Data Privacy, Cloud and Data centers, Without which Digital India is not possible

Dr. Rajiv Papneja touches some crucial aspects of a very big initiative by Indian Government

Make in India‘ which is also a part of Digital India.

Video Transcription

Thank you everyone! Good Afternoon! Everyone with me?… Great! I know it’s being late today so I’ll try to go quickly through the presentation.

My name is Dr. Rajeev Papneja, I am the Executive Vice President for ESDS Software Solution. ESDS is a Data Center and we have some niche products that we have made in the field of Cloud Technology. Before I go forward…. since there would be no time for question and answers, I’d like to let you know that I’ll be here today and tomorrow AND we also have a power discussion tomorrow, so I’d really like all of you whoever would like to discuss the topics that I’m going to present, to please attend the power discussion. Where we can discuss, exchange views, I want to know your comments and suggestions on whatever points I’m going to be presenting here.

Make in India is a very big initiative and part of Digital India. So the points that I’d be touching today, are basically around Digital India – one of them is Data Privacy, the other is Cloud and Data centers. Without this, Digital India is not possible.

Briefly, about ESDS, it is a company started in India, almost 10 years back. Today we have global presence in UK, USA and India with more than 250 employees and around 34,000 customers. It is a group of companies as I said in UK, USA and India.

What we are into? We provide all kinds of Data Center services, whether it is Dedicated Servers, Disaster Recovery, all kinds of Hosting services. We are also SAP (Germany) Certified Cloud hosting partners, we have a Tier III data center in Nashik and a new data center coming up in Mumbai, which would be India’s first Uptime Certified Tier III DC, that’ll be operational next month (August 2015).

The products that I’m going to take you through today is eNlight Cloud, which is World’s First Auto Scaling Cloud and I mean it that, it’s Worlds 1st Auto Scaling Cloud. Yet nobody has an Auto Scaling Cloud in the World. This is a patent filed product. I’ll also take you through eMagic, which is a Data Center Management and Monitoring tool and I’ll briefly take you through Vulnerability Scanner because security is such a big issue today. Again, all these products revolve around Make In India.

Now…. Shri. Satyanarayanji has made my life easier already, because yesterday he spoke about the Vision of Digital India and my first three slides revolved around, I wanted to explain and start with What is Digital India, but he did that yesterday. So quickly, ‘It’s a program to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy’, around three factors, which is integrating the Government departments and the citizens together by providing:

  1. Digital Infrastructure as a Utility to Every Citizen,
  2. Governance & On Demand Services, and
  3. Digital Empowerment of Citizens , like we have the Digital Locker, which just got released two days back.

These were the Nine Pillars, again he has already spoken about, so I’ll not put my time on that.


Now what does all these Nine pillars mean, what do they translate into?

They translate into:

  • Broadband for 250,000 Gram Panchayats,
  • Universal access to mobile connectivity for 42,300 villages,
  • 1,50,000 post offices that will be now Multi-Service centers,
  • All database and information needs to be electronic. We already spoke about passport this morning; we are speaking about Digital Locker to be in place.
  • Using IT to automate, response, analyze the data and resolve public grievances – an important part of Digital India
  • Massive online Open Courses – Lot of streaming, streaming and data streaming.
  • We just spoke about Health Care, the gentleman over there was speaking about Online Medical Records to be provided,
  • Online Medical Supplies,
  • PAN India patient information, this is what we touched during our panel discussion
  • GIS, Mobile Banking, Financial Inclusion services,
  • eCourts, ePolicies, ePolice
  • Digital Locker, BioMetric attendance…. the list is endless
  • We can go for eGreetings by Government
  • eBooks, National portals
  • SMS based Disaster and weather forecasting

We can keep on going…..

BUT, it also means, DATA, DATA, DATA and a MASSIVE amount of Data. That is what we are talking about, all these things finally boils down to only data at the back. This is what we cannot ignore, and this also means Big Data.

What is Big Data?

It is the data that is being continuously generated – structured and un-structured. Now the challenge is, how do we use this big data? There’s information all around us, there’s data all around us.

