|Exchange Online Plan 1||Exchange Online Plan 2||Exchange Online Kiosk|
|Office 365 SKUs & Plans Inclusion||Office 365 Business Essentials
Office 365 Business Premium
Office 365Enterprise E1
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Office 365Education E3
Office 365Government E3
Office 365Enterprise E4
Office 365Education E4
Office 365Government E4
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Office 365Government K1
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|Planning and Deployment||Exchange Online Plan 1||Exchange Online Plan 2||Exchange Online Kiosk|
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|User Mailboxes||50 GB||50 GB||2 GB|
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|Exchange ActiveSync device limit||100||100||100|
|Exchange ActiveSync device deletion limit||20||20||20|
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During his keynote address at vForum 2015 in Mumbai, Sanjay Poonen, Executive Vice President and General Manager, End-User Computing (EUC), VMware, drew the attention of the audience to a big popped-up photo on the giant screen and said a lot of things have changed in the data center and security segments since the man in the picture spoke on security and privacy. Poonen was referring to 32 year old, Edward Joseph Snowden, whose disclosure on numerous global surveillance programs run by different governments led to intense debate on data security and privacy, and finally catalysed the concept of data localisation, leading to indirect growth of the data center industry across the globe. And, the story for India, which has always been on the forefront of using technology, is no different.
The need to increase storage capacity, continuous rise of data usage, government focus on digitisation and the strategy of tech giants to diversify by establishing local data centers are propelling the demand for data centers across the globe. In India, this segment is also buoyed by the positive sentiments in the government projects such as Digital India, Make in India, Smart Cities and the strong resurgence of growth-related projects across different verticals such as manufacturing, e-commerce & retail, IT/ITeS, BFSI (primarily non-critical workloads) and emerging verticals like education, hospitality, healthcare and communications & media.
According to research carried out by Gartner, the value of the Indian data center infrastructure and solutions market will show a 5.2 percent increase year-on-year, totaling $2 billion in 2016. The research firm also believes that this segment will also be the fastest growing market, as spending is forecasted to increase 5.9 percent in 2016.
Even on the global level, the current macro trends driving the growth of data, and in turn the data center industry, more or less remain same – proliferation of tablets and smartphones, coupled with the content required to satisfy the seemingly insatiable end users. Billions of dollars are spent on data center infrastructure in order to meet the growing demands of businesses and their customers. Having the right data center infrastructure in place has become a kind of new “arms race” for companies trying to differentiate themselves and meet the growing demand in this crowded technology driven market. Says Sanjay Poonen, “It is the most exciting time to be in technology. Cloud, virtualisation, analytics and security are coming together in such a way that it is the right time for companies to be ready for any trend.”
The growth drivers
In India, around 2005, the trend shifted from paper-based to digital information management and therefore data centers became common and essential to the functioning of business systems for enterprises and governments. Apart from private data centers, the Government of India also set-up many data centers in states under the leadership of National Informatics Centre (NIC). Since then, the overall segment has moved so far that today cloud, mobility and virtualisation are not any more the technology trends that enterprises seek. These trends have gradually become mainstream.
“With technological advancement and most businesses expanding beyond geographical boundaries in the last couple of years, the generation and consumption of data has increased manifold, thereby creating a strong need for storage capacity. Additionally, the growth in software adoption with the proliferation of the cloud has made the concept of software-defined another business reality, with businesses adopting this model in the quest for efficiency, scalability and security,” says Srikanth Karnakota, who heads the server and cloud business for Microsoft India as Director. Karnakota also believes that the advent of digitisation across sectors and convergence of the “Digital Enterprise” has further fueled the demand for data centers.
Agreeing with the views of Karnakota, Ankesh Kumar who leads the product management & marketing at Emerson Network Power India as director says, “Cloud and virtualisation in the data center is no longer a myth with quite a few prominent players like AWS, Netmagic and Microsoft announcing extensive plans to invest in state-of-the-art data center facilities in the country.”
Many experts we spoke with, were unanimously of the view that factors such as – companies consolidating their collection of server rooms and data centers into centralised regional sites to cut cost; virtualisation and compression technology enabling companies to deploy more and use more data heavy applications; exponential growth of cloud based solutions and the need of cloud vendors for more data centers infrastructure to support their offerings – are giving steady pace to data center business growth in the country.
In India, the major demand is coming from the SMB and SME sector. They are mostly adopting hybrid cloud, which is a combination of on-premise and cloud offerings. Also, for reducing cost and risk, data center facilities are being designed and constructed from integrated, prefabricated modules. This approach enables organisations to develop fully customised, high performance data centers in far less time than it takes using traditional processes. Overall, the focus has shifted towards ensuring modularity with a razor sharp focus on maintaining energy efficiency.
