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Issue of October 2004 

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Under one roof

Companies usually prefer to outsource their information management and connectivity needs to a single service provider. Here’s a look at one such service provider that offers a large range of services under one roof. by Soutiman Das Gupta

Outsourcing is a good way to reduce the time, cost, and resources required to maintain an organization's IT infrastructure. The outsourcing service provider will take up all the inevitable hassles of running a regular IT infrastructure and charge a fee in return.

As a part of the Tata Indicom Enterprise Business Unit (TIEBU), VSNL runs Internet Data Centers (IDCs) in five nationwide locations. It offers a large number of IT infrastructure and connectivity management solutions under one roof. Let's take a look at some of the services and features that are offered.

IDC services

VSNL currently operates IDCs in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, and New Delhi. They have been benchmarked to global standards and norms and are built on similar lines.

Basic infrastructure

Each of the IDCs is custom-designed with raised floors, precision air-conditioning with accurate temperature, and humidity control systems with separate cooling zones. They offer a range of physical security features, including smoke detection, fire suppression systems, motion sensors, and 24x7 secured access with biometric and proximity card readers. Video camera surveillance and security breach alarms help to make the places more secure.

Tailored services

The company provides tailored outsourcing solution to meet specific needs. The client organization can choose the platform, the software, the usage level, and degree of support that most closely matches the business needs. The client can determine the length of commitment, and retain control of its data, applications, and system software.

Co-location Services

The IDCs allows companies to co-locate their servers in a high availability and redundant infrastructure environment. There is the option of procuring rack space, bandwidth, connection to the Internet, UPSs, and 24x7 server monitoring.

Shared and dedicated hosting

Shared servers offer the ability to host a website or application on a managed server, and make payments quarterly. The information is stored on high performance Intel Processor-based servers that are maintained and managed daily. Shared hosting is currently available on Windows 2000, Windows NT, and Linux platforms.

Dedicated servers are devoted to the needs of customers. Currently, the standard server configurations are for Windows NT, Windows 2000, UNIX, and Linux. VSNL also provides a customized server, that can be modeled on customer specifications.

Dedicated caged area/virtual IDC

A dedicated area in the IDC is provided where an organization can co-locate its servers and applications. Access to this area is restricted according to the hiring company's requirements. Security offerings also include caging.

Other services

Customers can also choose from other services like:

  • Dedicated physical and electronic security measures
  • Caging of co-located area
  • Secure cabinets for equipment
  • Redundant, diversely routed bandwidth
  • High-speed internet connectivity to tire-1 carries
  • 24 x 7 monitoring of network connection and server availability
  • On-site technical support services
  • Vendor management services
  • Report generation

Connectivity services

The company offers a number of connectivity services for the corporate customer. Some of them are:

  • International Private Leased Circuits (IPLC) for point-to-point international connectivity
  • Internet Leased Line (ILL)
  • Bandwidth on demand
  • Managed Data Network Service (MDNS)
  • VPN
  • International Maritime Satellite Organisation (INMARSAT)
  • Corporate Net Telephony
  • Video Conferencing
  • NLD leased line
  • ISDN


The IPLC is a high capacity, high speed digital circuit that provides the opportunity to combine a variety of telecommunication applications, including the transmission of digitized voice, high speed data, high speed fax and graphics for video phones.

The company has points of presence in 23 nationwide locations where IPLC services can be provided through an international gateway.


There is a suite of services ranging from the premium to customized solutions of access. There is more than 1 Gbps international Internet bandwidth spread across multiple submarine cables, connected to the Tier-1 Internet backbone to provide high uptime and less delay.

Bandwidth on demand

With this service an organization can schedule bandwidth for high usage periods on monthly basis. A company can upgrade its Internet speed up to 100 percent over your existing speed and request for scheduled increment of bandwidth anytime of the day.

Requests can be placed through the Internet, usage patterns can be viewed from a Web-based interface, and users will be billed on a usage basis.


The MDNS based on Frame Relay technology is a managed end-to-end solution that provides an integrated data network for mission-critical applications as well those that need 'bursty' data.

The network uses packet-switching technology, Permanent Virtual Circuits (PVCs), and a Committed Information Rate (CIR).


There are two types of VPN packages:

  • Dial IP-VPN Service
  • Site-to-Site IP-VPN Service

The service is provided in 52 nationwide locations.


The International Maritime Satellite Organisation (INMARSAT) operates a constellation of geo-stationary satellites designed to extend phone, fax, and data communications all over the world. The constellation comprises five third-generation satellites backed up by four earlier satellites.

VSNL is one of the investors in INMARSAT and operates the land earth station at Arvi near Pune, India. VSNL through its Arvi LES offers INMARSAT services to cater to the communication needs of land, mobile and maritime communities.

Corporate Net Telephony

The company offers a range of customized Internet telephony solutions for enterprise customers. The company claims that customer will save over 70 percent on their domestic and international PSTN calls and enjoy real-time call experience similar to toll quality service.

VSNL offers three types of Net Telephoney services:

  • Managed corporate Internet telephony
  • Non-managed corporate Internet telephony
  • Closed User Group (CUG) calling Video conferencing

VSNL's videoconferencing systems operate under a variety of transport technologies like ISDN, Leased, and IP based videoconferencing systems. The company claims that it decreases the costs of videoconferencing over traditional telecom infrastructures.

VSNL offers multi-point videoconference connectivity within 16 national and international locations. There are conference studios designed for good acoustics with relevant facilities to benefit the service.

NLD leased line

National Long Distance Leased Line (NLD LL) is a high-speed solution for enterprises with large communication requirements. NLD leased line service is a dedicated point-to-point bandwidth, solely dedicated for the customer's business needs. Since the bandwidth is totally dedicated to the customer, the service provides secure, reliable, and high-speed connectivity.

Disaster Recovery

VSNL provides Disaster Recovery (DR) services to the corporate customer. The company has developed an industry vertical approach to the solution. After a study of some basic applications and hardware used across industry levels, the company has devised combinations of applications and hardware, which are being used by companies for their primary operations.

The company tries to establish shared DR infrastructure across that combination of application and hardware. One of the combinations which has evolved is IBM and SAP. The solutions team has also developed common DR infrastructure for specific industries like auto, FMCG/CD, metal, and PGP.

Domestic and last mile network

VSNL's DWDM network connects Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Cochin. It has leased capacities from BSNL, GAIL, Tata Power, and other service providers for enhanced redundancy options. It has also deployed end-to-end fiber networks in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Pune to provide managed leased line and voice services.

The company claims to have the largest IP network with direct peering with over 15 international carriers and more than 50 PoPs in India.

Soutiman Das Gupta can be reached at

VSNL's range of services includes:

  • Internet Data Center (IDC) services
  • Shared/dedicated/co-location services
  • Dedicated caged area/virtual IDC
  • International Private Leased Circuits (IPLC) for point-to-point international connectivity
  • Managed Data Network Service (MDNS)
  • International Maritime Satellite Organisation (INMARSAT)
  • Corporate Net Telephony
  • Video Conferencing
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