sensible for an enterprise to outsource its hosting
needs than to build a suitable infrastructure. And if
the applications are India-centric, it's even more sensible
to host them in an Indian data center. Here's a look
at Sify's Level-3 data center to understand how it can
help your organization carry out commerce. by Soutiman
many businesses, it's a better idea to outsource its
hosting needs rather than tackle the challenges of building
a suitable infrastructure on-site. Avinash J., President,
Hosting Services, of the Satyam Infoway Limited (Sify)
Internet Data Center (IDC) at Vashi Infotech Park in
Navi Mumbai, talks about the advantages of outsourcing.
It costs about six times more to build equivalent
Allows focus on core business
Eliminates the threat of obsolescence
Reduces man count overhead
Allows to 'pay as you use'
Provides rapid Scalability
"However certain context may necessitate the building
of IDC's as in the case of various governments migrating
to e-governance and financial institutions seeking their
on images for larger view
Sify claims to be the country's first Level-3 IDC and
to have the country's first offsite disaster recovery
center at Tidel Park, Chennai.
"As businesses grow into virtual enterprises, there
is a greater need for a physical environment to keep
the servers running 24x7x365. Outsourcing management
and monitoring of mission-critical Internet operations
is crucial for stability in an increasingly complex
network environment. High website traffic and various
e-commerce applications demand that companies find reliable
network solutions in order to meet mission-critical
requirements for availability, redundancy and scalability.
The right Web host will provide you with a high-performance
network to meet critical business application demands
online. And you can focus on acquiring new customers
while your Web hosting partner addresses the technology
needs," says Avinash J.
The IDC offers a number of services to its customers.
The managed services offerings include backup services,
full weekly off-site storage in fireproof vaults, and
utilization reports of resources like bandwidth, memory,
CPU, and HDD.
Security services include OS hardening, Intrusion Detection
services, incident handling, penetration testing, patch
testing, vulnerability assessment, and firewall analysis.
Value-added services include basic alert services, SSL
acceleration, content distribution, local load balancing,
global load balancing, on-demand video streaming, and
live video streaming.
Off-site disaster recovery services are available at
Chennai and Mumbai in a hot standby/cold standby mode.
A range of mail services include POP and IMAP mail accounts,
and mail relay.
Hardware and software services include procurement,
configuration, installation and maintenance. This IDC
offers 24x7 premier support for Microsoft, and has expertise
on Solaris, Win2K, and Linux platforms.
The other services include, server monitoring, network
monitoring, outside-in monitoring of site availability;
server configuration, back-end network design, and legacy
A team of Web services personnel takes care of e-commerce
applications, storefront applications, transaction applications,
authorization applications, and fulfillment applications.
And the above services are bound together with a customer
service team and Service Level Agreements (SLAs). The
network SLA offers 99.6 percent uptime.
The IDC LAN and WAN
The IDC LAN has been segregated into two areas, A and
B. LAN A is dedicated to Internet access, and LAN B
is dedicated to management access and direct customer
access to their servers for management. If one LAN fails,
the other takes over automatically. The segregated access
ensures that Internet bandwidth is not hogged by the
IDC and customer management on servers. The border routers,
core routers, and switches are all set up in a redundant
"The WAN architecture ensures that an application
hosted at the IDC is not more than three hops away from
any location in the country, irrespective of the ISP
used. This keeps local traffic local, and eliminates
the need for India-centric applications to be hosted
overseas, avoiding the slow browsing speeds due to longer
paths traversed over choked international bandwidth,"
said Avinash J.
Sify claims that its IDC has 30 times more capacity
than any other service provider in India, and provides
the following information about its network:
Sify's private terrestial data network has high-speed
multiple 2 Mbps links from DoT.
Spans 46 cities nationwide.
Has IPLC-based international gateways and has tied
up with MCI Worldcom.
Uses satellite based gateways to provide bandwidth
of 100 Mbps.
Uses existing bandwidth through VSNL of 70 Mbps.
Has a hosting bandwidth backbone of 36 Mbps.
Is also a local service provider which ensures that
a browser is never more than 3 hops away from any
site hosted at Sify's IDC.
Sify hosting has commissioned two full-fledged offsite
Disaster Recovery (DR) centers at Chennai and Mumbai.
DR centers are fully operational and are manned by a
specialized team on a 24x7x365 basis.
The IDC is built over an area of 7,000 sq. feet. The
floor is raised by 19 inches to accommodate equipment
and can withstand 500 Kg/sq. mt. The ceiling in the
server farm and electrical panel area is made of aluminum
which is perforated and coated with fire retardant powder.
The ceilings in other areas are coated with gypsum.
There are two 120 KVA UPSs and the company proposes
to install four 400 KVA UPS in future. The battery allows
uninterrupted use for 15 minutes and then a generator
set takes over.
The environment is precision-controlled and has adequate
fire detection and fire protection capabilities. The
access control system uses access cards, CCTV, and biometric
The data center area has provision for locked cages
and cabinets for added physical security.
If an organization's applications are India-centric,
it makes better sense to host it in India, rather than
in a remote country. Colgate-Palmolive India Limited
has recently used Sify's IDC services to host an online
application which can be archived and accessed globally,
and used as a resource center by other Colgate offices
worldwide. The IDC's other clients are HLL, NSE, Godrej
Soaps, Ranbaxy, and Bayer India.
Avinash J. says, "Our IDC has achieved a Level-3
certification which is benchmarked against global standards.
This along with the advantage of having a dedicated
hosting backbone super-imposed on our ISP backbone means
that India-centric offerings would be served better
by saving a longer path a browser would have to take
of hosted outside the country."
Soutiman Das Gupta can be reached