Cloud Computing & SaaS Data Center News

GPX: First DC to Offer an Open Cloud Exchange Service

GPX offers, CARRIER-NEUTRAL, CLOUD-NEUTRAL and IXP-NEUTRAL interconnection ecosystem with 12 Carriers, 130+ ISPs, 8 CSPs of which 3 CSPs offer private direct connection services, 4 Internet Exchange Providers, 9 CDNs, multiple major OTTs and enterprises GPX has built this ecosystem over the last 7yrs.

Covid-19 has changed the way people used to consume data. Today, maximum working population is pushed to their home offices and the consumption of content has grown multiple times. This scenario has enhanced the data consumption and increased the chance of data leak or data breach. Even there have been incidents reported where enterprise data have been hacked via home PCs. And, there is no sign in the abatement of the situation. Event though government has lifted restrictions but people are not able to reconcile.

I remember when the situation of lockdown was forced upon the workers, many of the organizations and the employees were not prepared neither they had proper home setups. There were people who did not have PCs at home and internet too. At the same time, enterprise inhouse DCs were also not ready to accommodate the new normal WFH environment. In helter-skelter many enterprises had to migrate their new workload to the service providers and third party DCs.  

During the lockdown and even now DC service providers come under ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act) and they are able to offer essential services to their clients. So, if an organisation has their servers and other IT infra deployed in a DC, they are assured of continuous power, cooling and round the clock surveillance and maintenance. It also means that in case any maintenance support is needed, the engineers present inside the DC can provide the necessary remote support and take care of the enterprise’ needs without any employee of the Enterprise having to travel during the lockdown.

“DCs like ours handle internet traffic like messengers, video chats, the Netflix and Amazon prime you are watching or YouTube that you are accessing. OTT players cache the content frequently viewed by the viewers. You connect to them through your telecom service provider who has its infrastructure in our DC. Moreover, in a situation like today, due to WFH, so many more employees and partners are logging in remotely and all that translate into need for additional bandwidth,” says Manoj Paul, Managing Director, GPX India. “We are seeing a huge amount of traffic passing through our DC. ISPs are buying new circuits through Internet Exchanges, Enterprises are buying additional bandwidth, Telcos are providing additional bandwidth to connect to OTTs and Cloud Service Providers.”

Increasing bandwidth can be a challenge if only one or two service providers are present in the building of the enterprise. However, in a DC like GPX which has 12 Telecom Service Providers and over 130 ISPs with their fibre infrastructure, an enterprise customer can easily get additional bandwidth of several 10G or even 100G at a competitive price in a matter of few hours.

“GPX Cloud Solutions strengthens GPX’s Interconnection Ecosystem that exists in the GPX Mumbai DC campus.”

Manoj Paul, Managing Director, GPX India

All this requires 24*7 functional support and that has been achieved by implementing a Business Continuity plan to assess which teams and how many people need to be stationed at the DCs. In order to ensure the 24*7 support GPX had arrangements for people, including the security staff, to stay in nearby Hotels so they don’t have to go home every day. It has been challenging though but they have been able to keep the DCs not only functional, but additional resources are available for remote support because many customers were not been able to send their engineers to the DC for fixing minor issues.  

Manoj maintains, “Post Covid-19 also we feel that as far as  digital economy in general and DCs in particular are concerned, things are going to move up, with more enterprises adopting cloud and digital medium to cater to their customers and all this will result into demand for DCs. We are also seeing increasing interest from many more International service providers including content and OTT providers to enter the Indian market. These include some of the video conferencing service providers who at present are catering to India from DC outside India. They see increased traffic and consumption of their services and they feel that they should be now in India and be closer to their end customer.

Customers need to see spend on digital transformation not as a cost but as an opportunity and in some sense a necessity for survival. Digital transformation will actually lead to savings by reducing expenses. For example, online sales would be more effective and efficient than off-line. Work from home and meetings through VC would also help save costs. There will be generation of new revenue streams as companies can leverage the digital platform and reach out to more customers and offer many new services which otherwise would not have been possible; all this at lower costs thus giving higher margins.

The cloud providers are seeing an increased adoption of cloud due to increased workflow on cloud with WFH being the current norm. Content providers like the Google, Amazon, Netflix, etc. are all seeing increase in consumption of their services. Other customer segment is the telecom service providers and ISPs. This COVID situation has actually given them an opportunity to grow. So there is going to be a good adoption of cloud and also adoption of 3rd party services. In spite of the challenges they are facing in terms of spend, they have to focus on adopting a hybrid IT architecture with a mix of a 3rd part DC and cloud for reliability and scalability.

“In a DC like GPX which has 12 Telecom Service Providers and over 130 ISPs with their fibre infrastructure, an enterprise customer can easily get additional bandwidth of several 10G or even 100G at a competitive price in a matter of few hours.”

