[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Data centres are a growing investment opportunity in Africa

Last week, Global software giant Oracle 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.

This announcement came at a time when the demand for data centers in Africa continues to rise.  According to Gartner, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) data centre market, which includes cloud services, will see spending reach US$5.4 billion in 2022, driven by Digital Transformation initiatives across the region as well as growth in Internet penetration. In addition, industry leaders. believe that projected investment growth in data centre projects is influenced by a growing demand for higher-performance networks, increased management efficiency and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, as we have highlighted in a previous column,  Africa is suited to jump to the cloud more than its peersCloud adoption—including hybrid and multi-cloud adoption—is expanding fast among both private and public sector organizations of all sizes.

BitTitan, a provider of cloud migrations and managed services automation solutions, has also noted that there is a massive migration to the cloud by organisations in the Middle East and Africa.

“We have seen a growing trend in mergers and divestments as a result of the changing business dynamics brought about by the pandemic. Our data on migration project types in Americas and Europe have shown that this leads to increased activity and the trend is only growing. This will be a regular scenario soon in the Middle East as migrations do not stop after clients have been moved to the cloud,” said Antti Ålander, Channel Manager – EMEA, BitTitan said in an article published by Intelligent CIO.

Last week, US group Vantage Data Centres also announced that it is investing more than 15 billion rand ($1 billion) in its first African campus in Johannesburg.  Vantage’s carrier‐neutral 80 megawatts-capacity facility will include 60,000 square metres of data space across three facilities in Johannesburg once fully developed, making it the largest in Africa, the company said in a statement.

Teraco Data Environments Proprietary Limited, Africa’s vendor-neutral data centre and interconnection services provider, recently also 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.

These increased investments in data centers in Africa is a clear indication that cloud adoption in the region has reached new heights.  In 2020, IT spending was hit hard by the pandemic and declined by 4.9% in the META region, according to IDC. The crisis caused by the pandemic, though, appears to have accelerated plans for digital transformation and related projects such as migration to cloud technology.

According to Knight Frank, Africa currently boasts just 140,000 sq m of data centre space, the same as Switzerland. However, rapid digitisation and the roll-out of 4G and 5G infrastructure across the continent means this is set to grow by 50% over the next five years.

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at  Incentro Africa.

[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Africa is an emerging data center market

Africa is an emerging data center market and has 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.

The growth in the adoption of IoT and big data analytics services will result in the rapid growth of data center development in Africa. This is according to a new report by ReportLinker, a market research solution. 

The report, released last week, notes that the market is evolving, and investments are expected to rise significantly with contributions from local and global data center operators.

The continent currently requires a 1000 megawatts and 700 data centers facilities. The demand has been growing over the last decade – following a similar path to industry development across the globe, as content consumption becomes more of a priority

Data centers are being utilized more than ever. ‘’ For example, the world’s largest internet exchange facility, DE-CIX Frankfurt, saw on-average data traffic increases of 10 percent in early March last year as people started staying at home. Our switch to video conferencing, which has seen triple digit growth, is another example of changing habits and the need to understand how our data usage will affect our data centers.’’  Carol Koech, the Country President, Schneider Electric East Africa said in a column published recently.

Last week, Africa Data Centres announced plans to build large hyperscale data centres throughout Africa, including the North African countries of Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt.The project will involve building 10 hyperscale data centres, in 10 countries, over the next two years – at a cost of more than US$500m. It is being funded through new equity and facilities from leading development finance institutions and multilateral organisations.

Data center spending is also 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. 

The priority for most companies in 2020 according to Naveen Mishra, senior research director at Gartner is keeping the lights on, so data center growth is generally being pushed back until the market enters the recovery period. Gartner expects larger enterprise data centers sites to hit pause temporarily and then resume expansion plans later this year or early next. However, hyperscalers will continue with their global expansion plans due to continued investments in public cloud.

South Africa is the leading colocation data center market in Africa, with high cloud-based service adoption, increased enterprise digitalization drive, and migration from on-premises facilities expected to drive the data center market in the country.  The market size is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 15.17% during the period 2020−2026. In 2020, Teraco Data Environments, Africa Data Centre, NTT Global Data Centers were the major data center investors in the country. For instance, Teraco Data Environments’ JB1 and JB3 facilities added a space of over 43,000 square feet.

