“Through ‘Vertiv Partner Portal’, we provide them 360-degree support”

“Through ‘Vertiv Partner Portal’, we provide them 360-degree support”

The technology world is adapting to handle the wave of data in the digitally transforming world. The digital infrastructure across the world is witnessing enormous pressure due to the rise in the number of connected devices as well as increase in data volume. The technologies Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) as well as deployment of 5G network can minimize the complexity of the data centers. It can also improve the performance and efficiency level significantly. Vertiv is one of the leading brand in India and offering best possible solutions with its versatile portfolio. Rajeev Ranjan, Editor, Digital Terminal recently interacted with Mr. Santosh Kulkarni, Country Manager – Smart Solutions, Vertiv India to know more about this market. Read the excerpts below.

Rajeev: Please tell us about your data center solutions portfolio. How are these solutions helping your customers?

Santosh: Vertiv is a digital infrastructure provider that combines hardware, software, analytics, and ongoing services to ensure its customers’ vital applications run continuously, perform optimally, and grow with their business needs. Vertiv helps to resolve some of the most critical challenges faced by data centers, communication networks, and commercial and industrial facilities. We have a versatile portfolio of power, cooling, and IT infrastructure solutions and services spanning from the cloud to the network edge.

With the increased reliance on data centers, safe and reliable data center networks have become critical. Secure network connectivity and continuity will become more crucial as more companies adopt a hybrid model. Vertiv recognizes this ongoing criticality and continues to innovate solutions that address evolving needs.

Our data center portfolio includes prefabricated modular solutions and integrated solutions, thermal and power management systesm, uninterruptible power supply systems (UPS), and IT management systems to support network closets, micro data centers, edge data centers, core data centers, colocation, and cloud. We help businesses maximize efficiency, deliver flexibility, and ensure scalability, with customized pre-tested and pre-integrated data centers, and ease the process of expanding core data centers and critical facility capacities. Our global solutions enable new possibilities at the edge by developing and delivering scalable, tailored data centers that expedite deployment, limit risk, and control costs. Some of our brands include- Alber™, Avocent®, Geist™, Liebert®, and NetSure™, among others.

Rajeev: What are the latest trends in the data center industry?

Santosh: The ratings agency ICRA reported that the Indian data center industry’s capacity is expected to increase five-fold due to the potential addition of 3,900-4,100 MW. This will involve investments of INR1.05-1.20 lakh crore over the next five years. Additionally, with the finance minister giving the data center market “infrastructure” status in this year’s budget, data center providers can receive and manage adequate financing and resources. To develop additional data center capabilities, state governments like Maharashtra and Telangana are offering special approvals for the construction of data centers along with incentives for land and power usage.

Moreover, Vertiv revealed the results of an Edge Survey in early 2022, following up on a 2021 Edge Report. The survey emphasised the projected substantial acceleration in measures to address sustainability and handle the climate problem, notably in the data center industry at the network edge.

A third (34%) of those surveyed are either planning or amid major edge deployments. A quarter has deployed new, purpose-built edge sites, while 41% are running legacy edge sites. The activity at the edge is impressive, but survey participants predict a 150% rise in core locations and more cloud activity.

The survey also indicated how the profile of the modern edge site is changing. 29% of venues have 5 to 20 racks, while 13% have more than 20 racks. Greater racks equal more power, as seen by the poll results: 28% of locations require between 21 and 200 kW of electricity, while 14% require more than 200 kW. The days of single racks stowed away in basic IT closets are long gone.

According to the survey, in new and proposed edge installations, sustainability is a crucial consideration. More than three-quarters of locations (77%) have or plan to have energy-efficient UPS systems. Furthermore, 40% intend to deploy renewable energy, 31% water-efficient cooling, 29% dynamic grid support technologies, and 19% refrigerants with low global warming potential.

