Data Center

State Data Centres: The Critical Infrastructure

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“SDC being a critical infrastructure requiring uptime of the highest order, selection of right  technology, monitoring, operation/management and conformance to the security and data   privacy will be major issues to be addressed,” says S P Singh, Senior Director, Department of Information Technology, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.”

The State Data Centres (SDC) have been recently  approved by the Government of India. What has been the progress made so far?

State Data Centre Scheme was approved by the Government of India on 24th January 2008  for establishing Data Centres across all states and union territories in the country. Since the  approval of the Scheme by the government, signifi cant progress has been made. Policy  guidelines on State Data Centre Scheme have been circulated to the states, which bring out  various issues and the implementation options that can be exercised by the state for the State  Data Centre. A panel of consultancy agencies has been created centrally and the consultancy  agency has been allocated to the states as per their choice and preference. These agencies have  been assisting the states in the Detailed Project Proposals preparation for the SDC.  Adopting the centralised approach, the Department of Information Technology (DIT) has  prepared template RFP (Request For Proposal) for State Data Centre implementation and  circulated to the states, which shall be used by the states and customised as per the states  requirements, and fi nalised. Further, the consulting agencies would assist the states in bid process management and overall project management upto the stage of successful  implementation and operationalisation of the State Data Centre.

“State Data Centre Scheme was approved by the Government of India on 24th January 2008 for establishing Data Centres across all states and union territories in the country. Since the approval of the Scheme by the government, signifi cant  progress has been made. Policy guidelines on State Data Centre Scheme have been  circulated to the states, which bring out various issues and the implementation options that can be exercised by the state for the State Data Centre”

How many states have already submitted their detailed project plans (DIP) for implementation of SDCs?

DIT has received proposals from 23 states, which were examined by the Empowered  Committee and approved during the last fi nancial year i.e., 2007-08 itself, involving a total  outlay of over INR 10,000 million.

What is the preferred mode of implementation of SDCs being adopted by the states ? Are they creating their own infrastructure or are they leveraging on physical infrastructure provided by the private players?

Under the SDC scheme, two implementation options have been given. Under Option I, the  state sets up, owns and manages operations of SDC for which a composite team of state IT and  the National Informatics Centre (NIC) will be formed and through Option II, the state  leverages on the capabilities of existing commercial Internet Data Centres (IDCs). All the 23  states approved so far, have opted for Option I, where the physical and IT infrastructure will  be with the state.

How active is the private sector in the operationalisation of SDCs?

The IT infrastructure segment is seeing an increased activity in the country. The private  sector will play a big role in the overall SDC scheme. There are many blue chip organisations in India providing IT infrastructure management services. By having a defi ned role for  operationalisation of SDC and postimplementation activities, the private players will bring in the best practices accepted and adopted worldwide for the data centre management and  operations.

What are some of the diffi culties being faced by the states
in operationalising the SDCs? How is DIT helping these states in overcoming them?

As the State Data Centre scheme is just at the implementation phase at the state level, it may  be possible to indicate the diffi culties they are facing in operationalising the SDCs. However,  being the core infrastructure pillar for the National e-Governance Plan and having  countrywide spread across the states, the latter are likely to face certain challenges in  integrating and migrating the available applications and infrastructure to the SDC. SDC  being a critical infrastructure requires uptime of the highest order, selection of right  technology, monitoring, operation/management and conformity to the security and data  privacy will be major issues to be addressed.

There are other challenges such as interoperability, business continuity, disaster recovery,  and capacity planning as well as optimal utilisation of resources and the infrastructure. Some  of these issues have been addressed as part of the policy guidelines. Further, the composite  team of domain specialists and experts on data centre and the manpower hired/ recruited  specifi cally for the data center shall be in a position to manage these issues technically and  professionally in a ssuccessful manner.

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