With Managed Services and Public Cloud signaling a paradigm shift in the Datacenter market, Netmagic is building on the company’s strengths, and the NTT connection to spearhead the evolution with a Multi Hybrid Cloud strategy and Public Cloud partnerships to maintain its leadership position in Indian Enterprise segment.
The Datacenters (DC) in India were comparatively small in size till 2010 and there was no sign of Cloud. Reason being there was no taker of the concept of data and application outsourcing to the third party. There was an inherent fear of data being stolen or lost. However with the rise in internet speed, with falling price of internet, rise in the volume of data along, rise in the real estate cost and better security major, organizations realized that it makes sense to outsource technology to the third party.
Additionally, the Government push towards digitization and initiatives like smart cities meant that storage needs to be skyrocketed. Hence, Hyperscale infrastructures started coming in to India and subsequently the DC market exploded.
Launched in 2008 with its first DC in Mumbai with 60,000 sq. feet in size, Netmagic found its takers growing gradually. In 2012 something miraculous happened for Netmagic as the company got acquired by the Japanese major NTT. With this, the growth of the company quadrupled. Same year (2012), its second datacenter opened up with exactly the double size of the first one.
“Our USP lies in Infrastructure ownership; complete expertise of designing, building, implementing and managing 24X7; and the right skill set and manpower to deliver everything by a service model.”
Executive Director and President Netmagic
(An NTT Communications Company)
The next datacenter launch in Mumbai was a staggering 3 lac sq. feet, bigger than the sum total of all earlier datacenters. “And now within two years, we are launching two more datacenters of 3 lac and 2.5 lac sq. feet with 32Mw and 20Mw power respectively. These are scales which we could not have imagined in 2010,” Sunil explains the phenomenal infrastructure growth.
The growth is attributed to the demand of the global customers who, Sunil observes, are extremely stringent in terms of uptime and security. “Customers today want 100 percent uptime and not 99.99. This means multiple sources of power with multiple backups and a complete automation layer in between.” Another factor has been the drastic change in the way hosting services are now getting consumed. “Other than very large organizations and that too mainly banks taking collocation as a service, ninety percent of the enterprises, which include governments as well, have shifted to managed hosting, public cloud or a combination,” explains Sunil. This has signaled a huge paradigm shift in the datacenter business.
The USP of Netmagic
There are three key elements to Netmagic creating a solid leadership position it the Indian market. Firstly, Netmagic is an infrastructure provider with its own Datacenter buildings. Secondly, they also take care of the system integration part and consulting for the entire value chain. Thirdly, Netmagic’s manpower and resources enables the company to study the customer’s requirements, identify the type of solution needed and then implement. With a workforce made up to 70 percent of engineers and technology personnel, the company makes ensures the value chain of managed services is high. “Our USP lies in the combination of these three capabilities: Infrastructure ownership; complete expertise of designing, building, implementing and managing 24X7; and the right skill set and manpower to deliver everything by a service model.,” opines Sunil.
The Business Differentiators and Go-to Market Strategy
Despite having its biggest customers in colocation, 60% of Netmagic’s overall business comes from managed services. This needed a shift of focus and resources towards the managed services business. Sunil explains, “Technology landscape at the Enterprise customer has grown with multiple applications and tools spread across different vendors. To serve the entire market essentially requires the in depth knowledge and technical skill set across all these tools and technologies. We have almost 700 engineers just to deliver managed services to our customers. Large scale critical deployments of some of the largest upcoming banks like the RBL and AU Bank have taken our entire portfolio of managed services.”
Another key differentiator is Netmagic’s go-to market strategy, which they call the Hybrid IT Multi Cloud strategy. Under this, after assessing the customer’s current IT environment and his future IT aims and concern areas, their team recommends a comprehensive solution which couples Netmagic’s core services like collocation, managed hosting or cloud in accord with customers application needs across large Public Cloud vendors like AWS, Google, Azure or AliBaba. “We brainstorm with the customer, implement the solution and manage it for them,” explains Sunil. Instead of directly competing with large Public Clouds, Netmagic has taken a different route, endorsing their services in a multi cloud strategy. It is worth noting that some of the major Hyperscalers are Netmagic customers with their Clouds using its Datacenters. “They are our business partners too. We have taken this strategy to the market and our existing customers simply love it,” exclaims Sunil.
Another key differentiator for Netmagic has been the Cloud Management Platform (CMP), a joint initiative NTT over two years of R&D. CMP comes as a super orchestration layer of multiple Clouds. “It is basically a cloud broking layer, where through API a customer can connect to AWS, Google, Azure, NTT’s Global Cloud etc. or their private cloud as well,” Sunil explains. The CMP gives the customer a single dashboard for all his workloads running across different clouds instead of managing individual workloads separately by going to native interfaces.
Focus on Security
Security is a crucial factor with any outsourcing decision. In spite of business cases of reduced cost and higher performance the reason why Public cloud took time was the concern of security and compliance. However according to Sunil, this concern most of the times is just a perceived notion rather than a real concern, “Public Cloud providers like Netmagic have a much stronger security stance than possibly a customer can afford in his own environment. For large cloud operators like us dealing with a scale of million customers, our brand name and business depends on security,” Sunil affirms and elaborates further, “Also, when implementing security on such a large scale, the unit cost becomes much less compared to an organization deploying all the security solutions and captive layers in their environment. Each of Netmagic’s Public Cloud, DC or managed hosting layers has their own set of security services right from basic firewalls to preventive services and also customer-centric security like DDoS layers for e-commerce clients.” Netmagic runs a full-fledged SOC out of Mumbai which delivers security services remotely to all its datacenters.
Advice to CIOs
It can be argued that, Cloud is making a number of IT Team tasks redundant in Enterprises. The task of managing a sizable IT infrastructure and all its components used to be a fulltime job requiring a number of IT people. Cloud has taken that aspect out of the equation. It has started the trend of Consumerization in IT. From the organization’s point of view, Infrastructure in a consumption model has a number of positives. As per Sunil, the CIOs role is to form the intelligence layer which can observe and identify the right consumption model. With multiple Cloud vendors and no standardization interoperability of workloads is the main issue CIOs will face going forward with their Cloud strategies. He explains, “Different clouds have different consumption models and after a point, the number of end users is out of the CIOs control. This can result in IT spending going overboard. CIOs need to keep observing offerings of different Cloud providers and understand which Cloud is good for which workload, and how to bring migrations into place, not only from a technical point of view, but also the commercial point of view.” Moving to the Cloud is a gradual journey for CIOs maintaining business continuity at the same time.