[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Surge of companies moving to the cloud set to continue throughout 2022

On Monday, we published a column by Andrew Cruise is the managing director at Routed. In the column, Andrew notes that one thing the pandemic taught us is that remote work is a viable alternative to large, expensive offices and IT infrastructure and hardware.

Many African businesses have slashed their office space after realising that they could save money while still being fully operational remotely, and moved everything to the cloud.  

“Work from home mandated as a result of the pandemic proved to many organisations that the need for physical hardware and infrastructure is fading as fast as the idea that everyone has to work from an office,” says Cruise.

In countries like South Africa, although only around 5% of the South African enterprise market is fully on the cloud, according to Cruise, many more are now considering this option.

The pandemic as we have highlighted in a previous column has accelerated the move to the cloud.  According to data from Synergy,Cloud spend reportedly increased by 37% to $29 billion during the first quarter of 2020. Companies  Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure also saw unprecedented demand during the early stage of the pandemic.

This surge of companies moving to the cloud is set to continue throughout 2021 as we navigate the future of work in a post-pandemic worldGartner forecasts public cloud services will grow 18.4% in 2021.

“The pandemic validated cloud’s value proposition,” says Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner. “The ability to use on-demand, scalable cloud models to achieve cost efficiency and business continuity is providing the impetus for organizations to rapidly accelerate their digital business transformation plans. The increased use of public cloud services has reinforced cloud adoption to be the ‘new normal,’ now more than ever.”

In sub-Saharan Africa, Cloud technology has helped business manage the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The third edition of the Cloud in Africa report, released last year notes that most of these businesses are increasingly turning to cloud to improve operational efficiency and COVID-19 has added fuel to the fire.

Moving to the cloud means you’re effectively renting hardware, which removes the hidden costs of mitigating against failures, disaster recovery and maintenance when you run your own hardware. 

Last week, Vodacom Business Africa announced that it’s expanding its Cloud Connect offering across the continent.

“Africa is experiencing a boom in digitalisation. Combined with the disruptions of COVID-19, this is driving many organisations on the continent to seek out the benefits of cloud services. says Wale Odeyemi, Executive Head of Strategic Marketing at Vodacom Business Africa.

Africa Data Centres also officially opened its new 10MW data centre facility in Lagos, Nigeria. The facility is a key part of this expansion as Nigeria is a critical African market in terms of leading the charge for hyperscale customers to deploy cloud solutions to West Africa.

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at  Incentro Africa.

[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Investments in data centers in boosting the continents’ digital economy

In a previous column, we highlighted how Africa is an emerging data center market and witnessed around 15 data center investments in 2020.  The region is experiencing growth in internet penetration, which can be a major driver for data center investors.

This trend continues to grow as move investments in data centers continue to be announced. International investors are rushing to fund a boom in the African cloud computing market investing in new data centers across Africa.  

Last week, Digital Realty announced plans to acquire Medallion Data Centres, Nigeria’s leading colocation and interconnection provider. The global provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data center, colocation, and interconnection solutions will aquire Medallion through a joint venture with Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund. Oracle and Orange also signed a collaboration agreement as part of a joint plan to accelerate cloud-led digital transformation in West Africa. Under the agreement, the two companies will assess plans to build Oracle Cloud regions using Orange’s infrastructure in Senegal and Ivory Coast.

Ikechukwu Nnamani the Chief Executive Officer of Medallion Data Centre Limited, in an article published on This Day Live, investments in African data centres will boost the digital economy of countries like Nigeria.

Oracle has previously also announced that it has chosen Johannesburg as the site of its first African data centre. Joburg will be among the 14 locations across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Latin America that the company says it plans to open cloud regions to support strong customer demand for Oracle Cloud services.

