Newly-expanded tier-III, open access and carrier-neutral data centres were launched in Johannesburg and Cape Town yesterday by African Data Centre, part of the Liquid Telecoms group.
Capacity at the existing Neotel data centres has been more than doubled to create the new South African Data Centre (SADC) facilities, offering cloud service providers, carriers and enterprises additional rack space and colocation services.

SADC Johannesburg now offers more than 3 000 square metres of secured space with a total power capacity of 7MW, while SADC Cape Town provides 1 800 square metres of secured rack space with 5,5MW of power.

The company plans to extend the data centres to more than five-times this capacity within the next five years, says SA Data Centre GM: managed services Angus Hey.

He adds that the massive growth in South African data centres is testament to the growth in cloud services consumption among local businesses.

The Johannesburg and Cape Town data centres are already home to almost 100 customers, including global, regional and local telecoms operators, ISPs, cloud service providers and large enterprises.

Phases one, two and three are already fully-populated, and phase four of the current project will go live soon.

Connected by the fibre routes of many major carriers, the facilities also host internet exchanges independently operated by INX-ZA.

Through a partnership with INX-ZA, the Johannesburg Internet Exchange (JINX) has been expanded to SADC Johannesburg, while the Cape Town Internet Exchange (CINX) has been extended to SADC Cape Town, allowing for on-premise peering.

The newly-expanded data centres are ISO 27001 certified and both comply with PCI DSS, the global information security standard set by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council.

The pan-African Liquid Telecom group acquired South Africa’s second network operator, Neotel, for $6,55-billion in February 2017.

SADC Johannesburg and SADC Cape Town, along with partner locations East Africa Data Centre (EADC), Nairobi, and Central Africa Data Centre (CADC) are interconnected by multiple networks including Liquid Telecom’s fibre network, which provides regional and international reach for customers.

Africa Data Centres is also currently expanding its East Africa Data Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, which houses 2 000 square metres of secured space for data servers over four floors. EADC is currently the only data centre in East Africa to hold a Tier III certification from the Uptime Institute.

Customers at Africa Data Centres can also access Liquid Telecom’s CloudConnect for Microsoft ExpressRoute service, which enables businesses to create private connections between Azure data centres and infrastructure on-premises or in a colocation environment. In the first half of 2018, Liquid Telecom will be able to offer direct private connections to the South African Azure data centres – marking the first time that businesses in Africa will be able to access Azure on their own continent.

“As moving to cloud-based solutions becomes more commonplace, businesses across Africa require more carrier-neutral, open-access data centre space for their business-critical data and applications,” says Nic Rudnick, group CEO of Liquid Telecom. “Through continuous investment in Africa Data Centres, we are providing the foundations for leading enterprises and cloud providers to come and build their digital future in Africa.”

The Johannesburg SADC data centre was opened last night by Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services, Dr Siyabonga Cwele.

Picture: Dr Siyabongo Cwele, minister of telecommunications and postal services, with Liquid Telecoms’ Ben Roberts and Wellington Makamure.