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Internet giants Amazon and Microsoft are rewriting the demand-supply equations in the Indian data-centre data-centre Data centre A place where a number of computers that contain large amounts of information can be kept safely. industry with plans to build their own facilities in the country. 

The two biggest drivers of colocation services colocation services Colocation services these are concrete structures to house data centres, with stable, redundant power supply, cooling and other supporting services. in India to date are looking to build 1 gigawatt (GW) capacity each over the next five to 10 years. Data-centre capacity is measured in terms of the power consumed—for IT and non-IT purposes (cooling, for example)—by a facility.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is building three data centres with an overall capacity of 500 megawatts (MW) in the southern Indian state of Telangana’s capital Hyderabad, is expected to meet more than half of its total requirement on its own in the next three to five years, according to a top executive close to the cloud-computing platform. 

The executive added that doing so will reduce its costs by over 50%. 

Microsoft, too, is building data centres at three locations in Hyderabad. Moreover, AWS and Microsoft are developing three sites each in the western Indian state of Maharashtra’s Mumbai and Pune, respectively.

The hyperscalers—a term used for the tech giants (Amazon, Microsoft, Alibaba, etc.) offering cloud, networking, and internet serviceslease capacity from domestic colocation players such as Sify Technologies, CtrlS Datacentres, Netmagic (now owned by Japan-based IT-services giant NTT). They, in turn, provide cloud-based solutions to tens of venture-capital (VC) funded internet startups and brick-and-mortar enterprises. 

The internet behemoths, so far, resisted investing in their own facilities as setting up data centres in India isn’t easy. It can take up to 60 clearances 60 clearances The Ken Cloudy with a chance of data centres Read more from different government agencies to set up a data centre. It’s a quagmire, understood and managed well by a limited number of players such as realtor Hiranandani Group and conglomerates Adani Group and Reliance Industries.

But the tech giants are finally biting the bullet, which has signalled caution to existing and over a dozen new players building or expanding capacity. 

To top it all the government appears to have softened its stand on data localisation norms in the new version of the data protection bill, which led to initial boom in the domestic market three years ago.  

AUTHOR

Pratap Vikram Singh

Pratap is based out of Delhi and covers policy and myriad intersections with the other sectors, most notably technology. He has worked with Governance Now for seven years, reporting on technology, telecom policy, and the social sector.

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