The increasing demand for data centres in Africa is projected to inspire the building of data centres and usher in a digital revolution in Africa.
Peter Greaves, expertise leader for Data & ICT Facilities at Aurecon, reckons that the evolution and expansion of data centres will enable the globalisation of Africa, something that is critical in the sustainable development of the fast rising continent.
“If these date centres are situated close to reliable, expandable data links linking the population of Africa to all parts of the world in real time, they will accelerate learning, promote ease of business and allow African people as well as businesses to expand their knowledge and corporations,” he said.
He added the fact that the world is generating massive data means that telecom operators, corporations and governments will have to find better, smarter ways to serve a data-hungry population throughout Africa.
Statistics show that data consumption continues to grow at an incredible pace globally. Over 90 per cent of all the data in the world was created in the past two years and the total amount of data being captured and stored by industry doubles almost year on year.
It is expected that by 2020, the amount of digital information in existence will have grown from 3.2 zettabytes to 40 zettabytes. Today some 204 million emails are sent every minute, 1,8 million Facebook likes are generated, some 278,000 Tweets are sent and 200,000 photos uploaded on Facebook.
In Africa mobile telephony penetration has enabled millions to access internet services with ease, heralding an unprecedented growth in data.
Due to this fact, African countries need to start looking at more local solutions in order to ensure data sovereignty and efficient network performance.
According to Greaves, this demand will drive a significant data centre build-out in both East and West Africa over the next 20 years.
“Now is the time to start reassessing the number of data centres in Africa, where they are located and how we can create scalable solutions to meet future data needs,” he observes.
Aurecon, which has been involved in data centres for over 15 years and has been involved on some of the largest data centres around the world, is willing to partner with African nations to build data centres of the 21st century.
“There are many complexities involved with building data centres that become long-term assets. Creating long-term, dynamic, scalable data centres in Africa will require us to draw on the key lessons learned from around the globe as well as the knowledge from local experts in the field,” says Greaves.
He adds that some of the key considerations involved in creating long-term data centre assets include sustainably minded design particularly in terms of energy consumption, site selection and skilled date centre operators.