India may emerge as data hub for nearby countries: Gartner

November 20th, 2008 - 2:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Nov 20 (IANS) With India’s data storage capacity expected to double by 2012, it may emerge as the data centre hub for nearby markets such as West Asia, east Africa and southeast Asia, according to a research report prepared by global information technology (IT) market tracker Gartner Inc.India’s total data centre capacity, including both captive and hosted, will grow 31 percent from 1.337 million square feet in 2007 to 5.143 million square feet by 2012, Gartner said in a media release here Wednesday.

“The data centre industry in India is expected to double its capacity in the next two years, and captive and hosted data centre capacities will grow at comparable rates,” the statement said.

“In the long term, India has the potential to become a hub for data centre hosting for nearby markets such as Middle East, east Africa and southeast Asia,” the statement said, adding: “There is enough capacity and diversity of network connectivity to these regions to allow applications to be managed out of India.”

“There has been a significant increase in storage demand in India, growing from one petabyte in 2001 to more than 34 petabytes by 2007, thereby increasing the data centre uptake in companies,” the statement said quoting the author of the research report, Nareshchandra Singh, principal research analyst at Gartner. (Petabyte is a unit of information or computer storage.)

“The potential for Indian data centres is large with the external-controller-based (ECB) market expected to grow by more than 22 percent in 2008, making India the fourth largest market for ECB storage in the Asia-Pacific region,” Singh said.

Data centre growth will be driven by increasing domestic requirements from sectors such as financial institutions, telecom operators, manufacturing and services, the statement added.

While large financial institutions and telecom companies are likely to build data centres for hosting their growing data storage needs, data centre hosting providers will also put significant investments into growing their capacities to fulfil demand arising from small and midsize users.

Consequently, Gartner predicts that captive data centre capacity will increase to 2.571 million square feet by 2012 showing compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29 percent.

The hosted data centre capacity will grow 33 percent CAGR to 2.573 million square feet by that time taking the total capacity to 5.143 million square feet.

Gartner made these forecasts considering only facilities with gross space capacity of and over 1,000 square feet. Additionally, the captive data centres include those being outsourced to system integrators (SIs).

The development of data centres in India, however, faces a few obstacles, including security concerns and data retention worries, the statement said.

Also, according to Singh, “the biggest challenge” is the lack of energy supplies in the country.

Gartner recommended that Indian companies building data centres incorporate innovative designs and adopt the concept of Green IT and virtualisation technologies.

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