Yesterday somebody very clearly mentioned that the data has to be transformed into information. To simply explain, if I write 39 number on the board what does it mean?… It means nothing, 39 is just simply data. It could age of somebody, right…. It could be number of something….. so once you say the age of a person is 39, it becomes information. Now it is related to something… and add to it the latest in trend which people are calling the Internet of Things.

What is Internet of Things?

There are sensors all around us – mobile has got sensors, there are GPS sensors, there are sensors in watches. Any digital thing that you take, it has got sensors. What does the sensor do, it records the data, sends it to some server, and server will process the data. All this is doing an exponential bombarding of data. Fed by sensors in trillions working with intelligent system and billions of systems being worked upon. What do we do with this data?

Number of Internet connected devices have already surpassed the number of human beings on the planet in 2011. And somebody already mentioned that by 2020, you’ll be having 50 billion devices. What does that mean….? Based on reports filed by Telco providers, if you see the exponential growth of data in volume, it is 400 peta bytes in one year. And this is just last year when Internet of things just started. Imagine what is going to happen in next four years…

Now what does it mean… Now Digital India means, certainly something different at the back… It means, a pile of challenges.

  • It means, where do I store so much data? It is not as simple as we are thinking.
  • It means, how do I protect the privacy of data? What if the data gets into wrong hands…
  • It means, how do I manage all these devices, when there would be 50 billion devices. How are they going to integrate and work together?
  • It also means, how to I manage and maintain the infrastructure at the back?, how do I manage the datacenters? AND…
  • How do I minimize the import of hardware from China? How do I do that?… A very important point, because along with everything else, there is economy to be taken care of, how do I do that?

Now let’s see, it means to think on:

  1. Data Privacy Policy
  2. Cloud and Data Centers

without that, Digital India is not possible.

Now… I’m just putting a food for thought here… mind it’s just views of a citizen and an entrepreneur of a data center. Yes, it can be debated, but we don’t have time to debate. We will do this after the session whenever we meet.

Food for thought

We all know, data of Indian citizens and Indian Companies is hosted by Data Centre all over the world today.

Most of the Indian data resides in US, UK, Hong Kong and Singapore

It is a big possibility and actually, it is 100% happening, that our data is being used for analytics all across the world. If you go to your email or your Gmail, you will see based on your email content, you will have relevant advertisements coming on the sides. How does it happen, if it cannot read your email? So definitely, analytics is happening.

Print media and Digital media companies are hosting their data in Singapore and US. Now the question here is, we are the first country to send a spacecraft to Mars in first attempt, but we are not ready to trust our technology scientist to host data in Indian data center.

I still do not understand, the Global Mobile app revenue has jumped 10 times in three years, which has resulted in valuation of the companies growing multi-billion dollars. Flipkart has become 1700 Crore company, how is that happening? and…if you see, WhatsApp was bought by Facebook for $19 billion, right. And 40% of users of WhatsApp are Indians, because Indian population is so big. And they are all youth, and what did government get out of itnothing!

With 40% Indian users, there is a company, who is selling to another company, and Indian Government gets zero out of it. Why?

Major advertisements today are happening on Mobile phones. We buy on mobile phones, we buy from Amazon, we buy from other American companies, what Indian Government gets out of it?…Nothing…

It is quite possible that this is going to increase exponentially, if you see the volume, this $19 billion deal was a very small deal. It was the first deal of its kind. If you see, this deal is going to be bigger and bigger and bigger AND we will still get nothing out of it. Our economy will still remain the same, why? How can we take benefit of it?

India lags behind in data privacy policies as compared to developed nations. And all these, mind it I have references for this, I’m not just speaking without any references – after this I’ll provide reference for everything.

Social media has become the most effective tool in peace disruption and it has played a major role in blackberry riots, in the Delhi rape protest, in the Muzaffarnagar riots. And, we have to take help from foreign agencies to get data of all these chats because the data doesn’t reside in India. Facebook, Nimbus, WeChat, everything resides outside of India. You are dependent on the mercy of these governments to give you data.


