India is at the cusp of a data centre evolution. Once a small, fragmented industry, colocation data centres are fast transitioning into a large, potentially consolidated industry. Buoyed by the growing demand, over 45 data centres spanning ~13 Mn sft and 1,015 MW of IT capacity are planned to come up in India by 2025-end, reveals the ANAROCK-Binswanger report ‘Under the Lens: India’s Data Centre Explosion.‘
In terms of IT capacity (nearly 1,015 MW), over 69% of this planned new supply will come up in Mumbai and Chennai, with 51% in Mumbai alone. Currently, there are 138 DCs across India spanning ~11 mn sft and having 737 MW of IT capacity (building ready). At least 57% of this current IT capacity is in Mumbai and Chennai collectively.
With the addition of this new planned supply, by 2025-end India will host 183 DCs with ~24 Mn sft and at least 1,752 MW of total IT Capacity.
Devi Shankar, President – Industrial & Logistics and Data Centres, ANAROCK Capital, says “The current size of the India data centre industry is approx. USD 5.6 Bn and is bound to grow. The unprecedented crisis created by the COVID-19 outbreak has propelled the data centre business forward, providing an unexpected tailwind. Technology adoption and digitization across the sectors were fast-tracked globally and India also leap-frogged at least a decade in the last couple of years. The country’s total estimated data centre demand is expected to be 2,100 MW as of FY 2025, with a mix between hyperscalers and enterprises – 35:65 (excluding self-owned hyperscaler capacity).”
Meanwhile, there is additional potential of nearly 2,688 MW of future unplanned supply in India. Land for this supply has been locked in by DC operators, but the projects will likely be planned based on actual demand and/or outcome of earlier planned phases. While this represents land banking for providing scalability for future expansion to customers, this capacity must be judiciously released into the market to ensure price stability. Around 78% of this unplanned IT capacity is to be concentrated in Mumbai and Hyderabad.
Jeff Binwanger, Managing Partner, Binswanger, says, “Companies are really starting to relook where they are putting their operations globally, where they would like to relocate and where do they want to manufacture, distribute and set up their database and technology facilities. Data centres are currently a fulcrum for a lot of the decision-making, especially in Asia Pacific and in India.”
Data Centre Trends
The report also highlights the various trends of a Binswanger-ANAROCK survey conducted amongst IT professionals in India to analyse trends in the Indian data centre industry, as perceived by professionals who manage data-related infrastructure within their organizations. The survey was targeted at ‘data managers’ from diverse industries and company sizes. The survey revealed some interesting trends:
– 30% of companies are looking at hybrid (cloud + data centre) hosting services for data management
– IT Infrastructure monitoring, assessment and design are top services that IT professionals are keen to outsource
– Top priorities of IT professionals are to bring in operational efficiencies and cost savings to their data centres, data compression and improving power usage effectiveness, and technology improvements
– Operator credibility / track record and future scalability are the top criteria in data centre selection
– 58% of IT professionals feel colocation is better than captive data centres
– 72% of professionals have witnessed data surges in their organizations post-Covid-19
– 64% of organizations are looking to power their DCs by more than 60% clean power in the next 2 years
– 67% of professionals find it challenging to recruit and retain quality talent in the IT domain
– Streamlining power procurement regulations and creation of large DC parks key Government support envisaged by the DC industry