Bottom line, Africa is by far the most exciting region when it comes to digital growth and data centers are the basis of this growth.

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at  Incentro Africa.

A future-proof data centre environment is key to digital transformation in Africa, WSP

According to a recent report, Africa needs 700 data centre facilities to meet growing demand for capacity and density in today’s digitally-driven operating environment. This is easier said than done given the power, land, and water requirements of modern data centres. And yet, this has become a non-negotiable at a time when cloud adoption has accelerated and become a top business priority. 

“These mission-critical facilities require resilient infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted services that enable business, operations, and systems to function effectively and continuously – especially given the ongoing lockdown conditions still experienced in many African countries, but for a post pandemic future too. Uptime is key, and in a world where distributed work has become normalised, no organisation can afford to experience any disruptions especially when geographically dispersed employees are accessing systems in cloud environments,” says Peter Hodgkinson, Managing Director, WSP, Building Services, Africa. 

The African data centre market size is expected to top $3 billion by 2025 at a compound annual growth rate of over 12% during the 2019 to 2025 forecasting period. Furthermore, more than 70% of companies in the region will shift to the cloud. This will only increase as more countries invest in better connectivity and infrastructure to manage data centre facilities. To this end, partnerships between government and the private sector must be strengthened to create an enabling environment for the development of modern data centres that are future-proof by design. 

“The investment required for the building of a data centre is significant. As such, these must be developed to meet the urgent and immediate needs of businesses operating in a highly volatile market still being challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic. But perhaps, even more importantly, they need to be resilient and sustainable to make them future-proof on a continent where resources like water and electricity are scarce and must be managed as efficiently as possible,” adds Hodgkinson.

An example of this is the challenge of managing the consumption of power and huge quantity of heat generated by a data centre that processes a massive amount of data. And further complicating matters is that traditional data centre designs have fixed set points that do not allow for any adaptability regarding external environmental factors. It is therefore important to install a solution that optimises energy efficiency by adjusting the amount of direct fresh air and humidity in the system while factoring in external factors such as the weather. 

“Data centres require the highest level of precision when it comes to their design. Optimising this process through Building Information Modelling (BIM), a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility, can make significant inroads of ensuring the modern data centre reflects the unique environmental demands of Africa. Aspects such as fire protection, building design, power and cooling systems, security, facility management systems, and sustainability are all critical in this regard,” says Hodgkinson.

In addition, and given the complexity of managing resources across Africa, the operational profile of data centres must also remain cognisant of energy savings and carbon emission reductions as core environmental priorities. 

Hodgkinson says: “Energy security is a critical consideration. Given the purpose of a data centre, being able to offer nearest to 100% uptime is not only a key market differentiator, but increasingly a non-negotiable in this digital age. However, most markets across Africa experience some level of unstable power supply at best. This is also compounded by pressure to rethink resource reliance in line with sustainability practices. And the data centre environment is no different.”

Typically, data centres are power hungry, however, to meet uptime conditions and manage customer expectations power management solutions – including resilient and backup power infrastructure, or self-powering solutions to offset reliance on grid power – is business critical in the African data centre market. Additionally, with the global shift towards net zero, more emphasis is being placed on architects and consulting engineers to continue to come up with alternative and operational cost-efficient designs to reduce energy consumption, reduce carbon emissions and improve the overall operational efficiencies of new data centre projects.

“A data centre that is built around these core principles is not only modern in today’s context, but future-proof by design. And, like smart property developers, data centre owners have begun to realise that building for sustainability not only makes good operational business sense, but it also aligns with responsible corporate citizenship and meeting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices. These are significant value adds to the end-user, which also contributes to the marketability of the data centre as what benefits the end-user also benefits the data centre owner,” concludes Hodgkinson.

www.wsp.com

[Column] Stephane Duproz: The rise of data centres in Africa

Data centre market in Africa is poised on the brink of hugely accelerated growth, driven by several factors, including a soaring demand for cloud services.

Now and again, a new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solution sees a combination of factors unite to create a ‘perfect storm’ of demand – one that is exacerbated by the various vendors’ inability to keep pace with it. One such industry is the multi-tenant colocation data centre market in Africa, which is poised on the brink of hugely accelerated growth, driven by several factors, including a soaring demand for cloud services, pressure by regulators to bring African content back to Africa, a surge in media content markets and improved broadband around the continent.

