September 25, 2021

More African data centres please!

A modern server room datacenter

Where is YOUR company data stored?

This blog post warrants serious attention by all MSRA members and their colleagues since they intimately deal with the creation, processing and storage of vast amounts of data. First of all, this is a great accomplishment for Africa Data Centres (ADC) because I feel Africa needs to concentrate more on keeping its data in-house instead of being transferred by fiber underneath the ocean to popular cloud storage providers in Asia, Europe, or North America like Google Cloud, Amazon, Dropbox, pCloud AG, Microsoft Cloud/OneDrive et al.

No disrespect to the above mentioned providers. They all do a fabulous job with their storage services. However, problems still arise due to network latency (distance from Africa to them) and local ISP network capacity although these have improved considerably over the past 5 years. But we’re also talking about privacy and security considering the huge implications GDPR regulations will have on our society moving forward.

Getting that out of the way, here’s some excellent news for Africa’s ICT industry. Why? Because getting Tier 3 data centre certification is a very difficult and expensive undertaking. If I recall, ADC is the only ICT organisation in all of Africa that has managed to attain such high level datacentre certification.

Africa Data Centres, which claims to be the continent’s largest network of an interconnected, carrier – and cloud-neutral datacentre facilities, has had its Tier III certification renewed by the Uptime Institute for its Nairobi-based data centre.

The development follows the facility’s superior design that aligns and supports ‘any planned work on the site infrastructure without disrupting operations.’

Tier III Concurrently Maintainable criteria are founded on the capability to complete planned facility maintenance or modifications on a scheduled basis, the Uptime Institute’s CTO, Christopher Brown communicated.

“It is with great pleasure that Uptime Institute Professional Services announces the successful achievement of the Tier III Certification of Design Documents for the Africa Data Centres (ADC) NBO1.1, NBO1.2 and NBO1.3, Phase 1 in Nairobi, Kenya,” the institute said.
source: Africa Data Centres Tier III Certification Has Been Extended (TechWeez)

Africa’s data explosion

Here’s yet more proof that Africa has reached a critical turning point in its unlimited demand for data, which in turn warrants the creation of local data centres in order to improve network efficiency while abiding by GDPR regulations at the same time:

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, CEO, 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.”
source: The rise of data centres in Africa (CIO East Africa)

Conclusion

Although prices for hosting (web, mail, application, storage, etc.) are considerably cheaper in the “First World” due to economies of scale and greater availability of competent ICT professionals, it is high time for governments, consumers, SMB/SMEs, and large organisations in Africa to accept the challenge of keeping their data stored locally on servers situated within Africa.

Hence ADC’s Tier 3 data certification is a huge step in getting Africa’s voracious data consumers to consider hosting their digital data in local data centres. At least this would also give them the lowest possible network latency (ie. faster download speeds) since the data is not going under the ocean to some distant land with questionable data privacy policies.

One other thing…
Did you know that the server software required to run most data centres are usually available for free? 🤔👀  Thanks to the vibrant global open source software community, the very same “big name” open source server software technologies that these big cloud providers use are freely available for budding data centre entrepreneurs in Africa to download and implement. We just need the determination to get it done so that local data centres are just as competitive as their overseas counterparts.

Oh, did I mention that the very same top-rated open source server technologies used by the likes of Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, Telegram, NASA, Amazon, Alibaba, Apple, Mozilla, Disney, Twitter, Toyota, Safaricom, KQ, Carre-Four, Barclays et al in their private data centres are completely free? Here’s just a sample of free popular open source software that, literally, runs the world.   👀👇🏽

~Webmaster Max


Related links / Why your data should remain in a LOCAL data centre:

About MSRA Webmaster 34 Articles
The web admin responsible for implementing the new and improved MSRA website using Open Source Software (Linux, PHP, WordPress, MySQL). Enjoy the ride!

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