Reimagining the IT infrastructure of the cloud operating model, IDC

Research by International Data Corporation (IDC) has revealed that 49% of CIOs across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (MEA) believe that the cloud has the potential to play a significant role in driving innovation, creating new digital products, transforming business models and refining revenue streams and this will influence their spend over the next 12-18 months. Speaking at the recent IDC Cloud and Datacentre Roadshow, Jon Tullett, research manager for IT services for IDC Sub-Saharan Africa said there  are two primary reasons why companies should be paying attention to cloud and making it a strategic priority in the current environment.

“First, making the best use of infrastructure is always going to be a strategic priority for the CIO and, in many cases, the cloud is the best infrastructure choice,” says Tullett. “Secondly, cloud services and business requirements evolve very quickly so there needs to be a constant process of re-evaluating the services that are in use and assessing whether or not they should be refreshed or migrated elsewhere.”

That said, if cloud is to be a strategic priority, it equally needs to be given the right resources to ensure that it operates optimally. IT teams need to take a holistic look at their cloud operating models so that they are assured that the spending and implementation meet business value expectations and enable the business across the essential pillars of speed, flexibility, cost and reliability. To ensure these efficiencies and optimisation strategies, several common elements need to be addressed.

“A consistent security policy along with common management and central reporting are three areas where the cost of getting it wrong is immediate and appears as additional overheads and reduced agility,” says Tullett. “If you dig deeper, this leads to discussions around API management and integration strategies that, for many CIOs, are easy investments in the future. They don’t add much cost today, but payout handsomely as company use cases expand.”

Cloud deployments can fundamentally help the organisation improve its operational efficiencies over the long term, particularly those that have not yet fully optimised their technology environments.  This has already been seen in the measurable returns on investment and productivity found by companies already moving down the digital transformation road – they have realised benefits such as faster time to market, simplified innovation, easier scalability, and reduced risk. If a company can get its strategy and operating models in alignment then it will see improvements in these baseline metrics and overall operational capability.

“If an organisation is experiencing worse operational inefficiency after deploying into the cloud, then the cloud has been implemented incorrectly,” says Tullett. “As blunt as that may be, it’s the reality and asks that the organisation relook its strategy and approaches to turn this around. It’s not always obvious where the business is experiencing operational inefficiencies, however, so it is worth using the built-in telemetry in cloud platforms to assess performance.”

Use the tools and the third-party services that allow for the business to measure its efficiency. This will allow for it to measure and improve efficiencies as part of cloud key performance indicators rather than as guesswork and estimations. Also, do not stop assessing at the implementation phase when moving the software into the cloud because the real benefits only show themselves once the organisation actively leverages the advantages of cloud. These are, of course, agility, speed of deployment, inter-service integration, faster iteration, and consumption pricing.

“If you cannot express your cloud spend in these terms – across these benefits – then you may get stuck on first base,” says Tullett. “Then, once you have established these as your foundation, take these cloud advantages and overlay them over your entire IT infrastructure. You can get most, if not all, of these benefits with other technologies as well. Cloud is not the only option, it is a change in how you articulate business value and how the business aligns with IT.”

In the end, whether cloud, operations, implementation or transformation drive the business journey, every part of an organisation’s infrastructure needs to be held to high standards that prioritise strategic imperatives and align with mission-critical business objectives.

www.idc.com

[Column] Andrew Cruise: Why the cloud numbers don’t add up

In a recent survey by large-scale tech learning platform O’Reilly, 90% of respondents said their organisations are using cloud, and 30% said they’re fully cloud native. This makes it clear why ‘cloud’ is the buzzword on every IT leader’s lips. Seemingly, if you’re not getting on the cloud, you’re getting left behind.

But other insights reveal that the numbers just don’t add up. Cloud spend still accounts for just 6% of total IT spend, according to tech analyst IDC. And, while global cloud spend surged in the first quarter of 2021, the numbers dipped by 1.9% in Q2 – the first decline after seven quarters of spending growth since 2019.

The reasons

IDC proposes the dip in spending is due to the need for new infrastructure as a result of the pandemic. That may be the case, but it doesn’t explain why total cloud spend remains a small sliver of total IT spend – despite indicators of rapid growth and large-scale adoption, says Andrew Cruise, CEO of Routed.