“Data centres are at the heart of economic growth in Africa and without them, developing rich and self-sufficient ICT ecosystems cannot happen,” says Stephane Duproz, the CEO of Africa Data Centres. “These facilities are the lifeblood of every business and the foundation of the internet itself, with thousands of networks and connections meeting there.”

He says the continued and sustained investment in connectivity and broadband in Africa are putting foundations in place for true African digital transformation. “For example 2018 saw mobile penetration reach 44% in Sub-Saharan Africa, which in turn, saw the demand for data for personal and business use reach all-time highs. Add to this the ready availability of affordable smartphones and more reasonable data plans and you’ll see why Africa is hungry for all things digital.”

Building data centres is the one way that Africa can meet the growing requirements for storage and networking that are key to fulfilling Africa’s digital transformation dreams, adds Duproz. “Keep in mind that a slew of new technologies including analytics, IoT, artificial intelligence and cloud are fueling the demand for rapid, high-availability services, and infrastructure that is local, not situated in Europe or the United States.”

Despite the clear need for more data centres, he says Africa remains the greatest untapped market for data centre providers and considering the continent is made up of more than 50 countries and a population of over a billion, this needs to change. “Most of Africa’ citizens are of the age where they want to go online, learn, communicate and consume digital services.”

Durpoz says data centres have to deliver IT services and provide storage and networking to a skyrocketing number of networked devices, users, as well as business processes. “It’s no surprise then that demand for data centre colocation services in Africa has been unprecedented, driven by the factors I mentioned above, as well as the need for digitisation in Africa. Africa wants to go digital and it wants to do it now. The continent needs servers, power, broadband – and as much of it as possible.”

At the moment, Duproz says the demand for co-location data centres in Africa is rising more rapidly than supply. “More modern colocation facilities in Africa will not only help meet the continent’s needs but will help to connect the various regions to the broader global data economy, which in turn will drive economic and social development.”

During the past couple of years, he says several cloud infrastructure and data centres have been built in many growing African markets. “However, this is just a start. The desire for more data centres for Africans is skyrocketing, and concurrently, many global companies are looking to the region for data centre development and support.”

According to him, this is important, because the data centre market on the continent is crucial to the integration of Africa into worldwide networks. Look at the hyper-scale cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, Azure, Huawei and Google. They all have global cloud services built upon a wide network of self-built data centres, but the lack of Africa-based data centres is creating latency issues and inhibiting the growth of their hyper-scale offerings on the continent.

Another reason the continent can benefit from interconnected, carrier and cloud-neutral data centre facilities, is because they enable public sector entities in Africa to harness the benefits of information and communication technologies, as well as the economies of scale that the cloud provides.

Ultimately, Duproz says, what the continent needs is a vision of a pan-African network of carrier-neutral data centres, and that is precisely what Africa Data Centres is doing and is currently the largest operator in this space. “I believe this is the way of the future because we can offer services in all the countries in which we are present to any international customer who wants to come to Africa. We have one aim, and one aim only and that is it to digitalise Africa and interconnect our data centres all over the continent to drive true digital transformation.”

Stephane Duproz is the CEO of Africa Data Centres.

[Kenya] Internet Solutions partners with icolo.io to enhance its Data Centre Services Offering

Converged ICT Services Provider Internet Solutions has signed a partnership with IT infrastructure company, icolo.io, to boost its data centre and cloud services offering to their clients.

The partnership will see Internet Solutions provide colocation and cloud services within iColo’s Nairobi and Mombasa data centres in addition to its existing Nairobi Chancery facility. iColo.io designs builds and operates state of the art carrier-neutral data centers to serve a broad spectrum of clients.

Speaking during the signing, Internet Solutions’ Executive Head of Cloud and Business Consulting Richard Muthua said in this era of a data driven economy, it is important that businesses keep their data safe, secure and readily available when needed.

“It is with this knowledge that Internet Solutions continues to provide, amongst other solutions, data management and colocation through our network of data centers across Africa and globally. With this agreement, our clients stand to benefit from a fully managed colocation service, in a vendor agnostic, Tier 3 / PCI DSS/ISO 27001 certified data centre, leading to enhanced operational resiliency” he said. 

