Intel Data Center Push Reaches to Mumbai

BANGALORE, INDIA (05/24/2000) - As part of its global expansion, Intel Online Services (IOS), the Internet application hosting subsidiary of Intel Corp., is setting up a data center in Mumbai, India's financial and business hub.

In the first phase of the data center at Mumbai, which will be set up over the next two to three months, will offer basic co-location and provisioned co-location services, according to Narayan Manepally, the data center manager for Intel Online Services at Intel Technologies India Pvt. Ltd.

Intel has positioned itself as a supplier of building blocks to the Internet economy, and the new data center services business is part of this strategy, according to Manepally. The data centers, however, will not deploy only Intel products and technologies. "If there are technologies within Intel that are relevant, we will use them, but it will all be customer driven," he added.

For the co-location services, customers choose and buy the hardware and software, and Intel runs and manages it, taking responsibility for the building, power, network connection and security. Intel will also offer provisioned co-location, which will consist of servers leased to users by Intel, so users do not have to buy hardware. Intel has not yet said what the monthly leasing fees will be.

IOS will not be in the business of traditional IT outsourcing, but is focused on companies that require an "Internet facing presence ... This is not facilities management, but Web hosting and data hosting,"according to Manepally.

Target customers will typically include dot-com companies or brick-and-mortar companies wanting to transact business over the Internet.

The opportunity that India holds out for Intel's data center business is its fastest Internet growth rate in Asia, with Internet e-commerce projected to be over US$1.3 billion by the end of 2003, according to Manepally.

"India also has an educated and experienced workforce and a business environment friendly to Internet business," he added.

Currently most companies in India, including dot-coms, host their Web sites in the U.S., even if their target audiences are in India.

"We recommend to our customers to host in the U.S. with Exodus Communications Inc. or Digital Island Inc.," said Anand Sudarshan, president of Bangalore-based Planetasia.com Ltd., an Internet professional services company in Bangalore that helps companies set up an Internet presence.

"If Intel's data center in Mumbai can offer comparable bandwidth, availability, and redundancy, it will offer a better option to Indian companies addressing the Indian market, as well as some U.S. portals that may want to set up mirror sites in India."

However, Sudarshan cautioned that soon Intel will be up against competition in India from other hosting companies.

Intel plans to have 10 data centers by the end of this year, and already has data centers in Santa Clara, California, and Chantilly, Virginia, in the U.S., and in Korea. In Asia, besides the centers in Korea and India, a data center in Japan is expected to be operational soon. Intel has not disclosed the size of its investment in the data center in Mumbai, but the company has announced plans to invest $1 billion in IOS by the end of 2001, primarily to set up data centers worldwide.

In India, Intel is tying up with a undisclosed network services provider who will give Intel access to its Internet backbone and will also be paired with the backbone infrastructure of other service providers.

"We will outsource the network," said Manepally. Intel will, however, sign service level agreements with its customers both on the co-location and the network service and will also offer dedicated bandwidth to customers that require it.

Although it will not offer to build Web sites for customers, Intel will partner companies that offer these services. Down the line, Intel may offer what it calls "second generation services," depending on market demand. These services will include application hosting.

Intel Technologies India Pvt. Ltd. in Bangalore can be reached at +91-80-5550940 or http://www.intel.com/in.

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