According to a recent article in The Economic Times, Microsoft is assessing the possibility of building its first data centre in India. If the software giants’ plans come to fruition, it will be the first data centre built by a multinational in the country.

“We are considering a data centre in India,” said Jim Dubois, Microsoft’s corporate vice-president and chief information officer, confirming the move. “There are a lot of different companies that are looking at cloud right now, in anticipation that Microsoft will somehow figure out how to get that work.”

Both Gartner and IDC expect India’s cloud market to see rapid growth over the next few years – the former predicts that he public cloud services market will grow from $423 million in 2013 to $1.3 billion in 2017, while the latter estimates that India cloud-computing market as a whole will grow from its $688 million value in 2012 to $3.5 billion by 2016.

It is no surprise, therefore, that Microsoft are looking to expand their data centre efforts to India. Microsoft already has 10,000 partners with a strong base of 1.6 million developers involved in driving the cloud ecosystem, according to one report. Furthermore, Microsoft’s cloud partner ecosystem witnessed 200 percent growth last year, and it’s cloud platform, Azure, witnessed 100 percent growth in terms of the number of independent software vendors running their application on the service.

Despite the aforementioned forecasts, cloud computing giants have been slow to enter India — Google, Amazon and Microsoft, for example, have a total of 33 data centre’s globally, but all have yet to build a local data centre in the country. As the ET explains, “unpredictable power supply”, limited bandwidth and poor Internet connectivity could all be reasons for the slow uptake.

However, as Research Director at Gartner, Naveen Mishra, comments,

“With high optimism, everyone is of opinion that enterprises will invest more into expansion and they will have to leverage IT for growth…Over the last couple of years, the groundwork has been done in terms of Indian customers understanding nuances in public cloud. We are hearing about Amazon considering setting up a data centre in India but nothing has happened yet.”

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(Image Credit: Christopher Bowns)

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