About ESDS – Directly from CEO’s Desk!

About : ESDS Software Solution Pvt. Ltd.
Date Of Incorporation : 2005
CEO / MD : Mr. Piyush P. Somani

Recently, Mr. Piyush Somani – CEO ( ESDS Software Solution Pvt. Ltd. ) was interviewed by a leading Media Channel and was asked couple of questions in relation with the Incorporation of ESDS Software Solution Pvt. Ltd. and basic Idea of setup of Much Awaited Fully Managed Data Center.

1. What inspired you to come up with a Datacenter?

Ans. Our success story started from the United States in the Year 2003 and then moved to UK from the year 2007. American market became saturated in the later part, but UK market started picking up very well for us from the year 2007. We were competing against some world class Datacenters and hosting companies in the US and UK, where customer service and technical knowledge of staff members was extremely important. There was no Datacenter or hosting provider offering that kind of service, so we decided  to start our owned Datacenters based on our experience and knowledge gained from our US and UK hosting Business. I am glad to say that this decision of our Management Team was absolutely right.

Our Country is now going through similar growth in Datacenter and hosting Industry, which UK experienced from the year 2004. We will be the biggest cloud hosting center in the world by the end of year 2015. We would like to make most of this opportunity and make our customers feel proud to be associated with us.

2.How do you differentiate your Datacenter from the other Datacenters in?

Ans:- We pride on our post-sales service and technology we have deployed for comfort of our customers. We have done tremendous research in last couple of years to offer automation to our customers.   Though we offer fully managed services, but some basic automation helps customers to sort simple things from their web based control panel. Minor requirements like assigning more IP’s to your server, rebooting your server, adding or changing rDNS or forward DNS entries of your server should be available through the control panel. Automation of Backups and Disaster Recovery, real-time online upgrade of your CPU, RAM or Disk Space, online monitoring of your resource usage and live monitoring of servers and all services running on the servers is extremely important for customers. We have done exactly the same thing to make our customers make most out of our product offerings. Our eMagic portal is extremely beneficial to our large customers hosting multiple servers with us.

We believe in having complete transparency with our customers and our automation does the same thing. Customers are notified through email as well as mobile messages incase of any technical problem with their servers. Customers can configure monitoring alerts, disk status alerts and resource usage alerts from their control panel.

3.Why one should outsource their hosting requirements to you and not host their servers in their office or setup their owned Datacenter?

Ans:- People think that colocation centers and Datacenters like ESDS can eliminate need for in-house IT staff, but this assumption is absolutely wrong. Your in-house IT staff should be focused on advancement and automation of your process, but most of the times they keep on troubleshooting Hardware problems and system level problems on the servers you host within your facility. They could have utilized their important time in evaluating some new modules or features in your ERP / SAP / Portal / online banking system. Moreover, your investment will be huge if you go for in-house Datacenter or host your servers within your office. You may not manage to get bandwidth from multiple ISP’s which is extremely important for 100% Network uptime.

You may not find it feasible to go for N + N redundancy for your power and Network equipments. Uptime is extremely important for every online Business. Consider the loss of revenues if your ERP / SAP / Email server goes down for an hour on a busy Monday afternoon. Our Datacenter is a Tier III Datacenter and we have seen all sorts of problems which are experienced by Datacenters in last 7 years. We have designed our first Datacenter in a way to avoid all those problems which we have seen in our US and UK Datacenter facilities. Our first Datacenter in Nashik stands on Solid basalt rock which eliminated any sort of problem earthquakes, though Nashik has never had any major earthquake history. Our Datacenter is built on a higher altitude zone to avoid any sort of problems from floods.

All 3 ISP’s connecting to our Datacenter have their Fibers in ring network coming from different locations. Our power control panels have been designed in a way to avoid any sort of downtime due to failure of any single component at any time. We have dual door bio-metric access control system for our office and Datacenter building and we have at least 7 armed security personnel at any point of time in our campus to further strengthen the security of our Datacenter and office area.

4.I heard you say, your Datacenter is the first Green Datacenter. How do you define a Green Datacenter?

Ans:- We have taken special care to reduce our sensible heat load with the help of Panasia Engineering from Mumbai. Our Datacenter floor is sandwitched between our Office floor and the floor on top reserved for expansion. We have dual cavity walls for our Datacenter, with Vermiculite plaster inside-out and Fireproof insulation between the dual cavity walls to further reduce sensible heat load. Our walls have been built with fire-proof and heat resistant fly-ash bricks and the Floor height is 14 Feets. We have STP and Rain water harvesting system in our campus and we plant 2 trees for every hosted server during rainy season. Tree plantation helps us to nullify our carbon footprints. We already have 30 fully grown trees in our office campus and the local corporation will be providing us with space every year during Monsoon for plantation of thousands of trees. ESDS will also maintain this trees to ensure they grow big enough to survive on their own for future.

