CtrlS: The Young & Enthusiast Leader in Providing Futuristic Data Center
Date: Monday , July 28, 2014
The data center of future will be more agile and nimble built on a more flexible infrastructure based on virtualization, convergence and automation of all layers of data centers to support both traditional IT and newer cloud environments. This will help them deliver services needed to run tomorrow\'s business. Today, around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created daily; the future will see more burgeoning numbers. These data will be viewed as resource to be mined for insights, innovation, profit and others by companies of the future. Enhanced use of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) will be witnessed in the futuristic data centers. This requires data centers to change the perception and method of storing, governing and managing data. While several data centers are still struggling to eliminate the silos, CtrlS has emerged as the \'Futuristic Data Center\' that encompasses all the features needed to be called so.
Bridging the Silos
While the volume of data generated will keep mountaineering each day, it has become crucial for organizations to maintain and assure the accuracy and consistency of these data over its entire life-cycle. In a world where data is precious and data integrity is critical, data security becomes non-negotiable. The austerity drive to secure data today is driven by several data centers who promise scorching solutions but many-a-times lead to a crippling situation for clients. On one end, these services cost phenomenally and cut the pockets of the client; on the flip side, low prices may surely play hide & seek with the safety of data. Thus, we can easily find companies putting their data in various different data centers, ultimately leading to surmounting cost which eventually can paralyze an organization.
While organizations, especially large in sizes, were outsourcing their IT to a data center to gain enhanced efficiencies in operations, increase uptime, decrease cost and eliminate CAPEX, there seemed huge silos between the performance and the cost. But this became viable only during past 6-7 years with enhanced broadband penetration, fiber rollouts and the rise of 3G and 4G. At the time when data center players like Exodus and Equinix had all the big names of the industry as their clients, CtrlS emerged as the pioneer in the world for Tier IV data center to address the price gap while offering equivalent performance similar to Tier II and III data centers. Every bit of the organization clearly defines it as a true leader in the space. The company was built in 2007 for hosting enterprise applications primarily, hence differentiating their DNA from other traditional data centers. The organization has been built right from the scratch for large scale enterprises like banks, telecom companies including several others. Nonetheless, the company has over 2000 mid and small happy customers as well.
The Asia\'s largest Tier IV Certified Data Center has expertise in the areas of Data Center Management, Co-Location, Disaster Recovery, Dedicated Hosting, Virtual Hosting, Online Backup and Cloud Services. The company has the capabilities to provide a complete suite of offerings from platform level services which include data center infrastructure, storage, backup, hardware to OS layers, network and security layers. Thus, CtrlS has become the preferred choice for young entrepreneurs whose Cloud software needs secure, continual hosting.
While internet companies usually keep their servers in at least four data centers, they don\'t bother if it is a Tier IV data center as long as they have good connectivity. But for industries like bank that usually have single location center need 100 percent uptime and this is where CtrlS breaks the ice and emerge as the only data center offering 99.99999 percent uptime. \"We have over 16 bank customers who have shut down other data centers and moved to us permanently. All our focus and innovation is directed towards these businesses which need to run their ERP, CRM, HR applications and others,\" says Sridhar Pinnpureddy, Founder & CEO, CtrlS Data Centers Ltd.
Under the esteemed leadership of Sridhar, the company is growing leaps and bounds. His years of experience in the industry as a successful serial entrepreneur of technology and IT infrastructure business transformed him as a thought leader in data center industry. He is credited with launching the first Tier IV data center in India which can guarantee the highest availability and least energy consumption. Most of the customers working with CtrlS are highly energy and environmentally conscious. Large organizations do not compromise on air conditioning, air quality or uptime requirements but looks for all kinds of redundancies on place. \"This is why we have built probably the most energy efficient, commercially operated third party co-location data centers in the world,\" adds Sridhar. For this initiative, the company has won the award for Most Energy-efficient Data Center and another award for Innovation for CIA Green Building. This helped the company become the eye candy of all environmentally conscious business corporations who commercially benefits from the high uptime and even save money too because of the lowest power consumption assurance by CtrlS.
Adversity with Diversity
When Sridhar started CtrlS, the world was quite engulfed with Tier I, II, and III data centers but much ignorant about Tier IV data centers. It was quite a daunting task for Sridhar to comprehend the market that CtrlS was truly a Tier IV data center. Darting on this palate of complexity was building brand image synonymous with reliability and innovation, considering the competition with the mightiest and global majors like IBM and HP. However, the strike didn\'t end here. Being a data center, the company was quite capital sensitive consuming around Rs.100 crores each year. CtrlS data centers are built for serious business applications and not just for internet applications. Though their infrastructure is Tier IV, the total cost of ownership is less than or equal to that of a Tier III data center. This being a huge challenge, Sridhar decided to opt for outside funding. Being first of its kind in the industry, raising fund was like fixing the nuts-bolts tightly. \"There needs to be an understanding about the work that we do before anyone steps in as an investor. We were lucky to get our first investor at the initial days of our journey,\" reminisces Sridhar.