Muthua noted that Internet Solutions will also provide the option of fortifying client’s environment with the firm’s world class monitoring as a service that include Security monitoring and incident response, managed security services, Voice, Cloud PBX, managed data backup solutions, Business continuity and disaster recovery services, private, Hybrid and public cloud solutions.

Commenting on the partnership, iColo.io Chief Executive Officer Ranjith Cherickel said: “We are proud to be IS’s infrastructure partner in building world class connectivity products to serve enterprise consumers in Kenya. Our role is to provide services to a variety of new and existing customers.  In addition, we help create an environment for IS to interact with content delivery networks, enterprise customers and global connectivity partners. This agreement between IS and iColo.io is a step further, in providing a world class client-centric enterprise experience.”

With Internet Solutions and iColo working together, clients can now benefit from lower costs and improved resilience by securely housing their information systems and networking equipment in the facilities which are operated to global best practices by the two organisations.

www.is.co.ke

www.icolo.io

Increased digitization, investment in cloud-based services drive growth of Africa data center market, report

The Africa data center market is likely to grow at a CAGR of around 14 per cent during the period 2018 – 2024 according to a recent report by Research and Markets.

icolo.io, MainOne (MDXi), Cloud Exchange Datacenter, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Medallion Communications are the prominent investors in the Africa data center market. Digitization is considered an important avenue for the African economy. It is transforming African economies through retail payments systems, financial inclusion, sustainable business models, and revenue administration.

Governments in the region are taking several initiatives to replace legacy systems and migrate to cloud-based services as part of smart city initiatives. IaaS is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40%, followed by SaaS at 30% with enterprises increasingly shifting to the public cloud platform. There has been a surge in colocation data center investment in markets such as Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco, and Senegal in the past two years. Governments are taking initiatives to increase the share of renewable energy in the electricity generation.

Increased digitization in African countries, the adoption of cloud-based services, migration from server rooms to managed, colocation, and hybrid infrastructure services are driving the investment in the Africa data center market. The report provides an in-depth market and segmental analysis of the Africa data center market by electrical infrastructure, mechanical infrastructure, tier standards, general construction, and countries.

www.researchandmarkets.com

SEACOM upgrades CloudWorx for public cloud networks and data centres in South Africa

Moving to meet the requirements of an evolving corporate ICT marketplace, Pan-African Internet and connectivity service provider SEACOM is expanding its CloudWorx cloud connectivity solutions. 

CloudWorx is a versatile, private connectivity service for businesses that connects corporate customers directly to the leading cloud-service providers like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform.

Until now, SEACOM’s CloudWorx was primarily provisioned through the provider’s network interconnections with data centres in Europe and was exclusive to companies in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The revised and upgraded CloudWorx continues to provide low latency and secure access when connecting to cloud providers overseas, but now also includes access to public cloud networks and data centres located in South Africa – accomplished via SEACOM’s presence in open-access Teraco Data Environments.

In addition, as SEACOM extends its South African national network, CloudWorx will increasingly be available to corporate customers outside the country’s major metros.

The shift in scale of CloudWorx availability reflects SEACOM’s growth as a connectivity and business solutions provider.

Approved by regulatory authorities on 1 March, SEACOM has acquired 100% of FibreCo Telecommunications, a national fibre network with infrastructure, connectivity services and over 60 Points of Presence across South Africa.

This ever-expanding footprint will bring SEACOM cloud connectivity solutions, like CloudWorx, to businesses in hitherto neglected economic centres such as Bloemfontein and East London.

Whether your requirements are to connect to the newly-launched Azure or AWS data centres in South Africa or Google and Oracle based out of Amsterdam, SEACOM has the presence, infrastructure and scalability to help South African (and East African) businesses fast-track and support their cloud migration strategy.

The FibreCo acquisition introduces over 4700km of national fibre, in addition to SEACOM’s pioneering subsea cable system connecting East Africa to South Africa, Europe and Asia.

This robust network lets SEACOM customers take advantage of a high-speed, flexible and resilient backbone from an end-to-end perspective. International capacity on the SEACOM network is currently lit at 1.5 Tbps and the South African national backbone is being upgraded to 1 Tbps.

