African data centres will have to focus more on environmental protection, data security, and privacy protection in the coming years. That’s according to Zhou Yilin, Huawei Director of IT Consulting & System Integration. Speaking at the Pan African Data Centres Exhibition & Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, Yilin expanded on the forces driving those trends while also outlining some of the other challenges and opportunities facing the sector.

Zhou Yilin, Huawei Director of IT Consulting & System Integration.

Yilin notes that factors such as increasing requirements for data storage and processing, drive the rapid development of data centres. At the same time, he says, the sector faces new challenges, including regional differences in policy environments, customer requirements, and low-carbon sustainable development requirements.

Fortunately, he adds, the continent’s data centres are not alone in facing these challenges. That means there are a growing number of global examples that they can draw from when it comes to addressing them and meeting the evolving needs of their customers.

“In the future, data centres in Africa will focus more on environmental protection, data security, and privacy protection,” Yilin says.

Additionally, they will have to embrace the challenges and opportunities associated with cloud computing and edge computing, the construction of green data centres, and data security and privacy protection.

“With the increasing popularity of cloud computing and edge computing, data centres in Africa will face more challenges and opportunities,” he says. “Data centres and their service capabilities need to evolve and enrich to meet users’ requirements for intelligent, efficient, and secure services.”

The promotion of green data centres with reduced environmental impacts will also have a significant impact, the Huawei director says:

“African governments have started to promote the construction of green data centres to reduce the impact of data centres on the environment. In the future, Africa’s data centres will focus more on environmental protection and sustainable development, and adopt more energy-saving and environmentally friendly technologies and equipment.”

And with cybercrime growing in scale and sophistication, data security and privacy will also become more important.

“With the increasing number of data breaches and cyber attacks, data centres in Africa will pay more attention to data security and privacy protection,” Yilin says. “Data centres need to adopt more secure and reliable technologies and solutions to enhance data encryption and access control to protect user data security and privacy.”

Meeting those opportunities and challenges head-on will become especially important as businesses across the continent continue to embrace accelerated digital transformation.

“As the key foundation for carrying digital economy services, data centres are the cornerstone of digital transformation in various industries,” Yilin says. “In the digital era, customer service scenarios in various industries are changing from single product integration to full-stack data centre integration.”

According to Yilin, Huawei is well aware of these shifts and has worked hard to ensure that its data centre clients are able to meet and embrace them.

“Huawei’s data centre integration service solution provides full-stack service solutions, including data centre facility integration, IT integration and auxiliary operation, migration and disaster recovery, scenario-based intelligence, and campus digital platform integration,” he says. “It covers the entire process of planning, construction, and operation, meeting the requirements of comprehensive, efficient, and intelligent construction in the architecture design, service rollout, and system operation of the data centre.”

Huawei’s solutions can also help data centres achieve green, low-carbon, and sustainable development.

“Huawei’s data centre integration service uses low carbon, energy saving, and prefabricated assembly to build green and simplified scenario-based typical configuration solutions,” he says.

They’re also designed for optimal disaster recovery in the event of natural disasters, power failures, device damage, and network outages.

“Huawei’s data centre disaster recovery service provides automatic disaster warning, automatic recovery solution, one-click service switchover, and unified ransomware detection and recovery management, helping customers improve service continuity and reduce DR management costs,” Yilin says. “To meet the high reliability requirements of industry systems, Huawei provides industry-leading disaster recovery consulting, integration, drill services, and intelligent management platforms for industries such as finance, government, healthcare, electric power, and energy.”

“Huawei advocates digital, green, and reliable data centre services and uses professional services to help customers build intelligent, green, and reliable data centres,” he concludes.

Huawei always adheres to the concept of professionalism, openness, and win-win results. “Together with partners, Huawei uses professional tools, industry-leading service standards, and supports platforms such as open labs and service centres to provide IT service solutions for customers in the finance, government, carrier, large enterprise, education, and healthcare industries.”