Vantage Data Centers announced plans to expand into Africa. The company said it had broken ground on a new 80MW campus in Johannesburg, South Africa. The first 16MW phase of development is due to be completed by the summer of 2022. Wingu.Africa partnered with Djibouti ISP TO7 Network to develop a carrier-neutral data center and carrier-neutral cable landing station. West African data center firm MDXi also announced plans to expand its Lekki Data Center in Lagos, Nigeria.The MainOne subsidiary said the Lekki II facility will be deployed on “a very aggressive timeline” and will launch the new data center in Q1 2022

Data center spending is indeed going up with research firm Gartner estimating that end-user spending on global data center infrastructure is projected to reach US$200 billion in 2021, up 6% from 2020. In Africa, the continent requires a 1000 megawatts and 700 data centers facilities according to reports.

In countries like Kenya, the market is set to grow at a CAGR of 12.36% during 2021-2026. This is according to the “Kenya Data Center – Investment Analysis & Growth Opportunities 2021-2026” report released recently.

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at  Incentro Africa.

Cloud and Data Centre Provider Digital Realty To acquire Medallion Data Centres in Nigeria

Digital Realty has announced plans to acquire Medallion Data Centres, Nigeria’s leading colocation and interconnection provider.

The global provider of cloud- and carrier-neutral data center, colocation, and interconnection solutions will aquire Medallion through a joint venture with Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund. Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund is a joint initiative established by Remgro, Phuthuma Nhleko and the investment team, based in Johannesburg.

Medallion operates two data centers, one in Lagos, the most populous urban metropolitan area in Africa with approximately 15 million people, and one in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria.  Medallion’s Lagos data center is the leading connectivity hub in Western Africa with over 70 carriers and internet service providers, over 80% of the public peering traffic on the Nigerian Internet Exchange, and a peering point for all subsea cables currently operating in Nigeria with plans to serve as a peering point for the nine new subsea cables scheduled to be in operation in Lagos by 2023.

As part of the transaction, the joint venture is also acquiring a land parcel adjacent to the Lagos data center to provide near-term expansion capacity.  Medallion’s management team, led by CEO and co-founder Ike Nnamani, will continue to lead the business.

Separately, Digital Realty and Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund have successfully partnered with Kenyan data center operator iColo since 2019, and iColo announced today that it will enter Mozambique through the development of its first data center in the country, located in the capital and port city of Maputo.

“Over the next decade, there will be huge opportunity for global businesses to tap into Africa’s expanding internet economy – with predictions that it could reach 5.2% of the continent’s GDP by 2025, contributing nearly $180 billion to its economy (up from $115 billion in 2020).  By 2050, the internet economy has the potential to contribute $712 billion1.  Through major investment in the continent’s internet infrastructure, Digital Realty aims to be a core enabler of these economic and quality of life gains. ” William Stein, Chief Executive Officer, Digital Realty said.

“There is a huge opportunity to both meet growing customer demand for connectivity in Africa and improve the internet infrastructure that serves over one billion people2 who don’t yet have proper access to the benefits of internet.  The expansion of our platform announced today is a leap forward but it’s just the start of our $500 million commitment to investment in the continent over the next decade.  We see a huge opportunity to underpin Africa’s expanding internet economy and play a central role in its growth.” he added.

The iColo campus in Mombasa was recently expanded to deliver an additional 1.6 megawatts of power and 12,900 square feet of capacity for new and existing customers, along with the new subsea cable landing equipment.  In addition, iColo has expanded its Nairobi campus with the acquisition of an additional 215,000 square feet of land that will support 14 megawatts of future data center capacity.

Africa is evolving into a major interconnection hub for data-driven businesses that require a scalable, future-proof platform to facilitate global hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure.  The deployment of PlatformDIGITAL®, Digital Realty’s market-leading global data center platform, across Africa will enable multinational and local businesses to rapidly scale their digital transformations by deploying critical infrastructure with a leading global data center provider at the heart of a growing connected data community in the region.

www.medallion.ng

www.digitalrealty.com

[Column] Jaco du Plooy: Creating sustainable data centres through energy-efficient solutions

With the large-scale migration of business data and IT services to the cloud – particularly in light of the global pandemic driving a 35 percent increase in online traffic – there has been a notable rise in global data centre construction.