5.Do you think Datacenters in our country can compete with the Datacenters in the West?

Ans:- To be honest, our Datacenters won’t be able to compete with the Datacenters in the US or UK till the end of year 2011. Bandwidth prices are too high and the existing prices need to come down by more than 70% to help Datacenters compete with the Datacenters in US, UK and Netherlands. Every office in Netherland is connected on 10Gbps port and every home is connected on 1Gbps port. Here, most of the large corporate offices with more than 500 staff members still run on 2 Mbps or 4 Mbps bandwidth. We ranks 133rd in the list of Countries with better Internet connectivity. People need to change their mindset and the ISP’s also need to stop getting concerned about their revenue growth for another 1 year in this transition phase. There’s a major problem with the way customers think. If you offer 10Mbps as free upgrade to  a 2 Mbps user, he will consider to downgrade his plan to 2 Mbps on new pricing and save cost on Bandwidth.

Large organizations need to calculate how much time their staff members loose in when it takes 2 – 5 minutes for them to load a website or access their mailbox through webmail. TRAI should revise the bandwidth pricing asap, as the biggest government organization having capability to bring revolution internet growth has backed out from the competition. If BSNL can’t offer bandwidth to Datacenter’s or large corporate offices, then things will take very long time to improve.

6.Where do you find ESDS in comparison with other Datacenter?

Ans:- We are not here to compete with any other Datacenter. Our product offerings and targeted customer base is completely different from what other Datacenters are around. We are mainly focused on offering Fully managed services to customers who wish to have trouble free hosting experience. We manage and monitor servers pro-actively to help our customers stay focused on their Business. We have fantastic relationship with all other Datacenters, as we host our DR sites with some other Datacenters and they host some of their DR sites with us. Demand for Datacenters is growing day by day and the available data floor space right now will get completely filled within a year’s time. Countries like US and UK have got more than 100 times Datacenter space. We are nowhere in comparison to the developed countries and the Internet revolution is yet to come. Companies like Theplanet, Telecitygroup, Phoenix One, NAP, NGD group, Google are yet to come up with their Datacenters.

We ranks second in Google traffic rank, we give maximum unique hits to google websites, but google has not come up with its Datacenter, as there is no special provision made to differentiate local traffic and international traffic. UK has got LINX ( London Internet Exchange ) which helps the local ISP’s and Datacenters to exchange their local traffic, unfortunately our concept based on similar model hasn’t clicked well so far. Private companies should be allowed to setup their Internet Exchange hubs to promote exchange of domestic traffic at nearest point.

No internet exchange center can succeed if domestic datacenters are not allowed to become members. London Internet Exchange has been the most successful internet exchange hub in the world and there’s no harm in following same model as it is within our country. We will need dozens of Internet Exchange hubs as our internet network is far more complex than any other country.

7. Where do you see ESDS in next 5 years?

Ans:- ESDS will become the biggest Datacenter service provider by the end of 2015. We are mainly focused on offering managed services and we won’t like to transform our company into a power supply company charging customers for their power usage. We will come up with our Datacenters in many different cities, Indore and Delhi are on top of the list of probable cities. We have plans to come up with a Datacenter in UK as well, but the actual work will start only from year 2011. Our in-house R&D team is coming up with many unique ideas which will bring revolutionary growth for our company. No matter where we reach in next 5 years, but we will always remain a customer service oriented company and our customers will always feel proud to be associated with our company. Our list of first few customers includes the Generators, UPS and Precision Air conditioners suppliers who contributed in making of our Datacenter. They chose to consider ESDS ahead of all other Datacenters they have worked with, this proves how ESDS is different from any other Datacenter.

8. Why did you opt for Nashik?

Ans:- Nashik was the place from where I started my outsourced hosting support Business in the year 2003. Staff availability was fantastic and the number of Engineering and MBA colleges went on increasing every year. Best thing about Nashik is the staff retention. It is extremely important to retain good people in a hosting Business. Datacenters in other cities have high churn, which makes an impact on their service. I always believed in improving service level to stay ahead of the competition; this was possible in Nashik only. Another good thing about Nashik is the moderate climate. Nashik has never had any history of major earthquakes and we’ve never had flood problems like some other metros.

9. Security is vital in this industry. Is esds geared for it?

Ans:- Yes. ESDS is the ultra-modern Datacenter with the best technology deployed for internal as well as external security. Our team of System Administrators and Network Administrators has expertise in security of servers, addon software’s installed on servers as well as Network. We have deployed Cisco Firewalls and Cisco Anamoly Detection Guard for DDoS prevention and suppression of malicious traffic. Our Datacenter has got 3 layer security to ban access of any unwanted person or a group. We are hosting some large organizations from other countries; ESDS understands importance of security for Business of such customers.

