In a conversation with CRN India, Manoj Paul, Managing Director, GPX Global Systems shares that the recent launch of GPX Open Cloud Exchange is a significant step in the direction of increasing cloud adoption as this investment will connect multiple cloud providers via a single port, enabling them to optimise hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud network strategies
Can you tell us about the recent launch of GPX Open Cloud Exchange? How is this investment going to help your customers?
We have been offering enterprises the direct cloud connect service for over four years now. We have over 60 enterprise customers, which includes startups, large payment companies, ecommerce giants, media companies among others. The number of customers using direct connection to the cloud instead of the internet has been growing. While we are seeing growth in the workload migration to cloud, the recent trend among cloud users is adopting multiple cloud strategies instead of one to leverage the varied strengths of each cloud service provider (CSP). This has encouraged us to launch GPX Open Cloud Exchange. We have established certified partnerships with major CSPs. Currently, there are eight CSPs present in GPX’s Mumbai data centre, out of which AWS, Google Cloud, and Oracle Cloud currently offer direct private cloud connect, with their edge nodes hosted inside GPX data centre campus.
A big differentiator for GPX open cloud exchange is that it is not dependent on any other data centre or network carrier as the cloud exchange and the CSP routers are in the same data centre campus, offering high reliability and scalability benefits to our enterprise customers. Moreover, enterprises can seamlessly connect to multiple cloud providers via a single port, accelerating their cloud adoption and enabling them to optimise hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud network strategies.
How will it enhance the digital infrastructure of the nation?
Cloud application services (SaaS) is set to be the fastest-growing market segment in India in 2020. The shift from ‘on prem’ (on own servers in customers’ data centre) to ‘cloud-first’ to a ‘cloud-only’ model is pushing organisations in India to increase their spending on public cloud services to advance their digital business initiatives. GPX cloud solutions will support the digital transformation of enterprises in India and provide solutions that facilitate enterprises in their journey to the cloud. We are the certified partners of globally leading cloud service providers (CSPs) such as – AWS, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud, and others to offer their cloud-based services to our customers inside the GPX Mumbai data centre campus.
What effect will this cloud exchange have on the business environment in India?
Today enterprise applications are becoming even more portable on the cloud, compute cycles are becoming easier to procure in real-time, data integration platforms are streamlining connectivity and vendors are forming cross-platform alliances. With this, the multi-cloud trend might start looking more like an omni-cloud one in the near future and a cloud exchange will be pivotal for this change. Our customers can establish a direct private connection to a CSP or can connect to multiple CSPs through a common and neutral switching architecture owned and operated by GPX. So, if an enterprise requirement grows from sub 1 gig to over 1 gig, they can directly connect to the CSP router at GPX data centre bypassing the Cloud Exchange, thus GPX provides a clear roadmap for growth in future for customers which other data centres and cloud exchange providers cannot claim.
In the current scenario, how do you see the growth in your data centre services? Do companies investing and renewing their service contracts.
Our cloud service providers, OTTs, CDNs, telcos are seeing big growth in demand for their services and we see our business with them growing. In certain cases, some of our customers have doubled their business with GPX over the last six months.
In the next few years, we are going to see businesses and individuals continuing with the increased use of WFH, video conferencing, webinars, online learning, and more digital payments. There will be higher adoption of cloud services and more enterprises would move out from in-house data centres to a third-party data centre. Enterprises, in their drive to go digital and achieve efficiency and lower costs and also to reach out to more customers through the digital channels, would increase their spend on colocation and cloud services. All these would lead to a higher demand for data centre colocation services. Note, that growth in cloud services also means growth in the data centre business where the CSPs host their servers.
Can you tell us about your customer base and emerging trends in the data centre business?
We are seeing a growth in traffic in our data centre requiring the CDNs and OTTs to take more space and power and deploy their additional hardware to support the growth in consumption of content especially during the Covid lockdowns, which is expected to continue with restrictions even after the lockdown is withdrawn. We are getting new enquiries from new and existing customers for additional services at our data centre.
With customers cutting down their spending on IT services. Do you think this will delay the digital transformation growth?
Customers need to see spending on digital transformation not as a cost but as an opportunity and in some sense a necessity for survival. The digital transformation actually will lead to savings by reducing expenses. For example, the online sales would be more effective and efficient than offline. Work- from- home and meetings through video conferencing would also help save costs. There will be a generation of new revenue streams as companies can leverage the digital platform and reach out to more customers and offer many new services which otherwise would not have been possible, all this at lower costs thus giving higher margins. GPX is seeing growth in demand for colocation services from enterprises who want to shift from their in-house data centres to a Tier IV data centre where they can connect to multiple cloud services providers over LAN and plan the migration and the launch of Open Cloud Exchange will further accelerate this movement.
With cloud services are on the rise, how will this growth adds value to your business?
We are a successful edge data center service provider with eight international CSPs and several Indian cloud providers collocated at GPX data center with their edge nodes. For almost all international CSP, GPX has been the first choice for a PoP in India. As the CSPs grow, their requirement for edge data centres would also grow meaning more opportunities for GPX. And as more enterprises adopt cloud, they would need the GPX cloud connect services to connect securely and reliably to multiple CSPs for which GPX is expanding its services to cater to this growing requirement.
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