‘We will launch public cloud platform by January’: Yotta Data Services MD Sunil Gupta | Mint
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Business News/ Companies / News/  ‘We will launch public cloud platform by January’: Yotta Data Services MD Sunil Gupta
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‘We will launch public cloud platform by January’: Yotta Data Services MD Sunil Gupta

The Mumbai-based company has a data centre park each in Mumbai and Noida, and plans to expand to more locations in India and overseas

Sunil Gupta, co-founder, managing director, and chief executive of Yotta Data Services.Premium
Sunil Gupta, co-founder, managing director, and chief executive of Yotta Data Services.

Bengaluru: Yotta Data Services, part of real estate developer Hiranandani group, is on an expansion spree. The Mumbai-based company has a data centre park each in Mumbai and Noida, and plans to expand to more locations in India and overseas. In an interview, Sunil Gupta, co-founder, managing director, and chief executive, spoke about the company’s ongoing projects, its plans to start a public cloud platform and the impact of India’s new data protection law. Edited excerpts:

What are some of the major projects in the pipeline?

We are right now working on five more projects. Two of these data centre parks are coming up in Mumbai (Powai and Chandiwali). Both these projects are two buildings each with about 67 MW of IT power each. We are also planning to set up a data centre in GIFT City, Gujarat by October. We are building another data centre park containing multiple buildings in Chennai, with the first slated to be live by October 2024.

We are also exploring markets beyond India. By July 2024, we will be launching a two-building campus of 30MW in Dhaka, Bangladesh. We feel there are markets in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, where still there’s a whole lot of potential for growth. Like India, these markets have drivers like fast adoption of digitization but corresponding capacities haven’t been created there.

Apart from large data centre parks, we are also focusing on establishing edge data centres. With the rollout of 5G connection along with increased use cases of artificial intelligence, there is a huge need to have data processing at edge locations since the latency requirements are in microseconds. We already have edge data centres in tier–2 and -3 cities like Lucknow, Guwahati, Bhubaneshwar, Coimbatore, Indore, Nagpur, Jaipur, and Chandigarh. We plan to build a large number of these small-scale edge centres throughout the country by either building them ground up or partnering with telecom operators already present at such locations.

Last year, you said Yotta will launch a public cloud platform to take on the likes of AWS, Google Cloud. What is the status of the project?

Right from the time Yotta was established, our vision was to offer both co-location services, and manage cloud and IT services. Today, we have more than 800 enterprise and government customers to whom we not only provide co-location services, but also a full bouquet of cloud, security and managed IT services.

In this context, I announced last year that Yotta plans to launch a much larger cloud service based on the open-source software platform. The work is on and we are through the lab testing phase. In October, we will be doing a beta launch of the service for select customers, and by January 2024, we will do a full-fledged commercial launch. The idea behind launching a truly indigenous cloud service is to address data localization concerns from companies and the government for sovereignty and security purposes. In this platform, we will also have a multi-cloud orchestration layer that will help users sign into multiple cloud providers. It means users will not only get to leverage Yotta cloud services but also services from providers like AWS and Microsoft Azure.

How will the new Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act impact the data centre industry?

Under DPDP Act, the government has proposed to prepare a list of countries where data will not be transferred. Apart from such countries, data can be freely hosted outside India as well. I believe this will also lead to a huge inflow of data back to India. The Act hints that in geographies where the data from India can go, data from those geographies can flow into India very freely. For instance, currently, social media companies only have caching nodes in the country, but now they would be looking at having entire nodes in India. This gives the opportunity for the data centre industry in India to grow by 5-7% by 2030.

In April, there were reports of ex-Intel executive Raja Koduri planning to either buy or partner with Yotta for his upcoming AI venture. Where does the deal stand as of today?

We were as much surprised about the report since we never had any such discussion. When we reached out to Raja Koduri, he clarified that many companies host their workloads, including GPU-based workloads, with Yotta, and he has been in touch with one such entity. He plans to sign a deal with that entity, not with Yotta.

How will the data centre industry grow in India in the coming years?

The data centre industry in India had only 200MW of total capacity till the early 2000s. This grew to 800MW between 2015 and 2022. By 2030, the capacity is expected to grow by 3000 MW 2030. Factors like 5G, AI, social media consumption, and digitalization are pushing this growth. As per a market research firm DC Byte’s report, India is already the fourth largest data centre market in the Apac region. And by 2027, it will become the largest.

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Published: 24 Aug 2023, 10:39 PM IST
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