“It could also be that cloud is, quite simply, cool. For years, decision makers have been told to go big on cloud or risk losing out to competitors. And while this is certainly true, the money doesn’t lie. What organisations are saying and what organisations are doing are quite different. And, until they do make the move, some might be bluffing for fear of sounding like they’re behind.” It might also be that IT leaders, for now, are facing challenges in their move to cloud, he adds.

“They want to make the move, they plan on making the move, but they’re not quite getting there yet. Eliminating traditional infrastructure is a major undertaking and it’s unlikely that every cloud provider is fit-for-purpose for every app. Migrating everything to cloud is a daunting task and, while companies are clearly migrating certain services or apps onto cloud, they’re still running their own datacentres.”

Getting there

“Cloud hype has progressed from the urgent ‘move to cloud!’ call of a decade ago, to ‘hybrid cloud rules’ five years ago, to the ‘multicloud or bust!’ message of today. Of course, each of these blanket statements has merit, but there is no magic silver bullet for a businesses’ infrastructure requirements,” says Cruise.

Multicloud environments have grown increasingly complex, with no comprehensive visibility. Organisations are running different services on the cloud provider that best meets their needs for the given application – with no overarching system to link all these siloes. “That is until you consider the virtual machine, like VMware, which is able to optimise applications independent of the cloud environment. And all the benefits of cloud are not just hype – it truly does increase agility, efficiency, longer-term hardware efficacy and even greater security,” adds Cruise. And decisionmakers are clearly aware of this – albeit that the predicted shift is happening slower than expected. All signs point to ever more adoption. IDC predicts that compute and storage spending for cloud infrastructure will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 12.4% for 2020-2025 before reaching $118.8bn in 2025. 

“Although the move to cloud has been slower than experts predicted, I believe that the multicloud story will be slightly more common than niche. There’s still a long road ahead, but the truth is that it’s not too late to start considering the cloud journey and benefit from the great savings and efficiency that virtual hosted environments offer. Using the right tech, and partnering with the right provider, can create the most efficient systems your organisation has seen to date.”

Andrew Cruise is the managing director at Routed.

Amazon to launch a new AWS Local Zone cloud infrastructure in Kenya

Amazon Web Services has announced plans to launch an AWS Local Zone in Kenya.  AWS, an Amazon.com, Inc. company made this announcement at the ongoing Connected Summit 2022 in Diani, Kwale County.

The new AWS Local Zone(s) in Kenya will join 16 existing AWS Local Zones across the United States and an additional 32 AWS Local Zones planned to launch in 26 countries around the world starting in 2022. AWS Local Zones deliver single-digit millisecond latency performance at the edge of the cloud to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

“The new AWS Local Zone in Kenya is a continuation of our investment to support customers of all kinds and our commitment to accelerate innovation by bringing cloud infrastructure to more locations in the country. We know that delivering ultra-low latency applications for a seamless user experience matters in every business and industry, so we are excited to bring the edge of the cloud closer to more customers in Kenya to help meet their requirements. ” Robin Njiru, Regional Lead, East, West and Central Africa at AWS said.

Njiru says AWS Local Zones will empower more public and private organizations, innovative startups, and AWS partners to deliver a new generation of leading edge, low-latency applications to end users. 

Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Mr Joseph Mucheru said the announcement reaffirms our Kenya’s position as an attractive place to invest, powered by a high volume of local talented developers. ”It will boost the adoption of advanced cloud-based technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Internet of Things while helping to ensure secure use across the Kenyan technology sector.” he said.

AWS manages and supports Local Zones, meaning customers in Kenya do not need to incur the expense and effort of procuring, operating, and maintaining infrastructure in Nairobi to support low-latency applications. AWS Local Zones also allow customers with local data residency requirements in Kenya to run parts of their applications in on-premises data centers and seamlessly connect to AWS while ensuring ultra-low latency for these types of hybrid deployments—all while using familiar AWS APIs and tools.

The new AWS Local Zones will give customers in Kenya the ability to offer end users single-digit millisecond performance designed to suit applications such as remote real-time gaming, media and entertainment content creation, live video streaming, engineering simulations, augmented and virtual reality, machine learning inference at the edge, and more.

