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Teraco adds to Africa’s wave of datacentre development

By , Portals editor
South Africa , 07 May 2020
Artist rendition of Teraco's new Cape Town facility.
Artist rendition of Teraco's new Cape Town facility.

Vendor-neutral datacentre solutions provider, Teraco has announced the construction of Teraco Cape Town 2 (CT2), a new 30MW datacentre facility.

According to Teraco, the new facility is being built with longer term planning in mind to provide to sufficient capacity for the more medium to longer term. These facilities take close on two years to develop, so this is being built with 2022 and beyond in mind.

Jan Hnizdo, CEO, Teraco, said: “We see increased demand from enterprises who have existing datacentre or Computer Room infrastructure. Many of these facilities are end of life and need to be expanded, upgraded or made more resilient. For many CIOs it does not make sense to further invest in non-core datacentres, especially when more and more key workstreams are being moved into the cloud.”

Jan Hnizdo, CEO, Teraco.
Jan Hnizdo, CEO, Teraco.

According to Hnizdo the company sees many financial services and other enterprises moving into the hybrid deployment world where some of their processing is moved into a public cloud environment (e.g. Azure, AWS etc.) and the rest of the processing moved into a private cloud environment, one where the private cloud deployment is being moved into a facility like Teraco “which enables lower cost access to and ease of connecting to global cloud providers, managed service providers, content providers and telcos.”

“We also see demand increasing from key content providers, be it social media, search or streaming where quality of service is key and they wish to move their key content nodes closer to the end user to allow for more efficient distribution and a better overall user experience,” Hnizdo added.

According to the company construction on the site commenced in early March 2020 and will continue in line with local COVID-19 restrictions with a targeted completion date of Q3 2021.

The completed facility will comprise of eight data halls encompassing 8000sqm of usable floor space, “doubling the existing datacentre capacity in the Cape Town region.”

AWS Africa Region launch

CT2 follows Teraco’s recent 60MW expansion announcement of its Johannesburg datacentre campus in Isando, and comes soon after the recent launch of AWS Africa Region in Cape Town.

In April 2020 AWS announced the opening of AWS Africa Region effectively extending its datacentre footprint of 73 Availability Zones within 23 geographic regions globally.

The newly established AWS Africa Region will enable customers to run their applications and serve end-users in Africa “with even lower latency and leverage advanced AWS technologies to drive innovation.”

AWS Regions are composed of Availability Zones, which each comprise of one or more datacentres and are located in separate and distinct geographic locations “with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting business continuity, yet near enough to provide low latency for high availability applications.”

Hnizdo said the opening of the AWS region is hugely positive and a reinforcement of the digital transformation trends that are occurring across the world.

“These regional deployments by cloud providers are not only to service South African based users, but the region more broadly. It’s also a reinforcement of the size of market for global public cloud infrastructure providers, South Africa on its own is a large market with our large banks, financial service providers, retailers etc. On its own South Africa is the 33rd largest economy in the world, aggregate all the regional economies and it becomes a much larger target market for the cloud providers.”

Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO.
Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO.

Also reacting to the news, Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO said: “Vodacom is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner with operations across the African continent, so naturally we are very pleased that they have made the decision to invest in the South African market, as well as the broader African market, by opening these datacentres in Cape Town. The most exciting aspect of this is the integration of AWS into the Vodacom Network, which will allow our clients to take advantage of the benefits of both offerings, and use them to transform their businesses into digitally enabled, tech-first companies.”

Vodacom said it selected AWS as its primary cloud provider and is migrating the core of its Information Services landscape, including over 4000 workloads to the AWS Cloud.

“As a result, Vodacom will be able to increase the automation of services and business processes as well as drive even greater agility and innovation for Vodacom Business clients,” the company stated.

Joosub added: “The launch of the AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region will enable us to fully leverage AWS’s capabilities to execute an all-in strategy by 2023. In addition, the launch of the AWS Region will allow us to deliver integrated solutions, such as our IOT offerings, expanding our customer value propositions and drive new revenue streams. We have also created the Vodacom AWS Cloud Centre of Excellence to help Small and Medium sized businesses, Enterprise, as well as Public Sector clients migrate to the AWS Cloud.”

“This will ensure that Vodacom Business’s clients accelerate adoption and benefit from next generation technologies including 5G, AI, Block chain, Mobile Edge, IoT, Robotics and mobile applications. The Vodacom AWS Cloud Centre of Excellence will also support Vodacom’s own internal migration to the cloud and will enable employee upskilling through the in-house AWS technical training and certification programmes.”

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