Cable Cuts Put Indian Outsourcers' Business Continuity Plans to Test

Big outsourcers saw minimal disruption as a result of multiple undersea Internet cable cuts that affected broad swaths of the globe from the Middle East to the Indian Ocean basin.

Despite the recent cable cuts affecting Internet traffic to several Middle East countries, including India, major Indian outsourcers claimed they saw minimal disruption to their businesses.

Unlike the widespread disruptions in Internet browsing for consumers across India, big outsourcers like Tata Consultancy Services, Satyam Computer Services and Infosys Technologies saw no significant disruption in their ability to communicate with global clients, the companies claimed.

For TCS (Tata Consultancy Services), that's because business continuity planning is part of the outsourcer's DNA, according to Abid Ali Neemuchwala, TCS vice president of global delivery and services for North America. TCS business continuity plans have already been seriously tested in other crises in different parts of the world.

Authorities are considering the possibility that foul play is to blame for the five cut submarine cables, click here to read more.

"TCS has always provided services from remote locations. Irrespective of what happens in our remote sites, service to the customer is guaranteed. We've actually helped our customers put their own business continuity plans in place," he said.

Both TCS and competitor Satyam have dual WAN links traversing the Atlantic and the Pacific. When service is disrupted over one link, traffic is automatically rerouted over the secondary link.

"When we provision network (connectivity) for a customer, we provision both links. If anything goes wrong on the Pacific link, all data is automatically sent to the Atlantic router," said Vikram Kommareddy, head of network infrastructure for Satyam Computer Services.

An Infosys spokesperson also said that it uses redundant links to avoid such outages. "We have diversity in path and providers globally, and hence we have not lost any connectivity to our offices or customers. The traffic is automatically routed on alternate paths when there is a service or connectivity loss from the providers," said the spokesperson.

That ability to automatically reroute traffic onto a backup link means that both circuits are provisioned to operate on an "active/active" basis. Having that option is a requirement, Kommareddy said.

"We take a very deep dive into our carriers and insure this kind of routing is in place when we provision circuits to customers," he said.