10. What are the major services that you offer?

Ans:- We have expertise in Managed Hosting and Datacenter services. We offer Dedicated Server hosting, Hosted ERP and Hosted SAP service, Cloud hosting on VMWare and Microsoft Hyper-V platform, Disaster Recovery solution on IBM Tivoli and R1soft(backup and DR solution), Hosted Email service on Zimbra and MS-Exchange, Global Load Balancing, DNS Load Balancing, Mirroring service, Large data storage hosting upto 5PB capacity with 100% data protection guarantee, Hosted Banking service and Colocation service. Our 6 years experience in this field has helped us to know each and every kind of problem that can arise in a Datacenter.

We have seen many different technical problems in our Datacenters in UK as well as US. We designed our Datacenter in a way to avoid all such problems which can trouble a Datacenter. Uptime and world class customer service differentiates ESDS from other Datacenters.

11. Cloud Computing is the buzz word. What is esds role in this segment?

Ans:- ESDS had introduced mirroring and cloud hosting service in the year 2006. We have expertise in cloud computing technology and we are the only company to offer 100% uptime guarantee on cloud hosting service. Our cloud offerings have become extremely popular in last 12 months and today we are leading this technology on VMWare and Microsoft Hyper-V platform. CEO’s of all big companies including Microsoft have predicted to become the biggest cloud hosting center in the world by the end of year 2015. We have huge opportunity to lead the hosting world and ESDS would love to play lead role in promoting cloud hosting services.

12. What about your technology expertise?

Ans. Most our senior system administrators and network administrators have been working with us from last 4 – 5 years. Our staff has improved a lot in last couple of years and we understand importance of adapting to new technology. Some of our new staff members who have joined recently have come up with many new concepts, which has helped in growth and increasing internal competition. I am very much impressed with the technical expertise of some of our new Engineers we hired recently.

We all are improving our technical knowledge to stay ahead of the new generation looking to get ahead of us. You must have seen kids operating computers better than you at home, same thing is happening in IT industry as well. Future generation is blessed with technology and the only way for us to survive against their challenge is to be more disciplined and smart.

13. Who are your major Technology Partners?

Ans. Microsoft, Intel and IBM are our major technology partners.  Dell, cPanel, VMWare and Parallels are our major technology partners in the UK and US. Cisco is our sole partner for Network hardware and technology, while TCL, Reliance and Airtel are the premium partners for our Internet backbone. We have started relationship with some new partners which includes Zimbra and R1Soft(backup and Disaster recovery solution). I would like to appreciate support of all our partners in our growth. Our technology partners have helped us a lot to grow at this rate, even though we compete with most of them in hosting market.

14. A lot of greenery is visible around the office including many ponds and a swimming pool. Any particular reason?

Ans. We are committed to make our Datacenter carbon neutral. All our Servers in UK, US are using more than 4MVA power. This has been a major concern for us. We have planted only 1500 trees in Scotland and 500 trees so far.  We need to plant 10,000 trees more to offset our carbon emission. We are committed to plant 2 trees for every server we host. We have plans to implement a unique cooling solution in next phase of our Datacenter. Heat generated in the next phase will be passed on to the 6 Lakh liters’ of water we have in our campus. Water has a unique character, as it can hold twice heat as compared to solid mass and it takes long time to heat 6 Lakh liters’ of water. Evaporation process starts on the surface of water once water reaches 28°C temperature on its surface. Ambient temperature in Nashik always remains below 24°C at night, which helps in cooling the water without losing much water due to evaporation. It took 2 months in summer to raise the temperature of 6Lakhs liter of water up to 27°C, I am sure this unique technology we will deploy in our next phase will set a revolution in Datacenter industry. Datacenters near rivers or sea can easily deploy this technology and help our country by reducing their power consumption for cooling.

15. Does participation in conferences and expos help?

Ans. Yes. Business is done in a completely different manner compared to UK and US.  Customers need personal approach, while English and American customers don’t give much time to meet nor they come for visits. I was reluctant to send teams in expos, but our BDO insisted on doing so and we are proud to have participated in expos in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune and Bangalore. Most of our Business this year has come from our participation in these expos. Personal approach is key to success. ESDS has started its branch offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune to have its local presence in these important cities. We are starting our office in Bangalore and Cochin to focus on the hosting market in southern. Our approach towards new customers is very simple, we guarantee best hosting service to our customers and most of our customers never compare us with other hosting providers.

16. What are your expansion plans? Do acquisitions feature in them?

Ans. We have plans to start 2 new datacenters and one in UK. Delhi and Indore are the preferred locations. Our UK datacenter is coming up in partnership with “DADA.Pro” and “Bluesquare Group”. We have no plans for any large acquisitions as of now. Our source of funding is our profit and we have not considered any bank loans, FII’s or equity funding as of now. Our R&D team is working on launch of a unique product which will make ESDS the No.1 Datacenter.

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