Post Edward Snowden’s revelation, many countries including India are mulling to bring legislation on data sovereignty popularly known as data localisation and hence multinational companies are setting up local data centers in advance. Recently, we have seen some announcements from Microsoft on this front.
Analysts from International Data Corporation (IDC) expect the data center business to continue to increase for some time before these organisations also start looking at increased regulation and compliance issues. “Government approach in this regard would also matter with respect to the tenacity of regulations and verticals, going forward,” says Gaurav Sharma, research manager – enterprise & IPDS at IDC India.
Ankesh Kumar of Emerson Network Power also believes that capital expenditure, operating expenditure, along with regulatory compliance and security guidelines impact the decision of enterprises in setting up data centers.
Who is leading the growth
Many tech giants such as Microsoft, Amazon, IBM and NTT Communications, Tata Telecommunications and the government’s own National Informatics Centre are now racing to set up data centers.
Microsoft has commissioned three “hyper-scale” data centers in India. The firm has already started a private preview of these data centers with over 100 existing customers on board across different segments such as BFSI, government, manufacturing and start-ups. Microsoft will be spending Rs 1,400 crore on setting up these data centers. The company has already set up the cloud data centres in Mumbai, Pune and Chennai. Microsoft India’s cloud business is growing at over 105% annually and with the establishment of the local data centers, it is expecting a further acceleration in its business.
Amazon will establish multiple data centers in India in 2016 with an investment of millions of dollars. Amazon has 12,000 AWS active customers in India, across enterprises, small to medium size businesses, and startups. AWS is the pioneer in cloud infrastructure services and is the world’s largest in the space, with revenue expected to be $6.2 billion in 2015, out of Amazon’s overall revenue of over $90 billion (most revenues now come from the e-commerce business, but AWS is growing at 40-50% annually). Research firm Synergy estimates that AWS’s revenue from cloud infrastructure services in the first quarter of 2015 was larger than the combined revenue of its four main competitors – IBM, Microsoft, Google and Salesforce. Its Indian clients currently mostly use its Singapore data center.
IBM has already launched a 30000 sq. ft. cloud center in Airoli, Mumbai offering cloud services late last year and a second data center is expected to be ready later this year.
NTT Communications plans to invest $100 million in developing a new data center in Mumbai through its subsidiary Netmagic Solutions. NTT acquired Netmagic, a managed services provider, in 2012. The new data center will be spread across 300,000 square feet and host up to 3,000 server racks with 20-28 MW energy capacity. The company is likely to announce global cloud services to facilitate multinational companies.
Tata Communications will invest more than $200 million (Rs 1,200 crore) towards doubling its data centre capacity in India to 10 lakh square feet over three years. The company owns an undersea cable network and provides wholesale communication and data centre services to corporates. The Tata Group company leads the data centre market with a 31% share in India, and counts a global social media company among its customers.
Google’s investments in data centers in Asia are outside India. New investments will take Google’s data center investments in Singapore to $500 million and in Taiwan to $600 million.
US based, Pi Datacentres plans to invest Rs 600 crore to set up a facility in India and expects to start operations from March 2016. The data centre would be a purpose-built green field facility with a constructed area of more than 5 lakh square feet.
Nashik headquartered ESDS Software Solution is investing about Rs 335 crore to set up three data centres in India. The company will invest Rs 200 crore for the Navi Mumbai centre and Rs 100 crore for Bengaluru, while that for Nashik would be 35 crore. With this investment, the company will create a 2 lakh sqft data centre in Navi Mumbai, 1 lakh sqft data center in Bengaluru and a 50,000 sqft data centre in Nashik.
On the other hand companies such as Oracle are also mulling to set-up a data center in the country. Recently, in an interview to Express Computer, Prashant Ketkar, Vice President – Oracle Cloud, Oracle said, “As we focus more and more on India, we will have to think about a data center presence in the country. We are in the process of figuring out how we can get more involved and how can we facilitate that. When is the right time to make the investment and how can we overcome some infrastructural challenges like shortage of electricity grids etc. We do see ourselves setting up a data center in the future.”
