The rise of cloud infrastructure and data centers may be next for African markets in 2018. The need for data centers continues to grow exponentially. In 2018, an estimated $188 billion is going toward data center systems, according to Statista reports.
Many global companies are looking to Africa for data center development and support. “The decision to open a data center facility highlights the growing economic development in Africa, which has caught the attention of big tech companies looking to capitalize,” Jonathan Vanian of Fortune explained.
Amazon, Microsoft, and Other Global Companies Building Data Centers in Africa
For instance, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is considering data center development in South Africa. Amazon wants to establish infrastructure in Africa after launching AWS Direct Connect in the country.
Amazon is essentially following in the footsteps of Microsoft Azure. They were the first company to announce interest in building data centers in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
“We’re excited by the growing demand for cloud services in Africa and their ability to be a catalyst for new economic opportunities,” Scott Guthrie, Microsoft VP of cloud and enterprise told media outlets.
Another example is Facebook’s partnership with telecommunications companies in Africa to install hundreds of miles of fiber optic cable in Uganda. The goal is to improve the country’s Internet connectivity. Surely Facebook data centers are not far behind.
The development of data centers in Africa has been catalyzed by the enterprise and government support behind a more powerful digital infrastructure. The focus on renewable energy is also driving economic development.
Investments by cloud service companies and subsidiaries like AWS is an indicator that growth in the market will continue. Are you ready to build a data center in Africa?
Building a Data Center in Africa Tips
Global companies, both medium and large are looking to Africa for data center setup, management, support, and more. But it’s important to understand how to develop an efficient and scalable data center that works for your business.
Let’s take a closer look at what a company will need to consider when it comes to creating a data center in Africa.
- Rack Mount Equipment for Scalability
When data center conceptualization begins, many companies begin to stockpile and stack server hardware and network appliances. But looking at scalability, which is inevitable for any data center, space is too valuable to be wasted.
Rack mount servers and associated equipment can house and organize hardware efficiently, like industrial 2U rack mount PCs. Being able to better manage equipment can have long-term value.
- Cut Data Center Silos for Improved Efficiency
Silos are commonplace in data centers, but they don’t need to be. Traditional silos will have personnel for networking and virtualization while other personnel teams manage data and archived information.
An efficient data center will cut the silos from the equation and combine applications for one personnel group to manage. By integrating tech into one scalable hub, you can decrease the need for all the specialized silos.
- Consider Hybrid Cloud Environments
Hybrid cloud environments are growing in popularity. What is a hybrid cloud environment? It allows companies to access public cloud while still keeping confidential or sensitive data within a data center.
Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform provide public cloud access with data center support. You can also develop your own private cloud and have the data center control and manage it.
Hybrid clouds simply let companies get the easy cloud access while still ensuring data security protocols are in place. “Many believe it’s the eventual state that most businesses will operate in – some infrastructure resources on premises, others in the public cloud,” Brandon Butler of Network World said.
- Don’t Overlook Physical Security
Companies are under increasing scrutiny, making data center security a must. We are not just talking cyber-security either. Having actual physical security measures in place will help protect your data center from potential breaches.
Your company’s most valuable assets are in the data center. Professional thieves know the value of not only the equipment, but also the information they can access.
For instance, Chicago tech company CI Host had 20 servers stolen in 2007. A London Verizon Business data center had $4 million worth of equipment stolen that same year. Having key security measures in place is vital. A data breach can spell disaster for any company.
- Manage Environmental Concerns
Having a standardized environment is optimal for the efficient operation of any data center. Data centers in Africa may have more elements to contend with. What is the proper temperature of a data center?
Temperature wise, a data center should hover between 61 degrees Fahrenheit, or 16 degrees Celsius, and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, or 24 degrees Celsius. Humidity should be between 40 percent to 55 percent humidity.
Keeping a standardized and controlled data center environment is not cheap. In fact, 40 percent of data center operation costs will come from energy consumption. But these costs can be less in Africa, since many countries are aggressively pursuing solar energy via crowdfunding renewable energy campaigns.
Technology Growth Fueled by Data Center Development
Africa is primed for technology growth, and the list of global companies interested in building data centers there in 2018 continues to grow. The potential for Africa to build a tech infrastructure supported by renewable energy is enticing, and very well could set an example for the rest of the world.