However, while data centres remain the backbone of the internet and cloud-computing processes, they are also some of the world’s greatest energy guzzlers. The cooling systems that data centres use to maintain a temperature-controlled environment and prevent servers from overheating, for instance, use nearly 40 percent of energy 24 hours a day.

To add to this, estimates suggest data centres are responsible for up to five percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions, contributing immensely to the challenge of global warming. For this reason, it is imperative that data centre operators take accountability and actively work towards finding energy efficient solutions towards a greener future for data centres.

“The demand for data centre infrastructure continues to soar because of the exponential growth of big data. Despite its known negative environmental impact, the data centre industry can and should play an active role in helping to cut the global IT carbon footprint, by employing sustainable and efficient solutions to power, cool and maintain data centres,” says Jaco du Plooy, Product Manager at Eaton South Africa.

Energy optimisation solutions and strategies

A strategic approach to energy management can contribute considerably to not boosting data centre efficiency, but can bring an immediate and long-term power cost saving, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the load on South Africa’s already constrained national power utility, Eskom.

Most hyperscale data centres could cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 88 percent by switching to efficient equipment and improving energy management.

Cooling equipment and systems are crucial in maintaining temperature-controlled data centre environments and ensuring stable operation of hardware. Installing energy-efficient cooling systems is the first and most important step data centre operators can take towards cutting energy consumption. Systems that use a continuously variable speed fan, for instance, will result in a considerable energy saving.

It’s also a good idea to re-evaluate the operating temperatures maintained in data centres. Studies have shown that data centres can run higher than the conventional operating temperatures of between 20 to 22 degrees Celsius, without compromising the system’s reliability of optimal efficiency. This would result in power savings as chillers would not have to work as hard.

Adding renewable power to the mix can also help reduce a data centre’s overall greenhouse gas emissions by 98 percent, when used with other energy efficient strategies.

Look into how much energy the UPS systems in data centres use to convert power too. Using high-efficiency UPS systems that don’t require transformers will also boost energy efficiency by reducing consumed raw materials and lowering freight costs with a substantially smaller footprint. 

A typical day in a data centre will see varied server loads. A data centre’s servers running at full capacity when workloads and utilisation are operating at far less is a massive energy waste. Data centre facilities can boost energy management by using intelligent hardware that provides data collection, measurement, and monitoring capabilities. This will ensure optimal use of resources, while helping to identify and diagnose equipment issues that need repair or maintenance before equipment failure occurs and costs become much greater, as a result of downtime or the need to replace the equipment.

“A sustainable and greener future for the data centre industry is certainly within reach. There are many strategies and solutions organisations can employ to optimise the energy usage in data centres and ensure a reduced carbon footprint. This will prepare the industry at large for the energy transition on the horizon – the next step in the global sustainability journey,” concludes Du Plooy.

Jaco du Plooy is the Product Manager, Eaton South Africa.

[South Africa] Teraco completes its Cape Town hyperscale data centre campus expansion

Teraco Data Environments Proprietary Limited, Africa’s largest vendor-neutral data centre and interconnection services provider, has announced the completion of Phase 1 of CT2, its new hyperscale data centre in Brackenfell, Cape Town – the largest data centre in the Western Cape. The new facility supports the growing demand by enterprises and cloud providers for data centre capacity. CT2 offers highly resilient and secure colocation facilities in line with Teraco’s long-term vision of enabling digital transformation across Africa.

Cape Town, as one of Africa’s most digitally connected cities, is a logical destination for Teraco’s continued investment into data centre infrastructure on the continent. Home to thriving digitally connected enterprises including telecommunications, financial services, e-commerce, logistics, and retail; Cape Town benefits from its enviable location at the southern tip of Africa, and the landing of many major subsea cable systems such as ACE, WACS, SAT-3 and SAFE. The abundance of subsea cable connectivity is set to continue with Google’s Equiano and the 2AFRICA cable system developments.