Key obstacles and hurdles
Adopting efficient technologies and architectures for proper space utilisation; building an architecture and design for minimum redundancy; constant updation and skill building; maintenance and increased SLAs; optimisation and cost efficiency with converged infrastructure, Flash, SDI etc; getting more budgets and energy efficiency are some of the continuous challenges that every enterprise organisation needs to work on. However, one of the most challenging tasks has been security. In fact, in the recent past, it has proven to be both a boon and bane. On one hand, due to security concerns, companies are forced to open data centers across different locations and on the other hand, due to security fears, some companies are unable to move to cloud or adopt virtualisation.
“This is true to a certain extent. Giving physical control over to a third party is sometimes challenging – especially in the context of security. The other way to look at it is that, now one has access to the best in class security frameworks as the capital expenditure is shifted to cloud operators. However, a combination of private and public cloud federation can alleviate most of the issues,” says Sajan Paul, director – systems engineering, India & SAARC, Juniper Networks.
Adding to what Sajan opined, Rajesh Shetty, Vice President – sales – South, Cisco India, says “While considering the overall framework, security is a very important requirement as multiple mobile devices connect to the network, specifically with regard to the mechanism for these devices to connect wirelessly to the network.”
What lies ahead
With proliferation of e-commerce, focus on digitisation and India being the nerve center for major IT activities, the demand for high storage will continue, resulting in phenomenal growth of data centers in the country.
In India, Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata are the most favourable sites for setting-up data centers. In fact, Mumbai’s location facing the west coast is perfect as it is well connected as multiple submarine cables land in this region, going through the middle east to Europe and the other way through South East Asia. On the other hand, Cochin longer down the coast is also connected to multiple of submarine cables, which also makes it an attractive destination.
“In the future, large enterprises will continue to invest in infrastructure replacement and growth related projects covering enterprise mobility, cloud and big data solutions. Also, they will be focusing on building intelligent data centers that focus on optimising existing hardware assets by using additional software capabilities. This will drive increased attention on newer trends such as public cloud and integrated systems,”opines Paul of Juniper Network.
While data security and regulatory concerns pose a big challenge for many enterprises in the global data center industry, it is also creating a massive opportunity for those firms that are able to help customers manage the compliance risk and shape this through their data center strategy. Like global CIOs and CTOs, the strategy of many of the Indian tech heads revolves around a hybrid data center approach that involves a blend of many strategies such as renting data center space, turning over some applications to a Software as a Service (SaaS) vendor or disaster recovery (DR) to an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider, and continuing to update and virtualise their own data center infrastructure and develop an internal cloud. As IDC observes, the future continues to lie in a hybrid data center.
In the future, the growth will be primarily driven by data center hosting players, high speed Internet bandwidth service providers, hardware vendors, power and cooling solution providers, and system integrators. As the market expands, some new players other than IBM, Microsoft, AWS, Netmagic, Tata Communications, may also move into the data center investment market. And as the market continues to mature, it is likely to see greater creativity and complexity being used in terms of the investment structures and options available.
It’s very clear that cloud is now impacting organizations of all sizes and across all verticals. Cisco recently reported that by 2019, more than 86 percent of workloads will be processed by cloud data centers. Furthermore, global spending on IaaS reached more than US$16.5 billion in 2015, an increase of 32.8 percent from 2014, according to Gartner’s latest forecast. Finally, findings from a recent Gartner report go on to say that the use of cloud computing is growing, and by 2016 this growth will increase to become the bulk of new IT spend.
A critical point to remember here is that cloud computing isn’t just one overarching umbrella term. Rather, today’s cloud ecosystems is a collection of services, infrastructure and resources all being delivered for various use-cases. With that in mind – let’s look at some modern cloud services and how they impact your business.
- Network-as-a-Service.As more users connect to the cloud, data centers will need to figure out a better way to deliver high quality, low latency, network services. Already, we’re seeing NaaS become a key category of cloud computing where specific delivery models are defining how users utilize these services. For example, Bandwidth-on-Demand (BoD) can be considered a NaaS service model where bandwidth can dynamically adapt to the live requirements of traffic. Furthermore this can be configured based on number of connections, nodes connected to the data center, and where traffic priority policies integrate. As more users connect to the data center for things like streaming, data sharing, and consuming compute cycles – delivering high quality network services will be an absolute necessity.
NaaS isn’t a new concept, but its deployment has been hindered by some of the same concerns that have affected other cloud computing services — especially questions about the provider’s ability to guarantee high availability (HA). Other concerns include dealing with service level agreements (SLAs), compliance issues related to data sovereignty and the possibility of vendor lock-in.
- Network as a service (NaaS) is a cloud model for delivering network services virtually, either through subscription or ‘pay as you use’ service model. Through NaaS all that is required of the customer is a computer with an internet connection that is connected to the NaaS portal made available through a NaaS provider/cloud provider. NaaS simplifies network architecture through virtualization.