Customers can connect to AWS Local Zones through an internet connection or use AWS Direct Connect—a cloud service that links an organization’s network directly to AWS to deliver consistent, secure, low-latency performance—to route traffic over a private AWS network connection.

AWS Local Zones are a type of infrastructure deployment that places AWS compute, storage, database, and other services at the edge of the cloud near large population, industry, and information technology (IT) centers—enabling customers to deploy applications that require single-digit millisecond latency closer to end users or on-premises data centers. AWS Local Zones allow customers to use core AWS services locally while seamlessly connecting to the rest of their workloads running in AWS Regions with the same elasticity, pay-as-you-go model, application programming interfaces (APIs), and toolsets.

The announcement comes more than two years after Kenya’s leading telco Safaricom announced a partnership with Amazon to resell AWS services in Kenya and throughout East Africa.

On top of reselling AWS services, the telco also was also included as an Advanced Consulting Partner in the AWS Partner Network (APN), a partner program for technology and consulting businesses that leverage AWS “to build solutions and services for customers.

Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom PLC said the new AWS Local Zone will enable Safaricom to further enhance its cloud offerings, especially to its Enterprise and SME customers, and migrate more of its own services to the Cloud.  ”Customer obsession remains a key focus for Safaricom and with this local presence driven by our partnership with Amazon, we will now achieve increased speed, stability, reliability, and storage to support innovation and development of future-fit solutions,” Peter added.

aws.amazon.com

[Kenya] Zalego Academy Joins the Amazon Web Services Training Partner Program

Zalego Academy, a subsidiary of StepWise Inc. that focuses on ICT training and enhancing the employability of youth and people from underserved communities has joined the Amazon Web Service Training partner program. 

Zalego Academy will now work with AWS to deliver training and certification for cloud skills to learners in Kenya and will concentrate on social impact initiatives. This training will not only enable cloud fluency for unemployed youth and graduates to leverage the power of cloud but will also create a new pathway of economic opportunity for young people to partake in cloud computing jobs. 

This Training Partner Program is designed for organizations like Zalego Academy, that meet or exceed rigorous criteria for delivering and or offering high-quality technical training.  

“Organizations need individuals with cloud skills to help transform their business, and there is a growing demand for IT professionals with cloud skills. AWS Training and Certification, along with our Training Partners like Zalego Academy, aims to equip the builders of today and tomorrow with the knowledge they need to leverage the power of cloud. AWS Training, designed by experts, teaches in-demand cloud skills and best practices, helping learners prepare for AWS Certification exams so they can advance their careers and transform their organizations,” said Maureen Lonergan Vice President, AWS Training and Certification.

“We strongly believe that with the support of AWS, Zalego Academy can build innovative programs that have a lasting impact, particularly to the underserved and underrepresented in Africa,” said Chris Harrison, CEO StepWise.  “Delivering AWS Training and Certification is perfectly aligned with StepWise’s purpose of preparing an inclusive talent pipeline and creating sustainable employment for a technology-driven world.”

As a Training Partner, Zalego Academy plans to deliver authorized AWS Training and work with partner organizations to develop future-focused strategies, to enhance the employability of youth and people from underserved communities. It will also deliver trainings intentionally built for non-traditional learners of all abilities to engage in, (i.e., in-person, sign language interpreters, video captioning and wheelchair accessible space).

The training is developed and maintained by cloud experts, ensuring the content reflects current best practices. AWS Classroom Training gives learners the opportunity to engage live and get questions answered by an expert instructor. Many courses also include hands-on labs, allowing learners to practice real-world scenarios in a sandbox environment. Training also helps prepare learners for the cloud service provider’s certification exams, which validate technical skills and expertise with an industry-recognized credential.

“AWS Courses will not only enable the underserved communities in tech to acquire the skills needed to earn a living-wage job upon graduation, but will also enable them to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families,” said Peres Were-Ogaga, Executive Director, StepWise Foundation.

StepWise is focused particularly on enhancing economic inclusion in Africa through the creation of digital jobs for people from disadvantaged communities, women, the chronically unemployed, and individuals with disabilities. Through the Foundation’s Scholarship Program, Zalego Academy provides individuals with disabilities and underserved youth in East Africa, with career-ready technology skills through programs that are aligned with the current and future job market. These demands are driven by advancements in technology.