However, during the global meltdown when CtrlS were in dire need to raise another round of funding, the company had to face rejection from the existing investor despite of a cheese-bread relationship and looked for new investors. But with the kind of turnkey offerings, CtlrS enticed the initial investor and when the global economy witnessed substantial growth, they infused another three rounds of funding into CtrlS. This has cash equipped CtrlS for coming several years which will boast their global expansion.
It is not easy to scale by 70-100 percent year-o-year and yet maintain the same level of service. This poses an entirely different set of challenges but CtrlS decided to improve their quality of service and offerings every year. All starts with a strategic mapping for growth where the company forecasts the growth and then plan for various resources like space, manpower, support systems, budgets and others. This pre-planning helps CtrlS to build manpower capacities six months in advance. For infrastructure, the company plans for the next 5-6 years to avoid going full. This is why when their customers walk into any of CtrlS\' data centers; they know that they need not look for another data center for the next 10 years - as data migration is a very expensive and time consuming process. \"We continuously invest in developing our resources. At any point in time, we have about 10-15 projects to either implement new tools for automation or measure the service delivery, quality levels or launching new projects. This is a continuous process and is our mantra to improve the quality of service despite high growth levels,\" says Sridhar.
Panel: CtrlS Mumbai: Uptime Guaranteed
>> Built like a fortress and the safest place for the IT assets of any organization
>> The massive stand alone building is designed with the latest engineering practices to ensure maximum security and space
>> Dual active power lines with a total capacity up to 60 MV
>> 18 MV captive power plant to ensure 100 percent power availability at the company
>> 210 KL capacity underground diesel tanks to provide sufficient power backup to the data center
>> State of the art network operation center with fully equipped man power to ensure mission critical servers and applications are always up and running
The company comprises of young enthusiasts who have been handpicked for their capacity to think out-of-the-box rather than their work experience. Their main KRA is to conceptualize industry leading solutions and ideas. On the flip side, the company has experienced professionals as well in critical areas like Infrastructure Management and others. \"We believe in offering our team the best exposure to learn. Thus, the data center team was given a world tour and shown several data centers before they even started their work. The objective was very simple, we were not interested in copying them, we wanted to create benchmarks that would surpass what already existed in the market,\" explains a proud Sridhar. CtrlS has also created innovative products with their Private Cloud and DR on Demand concepts. In Cloud, their newest offering - Ctrl4C is ahead of other global service providers when it comes to hosting enterprise applications. Their IaaS includes 20-odd automation tools which makes it easier for their customers to manage their infrastructure. CtrlS has done the highest level of innovation in this industry and that is how they got place in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Public Cloud services. The company is one of the very few players across APAC to be featured in this listing. They also have been applauded for their Cloud products.
Panel: Ctrl4C: The unwavering out-of-the-box product
Ctrl4C is a public cloud product also known as Tier IV Cloud. The product creates four copies in 4 different data centers in different seismic zones and offers customization. Being a true Tier IV product, it comes with a 99.995 percent uptime guarantee at the cost of a 99.95. Some of the salient features of the product are:
>> Needs like High Availability, disaster recovery and business continuity are addressed automatically.
>> Offers unparalleled security which no other service provider offers such level of security on the public cloud.
>> Hundreds of monitoring alerts can be set up using their enterprise-class monitoring tool with Ctrl4C.
>> Most orchestration layer in India, while ensuring scalability, accurate billing, great customer service, role-based access and others
>> All features available to global Fortune 100 CIOs
\"How do we do it? I think it is more to do with the top man burning with the desire to be far ahead of the rest,\" adds he. The top man picks up a similar team, leaders who also share the same hunger making it quite natural for them to innovate and stay ahead. CtrlS follows a customer-centric work culture. They call it \'Total Ownership\'. Top management encourages the teams to put up systems and processes to ensure that customers\' expectations are fulfilled beyond the level of a contract or an agreement they have with them. To the client, this translates to a great level of service and no hiccups in day-to-day operations. CtrlS ensures that their customers\' business objectives are met. The effectiveness of the organization is measured by talking to customers every day. CtrlS have a department which does customer service and publishes those results. The company does not believe in just experience, seniority and others but constantly maps and benchmarks all their people to ensure that performers are rewarded and underperformers are trained.
En Route to Future
Today, the company stands tall as the #1 player in India that has earned respect and recognition from the peers & industry and is considered as thought-leader who is looked upon for each step they take. \"We are happy to share our ideas with them - as long as the industry and customers benefit and everybody prosper,\" says a proud Sridhar. CtrlS will shortly open data centers in Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore. The Delhi-based data center opening shortly this year will be North India\'s first Tier IV data center; while the Chennai-based data center will be in collaboration with BSNL and will be functionable within a month. The Bangalore-based data center is planned for the next calendar year. Apart from India expansion, CtrlS will soon operate in the U.S. and Middle East by this quarter, which will be cloud POPs (Point of Presence) and not physical data centers. \"We will continue to innovate and come up with new products. We are training our partners and forming various joint ventures and alliances with several large service providers,\" concludes Sridhar.