Bytes Systems Integration has partnered with Realtime Africa as part of a plan to build data centres in Harare. The company is part of Bytes Technology Group, wholly owned by JSE-listed Altron.
The partnership will allow Realtime Africa to deliver virtualised dynamic data centres to its regional customers. The first phase will target the Zimbabwean market, to be followed by Zambia as a second phase.
The Realtime data centres will provide a shared, unified architecture that is the foundation for cloud computing and the realisation of IT as a service. Together, Realtime and Bytes will provide integrated products, solutions and services to give effect to this vision for the vast number of existing and potential customers in the region.
“Virtualisation has transformed data centres,” says Winston Mutasa, MD of Realtime Africa. “It will allow our customers to respond faster to changing business requirements, and reduce their overall data centre costs.”
The Bytes/Realtime partnership presents customers with:
* One virtualisation platform.
* One consolidated server infrastructure.
* One converged data centre fabric.
* One unified storage architecture.
* One data centre infrastructure to manage.
* One common shared dynamic infrastructure.
“CEOs today are faced with a number of challenges,” says Mutasa. “They have to do more with less, with more than two thirds of their budgets allocated to simply keeping the lights on. This limits their scope for innovation. Despite this, they need to adapt quickly to business changes. They typically lack a future-driven IT architecture, along with the associated skills to deliver vital management information.
“Today’s IT managers have huge pressure to reduce capital expenditure, severe power issues, cooling and space constraints, along with the fact that they must deal with multiple vendors which delays problem resolution. We solve all these problems and with our single point of contact call centres, there can be no finger pointing.”
Realtime’s new-generation data centres will be focused  on providing IT as a service, adds Mutasa.
“We have moved from delivering a vertical point solutions to a horizontal infrastructure which fulfils a business need and can expand or contract as required. Most importantly, it is funded via monthly opex as opposed to capex.”
In terms of the partnership, Realtime will deliver virtualised operating infrastructure, unified server and communications infrastructure and open storage architecture, and Realtime and Bytes will provide the systems integration skills required to make it all work.
“As a preferred partner for HP, IBM, Dell, Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle and VMware, we have deep expertise across all technologies and can provide complete assessment, design, and implementation services,” says Mutasa.
One of the early success stories regarding the new, virtualised approach is of Tucson, Arizona-based Tucson Electric Power, which reduced its server base from 300 to 80. In the process, it saved $3-million in server/storage hardware, quadrupled storage capacity without increasing headcount, avoided $1,1-million in labour costs by simplifying management, and reduced restore time from two days to 10 minutes.
“Our region will be no different and our customers will go from having inadequate management information systems, to the best, quickly and easily, all funded by manageable monthly operational costs,” Mutasa adds.
“It is this kind of success story that has caught the imagination of regional companies and organisations. We have had a terrific reception to our virtual data centre vision and we expect it to take off rapidly.”
Together, Realtime and Bytes design, implement and manage customised IT solutions through the integration of hardware, networks and software systems from global technology leaders. The consortium is focused on providing clients with world-class solutions and services based on platforms, processes and methodologies from acknowledged industry leaders, specifically Cisco, VMWare and NetApp.