Across the board, fibre access is uncontended and unshared to provide corporates with carrier-grade, scalable connectivity.

Scalability and general fluidity are key considerations for South African businesses to future-proof their cloud migration strategy. Cloud provider requirements may switch between public Internet access and dedicated private connectivity.

Meanwhile, individual businesses may see their cloud usage change in line with their growth strategy, using office software-as-a-service today and data-intensive AI analytics tomorrow.

As Robert Marston, Global Head of Product at SEACOM, explains, “Through SEACOM’s investments in undersea & terrestrial fibre, coupled with its interconnections with the major Cloud Providers both locally and internationally, SEACOM has the highest-speed bandwidth, low-latency routing, and a comprehensive set of options to ensure its clients can make effective use of the Cloud services in their businesses.”

Although it has benefits for medium to large businesses in all sectors, SEACOM CloudWorx is versatile enough to cater for industries such as the Mining Sector who may have limited requirements for cloud connectivity, to the Financial Services Sector, which has strict security and throughput requirements driven by their day to day operational needs.

 In these applications, utilising software-as-a-service platforms, hosted in a cloud environment, results in increased speed, security and application efficiency.

With CloudWorx users experience higher security, lower latency, increased reliability and greater speed in comparison to public Internet connectivity to cloud platforms.

In line with SEACOM’s commitment to growing business in Africa, CloudWorx is a specialist approach to cloud connectivity that prioritises flexibility and scalability for customers. Local organisations can leverage it to improve their efficiency and competitiveness as the wholesale digitisation of work takes hold.

www.seacom.com

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[Column] Anton Jacobsz: The always-on economy gives cloud data management trends a seat at the boardroom table

With regards to both data centre and cloud offerings, data management provides an important tool to facilitate an infrastructure that needs to operate in a round-the-clock application availability

The digital transformation of today’s enterprises requires being able to operate in an ‘always on’ economy; offering instant service delivery for today’s modern consumers with their expectations of immediate fulfilment.

With regards to both data centre and cloud offerings, data management provides an important tool to facilitate an infrastructure that needs to operate in a round-the-clock application availability. At the same time, data must be protected, and compliant with legislation that globally is becoming increasingly stringent and aware of the consumer’s needs.

Anton Jacobsz, CEO at Networks Unlimited Africa, says, “Companies need to be able to streamline and automate their processes in order for data management systems to operate at maximum capacity and meet business goals. This means reducing IT management while still improving workload delivery. With this thinking as a central concept, we have seen the development of some interesting trends recently, with enormous significance at the top echelons of the business’ thinking. Cloud data management trends today are under the spotlight from a business imperative and not simply as only a technology function.”

Important trends going forward include artificial intelligence (AI) powered data management, accelerated cloud adoption and GDPR compliance.

AI-powered data management: According to multinational professional services firm Ernst & Young, disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence (AI)will unsettle not just corporate business models, but also society as a whole. But while these challenges are certainly palpable, how a company responds to disruption will ultimately determine its success.

According to Gartner, data and analytics leaders must examine the potential business impact of trends such as augmented analytics, continuous intelligence and explainable AI, and adjust business models and operations accordingly – or risk losing competitive advantage to those who do.

Jacobsz says, “Gartner has also noted previously that AI will be a major digital driver for reinventing business models and the customer experience in years to come, projected until at least 2025. These projections include a focus on event-driven IT, a machine-learning (ML) model that involves constantly sensing and responding to business events (which range from completed transactions to threat detection). The focus is on seeking solutions that can centralise data management across all environments.”

Accelerated cloud adoption: A study by Spiceworks, a professional network for the IT industry, found that organisations are looking at cloud adoption for a number of reasons, including data accessibility, disaster recovery and improved flexibility.

GDPR compliance: Jacobsz notes, “The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) were definitely a top focus around the business world during 2018 and this continues as we move forward. This legal framework, which came into effect on 25 May 2018, sets guidelines for the collection and processing of identifiable personal information of individuals within the EU, while also imposing fines where necessary. These fines can be revenue-based, of up to four per cent of their annual global revenue.