CT2 represents a strategic addition to Platform Teraco, offering enterprises a scalable platform for IT infrastructure deployment while sustaining performance, reliability, security, and the most comprehensive network choice. The first phase of CT2 comprises 25000sqm of building structure, 8000sqm of data hall space, and 18MW of critical power load. Teraco has secured adjacent land and power for future expansion and brings the total critical power load to 36MW at end state. 

As part of Teraco’s broader Cape Town campus, both the CT1 and CT2 data centres  provide enterprises with direct access to Platform Teraco; a rich ecosystem of over 250 network providers, global cloud on-ramps, subsea cable systems, access to over 50 managed service providers, and direct peering at NAPAfrica, Africa’s largest Internet exchange point. Clients deployed in either of these facilities can connect to AWS Direct Connect and Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute directly or via Teraco’s Africa Cloud Exchange. 

This multi-billion-rand data centre facility dramatically extends Platform Teraco’s capacity in the Western Cape, according to Jan Hnizdo, CEO, Teraco: “Forming a vital part of the African IT landscape, Platform Teraco is an essential part of the modern enterprise’s digital transformation strategy with its diverse industry ecosystems and open interconnection marketplace.” CT2 is connected to all the other Teraco data centres through the diverse ecosystem of network operators in the facility, making it ideal for the distributed interconnection defined architecture of the modern enterprise.

Hnizdo says that the majority of enterprise organisations are accelerating their digital transformation strategies and placing a greater focus on cloud adoption strategies: “Enterprises are looking for the ability to scale as network strategies evolve, and in a world where fast and secure interconnection with strategic business partners is a priority, this is a source of competitive advantage.”

Platform Teraco provides the lowest latency interconnection points to both cloud and content. With a direct private connection to all leading cloud providers, enterprises can deploy in the most latency efficient, secure and resilient manner possible. Enterprises use Teraco to scale their IT infrastructure, adopt hybrid and multi-cloud architectures and interconnect with strategic business partners within the Teraco ecosystem. 

Since its inception in 2008, Teraco has focused on building highly resilient vendor-neutral data centres. “Over the last few years, we have taken our ever-expanding ecosystems and network-dense interconnection hubs, and moved beyond simple colocation. Teraco is the enterprise infrastructure platform for growth and innovation,” concludes Hnizdo.

www.teraco.co.za

Raxio Group appoints Master Power to manufacture and install its data centres in Africa

The Raxio Group a premier pan-African data centre developer and operator has appointed Master Power Technologies to build and install its multiple data centres in Africa. Master Power is a leading data centre solutions company, specialising in the supply and installation of pre-engineered data centres in the continent. 

Following its first facility in Uganda, Raxio’s next suite of data centres are being developed in Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique in order to deliver premier colocation services to the region. The infrastructure will help drive growth to the region by supporting the rising consumption of data and the growing digital needs, while reducing the costs associated with digital access for all.

Master Power’s appointment was the result of a highly competitive bidding and evaluation process conducted by Raxio’s technical team and overseen by Raxio’s lead design consultant, Future-tech. Master Power’s scope of work across Raxio’s multiple sites will cover design localisation, supply, install and commissioning of all technical areas. Raxio’s unique and highly innovative design based on “metro-edge” principles is highly scalable and will deliver the lowest power utilization effectiveness ratio (PUE) on the continent through the choice of best-in-class energy efficient power and cooling technology.

The new Raxio data centres will continue to broaden customer access to state-of-art colocation facilities, boosting digital transformation in new markets on the continent, and providing an environment to meet the demands of the population for increased connectivity. The facilities will also be a catalyst for economic growth and job creation, while minimising the impact on the environment through an energy efficient design which does not compromise the reliability of the overall system.

Raxio facilities are designed to cater to a wide spectrum of customers delivering power densities up to 21KW per rack whilst providing the cooling required to optimally run customer equipment.

