How the biggest international cloud trends impact Africa

The latter half of 2022 was characterised by significant instabilities in the tech industry. E-retailer and cloud giant Amazon announced that it would cut tens of thousands of jobs, social media behemoths Twitter and Meta laid off significant percentages of their workforce, and even Microsoft saw its slowest revenue growth in five years.

“There’s chaos in the industry internationally,” says Andrew Cruise, Managing Director of Routed, a local cloud platform provider and VMware specialist. “The war in Ukraine has kicked off a period of great uncertainty that’s affected global inflation, exchange rates, and general risk appetite. This follows the boom during the early months of the pandemic, when the tech industry saw such growth that many companies made significant investments in new assets, infrastructure, and expertise. Now that growth has slowed, they’re faced with two options: sit tight and wait it out, or shrink. 

When it comes to cloud, specifically, the euphoria around hyperscale cloud (from providers like Amazon, Azure, and more) has also waned, adds Benjamin Coetzer, Director at Routed. “Firstly, enterprises are realising that hyperscale cloud is better suited to development and not everyday business. Secondly, they’re starting to scrutinise their mounting bills, which have grown significantly as their cloud needs have become more complicated and sprawled.” 

Interestingly, things look a bit different in Africa. Hyperscalers like Azure and AWS only started arriving in South Africa in recent years, while Google, Alibaba and BCX just announced their arrival. “It surprised me to see how many hyperscalers decided to set up shop in South Africa almost overnight, as well as how many datacentre companies and IT players have started investing in Africa as a whole,” adds Coetzer.

However, the current economic climate and insufficient infrastructure across the continent warrant some caution: “There is big demand in South Africa, there is big money in South Africa, and there is good infrastructure in South Africa. But when it comes to cloud, I always say the one non-negotiable precondition to move into enterprise cloud (or for enterprise applications to move into the cloud) is fast, reliable, cheap internet. Only fibre sufficiently provides that, and only in South Africa. In Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Kenya and Nigeria fibre penetration is low and it is still extremely expensive at low speeds. No-one else in sub-Saharan Africa has got the precondition for enterprise cloud to be successful. And yet, we’re still seeing demand from people. And I think the demand is misplaced for the moment,” says Cruise.

Worryingly, some hyperscale resellers aren’t giving potential clients the full story – or perhaps they aren’t aware of the conditions on the ground. “They’re delivering the same message in Africa as in the rest of the world, not understanding that Africa can’t deliver on that until local infrastructure improves. South Africa is five years behind the West, and some other countries in Africa are five, if not ten, years behind South Africa. Sure, you can eventually back up your data with an internet connection speed of five megabits per second – but what happens when you need to recover it?”

And then there are the costs to consider. “I think people are going to be surprised by the price increases from AWS, Azure, Google and the like over the next year. Experts in the West are predicting major increases – and that doesn’t even factor in the weak rand.”

Coetzer adds: “Those who don’t need the bells and whistles that developers use and opt for an enterprise cloud will now start seeing significantly more value for their money as that gap increases. Routed’s pricing, for example, has come down in the six years since the company started, while hyperscalers’ prices have kept climbing.

Cruise concludes “I’m hoping that allows people to make better decisions going forward. Many think that IT and cloud is exciting and cutting edge, but what most people really want from the cloud, really need, is for it to be boring. It has to work, all the time, no surprises. And that’s what enterprise cloud does really well. This coming year will bring more of the same, and there isn’t a problem with that.”

www.routed.co.za

[Kenya] iColo expects demand for colocation centres to increase

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

Carrier-neutral data centre infrastructure provider iColo expects this demand to go up in the coming years. 

iColo CEO Ranjith Cherickel while speaking during a recent media tour of the firm’s recently opened Mombasa (MBA2) data centre said this increased demand is expected to be in line with the country’s GDP. 

‘’Larger investments are coming from cloud players around the world and they require large resilient systems and this marks a big step in providing colocation’’ he said.

Currently, 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.

In February last year,  a  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. 

The reports noted 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,”

Ranjith said that we should expect to see a disproportional growth of data centres in countries like Kenya over any other country in the region. 

‘’Colocation in the region will grow well, but in Kenya certainly better’’ he said. 

MBA2 is Icolo’s third data centre providing an estimated capacity of 1.8 megawatts and 1,200 square meters of IT space. 

The new facility can host over 600 customer racks. The location of MBA2 is in close proximity to subsea cable landing points in Mombasa enabling iColo customers to deploy and connect their infrastructure at the new site. The company says this new facility will grow its African footprint and help connect approximately 1 billion people to the internet expanding its services to tap into Africa’s expanding internet economy.

www.icolo.io

[South Africa] Teraco completes JB4, the latest hyperscale data centre expansion to the Bredell Campus

Teraco has announced the completion of the first phase of JB4, its new hyperscale data centre addition to the Bredell Campus, Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg, South Africa.

