India needs a highly interconnected data centre ecosystem: Manoj Paul, Equinix India

India needs a highly interconnected data centre ecosystem: Manoj Paul, Equinix India
30 Dec, 2021

Global data centre company Equinix expanded its presence in India in September this year, when it completed the acquisition of GPX India, the Indian unit of GPX Global Systems Inc. The company aims to capitalise on the growing need for robust and highly scalable digital infrastructure. In an interaction, Manoj Paul, managing director, Equinix India, discussed how the company’s data centres will take advantage of the digital revolution in India, helping businesses leap forward domestically and globally.

How will Equinix's expansion into the country benefit Indian enterprises, as well as your global customers?

We expand in two ways in any country. First, we build our International Business Exchange (IBX) data centres, and then we extend our Equinix Fabric interconnection platform. The Fabric platform is the biggest differentiator for Equinix and this is what we are bringing into India for the first time, which will interconnect all our 235 data centres across 65 metros in 27 countries. 

Like a majority of the data centre service providers, Equinix also garners considerable revenue from colocation services and hyperscalers. But the big focus remains on enterprises. Most of our customers are using the IBX platform across multiple locations and they interconnect with each other using the Equinix Fabric platform.  

Moreover, Equinix's expansion into India will unlock opportunities for Indian businesses expanding internationally and for multinational corporations pursuing growth and innovation in the Indian market.  

What role do the two Mumbai facilities play in your expansion strategy?

From the acquisition, the two new IBX data centers in Mumbai — known as Equinix MB1 and MB2 — form a network-dense data centre campus with more than 350 international brands and local companies, including the world's leading cloud service providers, global networks, content delivery network (CDN) providers, all local carriers, 170 internet service providers (ISPs) and five internet exchanges.

Equinix's Mumbai campus offers a cloud-dense environment and direct access to major cloud services, including AWS Direct Connect, Google Cloud Dedicated Interconnect and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect. It also hosts key internet exchanges, like AMS-IX India, Extreme IX, Mumbai IX-DECIX, National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) and Bharat IX, allowing ISPs, carriers, CDNs and large enterprises to exchange internet traffic.  

We provide the connection and interconnection not only to cloud service providers but also to multiple carriers. Today, if you see in Mumbai, we are the most interconnected data centre in the country. We are the only one which has 12 service providers and over 200 ISPs within our data centre. Our endeavour is to make sure that the Indian customers understand the value of this interconnection and convenience and they grow their business along with us within India and also across the world.  

Meanwhile, unlike some of the major operators who are also positioning themselves as managed service providers, Equinix is just focusing on colocation and interconnection services. There are a few players who are behaving like system integrators. On the other hand, we are focused into businesses that we feel we bring value to, i.e. colocation and interconnection. We work with a whole host of partners, cloud service providers, and other specialized system integrators who provide efficient services to the customers.    

What has been Equinix’s efforts towards sustainability?

Apart from interconnection, Equinix is committed to shaping a sustainable future for all, including taking responsibility for its share of carbon emissions and advancing a bold sustainability agenda. To address the impacts of climate change, the company acknowledges the importance of innovation and action and shares the urgency of governments, industry, and its customers.  

As a leader in data centre sustainability, we are taking steps to minimize our carbon footprint and reduce our energy consumption, while expanding our footprint globally. We are pioneering green data centre design innovations and building and operating resilient, efficient and sustainable data centres around the world.

How will the recently announced Global Centre of Excellence reiterate your commitment towards the Indian market?

We will be setting up a Global Center of Excellence (GCoE) in Bengaluru. In order to improve our customers' digital infrastructure resilience, the GCoE will foster the development of innovative, automated, and scalable digital technologies. As a result of a powerful combination of technical expertise, domain knowledge and best practices from Equinix's global engagements, the GCoE will offer innovative solutions to accelerate enterprises' digital capabilities internationally, including in India.

We have realized that India would not only be a source for generating revenue but also a source for talent and build platforms to service customers across the world, including India. We plan to hire more than 500 engineers at this centre. This will give a lot of confidence to our customers who will believe that we are investing not only in building data centres but also creating a strong development, services, and support team.

With respect to the immediate priority, Equinix is looking to build more capacity, deploy its Equinix Fabric platform in India, and educate the customers about the advantages of leveraging the Fabric platform within India and across the globe so that they can expand their businesses much faster and more efficiently.