All the facilities are being designed and developed in compliance with Uptime Institute’s Tier III standard, with no single points of failure, enabling concurrent maintainability. In addition to providing power and cooling redundancy, the data centres will also enable connectivity redundancy through diverse fibre intake and meet-me rooms, all within a highly secure environment.

Founded in 1999, Master Power has built a strong reputation in continuously innovating the data centre industry across the African continent, enabling its customers to focus on their core competences and outsource data space. Since its inception, the company has built industry-leading business cases around commissioning, installing, and providing after-sales services for a comprehensive range of its turnkey backup power and data centre solutions. Master Power is a proudly African company, committed to contributing to build the continent, and has clearly demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of the Sub-Saharan Africa data centre industry.

Robert Mullins, CEO of Raxio Group said: “Working with Master Power allows us to accelerate our expansion through a more streamlined and optimized design-to-commissioning process across multiple sites. Master Power’s long-established track-record of successful installations across the African continent and a highly-skilled team, as well as its ability to tailor its solutions to meet the requirements of our unique design were key criteria in our selection process. Together with our own resources and technical partners we are convinced we have a winning combination to deliver these paradigm-shifting facilities to the region. In addition to this, our shared vision to enable digital transformation across Africa, driving economic growth and opportunities for the entire population makes Master Power the ideal choice for us.”

Menno Parsons, CEO of Master Power said: “Digital infrastructure is desperately needed in Africa as connectivity becomes available to more of the population. Working with Raxio to build its next suite of data centres is critical in helping to support the growing demand for colocation services across the region, and we are very pleased to be able to support the rollout of such unique, next-generation facilities. Our experience in the region and Raxio’s commitment to help grow Africa’s digital communities means we will be able to increase the infrastructure available in key regions.”

www.raxiogroup.com

[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Nguniri: Kenya’s Kenya Data Center Market Size by investment is set to Reach $342 Million by 2026

Kenya is witnessing the growing adoption of digital services such as cloud, big data, and IoT driving the demand for data centers in the region.

Kenya’s data center market is set to grow at a CAGR of 12.36% during 2021-2026. This is according to the “Kenya Data Center – Investment Analysis & Growth Opportunities 2021-2026” report released this week.

The report notes that  the data center market in Kenya includes around six unique third-party data center service providers operating around nine facilities. 

Kenya is one of Africa’s primary data center hubs and is considered the gateway to the East African region. Nairobi, the capital city, is a favorable location for data center development. In Kenya, Unaitas Sacco, a financial firm, selected Eastra Solutions for installation and commissioning services to Unaitas Data Center. Atos is investing in the development of a new data center facility in Kenya with around USD 260 million investment at the Mwale Medical and Technology City (MMTC) in Butere, Kakamega County.

Icolo.io which is among the top data centers investors in Kenya recently announced the construction of its third data center in Kenya to be located in Nyali, Mombasa. Called MBA2, the new data center is expected to be completed in Q1 of 2022 and set to provide an estimated capacity of 1.6MW megawatt and 1,200 square meters of IT space. 

Other key investors include IXAfrica, PAIX, Teraco Data Environments, and Wingu.

Other tech giants like Huawei Huawei Technologies is among the leading vendors in the modular data center space with multiple efficient and reliable deployments. All the vendors the report notes have taken precautionary measures to reduce disruptions in their supply chain operations. The most commonly adopted servers in the industry include rack and blade servers from Cisco Systems, HPE, Dell Technologies, IBM, and Lenovo.

Data centers are being utilized now more than ever according to Carol Koech is the Country President for Schneider Electric East Africa. Data spending is also going up with Gartner estimating that end-user spending on global data center infrastructure is projected to reach US$200 billion in 2021, up 6% from 2020. The landscape in East Africa is no different. In Kenya for example, the country has a total number of 43.7 million Internet/data subscriptions according to the Communication Authority of Kenya; this coupled with the country’s youthful demographics means that data demand will rise rapidly, which will require more data centers. And we can already see investments in this space.