With the edge being pivotal in shaping the future of IT applications, it is important to ensure the IT infrastructure at the edge is adaptive, efficient, and scalable. Whilst acknowledging that edge computing is one of the fastest growing in data centers, it becomes imperative that the infrastructure supporting these applications is reliable and manageable. In the recent past, the edge has been one of the key focus areas in almost every business vertical. Still, it has major limitations concerning floor space availability for IT infrastructure. Companies focus more on using floor space for revenue-generating infrastructure, which causes a significant reduction in the available floor space for IT infrastructures.

Rajeev: How will the deployment of 5G impact the data center market?

Santosh: The new hybrid working models combined with accelerated tech adoption and digital transformation have resulted in a massive rise in the volume of data being created, saved, and analyzed. The anticipated 5G rollout in India is expected to generate more data, greatly benefiting the data center sector and drawing investments. However, to mitigate latency, the data center industry must plan for this increase and enhance its present infrastructure with more sophisticated and flexible alternatives. New loads may necessitate enhanced connectivity in central data centers, or they may be put at network edge sites to reduce latency. It is consequently critical that data centers analyze hardware and software to increase efficiency and ensure flawless data flow. 

Rajeev: How do next-gen technologies like AI and ML improve data centers’ operational efficiency and productivity? 

Santosh: With steeply rising data loads that data centers need to manage due to increased digital transformation across sectors, data centers reliance is vital, leaving limited to no room for any downtime. And here’s where emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and automation offer some solace to data center providers. AI and automation can help data centers detect possible power outages, track network performance metrics, and immediately action backup measures. According to IT research firm Gartner, by 2025, 50% of cloud data centers will deploy sophisticated robots with AI and machine learning capabilities, increasing operating efficiency by 30%. 

Data centers may be provided with additional cooling capacity when needed, lowering the likelihood of an outage, using a combination of IT automation, AI, and ML. Additionally, data center administrators can automate some data-driven processes and assist data centers in reducing and equally distributing workloads to manage servers efficiently. 

Beyond data centers, AI/ML and automation, in general, are seeing an uptick across sectors and business processes. Industry reports suggest that AI/ML investments in India will continue to grow at a CAGR of 33.49% till 2023. Additionally, Indian organizations are particularly interested in bot deployments, with 67% of companies having previously deployed over 300 bots across their entire organization, compared to 21% globally. According to a survey by a leading automation company, automation expenditures are increasing dramatically in India, with more than three-fourths of enterprises aiming to increase automation spending in the coming year. Many companies are utilizing automation and intelligent assistants such as chatbots to aid employees in making better decisions. Sectors like healthcare, education, manufacturing, transport & logistics, and several more are looking to automate processes, and scaling edge data centers becomes crucial to support customers’ operations and enable remote management.

As a result of COVID-19 and resulting nationwide lockdowns, many data centers were understaffed in terms of on-site employees and engineers to diagnose and handle any unforeseen problems. While AI has benefited remote data center administration, automation, in conjunction with Machine Learning and analytics, can enable data center managers to detect irregularities and inefficiencies in real-time, allowing for more effective operations. 

Rajeev: How do you sell these solutions in the Indian market? Please brief us about your distribution model. 

Santosh: Vertiv’s channel partners are integral to our supply chain, and it is our continuous endeavour to support them. Our offerings are in tandem with changing customer needs, and  we provide tools to help partners support and educate our customers on Vertiv’s offerings. Through our ‘Vertiv Partner Portal’, we provide them 360-degree support, allowing easy access to sales and marketing tools, product documentation, and other partner-related information. Additionally, the portal allows them access to the latest online and face-to-face training courses and partner-only events. We have launched Vertiv Excellence Training Session Series under which more than 500 channel partner sales managers are training to learn more about Integrated Data CenterCenter offerings. 

Rajeev: How do you provide tech/service support to your customers?  

Santosh: Vertiv has a 24x7 Support Center equipped with trained service technicians. In addition, Vertiv has a well-established branch network spread across India, which trains service professionals and has spares available for faster response and turn-around. Vertiv also has invested in developing a channel partner ecosystem, with experts who are trained and certified for implementing Vertiv™ solution offerings. 

The undisturbed service delivery by Vertiv during the peak of pandemic stands as testimony of the service capabilities developed by Vertiv in India and adjacent countries.

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