and deploy on that their ITIL with just click of a button. Plus, they can manage their server and the hosting part every easily .
We have another partnership Acronis. Acronis is one of the leading companies for cloud based back up recovery. We partnered with them to provide customers with backups for their critical infrastructures. Let’s assume you’ve got a CEO who has a laptop and it crashes, if its backed up with Acronis your data is backed up, you can login into panel, press the play button and your laptop screen will be live over there with whatever last backup that you had. It streams backups automatically every hour to hour depending on your connectivity.