[Column] Marilyn Moodley: Moving to the cloud – what are you waiting for?

Are you on the cloud yet? This is an organisation’s equivalent of a young person’s ‘when are you getting married?’ which moves swiftly to ‘why aren’t you married yet?’ And the reasons for not making the jump in both cases are often the same: resistance to change; wariness of taking a risk; caution about compliance to a new situation; and aversion to the initial investment, which can be high.

While these are all valid concerns about cloud migration, it is still unwise to ignore the many benefits of doing so. The COVID-19 pandemic showed businesses that contingency plans are a non-negotiable in the face of potentially catastrophic events. Organisations that deploy to the cloud are very much on the front foot when it comes to being agile, flexible, and able to move quickly when adverse situations do arise.

According to research conducted by the Cloud Industry Forum on the state of cloud adoption, 91 percent of businesses said that shifting to the cloud has been vital in coping with the effects of the pandemic, as going digital enabled them to respond more readily to changing circumstances. In addition, 77 percent feel that the cloud has simplified their IT challenge. 50 percent of IT infrastructure is now cloud based, the first time it has ever topped this milestone in the 12 years since the Cloud Industry Forum started doing research.

Clearly, the cloud is the place to be, and businesses today are becoming more aware of the benefits of using the cloud to save on costs, enable scalability, innovate at pace, speed up operating systems, and increase flexibility and resilience.

However, making the move to the cloud isn’t always straightforward. One of the main worries expressed by organisations is that they lack the skills to do it. What’s more, over the years, as data centres have grown and evolved, servers added, acquisitions taken place and software installed, it is difficult to know what applications an organisation even has, much less knowing what to migrate and what to leave behind. Gordon Davey, Global Head of Azure Cloud Services at SoftwareONE, refers to this mass of technology as the ‘nachos effect’. Everything is interconnected, like a plate of nachos – when you pick up one nacho, hoping it won’t disturb the rest, strands of cheese bring three or four other nachos with it. So, too, with cloud migration, with so many interconnected parts. 

This is where selecting a trusted partner, like SoftwareONE, is so important. An organisation’s journey to the cloud can be a smooth transition, backed by a clear strategy that takes an organisation’s unique environment and workloads into account.  Experts can assist in establishing a consolidated and rationalised view of the current IT landscape, prioritise and recommend workloads to run in the cloud and define and execute the next steps in the cloud migration. Essentially, they can identify which nachos can be taken alone, and which are inextricably connected to others and need to have a migration plan to address this. Partners can also help organisations understand the licensing and cost ramifications of moving workloads to the cloud, how to optimise spend and ongoing cloud management to ensure value is realised.

The past few years have seen a significant increase in the use of the cloud and 69 percent of companies interviewed as part of the Cloud Industry Forum’s research are speeding up digital transformation plans. By 2025, research company Gartner estimates that 85 percent of enterprises will have a cloud-first strategy. It is undoubtedly the engine of transformation and companies need to keep up with the pace of change or risk being left behind.

Marilyn Moodley is the South African Country Leader for SoftwareONE.

Orchestrating multicloud: Implementing a strategy that works

VMWare Principal Partner and Africa’s only neutral cloud infrastructure business, Routed, says implementing a workable multicloud strategy hinges on a business properly assessing applications within its current infrastructure environment to decide which cloud is ideal for each of its applications.

“This should be balanced against the ability to provide fault tolerance for each application across cloud operators, as well as the integration between applications which might affect decisions to deploy applications together on the same cloud platform, or across multiple cloud platforms,” says Andrew Cruise, Managing Director, Routed.

Another equally important consideration is ensuring internal resilience when migrating or developing applications on any cloud platform. “It’s much better to first mitigate risk and avoid downtime caused by relatively minor issues, and only then design fault tolerance or failover between cloud operators in the event of a major downtime incident on one of your cloud operators,” he says.

An organisation’s choice of providers should be dictated by their ability to deliver a secure, performant and highly available hosting experience, combined with the required features and functions for all business applications. “Your provider’s credibility and reliability track record should be investigated and their expertise to run your business-critical applications queried,” notes Cruise.

