India pivots from edge to hyperscale data centres, driven by a surge in AI demands and government initiatives, heralding a new data era.

For the longest time, the expansion plan for data centres in India was charted quite simply. Most industry experts pegged ‘edge’ data centres as the way that the industry would grow. Large players in the market would set up large-scale, heavy-investment hyperscale facilities that would work as the main hubs in which India’s data centres would concentrate most of their capacities.

In data centre vocabulary, ‘edge’ facilities make for data centre infrastructure that is small and regional. Inherently, data centres are large facilities that host thousands of racks and consume power in megawatts of server load. Edge data centres, on this note, are much smaller—hosting fewer racks and cabinets and consuming power in kilowatts. As a result, they came to be known as ‘hubs’. In turn, the established model for the data centre industry became a hub and spoke model.

Significantly, the expansion of India’s data centre industry is no longer reliant on edge facilities. Instead, it’s pivoting towards scaling up hyperscale units or integrating managed cloud platforms and services within existing data centre operations. This strategic shift, driven by industry dynamics, is set to redefine the trajectory of India’s data centre market.

CB Velayuthan, CEO of Reliance Jio and Brookfield-backed data centre firm Digital Connexion, said, “As enterprises and consumers accelerate AI adoption, the latter is driving demand for data centres by increasing the need for storage, computational power, and real-time processing capabilities.”

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