The new facility supports the growing demand by enterprises and cloud providers for data centre capacity. JB4 offers highly resilient and secure colocation facilities in line with Teraco’s long-term vision of enabling digital transformation across Africa.

As one of Africa’s economic powerhouses, Gauteng (the greater Johannesburg Metropol) is a logical destination for Teraco’s continued investment in data centre infrastructure on the continent. Home to digitally connected enterprises, including telecommunications, financial services, e-commerce, logistics, and retail, the Johannesburg Metropol benefits from its enviable location in the heart of southern Africa, which has led to it becoming the hub for connectivity and peering.

JB4 represents a strategic addition to Platform Teraco, offering enterprises and cloud providers a scalable platform for IT infrastructure deployment while sustaining performance, reliability, security, and the most comprehensive network choice. The first phase of JB4 comprises 30 000sqm of building structure, 8 000sqm of data hall space, and 19 megawatts (MW) of critical power load. Teraco has secured adjacent land and power for Phase 2 expansion, bringing the total critical power load in the facility to 50MW at the end state.

The JB4 addition to Teraco’s growing data centre platform takes critical power load capacity at Teraco facilities to 126MW, which includes the Isando Campus JB1/JB3 (40MW), Bredell Campus JB2/JB4 (64MW), Cape Town Campus CT1/CT2 (21MW) and Durban (1MW). 

This data centre facility dramatically extends Platform Teraco’s capacity in South Africa, according to Jan Hnizdo, CEO, of 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.” JB4 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.” 

Organisations working to accelerate their digital transformation utilise Teraco to dynamically scale their IT infrastructure, adopt hybrid multi-cloud architectures and interconnect with strategic business partners within the Platform Teraco ecosystem of global and local clients. 

Hnizdo said that the company continues to see significant growth as hyperscale requirements expand due to increased demand for cloud services in Africa. “The continued increase of cloud adoption in Africa is also being enabled by investments in critical infrastructure, including hyperscale data centre facilities such as JB4. This will enable global cloud clients to service the South African market and the rest of the sub-Saharan African region.”

www.teraco.co.za

US Data center operator Flexential partners with Angola Cables to strengthen connectivity to African markets

Leading US data center owner and developer, Flexential has opened their US network to Angola Cables to assist customers in Africa in connecting to 40 key data center hubs across the United States.  

Flexential is a leading provider of data center colocation, cloud and connectivity solutions. The company owns and operates 40 highly redundant data centers, 7 cloud nodes and manages more than 13,000 cross-connects. 

Providing access to Angola’s MONET cable, housed in Flexential’s Fort Lauderdale data center, this partnership will offer customers connectivity via the low-latency, high-capacity South Atlantic Cable System (SACS).  The alliance with Angola Cables will also address the heightened demand from enterprises, service providers, as well as hyperscale cloud providers seeking edge deployments within the US market.  

“Our partnership with Flexential will strengthen interconnection options across southern and West Africa,” said Ângelo Gama, CEO of Angola Cables. Gama says that this high-capacity connectivity is well-suited to serve multiple industries from the oil and gas sector to scientific and academic research.  

“Plugging into Flexential’s extensive network of data centers in the U.S. will benefit our clients in Africa by not only extending their presence and exposure to the highly active U.S. market but will open up further opportunities for enterprises in Africa to establish direct connections with parent companies, subsidiaries, business partners and suppliers across the U.S.” 

Tim Parker, Senior Vice President, Network Strategy at Flexential said that their focus is on building and expanding trusted relationships.  “Through this agreement we are collectively able to extend our managed services and tailored IT and data center solutions to customers and enterprises on the African continent. Given the significant presence we’re already seeing from customers, including over-the-top (OTT) providers, hyperscalers and Fortune 500 companies in the African region, we’re excited to bring these organizations a new level of international capacity and connectivity via new cross-connect options.”  

Utilizing Angola Cables’ Global Data Center Interconnect solution, customers can now access almost 60 data centers across their global network, which has significant benefits for multinational companies and enterprises that are looking for secure, low-latency connections that can manage large amounts of data and contents, safely and securely.  

“Our arrangement with Flexential presents an ideal solution for managing data traffic and promoting commerce on either side of the Atlantic whilst assisting companies in broadening and expanding their business horizons,” said Gama.  

www.angolacables.co.ao

www.flexential.com

[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.

[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