Across Africa, the continent accounts for less than 1% of the world’s co-location data centre supply, with South Africa accounting for the bulk of the continent’s capacity. Co-location facilities rent space, power and cooling to enterprise and hyperscale customers; they also offer interconnection enabling businesses to scale at low complexity and cost.

Nina Triantis, Global Head of Telecoms, Media & Technology at Standard Bank notes that we should expect to see a substantial wave of data centre investments materialise across the continent, led by regional economic powerhouses including South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.  

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa.

[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: There’s an increasing demand for data centers in Africa

As internet penetration in African continues to increase, the demand for data centers is also booming. Customers in Africa are increasingly using data centers to access public cloud-based services from hosts like Google, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and others.

For the time being, Africa accounts for less than 1% of the world’s co-location data centre supply, with South Africa accounting for the bulk of the continent’s capacity. Co-location facilities rent space, power and cooling to enterprise and hyperscale customers; they also offer interconnection enabling businesses to scale at low complexity and cost.

Nina Triantis Global Head of Telecoms, Media & Technology at Standard Bank notes that we expect to see a substantial wave of data centre investments materialise across the continent, led by regional economic powerhouses including South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.  

In South Africa for example, Teraco’s regional interconnection hubs were  further enhanced by the addition of the Africa Coast to Europe Subsea Cable (ACE). The ACE submarine cable is now live and available for interconnection at three of Teraco’s data centres across South Africa, expanding access to broadband connectivity and digital services on the continent.

In February this year,  a new report from The African Data Centres Association (ADCA) and Xalam Analytic revealed that Africa needs 1000MW and 700 facilities to meet growing demand and bring the rest of the continent onto level terms with the capacity and density of South Africa,s claims. 

The reports notes that “At the onset of a new decade, it is increasingly acknowledged that Africa needs a lot more data center capacity than is currently available,”

 “The need for hosting capacity is largely structural; an outgrowth of a host of megatrends that are transforming the region’s economic and social fabric and are putting considerable pressure on existing infrastructure.” 

In 2020, the Africa data center market size by investment was valued at USD 2 billion in 2020 and is expected to USD 5 billion by 2026.  

These data centers are key to the continent achieving its digital potential. Jonathan Duncan, the Secure Power Director, Anglophone Africa at Schneider notes that data centers are the basis for digital transformation

‘’We’re going to need many more data centers everywhere across the continent to power economies, speed up connectivity and reduce the overall costs for server-hosted services,’’ he says in an op-ed published on iAfrikan.

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa.

Hyperscaler, Neutral Carrier, Cloud Player, the 2021 Datacentre Trends, IDC

Datacentres will undergo significant change in 2021. There has been a revolution in behaviours and approaches that is shifting investment and innovation, and how datacentres provide services and provision for data and compliance.

According to Sabelo Dlamini, Senior Research and Consulting Manager, IDC Sub-Saharan Africa, some of the trends include the growth of the hyperscaler, continued reliance on the carrier-neutral datacentre, and a focus on performance and quality as data becomes increasingly invaluable.

“In addition to the introduction and expansion of hyperscalers such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, there will also be growth in the carrier-neutral datacentre for cross-connect services, meet-me rooms, and internet exchange points,” he adds. “This is because we are expecting a growth in traffic volumes due to changes in enterprise processes and consumer behaviour because of COVID-19.”

The carrier-neutral datacentre is likely to become key in developing fair playing fields, particularly for smaller internet service providers (ISPs), to have access to different interconnection points and internet exchange points. As emergent technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and robot process automation (RPA) continue to cement their scope and capability, demand for datacentres will increase, as will the volumes of data generated by the enterprise.  Cloud computing demand will continue to rise, as will the adoption of AI and IoT services that are hosted in the cloud, and this will put a heavy reliance on datacentre capability and ubiquity.

