Cloud Computing Receives a Boost; BSNL launches Cloud Services with Data Centres at 6 Locations

The advent and acceptability of online services in India has created a huge demand and scope for cloud computing and allied services. As a result, the market has witnessed the emergence and growth of a large number of private payers who offer these services under various heads, such as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service), Cloud Computing, Web Hosting etc. The market which till recently, had been dominated and serviced by private players has now seen the launch of BSNL’s cloud computing solutions.

The state-run telecom company is India’s largest telecommunication service provider and has operations pan-India with more than 120 million consumers and over $7 billion in annual sales. With an aim to service the rapidly expanding market for software and data services, the company has launched its Internet Data Centres (IDC) in six cities. Named as “One Cloud”, the service is a joint venture between BSNL and IT service provider Dimension Data (formally known as Datacraft Asia), whereby, the service will be powered by BSNL and managed by Dimension Data. The partnership has been in place since October 2010 when the service was conceptualized. The data centres will be located in Mumbai, Faridabad, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Ludhiana and Ghaziabad.

Going by their vision, BSNL will offer the entire range of data centre services which include co-location, managed IT, managed host and cloud based services etc. Co-location refers to co-locating customer server or hardware at a BSNL’s Data Centre and paying for rental charges for Bandwidth, racks space and climate control.  BSNL has Tier III uptime certified Data centres with 99.982% guaranteed uptime. The company plans to offer Cloud Services that will include central computing and data storage IT infrastructure accessible through public internet and by dedicated or shared or virtual model.

Speaking on the launch of the service, Mr Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, said, “These IDCs will enhance BSNL’s comprehensive service portfolio to meet the communications and IT needs of large, medium as well as small business enterprises in India. It will facilitate various organisations to quickly induct IT-enabled services without the hassles of setting up and maintaining their own data centres.”

The setting-up of the IDC comes as a boon for businesses, as required and world-class technology infrastructure is not available at an optimum price point, and creating such capabilities in-house is a long and arduous task for a business whose primary focus is not managing tech infrastructure but to simply sell its goods and services in the marketplace. For BSNL, it was a step in the right direction, as the company already has immense knowledge in the telecom domain and also had lot of vacant building space equipped with optical fibre-based reliable bandwidth lying largely unutilised for the past couple of years.

Mr R.K. Upadhyay, Chairman & Managing Director, BSNL, said, “We have already signed contracts with three leading Government organisations for managed hosting and cloud services. We expect to sign more contracts from leading State and Central Government departments as well as several private enterprises shortly.”

The company already faces competition from established players in the market such as Reliance Communications, Tata Communications and Tulip Telecom.

Dimension Data Asia Pacific, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dimension Data plc, operates in over 60 offices across 13 Asia Pacific countries and helps clients plan, build, support, manage, improve and innovate their ICT infrastructures.

According to a report by Cyber Media Research, the data centre service market in India is expected to grow at 23% CAGR over three years to touch Rs 11,800 crore by the end of 2012, while third party Data Centre Services would grow at 34%. The demand will be driven by increasing adoption of technology by enterprises, on the back of falling computing and bandwidth costs, with the business rapidly evolving from a margins driven model to one that is driven by volumes.

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