A data center is a relatively centralized facility and is responsible for managing and ensuring the protection of essential and administrative-related information in digitally coded form. Data centers host servers, cloud computing, cloud software, and central server racks, all needed for storing and processing government data. Apart from equipment, data centers provide various customized services to fulfill government requirements, such as data hosting, cloud services, disaster recovery, and cyber security.
This study analyzes the procurement of data center equipment, services, and data center audits by various government agencies and PSUs. Over the last year (from January 2023 to January 2024), a total of 3265 tenders for data center equipment were collectively issued by Indian government agencies. Among these, Maharashtra led with 499 tenders, followed by Delhi with 370 tenders, and Uttar Pradesh with 264 tenders. These procurement activities are undertaken in various sectors, including education and sports, power, police and defense, and urban development. Below is a detailed analysis of data center equipment procurement undertaken by government agencies in India.
Educational Sector Dominates Data Center Equipment Tenders
Most data center equipment tenders primarily focus on purchasing computer servers. Of these, educational institutions are the significant procurers of such tenders. For example, the Ministry of Higher Education issued tenders for high-performance software and a GPU server. Similarly, the National Institute of Technology Uttarakhand released Computing and Storage Servers tenders. In addition, the Department of Technical Education issued tenders for procuring 2U rack servers, specifically to set up a High-Performance Computing Center at the College of Engineering, Thiruvananthapuram.
Besides educational institutions, the power sector is emerging as another critical buyer of server tender. For example, the Electrical Research and Development Association published a tender for server hardware supply, installation, and commissioning. Similarly, National Thermal Power Corporation Limited issued tenders for
servers with the license to operate 270. Further, the Maharashtra Energy Development Department published tenders for procuring, installing, commissioning, and maintaining intelligent rack solutions Mahagenco. Also, while other notable agencies, such as the Statistical Office of India, have announced tenders for AI servers, the National University of Forensic Sciences has announced the provision and installation of nuclear servers. Moreover, the Department of Defence released tenders for an RTDU indigenous hybrid GNSS time server.
Cloud Computing Emerges
Cloud computing emerges as another significant category of data center equipment. IT and telecom sectors are major procurers of cloud computing tenders. For instance, the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu Limited (ELCOT) issued tenders for the selection of a system integrator (SI) for data center operations and the implementation of a private cloud platform for the Tamil Nadu State Data Center and Tamil Nadu Disaster Recovery Centre. Similarly, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) solicited tenders to select a managed data center and cloud security service provider. Rajcomp Info Services Ltd. (RISL) also released tenders for technical support, subscription, and workforce to maintain and support the existing Microsoft Azure Stack.
Several other noteworthy agencies are also actively involved in procuring cloud computing services. For instance, the Panvel Municipal Corporation issued tenders for sourcing cloud hosting services from a cloud service provider approved by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) for the government community cloud. Additionally, the Life Insurance Corporation of India published tenders for engaging the services of a cloud service provider to establish a national-level data repository at NABARD Mumbai. Furthermore, the Uttarakhand Cooperative Dairy Federation Ltd. advertised tenders for cloud infrastructure management.
Data Center Equipment – Top Ranked States (Live Tenders)
As of January 29, 2024, there are 198 active data center equipment tenders in India. Maharashtra tops the list with 46 tenders, accounting for 23% of the total. Delhi follows this with 37 tenders (19%), Uttar Pradesh with 29 tenders (15%), West Bengal with 28 tenders (14%), Karnataka with 25 tenders (13%) and Kerala with 17 tenders (9%) and Madhya Pradesh with 16 tenders (8%).
Data Center Services
Government agencies often rent data centers instead of building their own. Government agencies across various sectors, such as IT and telecom, power, and industry, seek to lease data center services. A detailed breakdown of data center services undertaken by the government across different sectors is provided below.