“Mostly everyone will be moving to the cloud so it is critical for every organisation, especially larger enterprises, to see how these changes can impact their business process in the near future, and start to prepare for it,” says Dlamini. “Even if your business is not planning to move, or you think your organisation won’t be affected, your key clients might be moving, and they may expect your processes to be cloud-ready. This is the right time to develop a cloud-ready or digital strategy that ensures the company can survive this transition.”

Everybody is transforming. Competitors, clients, and governments. It is time to ensure that the organisation has the right tools in place to fully leverage the potential of cloud, technologies such as AI or RPA.  This trend towards cloud-ready, digital-native organisation reliant on robust datacentre capabilities, will be further influenced by an increased demand for improved performance and quality of service that will push the datacentre further into the spotlight, and into the critical heart of the organisation.

“There will be a growing need for distributed content delivery networks, and these need to be hosted in regional or local datacentres that are closer to end-users,” says Dlamini. “Additionally, we will see an increased expansion of existing datacentres locally to cater for the growing legal requirements for data to exist within the country.”

On the hyperscaler frontier, the growth and expansion of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft is likely to remain a key driver impacting all these trends. These giants of cloud will continue to evolve their services and reach, allowing for the organisation to reach deeper into its cloud investment and squeeze out every last virtual drop of potential.

“The datacentre trends of 2021 are driven by the need to ensure that organisations have systems and processes in place that are cloud-ready, that can cover both on-prem and off-prem cloud investment, and that can fully support the hybrid cloud model that many sectors require,” concludes Dlamini. “These factors will shape how the datacentre evolves over the next 12 months and it is very likely that continued innovation and investment will further shift the capabilities of the datacentre and how the organisation can benefit from them.”

www.idc.com

[Nigeria] Actis acquires majority stake in Rack Centre, announces plans to build a $250 million African data centre platform

Leading investor of private capital into global emerging markets, Actis has acquired a majority stake in Nigeria’s leading, independent, co-location business, Rack Centre. 

Rack Centre owns and operates a certified Tier III data centre in Lagos. It has the largest installed capacity in West Africa hosting over 80 international, regional and local clients. With over 35 carriers connecting to the facility, as well as hosting Nigeria’s internet exchange, Rack Centre is the most connected facility in the region and links every country on Africa’s Atlantic coast.

The investment into Rack Centre will fund a rapid expansion of the data centre, doubling the existing modular capacity and developing a traditional-build scale data centre on the same premises. This will create the largest data centre outside South Africa with hosting capacity in excess of 10MW over the near term.

Actis is already one of the largest real estate and power generation investors in Africa. The firm has also created a Chinese data centre platform, Chayora Holdings, to develop hyperscale data centre facilities in Tianjin and is exploring other Asian markets.

 “We have been tracking the data centre market in Africa closely, building relationships with key operators and customers. Africa is at an inflection point and we expect to see an explosion in growth of demand for hosting capacity in independently owned data centres across the continent.” David Morley, Head of Real Estate at Actis, said:

“We are excited about this new partnership with Rack Centre and its promoter Jagal Investments.  Together they have built a strong business of international repute, hosting a compelling mix of customers ranging from leading Nigerian corporates to global cloud majors.” he added. 

Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director of Rack Centre said “It has been a great honour to lead the growth of Rack Centre to become one of the most respected carrier neutral data centre brands in West Africa. Rack Centre is now at a key juncture and my team and I are excited with being part of the future growth. With over 750kW of installed capacity, it is now doubling capacity to 1.5MW of IT power at the currently location on a trajectory to 10MW”

 “Jagal is excited with its new partnership with Actis. Rack Centre has developed into a leading and respected African brand and it is now at a critical stage for investment and growth. Actis understands global and emerging markets and will be a fantastic partner for the next phase of the Rack Centre journey” Maher Jarmakani, CEO of Jagal added. 

Actis is the largest private equity GP in Africa having committed US$4.5bn to the region over the last 15 years.

Actis has also announced plans to establish a US$250 million pan-African data centre platform. The buy and build platform according to the company will comprise of independently owned, carrier neutral, data centres across key African markets.

www.act.is

www.rack-centre.com