Work & entertainment at home lift demand for data centres
Demand has increased by nearly eight times. Requests for virtualisation and cloud infra have also resulted in a surge
One week into the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, data centres have seen demand for internet bandwidth surge as people either work from home or resort to video streaming for entertainment.
The development has come at a time when data centre companies are running their operations with a minimal number of staff.
Data centre operator Web Werks has seen internet traffic jump between two and 10 times after the lockdown came into effect last Tuesday midnight.
“Managed hosting and cloud computing have both proliferated in the past one week and there has been a tremendous growth in demand for co-location,” said Nikhil Rathi, CEO of Web Werks.
Demand has increased by nearly eight times as companies moved equipment or placed urgent requests on data centres for equipment. Requests for virtualisation and cloud infrastructure have also caused demand to surge more than usual.
Although overall bandwidth usage has risen as more people used video calls for work and others turned to steaming services to pass time, demand from offices has reduced, making it easier for data centre operators to manage capacity.
NTT-Netmagic, which hosts servers of several banks and government institutions, was alerted to the closures at its other global locations and put a plan in place
“The ability to bring in new servers is currently restricted, so data centres would only be able to provide additional capacity within the capacity they currently have,” said Sharad Sanghi, CEO, Global Data Centers and Cloud Infrastructure (India), at NTT-Netmagic.
The company reported a 25-30% increase in internet bandwidth and for remote connectivity solutions using virtual private networks (VPN) and Cloud-based services.
Data centres are supposed to provide maximum uptime to clients, which requires continuous monitoring, processing and maintenance.
This is especially important in a time like this when they are used support several critical services.
“The biggest challenge with data centre service providers...is more to do with the safety and availability of data, making backups, disaster recovery and BCP services on click,” said Piyush Somani, CEO of data centre operator ESDS.
Since all major companies are working from home, data centre, cloud services and online backups are essential, and this is where data centres step in and bridge the gap.
Most data centre operators said they currently had enough capacity to meet increased demand over the next few months.
“There is 30% vacant capacity available … in terms of the cloud, a 50% buffer is generally maintained with hardware capacity,” said Rathi of Web Werks.
Most companies have set up core teams to monitor operations, facilities and managed services to ensure that there is no disruption in service, data centre operators said.