In the preceding year of 2023, 642 tenders for data center services were published. Webel Technology Ltd, for example, issued tenders for supporting, updating, technological upgrading, and installing existing IT and non-IT data center infrastructure on the first and second floors of SDC and high-performance data center infrastructure at Monibhandar and the DR site in Purulia. Similarly, Bharat Electronics Limited has published tenders for selecting a system integrator to implement data center IT infrastructure for the Port Blair Smart City project. In addition, the Directorate of Information Technology has advertised for the provision, installation, integration, and commissioning of IT infrastructure at the Tripura State Data Centre, including its operation and maintenance and current application migration.
Power Grid Corporation of India Limited has published tenders for setting up IT infrastructure at its data centers. Similarly, the Power Transmission Corporation of Uttarakhand Limited announced tenders for the annual maintenance contract for its data center. BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd advertised tenders for constructing a data center for disaster recovery, including backup software, hardware, and support in BRPL. Subsequently, the Department of Social Welfare Bihar issued tenders for the operation and maintenance of data center assets, including providing necessary equipment and human resources. Furthermore, the Mizoram Police released tenders to select a system integrator for comprehensive AMC support of CAS application, data center, and disaster recovery center.
Data Center Equipment – Top Ranked States (Live Tenders)
As of January 29, 2024, there are 38 live tenders for data center services in India. Delhi leads with 13 tenders, with 34%, followed by West Bengal with eight tenders (21%), Maharashtra with seven tenders (18%), Karnataka and Tamil Nadu with three tenders each, 8% of tenders two each from Telangana and Uttarakhand with 5% of the total tenders.
Data Center Audit
A data center audit is a comprehensive review to ensure that a data center, capable of storing sensitive government information, meets legal requirements, security standards, and best business practices of relevant government agency policies. This audit covers environmental management, document integrity, employee training, risk management, governance framework, and comprehensive reviewss to identify weaknesses and compliance issues. Further, the audit is done to recommend improvements in data center operations and services. Such audits enable government agencies to ensure the confidentiality, accuracy, and availability of critical data to maintain public confidence and comply with legal and regulatory mandates.
Based on data compiled by Tendersniper from various public sources, Indian government entities have issued 13 data center audit tenders in the past 12 months, from January 2022 to January 2023. Among these are five tenders specifically for cybersecurity audits in data centers. For example, the National Fire Service College (NFSC) tendered for services from CERT-IN. This cybersecurity consultancy has only been involved for three years if it were to look at all the NDMC application databases, storage networks, and so on located in the NDMC data center Published timelines. Similarly, the Department of Personnel Training (DOPT) issued tenders for cybersecurity audits, including conducting security audits of applications hosted and running in the national database for a year. Uttar Pradesh Vikas Pranali Nigam Limited invited tenders for a cyber security review of the CSJMU web portal software of Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj University, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
Apart from cybersecurity audits, there are four tenders for third-party auditors (TPAs) for data centers. For example, the Uttar Pradesh Development Systems Corporation Ltd has recently advertised tenders to acquire the services of a Third-Party Auditor (TPA) for the Uttar Pradesh State Data Center. Similarly, the Andhra Pradesh State FiberNet Limited (APSFL) has also published tenders to select a Third-Party Auditor (TPA) for BharatNet Phase II in Andhra Pradesh. In addition to these tenders, the Andhra Pradesh State Cooperative Bank has issued tenders to procure information system audit firms to conduct IS audits for the AP State Cooperative Bank and 13 District Cooperative Central Banks. This includes conducting audits for their data center, disaster recovery center, and cyber security audits for 9 DCCBs. Furthermore, the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) advertised tenders for auditing ICT infrastructure, websites/applications of departments/ministries, and NIC data centers through CERT-IN impanelled auditors.
Data Center Audit – Top Ranked States (Live Tenders)
As of January 28, 2024, one active tender for a data center audit was published in the State of Haryana.
This analysis shows that government agencies in India have advertised many data center tenders during the last year. The ever-increasing digitalization of businesses and organizations continues to increase the need for reliable data center equipment, infrastructure, substantial compliance, and security audits. Furthermore, growth trends in cloud computing, edge computing, and other innovative technologies are transforming the data center industry. Therefore, service providers and companies working in the data center space should actively monitor and participate in data center tenders advertised across India so that potential business opportunities can be exploited.