Now these are the references, if you see, Cloud users will fully accept and adopt cloud computing only if they are confident that their private information stored in the Cloud wherever in the world, will not be used, in a wrong way. Can we guarantee this today when it is not in our hand?… We cannot!

Facebook’s $19bn WhatsApp deal, if you see this is the news that had come. SnapChat is going to do it, WeChat is unlikely to be threatened, Viber deal is also in place… these are bigger deals that are waiting to happen.

The client base for Amazon is growing rapidly in India, said Bikram Bedi, country head of Amazon Web Services. So, if Amazon is coming in India and the Cloud is increasing so much, why not Make in India products?

The European commission, they have a policy on the protection of individuals with regards to the processing of personal data. They take that as seriously even though it’s just citizens data. Same is there if you look at Singapore, they have a privacy policy for them.

Now…in Pune there was a murder that happened over, somebody did something about Shivaji and they did some post, which was done through a Chinese IP. It was not even done through this guy, but he got killed. And we have no control over who posted that.

Dr. Abdul Kalam says that there would be two types of nations, 1. Cyber Offensive, and Cyber Defensive capabilities and 2. Without these capabilities. It will become as valuable as nuclear weapons, that’s his statement.

Indian Mujahideen use social networking, they use Nimbus as their chat tool. Nobody uses Nimbus now but where is all this data stored, you cannot get access to the data.

Cloud Computing to create 2 million jobs.’ How does it create if you are not doing anything in India? Now I change my food for thought and I leave this…

Food For Thought

Can government have policies, where establishments of local data centers in India is given preference or even if external people who want to have data centers like Amazon and Microsoft, they should tie-up with Indian ventures, just like they did manufacturing 15 years ago – Hero Honda tied, Maruti Suzuki tied-up. They can also tie-up, Indians have a 51% stake, AND the data stays in India – in the boundary. It could still be Amazon, we are not against their technology.

Can there be a policy wherein Social media companies serving the India Customers also get registered in India, Like WhatsApp? and have Indian Laws applicable on them.

Can it be made mandatory for atleast Indian private and public companies to host their data in India? Why should they host outside? Don’t we have technology specialists in India?

If this doesn’t happen, what is happening today you know, is all the data is getting hosted outside and the outside world is going up and coming up in the field of data warehousing and data analytics. OUR data they are using to become technology masters in data analytics because the data is stored with them and not with us. So when will India grow in data analytics if the data is not in India.

Can we encourage joint ventures, acquisitions and mergers for those foreign data centers within India, keeping 51% ownership within India. Even government can have stake in this kind of business. It is a very profitable business; it’s going to be data data and data as I told you. Data centers is inevitable in India.

What will be the Benefits?

  • There will be Huge savings in Foreign Exchange
  • There will be local employment
  • There will be security of Indian Data
  • Full control of Government over any religious provocation, and
  • Huge tax revenue from all the transactions that happen through mobile, online, Internet whatever way they are happening.

I was going through the GI Cloud – Meghraj, which is an initiative of Government. According to them, Cloud should have Five characteristics,

  1. On Demand
  2. Self Service
  3. Good network access
  4. Metered usage for Cost Reduction and
  5. Elasticity and Resource pooling for Scalability

We have come up with a Cloud in 2011 and filed patents in India, UK and USA, which does Vertical scaling – automatically. You do not have to go to control panel to ask for any resources. Based on the load that is coming in, it will automatically scale itself up and down. Now while the world is using horizontal scaling, the concept that we have come-up with, as the load increases your virtual machines are going to scale vertically, AND if it increases more, then it’ll start scaling horizontally, and that too without human intervention, without any reboot.


If these are the resources in normal cloud allocated to you, you are paying for these resources. The beauty of this cloud is like using electricity at your home. If you are using this much, you are only going to pay this much, because it is auto-scaling. It is only giving you what you need.