He adds that a multicloud approach does not have to include all cloud operators or indeed any of the hyperscale cloud operators. “Risk mitigation dictates that multiple cloud operators should be chosen, but it should also be feasible for these to use one consistent platform, which is what VMware Cloud has been designed to do.”

The benefits of multicloud typically fall into two groups; the first being the value features of each individual cloud and the second group centred on risk mitigation, it’s important to remember that these two groups are inherently in conflict. “By definition, unique platforms, software and functions offered by a specific cloud provider are not offered by the others and therefore it is nearly impossible to load balance or provide cross-cloud resilience for applications that are developed with these toolsets across multiple cloud platforms,” explains Cruise.

Achieving resilience requires a lowest common denominator approach, which means using tools, functions and software available across all the cloud platforms in use. “Notably, the exception to this conflict is the VMware Cloud ecosystem: whether hosted in AWS, Azure, GCP, or any of the global hyperscale clouds, or on a local VMware cloud operator, or on VMware Cloud Foundation on dedicated internally managed infrastructure, a common toolset and software stack facilitates a consistent experience for hosted applications,” he says.

While multicloud and its place in digital transformation continues to evolve, Cruise cautions that it may not be suitable for every organisation, and those that do embark on the journey should expect proper implementation to take time.

“Cloud hype has progressed from the urgent ‘move to cloud!’ call of a decade ago, to ‘hybrid cloud rules’ five years ago, to the ‘multicloud or bust!’ message of today. Of course, each of these blanket statements has merit but there is no magic silver bullet for a businesses’ infrastructure requirements. Although the predicted move to cloud has been slower than the experts predicted, I believe that the multicloud story will be slightly more common than niche,” says Cruise.

www.routed.co.za

[South Africa] Teraco announces access to Oracle Cloud via FastConnect

South African data centre company Teraco will now offer connectivity directly through Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) FastConnect at its Isando Campus for the Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region. 

The company which is also a member of Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) says Oracle customers will now be able to harness the power of Oracle Cloud locally, including Oracle Autonomous Database, to help enable them to unlock innovation and drive business growth.

It says Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect, now also via Teraco’s Africa Cloud Exchange, may potentially provide higher -bandwidth options and potentially more reliable and consistent networking experience compared to Internet-based connections. 

With OCI, customers benefit from best-in-class security, consistent high performance, simple predictable pricing, and the tools and expertise needed to bring any workload to the cloud relatively quickly and efficiently.

“Our direct connections to OCI builds upon our commitment to ensure that our clients have direct, secure access to the critical IT resources they need to drive business success,” said Teraco CEO Jan Hnizdo. “The demand for Oracle Cloud in our market is a testament to its strength, and we are extremely pleased to be working closely with Oracle to accelerate their service delivery.” 

OCI’s extensive network of the currently more than 70 FastConnect global and regional partners offer customers dedicated connectivity to Oracle Cloud regions and OCI services – providing customers with potentially one of the best options anywhere in the world. 

Specifically architected to help meet the needs of the enterprise, Oracle Cloud is a next-generation cloud that delivers powerful compute and networking performance and a comprehensive portfolio of infrastructure and platform cloud services from application development and business analytics to data management, integration, security, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain. With unique architecture and capabilities, Oracle Cloud delivers unmatched security, performance, and cost savings. Oracle Cloud is the only cloud built to run Oracle Autonomous Database, the industry’s first and only self-driving database.

www.teraco.co.za

Acronis launches its first cloud data center in Nigeria

Acronis, a global player in cyber protection announced the availability of a new Acronis Cyber Cloud Data Center in Lagos, Nigeria.

The new data center, one of the 111 new data centers being deployed by the company, gives service provider partners access to a full range of cyber protection solutions upon which they can build new services while delivering faster access, constant data availability, and data sovereignty to their clients.  

Having these capabilities is key for Nigerian service providers today, as cyber threats loom over the business landscape and data accessibility, privacy, and compliance demands grow.

The opening of the Nigerian data center is part of the Acronis Global/Local Initiative, an effort that includes global management for all data centers, geographic redundancy, and control for local partners, and a local disaster recovery site – all with competitive pricing. The goal of this initiative is to ensure service providers will have no trouble meeting the ever-changing compliance, data sovereignty, and performance requirements they and their clients face.