- Cloud providers are able to control the network throughout, from provisioning to running and the decommission process and linking the software to the business support systems for necessary processes such as billing.
Various modes of cloud networking:
- Network-as-a-service (NaaS) :A managed networking service solution delivered on-demand and as a service. This form of networking may or may not be cloud based, dependant on your business requirements.
- Cloud-based networking : This is a virtualised network based in the cloud. Infrastructure and services all take place in the cloud including management of the network as well as policy and data forwarding or switching.
- Cloud-enabled networking : With this type of networking, the management of the network and policies is done in the cloud however data is not stored in the cloud and all actions are performed locally via an application or client.
Benefits and concern of cloud networking
Benefits of NaaS
- Operation benefits from centralized policy-based flow control
- Optimal flexibility in capacity control
- On-demand network resource usage and/or procurement
- Optimal network activity and/or bandwidth utilisation within minimal downtime
- Ability to deliver new network capabilities and services without the requirement of configuring individual devices
- Fast deployment and no time spent on installing and configuring networking equipment
- Management and maintenance is simplified, the cloud provider maintains the network
- Analytics, detailed reports and insight into how services are functioning is easily obtained
- Improved network efficiency
- Improved accessibility and mobility, the network can be connected to using any mobile device with internet capabilities from anywhere at any time
- Option for disaster recovery
- Increased scalability instantaneously, the ability to rapidly add capacity is hugely beneficial
- Cost savings through reduced or even no capital investment and no future purchasing of hardware upgrades or software
Concerns holding back cloud networking
- Availability guarantees, concerns of service outage or degradation
Companies need resiliency details such as redundancy and backup procedures in place for the maximum availability of data.
- Security concerns.
Providers need to ensure customers that the customer has sole access to data and only they can make changes to it. Security certification obtained may help in alleviating this concern.
Many companies face compliance regulations that they are required to abide by to function within the law. Cloud providers should be transparent with companies with regards to encryption methods used, reporting capabilities and data location.
Maintaining privacy of company data is also a valid concern. The customers’ need assurance that the data is not monitored by the cloud provider or outsiders. Using authentication techniques and encryption methods can lessen the concern.
- Lack of industry standards
- Vendor lock-in
- Decreased control of the infrastructure
- Concern of losing data
- Concerns of integration into an already mature environment
Looking at the benefits and concerns surrounding networking in the cloud a few broad benefits can be noticed, specifically in the areas of independence (segregated networks are possible), resilience (critical applications can be treated with caution), bursting (increased network capacity can be obtained at periods of peak usage, on-demand) and analytics (reporting on performance is simpler).
While these benefits hold great promise it’s essential to not overlook possible operational implications when moving from the present network infrastructure to a cloud based one. Moving to a cloud networking landscape infers a noteworthy transfer of ownership, like with many of the other cloud models now commonly being used. It’s important that this concern is managed with great care and that all possible agreements and training is in place to assure a good comfort level for all involved.
Initial thoughts and steps towards the transformation to a cloud networking environment
When contemplating the concerns of a cloud network, many of those concerns could be alleviated thorough investigation leading to the finding of a reputable cloud vendor that you have confidence in. A vendor with a proven track record and reputation in the market is always a good starting point.
Some areas to consider when researching and determining a suitable vendor:
- Cost or billing options, it’s always good to get the cost or billing options upfront to avoid any unnecessary tension and conflict further down the line
- Architecture and operating system support levels
- Ability to orchestrate across varied consumption models
- Data protection, compliance and security offered. The security you require is highly dependent on the type of data you are responsible for. Be sure to make this a priority.
- Services or features included in the services offered
- Vendor performance and availability SLA’s
- Contracts that provide agility and flexibility that can adapt over time if required
- Time to configure
- Vendor track record and reputation
- A vendor that is innovative and knowledgeable with a passion for the area of business
- Vendor location
Although cloud networking per se may not be common place as yet, especially regarding wide-area-networks and networks that expand entire regions, there is no reason why you can’t take the necessary steps in preparation for the transformation. Some forward thinking may take the weight off for the probable outcome, as networks are likely to be next to join the cloud landscape.