I was in TechSabha’s in PSU’s, and the fundamental question last-to-last month was, ‘If any kind of disaster was to strike today, are the PSU’s ready for disaster?’ Surprisingly, only 2% of PSU’s has disaster recovery in place. So we are all talking about Digital India and there are 277 PSU’s out of which only 3-4% have a disaster recovery or a fallback plan in place. ‘WHY?…. I asked them this question, what are the reasons? And it boiled down to these three things:’

  1. Up-front capital investment – They said, if I put 1 Cr. in making a DC, I need to put another 1 Cr. or atleast 80 lakhs to make a DR. And DR might never happen, it’s just a waste of investment sometimes.
  2. People – They also said, extra staff required to maintain
  3. Operations – They also said operations, there will be audit that will come in place for DR.

So, I asked them:

  1. What if, we could get a DR solution at 30% of the original cost to you? So if you have invested 1 Cr., I’ll get you DR in 30 lakhs.
  2. What if you never had to pay for IT resources and you only pay when disaster strikes? till then you don’t pay.
  3. What if you never had to purchase any and maintain any infrastructure?
  4. What if the IT resources you need increase and decrease in size based on the need?, and
  5. What if you had a metered usage, so you only pay for how much you use and when you use?

Why is there a huge cost involved? Because in traditional disaster recovery setup, DR site is made exactly similar to your original site. This is a traditional DR setup, if there’s a primary DC, let’s assume that they are paying Rs. 2 lakhs per month. If you make a similar setup for a disaster recovery at another location, we will be paying another Rs. 2 lakh. So the total cost for them is, Rs. 4 lakh per month, right.

What I propose is, to cut down the cost on DR.

Let’s assume you have a main DC where you are paying Rs. 2 lakh. There is no need to make a similar DR site setup. What WE do is, you put it on an eNlight Cloud at a different location, in one of the data centers. In normal course, you are using your primary datacenter; only minimum IT resources are used from DR center, for replication. So you are only paying like, Rs. 60,000 per month. which is like 70% less. When disaster happens, automatically these virtual machines are going to scale up. AND NOW you will be using Actual resources on your Disaster Recovery center. This is the time when you will be paying the actual cost. And when the primary site comes up, the DR servers will scale down. So again you will be having 70% of savings. And, you will be having metered usage of resources every 5 minutes.

This product has won the Best Innovation in Cloud Technology Award and we received it by the hands of Mr. Marten Pieters, who is the CEO and MD of Vodafone, in the presence of our IT minister Honorable RaviShankar Prasad ji, last to last month.

A complete Make In India product Cloud. All state datacenters are paying for licenses of VMware, I don’t know why. When this is such a big initiative, why don’t we do it?

With state datacenters we have invested thousands and Crores in state DC’s with only 8% utilization is happening. And by the time this utilization goes to 20 or 30 percent, all the servers will become obsolete, right! Because in 5 years their life will be over.

So why don’t we go on a PPP model, where we device a policy where Government can work with Private data centers and make optimum use of servers.

Again, how do you manage all the data centers?

There is no way to manage all the datacenters, you need products where you can manage racks, you need products to manage all devices, you need products that can manage all services that are running on your server, on all the ports of your server. That can give you uptime, how much your server is used in state data center and for much time it was sitting idle. What is the inward traffic, what is the outward traffic, what are the IP’s that are being used.

You need a product to manage all the different Cloud whether it is VMware, Xen, HyperV. For all this, there are made in India products, there is a single portal for all this. I would urge government to look into these products. They are winning awards, from the people from the world, but still we are relying on outside world to get products from Microsoft from VmWare.

I’m not saying their products are bad, but why Make in India initiative only for manufacturing, why not for technology?

There is of course many things, we have many products which are made in India. There is you know defacement happens on website, there are cross scripting that happens. So for all these there are different, there is domain reputation, SQL injections, we have some Malware Trojans & Vulnerability Scanners made in India.

So all-and-all, I just wanted to bring this point in front of everybody, that it is all going to be data-data and data. How do we make sure that the data stays in India? How do we make sure that we use Indian make in India products? and How do we make sure that Government and Indian Companies work together for the growth of the nation?

Thank you.

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