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Web Werks data centers are carbon neutral, contributing towards global go-green concepts

Michael Goh

In India, ransomware has emerged as the most significant threat, with a 53% increase in ransomware attacks reported by CERT-in since 2022

Security in data center infrastructure management (DCIM) systems is critical and vital for effectively managing and monitoring data center resourcesSecurity teams can identify weaknesses attackers could leverage, and put the organisations’ defences to the test against realistic cyber threats

Michael Goh, VP and General Manager, APAC, Iron Mountain Web Werks

Please elaborate more on the India entry strategy and partnership with Web Werks. 

A] In April 2021, Web Werks entered into a strategic partnership with Iron Mountain, a global data center operator. This strategic collaboration aims to enhance the quality of services provided to their customers. With more than 21 DC facilities in India, US, Europe, and APAC accessible to customers of both companies, this partnership is a game-changer for the digital transformation strategy.  

The Web Werks-Iron Mountain JV intends to establish a series of digital pearls across India, enabling customers to deploy critical infrastructure in a global data center easily. Given Web Werks’ significant position as a carrier hotel in India and Iron Mountain’s global expertise in design and operations, this partnership is expected to provide a perfect balance of a globally trusted brand with a local operator. With the help of the local execution expertise, Iron Mountain Data Centers can navigate the complex Indian domestic landscape successfully. 

What was the rationale for going with a partner and not setting up a direct presence? 

A] India will experience massive growth in all sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, and across MSMEs and enterprises. This will mean it is impossible to build a carrier-dense data centre on our own, and as more data will be generated, it will need to be stored, processed and serve as the foundation for digital action. 

This collaboration will help us enter new data centre hotspots in India, including Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. Through the partnership with Iron Mountain, the company has moved closer to the commitment and vision of becoming one of the leading global players bypassing the learning curve of doing business locally in India. 

As our local partner, Web Werks is familiar with India’s local culture, rules and business landscape. This helps reduce unknown risks compared to Iron Mountain setting up a direct presence by combining Web Werk’s extensive knowledge and understanding of the Indian data centre market, as well as its position as an established local brand with a vast ecosystem of partners and customers, including the globalised design standards, consumer trust, and capital that Iron Mountain Data Centers brings to the table, the joint venture is set to rapidly expand throughout both the Indian colocation industry and into the country’s hyperscale market. 

What is the market opportunity for data centers in India? 

A] India has significant socio-economic potential recognised by several local and international data centers that have gradually penetrated the Indian market, including a large population and large mobile phone user base with the ability to assist global customers’ entry into India with a provider they trust 

Indian market is expected to grow from $4.35b in 2021 to $10.09b by 2027 (Arizton). Also, as per a study by JLL, the Indian data center sector would require a total investment of USD 3.7 billion. And within the next three years, meet the six million square feet of development. Moreover, the rollout of 5G will entail high reliability and low latency apps, again leading to a growth in the demand for data centers. Also, with better connectivity in India, we should see more IoT, from Health Tech to smart “everything” using artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

With the public cloud utilised mainly by e-commerce and information and communication technology providers, more and more businesses are moving towards a hybrid cloud. The growing penetration of the internet, smartphones, social media, and digital payment services is expected to increase the demand for cloud services in India. The need for computing and storage about AI, Big data, analytics, IoT and ML further accelerates the demand for data centers 

What are the dominant trends in the data center market in India and the APAC region?  

A] India’s cloud adoption is skyrocketing, leading to impressive growth in the data center industry. The APAC region is poised to reap the most benefits, thanks to its high internet penetration and data localisation initiatives. The decentralisation of data from traditional hubs in Singapore and Hong Kong is also playing a pivotal role in boosting local content in India, as well as driving up cloud adoption rates and government spending on IT. As data becomes increasingly critical, the focus is shifting towards colocation and hybrid cloud solutions, with a strong emphasis on green data centers that utilise natural gas and trigeneration technology from companies such as bloom energy. 

What are the long-term and short-term goals for Iron Mountain as far as India’s strategy goes? 

A] In 2021, Web Werks partnered with Iron Mountain Data Centers which has a presence globally including the United States, Europe, and Singapore with which Iron Mountains plans to build world class data centers with capacity immediately available for their customers 

 Iron Mountain’s long term plan is to be the largest global provider of data centers in India in order to provide expertise , uplifting  the data center standards to one that international companies are familiar with and to have data centers in India across multiple key markets and capacity to serve our customers in the country. 

What are the rollout plans in India? 

A] The Web Werks – Iron Mountain JV announced the acquisition of a land parcel facilitated by 

Savills and launched a standalone purpose-built Greenfield data center in Navi Mumbai, with the 

scope of which will be looking to expand more in this largest data center market in India. In addition, 

the JV also went live with its first data center in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The data center in 

Bengaluru is located in the prime area of Whitefield and has an 80,000 square feet facility. 

The BLR-1 is a Tier III-designed data center supporting up to 4MW of IT load. The HYD-1 tier- 

3 data center, located in the Kondapur region in Hyderabad, can support up to 5.5MW of IT load 

within a 120,000 square feet facility. 

Further, the JV has plans to invest Rs 200 crore for its new hyperscale data center in Noida. This 

project will be a part of the data center parks approved by the government of Uttar Pradesh. The Web Werks – Iron Mountain JV also looks to expand their footprint in Chennai. 

How are you addressing sustainability issues from a data center technology perspective? 

A] Iron Mountain’s global sustainability goals will also apply to India. We will add all our India data centers to the same international compliance programme to measure ourselves against our sustainability goals and to continue to source renewables to ensure our data centers are 100% powered by renewables, as data centers have power requirements for operations and thermal management. Solar is plentiful, and investments are being made for round-the-clock availability from renewable sources with energy storage, providing data centers with more stable, resilient, and reliable power with lower carbon impact.   

Also, Web Werks data centers are carbon neutral, contributing towards global go-green concepts. It has plans to use renewable energy in multiple phases, which will help minimize environmental impact and move to zero-emission, zero-waste, and zero-pollution operations. 

How is the regulatory environment in India? What kind of policy support has attracted a player like Iron Mountain to India? 

A] The Indian government (Digital India Initiative) has paved the way for more digital infrastructure within the country; the government and policies have been very supportive towards the data centers industry and global investment into India. Including the government “Made in India’ initiative by indigenously building cloud technologies & DCs using best-of-breed international know-how and partnerships. Also, Iron Mountain views India as a market with huge untapped potential and sees itself as one of the first movers. 

Also, in the past, Web Werks was a part of the MeghRaj cloud initiative and one of the 1st few players to be empanelled by the Government of India to provide Cloud & Data Center services for smart cities & the digital India push. 

What is the USP in your offering? 

A] To name a few the global reach in 3 continents with 20+ data centers in 19 markets for a fast growing local market with a huge potential, the most connected ecosystem in India, built with local knowledge and partnered with the global expertise and brand of Iron Mountain. 

Also the comprehensive global compliance program tailored to the highest levels of security and sustainability including the unparalleled sustainability program with ambitious goals and strict compliance to back our goals up

What kind of workloads are you targeting? 

A] All data center workloads from retail colocation, carriers, content providers, e-commerce, gaming, enterprise to hyperscale cloud workloads. 

What kind of physical security do your data centers offer? 

A] Follows Iron Mountain’s stringent security standards 

The Trust is what has built Iron Mountain since 1950 into the company we are today with over 1400 storage facilities and a fast growing global data center portfolio to service our customers, with 95% of them being part of the fortune 500, in their digital transformation needs. This means the same high standards and regulations all our customers are accustomed to and what has differentiated us from the competition from the start. 

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