In October 2010, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) announced its cloud initiative ‘Onecloud’ in collaboration with Datacraft. As part of this initiative, BSNL is setting up six data centers across India to create a cloud infrastructure. According to a recent announcement by the Uptime Institute, the design Certification is complete for five of these data centers (as tier 3 concurrently maintainable).
All six data centers being built as part of the BSNL cloud initiative–Onecloud—will receive the Uptime Institute’s Design and Facility certification in this year. Construction of these data centers is slated for completion by July 2011. Datacraft will build, operate and manage the BSNL cloud. The companies will jointly offer cloud services to small and medium businesses (SMB), the large enterprise, as well as Government sector.
Datacraft has partnered with Emerson Network Power India to build these data centers for the BSNL cloud. Located in Jaipur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana, Ghaziabad and Faridabad, the data centers will constitute a total data center space of 66,000 square feet. Besides its strong presence in these locations, data centers in these locations will allow BSNL to tap its potential customer base in an optimal manner.
Explaining the BSNL cloud strategy, Karthik Ramarao, the chief technology officer of Datacraft Asia says, “Locations like Ghaziabad and Faridabad are closer to places such as Delhi. This will make it easier to tap the Government sector. While Mumbai has several large enterprises, Jaipur, Ludhiana and Ahmedabad have a good base of SMBs from industries such as textile and gemstone.” Though the data centers will form a consolidated BSNL cloud, organizations might have certain service level expectations (such as latency and operational efficiency) which require hosting at the nearest data center.
The BSNL cloud will be backed up by the service provider’s telecom backbone. The telecom provider has 400 Gbps fiber connectivity across all states, and 2.5 Gbps connectivity at the sub-district level. BSNL is also building optical fiber cable (OFC) networks to connect 250,000 panchayats across India. “Depending on the user’s needs and budgets, it’s possible to offer a range of connectivity options. Users can choose to connect over the Internet, through a VPN, or over dark fiber,” says Ramarao.
The BSNL cloud will provide periphery applications such as ERP, CRM and e-mail, provided as a service. The two companies aim to tap the SMB sector with cloud based IT services such as infrastructure-as-a-service, desktop-as-a-service, storage-as-a-service, backup and disaster recovery as a service. There are no formal plans as yet on the specific government and public facing services that the BSNL cloud will offer.