During Covid-19 lockdown, many organizations realised that their in-house DC are very difficult to maintain in a situation wherein staff was not available in office and could not get to the office for rectification due to travel restrictions. Many buildings also had their centralised ACs switched off to discourage people from coming to work. This meant the servers kept in those buildings had to operate without AC. Moreover, since suddenly several employees were logging in remotely, the internet bandwidth at head office got choked leading to poor performance. This experience would push enterprises, small or large, to move out of their in-house DCs (Server farms) and either migrate to cloud or to the 3rd party DCs like GPX.

Most of the IT folks are worried about IT investment but at the same time they can’t overlook the security part of it. While DCs like GPX today are offering colocation along with cloud proposition, it is basically facilitating the Enterprise to create hybrid IT architecture wherein they are given a secured place to co-locate their servers and at the same time are offered options of multiple cloud adoption for disaster recovery also.

Today if an enterprise does not have a DR or is finding it expensive to maintain a DR, they can always shift or create their DR on cloud. GPX makes the migration hassle free as the cloud service provider is located within our GPX DC.

GPX is the first DC and interconnection provider in India to offer an Open Cloud Exchange service which will enable direct, private and secure connection to multiple Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) hosted inside GPX DC. Enterprises can connect to multiple CSPs via a simple Cross Connect provisioned and managed by GPX, thereby empowering enterprises across India in their journey to the Cloud. Customers co-located at the GPX Mumbai DC campus can leverage this advantage of GPX Cloud Solutions over a secure LAN connection without incurring any bandwidth costs. Customers can bring down their IT cost at the same time making sure they are not compromising on security.

GPX is India’s most successful EDGE DC service provider with 8 International CSPs and several Indian Cloud Providers co-located at the GPX DC with their Edge nodes. For almost all International CSPs, GPX has been the first choice for a PoP in India.

Manoj explains, “GPX Cloud Solutions strengthens GPX’s Interconnection Ecosystem that exists in the GPX Mumbai DC campus. GPX has India’s most comprehensive content, carrier and cloud-rich interconnection Ecosystem that has been built over the last over seven years. GPX offers, CARRIER-NEUTRAL, CLOUD-NEUTRAL and IXP-NEUTRAL interconnection ecosystem with 12 Carriers, 130+ ISPs, 8 CSPs of which 3 CSPs offer private direct connection services, 4 Internet Exchange Providers, 9 CDNs, multiple major OTTs and enterprises GPX has built this ecosystem over the last 7yrs.”

This ecosystem does not exist in any other DC and thus is a big factor for greater efficiency and improved user experience leading to growth of the internet and cloud services adoption in India. The model provides access to multiple cloud providers, allowing customers to choose a mix of Cloud Service providers to achieve the most advanced, efficient, and competitively priced cloud partners for their business needs.

With the presence of edge nodes for AWS, Google Cloud, and Oracle Cloud within the GPX DC and now the Launch of the Cloud Exchange, there will be a big demand from enterprises who would like to set up their own IT Infra at GPX, and connect to CSPs within the DC for their business continuity (DR) on cloud, or shifting various workloads to multiple clouds.

GPX’s new DC launched in December2019, which can support 1400+ racks, has the required capacity to support this growth in demand from enterprise customers, who want to migrate their IT set-up from on-prem to GPX DC campus for better manageability.

In next few years, we are going to see businesses and individuals continuing with increased use of WFH, Video Conferencing, Webinars, on-line learning, digital payments. There will be higher adoption of cloud services and more enterprises would move out from in-house DCs to third party DCs. Enterprises, in their drive to go digital and achieve efficiency at lower costs and to reach out to more customers through the digital channels, would increase their spend on colocation and cloud services.  All these would lead to higher demand of DC colocation services.

The growth in cloud services also means growth in DC business where the CSPs host their servers, “We are seeing a growth in traffic in our DC requiring the CDNs and OTTs to take more space and power and deploy additional hardware to support the growth in consumption of content specially during the COVID lockdowns with restrictions expected to continue even after lockdown is withdrawn,” added Manoj. “We are getting new enquiries from new and existing customers for additional services at our DC. GPX has been offering enterprises the Direct Cloud Connect service for over 4 years now. We have over 60 enterprise customers which includes startups, large payment companies, ecommerce giants, media companies, among others. The number of customers using direct connect to cloud instead of internet has been growing.”

Finally…
GPX’s focus is on Edge DC requirement of customers which is growing rapidly. And with the launch of the open cloud exchange, GPX intends to reach out to a specific set of enterprise customers who plan to have a hybrid IT set-up with their own servers co-located in the DC and also leverage the cloud for DR or for some applications on cloud.  Such customers will see a huge benefit in co-locating at GPXs Tier 4 DC and then connect over a LAN Cross Connect to the cloud service providers hosted inside the GPX DC campus. The multiple CSP ecosystem and the Cloud Exchange provides access to multiple cloud providers, allowing customers to choose a mix of Cloud Service providers to achieve the most advanced, efficient, and competitively priced cloud partners for their business needs. Now since the ecosystem is well established, Enterprises can leverage same.

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