The GDPR is a critical regulation for banks, insurers and other financial companies, as well as IT companies that could be involved in the processing of the data of EU citizens for these businesses. Companies around the world have been forced to look at – and where necessary restructure – their data management strategy to comply with the GDPR. This includes looking for solutions that support compliance with automation, searching and customisable reporting, as well as security solutions.”

Jacobsz concludes, “The benefits of cloud data management include the consolidation of processes such as backup, disaster recovery, archiving and analytics, as well as security solutions. This all speaks to cost savings and compliance, showing why data management is increasingly being recognised as a strategic business imperative at the boardroom table.”

Anton Jacobsz is the MD of African value-added distributor, Networks Unlimited.

African Cloud Market Will Double in Size Over the Next Five Years, Report

The report notes that while the cloud services sector is in its early stages of development in the continent, the impact of cloud services is already far-reaching.

The African could market will double in size over the next five years. This is according to the “The Rise of the African Cloud: Azure, AWS, Vmware and the Battle to Transform African Enterprise Markets” report.

The report notes that while the cloud services sector is in its early stages of development in the continent, the impact of cloud services is already far-reaching.

African banks are making investments in machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to improve the customer experience and credit risk; new “digital banks” are emerging, that are, at least in part, cloud-based.

Governments are using cloud and virtualized infrastructure to enhance public service delivery. Large retail firms are using compute capabilities and AWS databases to transform how they reach a predominantly mobile and digital customer base – and scores of African cloud-native startups are leveraging the cloud to disrupt entire industry sectors.

The African cloud may be small, but it is already here indeed, and it is growing fast. For African markets, cloud, virtualization and the broader evolution towards serverless computing are the most disruptive technology developments since the advent of the mobile payment revolution. Few other segments in the African ICT space are as likely to generate an incremental $2bn in top line revenue over the next five years, and at least as much in adjacent enabling ecosystem revenue.

This report highlights the near term economic, commercial and investor value opportunity offered by the rise of the African cloud. 

Building on the author’s established analysis of African enterprise and digital infrastructure markets, 18 months of research and 100+ interviews and conversations, The Rise of the African Cloud explores the readiness of African markets for thriving private and public cloud services; it analyzes cloud demand and use case patterns, at segment level, from financial services to the public sector and startups; it estimates and projects cloud services market size; it details the competitive strengths of global hyperscale cloud providers and how their battle is translating in the African context; it outlines the impact of cloud services on Africa’s managed service provider ecosystem and telcos’ evolving enterprise businesses; and it breaks down the investment case within the African cloud value chain, from enterprise connectivity to data centers and SaaS.

www.researchandmarkets.com

[Kenya] icolo.io starts construction of its Nairobi Data Center

icolo.io, a leading provider of carrier-neutral colocation services in Africa has commenced the construction of its new data centre in Kenya. The new Data Center called NBO1 is located in Karen Nairobi and will be second data centre from the company following the construction of the first data center in Mombasa.

Construction of the data centre started in November 2018 and is expected to be complete in August 2019. This new site will host more than 250 racks and accommodate IT power of 825kW.

“With the announcement of the build of our second data centre in Kenya, we reaffirm our resolution of making Kenya a major convergence point in data communication in Africa. With this sizeable investment, NBO1 will be Nairobi’s first true carrier and vendor-neutral data centre with scale,” said Ranjith Cherickel, Founder and CEO of icolo.io.

NBO1 will have over 624m2 of rack space with a 99.999% guaranteed power uptime. The architectural design of the data centre sits on a 4,400m2 area ensuring redundant power complete with back-up generators which are DCC certified, N+2 high precision cooling and pre-cabled interconnects. The entire infrastructure will be concurrently maintainable.

This data centre will serve major businesses in the East African region ranging from internet service providers, financial services institutions, enterprise customers, medical facilities among others.

“NBO1 will be at the centre of Silicon Savannah and it’s a fantastic opportunity for our talented ICT professionals to build scalable infrastructure in and around the region. This places Kenya at the heart of Digital Africa” added Mr. Cherickel.

The building will be supported on drilled concrete piles with reinforced concrete columns, beams, and hollow-core concrete slabs, as well as raised floors in the data centre to enhance the flow of cold air in all the white space and technical rooms. The building will have two dedicated Meet-Me Rooms that will serve as two diverse entry points for all fibres coming into the building thus providing redundancy for our connectivity partners.

www.icolo.io