New laws may help India boost data centre capacity: Intel


Last week, semiconductor giant Intel signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Gurugram-based contract manufacturer VVDN Technologies. The deal will see Intel supply its reference designs and chips to VVDN to locally manufacture 5G radios for the telecom sector, connected sensors for the manufacturing sector, cameras for smart surveillance, and more. This, according to Santhosh Viswanathan, managing director, sales and marketing at Intel India, is an early sign of the potential that India holds in the enterprise segment for technology suppliers such as Intel.

“Building data centre capacity in India is a key aspect of the enterprise business that we have to start thinking about. There are 800 million people in India who are on the internet, and this is leading to a massive amount of data being generated from all across the market. But, India still has less than 2% of the world’s data centre capacity. This presents a huge opportunity,” said Viswanathan, who succeeded Prakash Mallya in January.

Demand for data centres is growing in India. According to a 27 September report by commercial real estate firm JLL India, increasing data usage in financial services, entertainment and retail domains, coupled with a rise in the number of cloud service providers, is expected to grow India’s realized data centre capacity to 1318MW (megawatt) by 2024.

According to Viswanathan, the growth of this capacity could be key to India playing a more vital business role for companies such as Intel — and the adoption of adequate policies in this regard could be key.

“Some of the legislative efforts, such as the Data Protection Bill, will help build a demand to localize the data. This creates a big opportunity for data centre growth, and for India to grow bigger than 2% of the world’s capacity,” he said.

India withdrew the Data Protection Bill in August and is planning to come up with a new law soon. The new legislation is expected to offer a holistic overview of regulating technology usage in India, including how data could be localized in the country.

Viswanathan also said that India already has the ‘mass’ of data, a key indicator for rising demand of the data centre sector. This puts India at an advantageous position in comparison to other countries with greater data centre capacities, but lesser data density.

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