Software defined networking (SDN) is the new trend in datacenters across the world, says Sunanda Das, managing director for Pacnet India. SDN has the potential to fundamentally change the way data centers are built and managed. With SDN, network administrators can handle network changes via a software interface. Instead of taking hours, or days, to set up a network connection, SDN can do it in minutes.
“When customers can reroute their server loads between racks, or between actual data centers, data center operators like us can’t predict where our customers will be running their compute cycles,” Das added. “With SDN, we are able to handle much more dynamic loads, particularly from a thermal management perspective.”
Pacnet recently launched Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN), powered by the company’s innovative Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) model, to deliver scalable bandwidth and software-enabled intelligence, Das said. This new platform allows enterprise customers to dynamically provision bandwidth in minutes, based on their business needs. PEN users are able to create a virtualized cross-connected environment leveraging Pacnet’s wholly-owned network of data centers and telecommunications infrastructure for unrivalled coverage of financial and business centers across Asia-Pacific.
With PEN, enterprises can turn up 1,000 servers on a cloud provider’s platform in minutes, and yet connect those servers in a reliable, secure, and scalable fashion on an Enterprise class platform.
Data center operators are faced with a number of challenges, according to Das. Identifying an accessible location with reliable power supply and network infrastructure is always a key challenge for data center operators, especially in highly dense markets like Hong Kong and Singapore. This leads to high land price and increase the operational costs of data centers.
As enterprises continue to rapidly embrace cloud computing to meet their business needs, the increasing volume and complexity of data traffic place severe strains on networks that are based on traditional hierarchical architectures.
Data protection and regulation is another area that data center operators have to consider when expanding their footprint. Some countries like Australia and Singapore have regulations that restrict companies from housing their data in data centers operated by foreign companies. This will hinder the business growth in those markets.
In India, ensuring network stability and connectivity is a challenge given the lack of reliable infrastructure which is a key challenge in growing business in the data center space, Das said.
“In terms of the data center market, we continue to see the trend of enterprises based in India expanding into international markets, especially into the Asia-Pacific Region, as well as companies based in the United States, Europe, and Asia-Pacific with needs to connect their locations in India.”
In addition, the Indian government is aggressively implementing ICT programs, hence we believe the demand for data center and other ICT services will grow continuously.
With the exponential growth of IP traffic and data driven by the increasing trends of cloud computing, mobility, video, social media and big data, businesses in all industries are increasingly outsourcing their datacenters. We see more and more demands from Business Process Outsourcing, Trading and Financial services, IT and ITES, digital commerce and manufacturing companies.
In terms of company size, large enterprises looking to expand their businesses in other parts of the region and established MNCs with operations in India will be particularly interested in our services. Carriers in India also rely on us to provide robust telecommunications and data center services in the market.
Pacnet currently operates over 300,000 square feet of data center space across 14 cities in major markets including Australia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan. This year, the company was awarded IDC License by the MIIT in October to provide data center network services in Chongqing China, expanded the data center in Sydney in June, launched the Chongqing data center and announced plan to build data center in Singapore in March.
In India, Pacnet announced enhancements to its Points of Presence (PoPs) in Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, and New Delhi in July 2013, enabling the delivery of our full suite of high-speed international connectivity solutions to Enterprise and Carrier customers in India. The company also plans to enable 10 data centers with the PEN service by the first quarter of 2014. This will allow us to offer bandwidth-on-demand as a solution with added the benefit of choosing latency and flexibility to customers.
Commenting on the pricing related concerns on data center deployments, Das said many CIOs have realized the importance of innovations to catch up with fast-evolving trends of cloud, mobility, social and big data. They are thinking of ways to reduce IT spending on maintaining their own infrastructure, while leaving more budget for innovations. As a result, companies are increasingly outsourcing their data centers instead of operating their own.
Further cloud computing has been rapidly changing IT architectures around the world, Das said. Enterprises nowadays need a more flexible and easily scalable data center environment to handle the dynamic demand, and they are looking for an on-demand, pay-as-you-use service model.