During an event that took place at the heart of the city at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, leaders from the industry and special guests all gathered to celebrate, such as Tony Ojobo, President of the Board of Trustee of the ICT Foundation and Former Public Affairs Director of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The global network of Acronis Cyber Cloud Data Centers already includes more than 40 data centers. From Europe to Asia and from the US to Africa, Acronis already opened cloud data centers across the globe and is planning to open many more. With the new data center in Nigeria, local service providers will have a location within the country where they can store business-critical data for their clients. Managed service providers (MSPs) will also benefit from the full range of managed cloud solutions and cyber protection solutions available via the Acronis Cyber Cloud platform.

Chidi Oliseowe, Team Lead, Madonna Systems Nigeria Limited said: “Today the world depends so much on data to the point where we can say data is life, and data security cannot be over emphasised. We at Madonna Systems are so proud to be associated with Acronis, a foremost leader in cyber protection. With the opening of their new Data Centre in Nigeria, Acronis demonstrates its level of commitment to the Africa Market.” 

“A local presence is a necessity for modern cloud businesses and we are proud to deliver the Acronis Cyber Cloud Data Center in Nigeria,” said Peter French Regional General Manager Middle East & Africa at Acronis. “Now, Nigerian companies, and businesses from neighbour countries too, will be able to store their strategic data locally while being backed by a global partner who is on standby 24/7/365 to address any issues.”

Joel Friday, Senior Sales Manager, Promethean Consulting Limited added: “We have been an Acronis partner since 2017 and we do not see our company partnering with anyone else. It is the only cyber protection company with integrated cyber security and data protection (with back up for OEMs). Acronis building a data centre in Nigeria is a huge milestone for the industry in Nigeria. In-country data security has been a priority for most organizations in Nigeria, and the idea of a DC locally will definitely help partners like us add more value to our end users’ infrastructure.”

Service providers interested in learning more about the advantages and opportunities of cyber protection solutions available through the Acronis Cyber Cloud platform should contact our local team in Africa.

www.acronis.com

[Column] Tejpal Bedi: Kenya’s data centres – Essential infrastructure for expanding our digital economy

Although most of us don’t usually spend much time thinking about data centres, they play a fundamental role in the origin, delivery, and maintenance of Internet services and networks. And our need for them is growing as more people use the Internet to join the digital economy. Global traffic surged by more than 40% in 2020 as a result of increased video streaming, teleconferencing, online gaming, and social networking. The number of global Internet users has doubled since 2010, and with that increase comes the need for data centres that can not only cater for current requirements, but also for future loads that require even more complex computing capabilities.

In an African context, countries such as Kenya and Uganda have seen increased investment and interest from multinational operators. We see this with data centre operator Raxio launching its first carrier-neutral centre in Kampala in 2021. Other examples include PAIX building a data centre in Nairobi’s financial district, and Asteroid International expanding its Kenyan Internet exchange service from Mombasa to Nairobi. Combined with the increasing investment from hyperscalers such as AWS, Google, and Meta, the end result of this is more value for end users and enterprises in the East African region, with better speeds, better pricing, and a blossoming digital economy.

In Kenya, more data centres, and their surrounding technology infrastructure, could change how people and businesses engage with global networks and systems. To do that, it’s important to know what that infrastructure looks like, and what it is capable of. 

Inside a data centre

What do you see when you imagine a data centre? Perhaps a giant warehouse filled with endless corridors of blinking server towers, storing data or serving as a junction point through which data passes on its journey from A to B. However, today’s data centres are more complex. They are designed to support multiple on-site and cloud activities, especially when it comes to business IT. A data centre can support email and file sharing customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and databases, virtual desktops and communication services, as well as evolving applications in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Centres are comprised of servers, routers, switches, firewalls, and service delivery controllers, all vital components that work together to deliver comprehensive functionality.

While there are various kinds of centres that cater to specific services, colocation centres and carrier-neutral facilities are two of the most common; both of which serve important purposes for all kinds of enterprises. Simply put, colocation centres offer a space, both physical and virtual, for companies to store and manage their servers and other infrastructure, while carrier-neutral centres are independent entities offering various connection options to customers, including direct connections and cloud services.

