Nikhil Rathi is a serial tech entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Web Werks, a global leader in data centers and cloud services. Acting as a business catalyst, Nikhil has mounted Web Werks on the global map with multiple data center locations in strategic cities with many marquee clients. Each of these large-scale data center facilities meet the market’s developing requirement for scalability, energy efficiency, and highly interconnected facilities. Web Werks has partnered in 2021 with Iron Mountain to enhance its presence pan-India and cater to a growing base of international customers. Nikhil is also the founder of the largest Internet exchange (IX) in India which later merged in 2017 to form DE-CIX.
What technology breakthrough would pave the way for the ICT industry?
Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
NFV allows network operators to manage and expand their network capabilities on demand using virtual, software-based applications where physical boxes once stood in the network architecture. This makes it easier to load balance, scale up and down, and move functions across distributed hardware resources. With continual updates, operators can keep things running on the latest software without interruption to their customers.
Digital transformation directed and driven by AI and ML enables the gathering and analysis of data to better understand customers to help accelerate the introduction of new products and services. AI and ML are tools that can be used to plan and implement a digital transformation that focuses on what is needed to gain a competitive edge with customers now and in the future. They help companies develop comprehensive strategies for data transformation based on real-time market intelligence rather than piecemeal tactics of disjointed updating of systems and processes. IoT is the conduit that makes data-driven, intelligent data transformation possible.
What network-related development will have the greatest impact in our industry?
While the importance and need for new international submarine cables can hardly be overstated, it is important to build a domestic network of cables between cities overland. Unless the direct connectivity to data centers located in different cities is established, the full potential of the subsea cables will remain unexplored. Building of overland connectivity, especially between the two hubs of India, Mumbai, and Chennai has tremendous advantages. Such a direct connecting land-based route would be approximately 1,200 km in length. On the other hand, the Mumbai to Chennai sea cable connectivity requires construction of a 4,400 km long cable. Thus, there could be tremendous cost savings by implementing land-based connections. There are highly successful global precedents of such overland connections such as the Zafarana-Abu Talat link (400 km) in Egypt, and Satun-Songkhla link (123 km) in Thailand. By building direct cable connections between important IT and financial hubs, Indians can enjoy superior data speeds, lower latencies, and a great support system for its digital ambitions.
Is it important for companies to continue to innovate their organization or offerings, and why?
Business innovation is the act of introducing something new to a company in order to reinvigorate the company and promote new value and growth. Innovators predict changes in the market and provide solutions before people even realize they need them. Businesses cannot meet customers’ needs on a long-term basis unless you are willing to innovate.
In today’s software-defined competitive environments, enterprises endeavor to redefine their product portfolios to build margins, alter architectures, and establish themselves in a strong market and cost position. In such scenarios, there is a pressing need for a single platform that can span private, distributed, and public clouds so that operators can manage their traditional and modern applications using a consistent cloud platform. Web Werks VMX empowers its customers through software-defined products and restructuring. It bridges the gap between public and hybrid cloud, places a focus on software add-ons, builds the marketplace, and ultimately creates a unique ecosystem and subscription model for cloud consumption.
What value does PTC hold for you/your company?
PTC is a marketplace of global networks and content providers, along with other businesses. It helps to connect to global providers and get insights on leading technology, tools, and resources needed for success.
How does PTC fit with your company’s goals or your overall career purpose?
Organizations are now embracing digital, all thanks to the dynamism and spontaneity of the current economic environment. They are on a constant hunt for better infrastructure management that will deliver flexibility and IT operations efficiency while maximizing their reach. Hence, organizations are building their digital roadmap having a hybrid multi-cloud model comprising private cloud, multiple public clouds, and third-party colocation. Interconnection is at the core of this approach, which is nothing but private data exchange between businesses. Web Werks interconnection ecosystem is designed to provide our customers, network, and content partners (carriers, ISPs, Internet exchanges, SD-WAN providers, OTTs/CDNs) with one globally interconnected place to meet, interact, and transact with all of the stakeholders in their business ecosystem including financial institutions. This significantly shortens the time, resources, and effort required for them to create, consume, and commercialize new digital value. PTC’s platform will help us build up these relationships and receive the latest industry insights.
What advice would you share with current and future graduates interested in this field?
Telecommunications graduates work closely with information and communication technologies that drive our increasingly complex world in today’s digital era. As innovations in these technologies emerge, engineers must be aware of new trends, innovations, and industry changes. By continuing their education, telecommunications engineers will be able to add to their skill sets and excel in a field that is growing more important — and more exciting — by the day.
What is something that not that many people know about you?
Iron Mountain, JV partner of Web Werks, offers customers both the business and environmental benefits of renewable energy through Green Power Pass – a unique green power contracting for data center services. This is an annual certificate of attestation and detailed reporting packaging that allows customers to take credit for the green energy they consume in any of IMDC’s global data centers. Iron Mountain is also part of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA) that works across customers, suppliers, and policymakers to identify barriers to buying renewable energy and develop solutions that meet growing demand.
Web Werks and Iron Mountain are committed to using 100% renewable energy and efficient solutions. Web Werks data centers are carbon neutral, contributing towards global go green concepts. We run an efficient PUE which is 1.66 using efficient technology, and plan to have captive solar power as a renewable energy source to be green.
What has been a positive outcome organizationally or individually given the current state of the world?
Enterprises are adopting hybrid IT which is a mix of colocation and cloud. The pandemic has affected on-premise setups due to non-availability of the staff. Most of the IT leaders are migrating to third-party colocation data centers. Data centers like Web Werks and Iron Mountain provide both security and reliability benefits that go far beyond what the vast majority of businesses can provide in their private data centers. They provide the highest levels of physical security with sophisticated security systems. They are manned 24/7/365. The cloud adjacency provided by data centers can enable customers to leverage their low latency, high bandwidth connections to the cloud as well as providing a solid connection back to companies’ on-premise corporate network.
About Web Werks
Web Werks, India’s leading managed hosting and cloud solution provider, entered into a joint venture with Iron Mountain, a global data center provider in 2021. The JV delivers wholesale, retail, and hyperscale colocation facilities; cloud on-ramp; and interconnection solutions through uptime designed, carrier-neutral operational data centers in Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Pune, and with expansion plans in Bangalore, Chennai, and Hyderabad. Iron Mountain has 16+ data centers across the USA, EMEA, and APAC. Each of these large-scale data center facilities meets the market’s developing requirement for scalability, energy efficiency, and interconnectivity, and are carrier and cloud-neutral. Therefore, customers can have their critical infrastructure run nonstop.