Apart from this below are few more as a service :
- Data-as-a-Service. With more users comes a lot more data. In this service model, data is delivered on demand in a manner which allows the actual information to be clean and very agile. The idea is to offer data to various systems, different types of applications, and different user groups. This data would be available regardless of whether the user is inside of the organization or out of it. Furthermore, policies can be wrapped around this data to further enhance QoS, integrity, and agility. Already, big cloud vendors are utilizing a variety of DaaS models to enhance the data delivery process. Providers like Microsoft Azuredeliver and store data via three different methods – queues, tables, and blobs. The future of DaaS is bright. Organizations will want to further control and optimize both structured and unstructured data sets. Applications include everything from optimized data delivery to big data analytics.
- Backend-as-a-Service. This one is becoming very popular – very fast. The major influx of users coming in via mobile devices has created a boom in mobile application development. BaaS allows for both web and mobile application platforms to link to backend cloud storage services. This helps provide optimized features around push notifications to a variety of devices, complete user management, and the ability to integrate with other social networking platforms. In utilizing SDKs and various APIs, BaaS is able to directly integrate various cloud services with both web and mobile applications. Already, there is a broad focus where open platforms aim to support every major platform including iOS,Android, Windows, and Blackberry. Furthermore, the BaaS platform aims to further enhance the mobile computing experience by integrating with cloud-ready hosting vendors like Azure, Rackspace and EC2. Still curious? Take a look at what some BaaS providers have been doing. For example, DreamFactoryprovides a truly open-source software platform capable of integrating with any cloud or data center provider. Basically, it gives you the back-end and you create the front-end app.
- Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service. A very popular cloud service is one that revolves around corporate and infrastructure resiliency. DR-as-a-Service comes in a number of flavors capable of supporting a lot of different types of use-cases. For example, if you have critical workloads that must stay up at all times – you can create a hot, mirrored, site capable of load-balancing users and workloads should an emergency occur. Similarly, if you have apps or resources which aren’t as critical, you can create a warm or cold site which can allow for fast failover, lower cost, and still meet business needs. The difference here is your tolerance to downtime. One major recommendation is to conduct a business impact analysis (BIA). This helps you understand which systems must stay up, which can sustain a little bit of downtime, and which are not critical. This allows you to design a DR strategy that best fits your business and user’s needs.
- Storage-as-a-Service. Maybe you’re trying to reduce your data center footprint or maybe you’re just trying to extend your data center ecosystem. Whatever the case, storage options are now great when it comes to cloud. Major vendors like AWS and Azure offer very specific storage services. Similarly, traditional data center providers and cloud hosting shops also offer various storage services. This is great to support applications living in the cloud, new users coming in to request services or resources, and it helps evolve business strategy. Storage can be tricky. When moving workloads into the cloud for storage purposes, make sure to understand requirements and performance metrics. User experience is critical when you begin to migrate workloads into a cloud storage ecosystem.
- Software-as-a-Service (Desktops and Apps). One of the founding types of cloud services, SaaS has really come a long way. In fact, I’m bundling in desktop delivery as well as application delivery into this category. There has been an absolute resurgence behind cloud-based software and desktop delivery. Organizations are seeing direct benefits in working with cloud systems which can, for example, control and delivery entire VDI environments. Now, you have more resources, powerful optimization layers, and even user control methodologies all living in the cloud. This means that use-cases which you never thought were possible in the cloud – can now be delivered in an “as-a-Service” ecosystem. Mid-market and SMBs are seeing the direct benefit of delivering powerful desktops and applications directly via the cloud. This introduces greater levels of competitive capabilities and helps create better data center economics.
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (and Everything-as-a-Service). Data center resources have become a lot more powerful and are capable of supporting more diverse workloads. Cloud services now allow you to utilize specific physical resources, within your cloud provider’s environment, to deliver a variety of applications and use-cases. Today, many organizations are evaluating their own data center and business strategies. Do you invest in more on premise infrastructure or do you utilize cloud? The reality is that many organizations are finding an even balance in using hybrid cloud services to create a very agile business. Data center and cloud providers are offering many different types of services to get you to host “everything” in their cloud ecosystem. Today, there are many options to the type of infrastructure you can deploy, where cloud can have an impact, and where you can align your business.
If you’re looking at cloud hosting options and are feeling overwhelmed; don’t be. Take a step back and realize that cloud is a powerful ecosystem capable of fitting in with your very specific needs. If you lack expertise, work with a partner to help you understand where cloud fits in with your business strategy or contact on my Mobile no +91 9870291860 .
It’s much easier to move into a cloud environment or utilize a cloud service than ever before. Organizations looking to stay agile and competitive in today’s market must absolutely look at ways cloud can be incorporated into the business.
Thanks and Regards
Cloud Solution Consultant and Microsoft Licensing Sales Specialist for West Region at Dimension Data (NTT Group)