The impact of Kenya’s data centres

Considered the gateway to the East Africa region, Kenya plays an important geographical and logistical role in the rollout of Internet connectivity and services on the continent. Our country enjoys the presence of several local facility operators that have grown and expanded in part thanks to acquisitions or partnerships with global operators, while also offering end-to-end solutions for companies of all sizes. Investments in broadband undersea cables and landing stations enable accessibility, connecting the continent to global cloud networks and serving as the bedrock on which Kenya can embrace cutting-edge digital solutions. 

According to the Kenya Data Centre Investment Analysis Report, our data centre market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.36% between 2021 and 2026. Kenya serves as of one the continent’s primary data centre hubs. Nairobi is a favourable location for data centre development, with Mombasa becoming more popular with service providers as well. Data centres enable the growing adoption of big data and Internet of Things (IoT) services, while the demand for original design manufacturer (ODM) servers among operators also fuels growth in server infrastructure. These factors contribute to Kenya’s position not only as a continental leader, but also as an opportunity hotbed for technology sectors. 

Innovation, energy, and the future

Despite this potential, Africa’s hosting capacity remains minimal. The continent’s capacity is only a fraction of some of the world’s largest data centre metros, such as London or Amsterdam. However, new facility construction has accelerated as markets consider hosting and cloud service opportunities. Reliable data centre infrastructure, as offered and maintained by reputable service providers, mean users in Nairobi can utilise AI, blockchain and other digital resources with the same level of security and ease as other users in the overseas metros.

This infrastructure, and its energy requirements, also raises environmental considerations that are being addressed. Growing demand for data centres continues to be mostly offset by ongoing efficiency improvements in servers, switches, and other infrastructure. Combined with mobile networks switching from 2G and 3G technologies to more efficient 4G and 5G ones, data centres are becoming increasingly energy efficient.

From fledgling start-ups to large corporates, we can’t underestimate the importance of data centres when it comes to delivering Internet solutions and unlocking digital opportunities. With data centres offering so much to the Kenyan economy and individual businesses, it’s a good time for companies to prioritise finding reliable ICT partners and service providers of data hosting facilities.

Tejpal Bedi is the SEACOM Managing Director and Regional Head of Sales for the ENEA region.

Liquid Intelligent Technologies partners with multi-cloud platform Teridion to deliver faster internet connectivity in Africa

Liquid Intelligent Technologies, a business of Cassava Technologies, a pan-African technology group, has announced a strategic partnership with Teridion, a superior cloud-based global connectivity platform.

Teridion’s multi-cloud-based solution has been added to Liquid’s backbone services as part of their efforts to offer internet service that matches the changing Enterprise needs. This will allow Liquid to provide reliable and fast internet connectivity to its global customers.

Commenting on the partnership, Chief Business Development Officer for Liquid Cloud & Cyber Security Winston Ritson said, “The multi-cloud-based solution coupled with Liquid’s current technology will serve this market well. As a business, we understand the changing needs of our Enterprise customers. Using a multi-cloud-based platform allows Liquid to provide ten times faster internet performance that is more reliable and scalable, allowing global Enterprise customers to receive optimal performance from WAN. This partnership with Teridion is a game-changer for our business and is part of our commitment to offer services that our global Enterprise customers can use to continue on their growth trajectory.

The partnership between Liquid and Teridion will allow the Enterprise customers to benefit from improved internet performance with dynamic route optimisation. Additionally, the patented technology will allow for dynamic, unlimited scalability, a high-performance global multi-cloud network, machine learning, and over 500 POPs in a solution that requires no hardware or software and can work with any device.

“Businesses operate in a global setting with remote employees. They are looking for a single service provider capable of delivering high-speed, reliable connectivity across their company. Teridion’s guaranteed SLA, global reach, and interoperability through a clientless solution that requires zero employee setup makes it an ideal solution. We are excited about extending our offering to new customers through our partnership with Liquid, which is known for its highly reliable services,” says Sander Teunissen, Sales Director of Teridion.

The partnership between the two technology firms has been in effect since December 2021. This is yet another step in Liquid’s evolution as Africa’s leading digital solutions provider, offering superior Cloud, Cyber Security, and Managed IT services in addition to owning the largest independent fibre network on the continent.

www.liquid.tech

www.teridion.com