Africa's data centre market: What you need to know

By Polycarp Kazaresam

MainOne (West African data centre solutions company) has announced that it has chosen Dutch firm Minkels to be its data centre supplier.

MainOne is renowned for blazing a trail its undersea fibre optic cable connecting West Africa to Europe. The firm also constructed West Africa’s largest commercial Tier III data centre, MDXi.

MainOne is clearly a success, but what does its surrounding African data centre industry look like? We dug up a few facts on the market:

  • The Data Centre Africa 2015 Report found that Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa were highlighted as leaders in the development of regional data centres.
  • The report found that in Africa, accelerators for growth in the data centre market include investment in low latency satellite broadband and cable upgrades. 
  • In 2015, the Cisco Global Cloud Index predicted that the Middle East and Africa region will have the highest cloud traffic growth rate globally through to 2019, with 41 percent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).
  • In March, multinational computer hardware firm IBM opened its first data centre in South Africa. They aim to deliver low-latency public, private and cloud services, as well as analytics, to the entire continent.
  • Cloud platform provider ChinaNetCentre teamed up with the Djibouti Data Centre network to build a content delivery network service node, thus improving internet experience in the region.
  • Japanese company NEC has begun construction of the first submarine cable to directly link Africa with Latin America. The project is expected to be finished by mid-2018.
  • Data centre market report The African Data Centre Rises found that colocation demand across the continent is increasing two to three times faster than supply.
  • Major internet cloud players such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google have global cloud services supported by a network of data centres, but all lack Africa-based data centres

 

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