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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Seven things to know about datacentre deployment in Africa | IDG Connect

Photo: Kathryn Cave
Check out this article about datacentre deployment in Africa by Kathryn Cave, Editor at IDG Connect.

Photo: IDG Connect

Datacentres are the foundation of the IT pyramid. A strong network of these allows organisations to deliver the other core pillars of IT: networks, servers and software. Yet the chronic lack of datacentres means the majority of African data [the figure 80% has been repeatedly bandied about but I haven’t found a source for it] is stored outside the continent.

These issues were discussed in depth as part of Invest in Datacentre Africa a bespoke summit collocated within Datacloud Europe 2017. This included panel discussions, roundtables and individual talks and the summary below was gleaned through the course of the day’s event.

Cost: There are several ways to mitigate financial constraints. The first is public private partnerships (which gets talked about a lot in African IT). The second is other strategic partnerships. The total cost of ownership can also be greatly reduced through co-investment in datacentres, suggests Frederic Bouchez, director of innovation and marketing at Etix. This is a model where the facility is not wholly owned by anyone but is 50/50 shared.

Cybercrime: “The minute you build a datacentre you become a target for cybercriminals,” suggests Peter Alfred-Adekeye, CEO and CTO at Multiven. He believes local factors can make this worse in Africa.

Unique market conditions: The physical aspects of building a datacentre anywhere in the world are relatively similar, says Ross Macdonald, principal at Etix Everywhere. The difficulty is understanding the local market. “We haven’t seen the large players in Africa even though everyone knows it is an opportunity [because it is so difficult],” he adds.

Datacentre skills: There is a lack of sustainable skills in the local space and Lee Smith, director of South African training company DS believes “governments don’t understand the datacentre market enough to do anything about it”.
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Source: IDG Connect