BANGALORE: Microsoft said it is considering setting up its first data centre in India – the fastest growing cloud markfor the software giant. The company will become the first multinational to set up a data centre in the country if the plans fructify.
“We are considering a data centre in India. There are a lot of different companies that are looking at cloud right now, in anticipation that Microsoft will somehow figure out how to get that work,” said Jim Dubois, corporate VP and CIO at Microsoft. Currently, the company offers cloud computing services to Indian customers through its global data centres.
However, RBI guidelines prohibit storing any customer data outside of India, which limits cloud adoption by financial services company. Cloud services are the fastest growing segment for Microsoft, though it contributes less than 5% to Microsoft’s overall revenue as of now. “It (cloud services) is growing double, triple digit every month, not every year,” Dubois said. According to Gartner, public cloud services market in India is expected to grow from $423 million ( Rs 2,550 crore) in 2013 to $1.3 billion ( Rs 7,800 crore) in 2017. Gartner expects India to be the fastest growing market for cloud adoption globally.
Despite this, none of the large cloud computing companies, including Amazon, Google and Microsoft, has so far built a local data centre. Microsoft has 13 data centres globally to serve its cloud services while Amazon has eight and Google 12. In Asia, all three companies have data centres in Singapore, but none in Mainland China or India.
Unpredictable power supply, patchy internet connectivity, limited bandwidth and unreliable optical fibre connectivity between different parts of the country have so far prevented these companies from setting up data centre in the country. However, with cloud adoption rapidly increasing, this is set to change.
“Over the last couple of years, the groundwork has been done in terms of Indian customers understanding nuances in public cloud. We are hearing about Amazon considering setting up a data centre in India but nothing has happened yet,” said Naveen Mishra, research director at Gartner.
Gartner believes that changes in political and economic scenario have triggered positive sentiment for making such investments in India. “With high optimism, everyone is of opinion that enterprises will invest more into expansion and they will have to leverage IT for growth,” Mishra said.