NTT opens 'one of many' Johannesburg data centres

The NTT Johannesburg 1 Data Centre.
The NTT Johannesburg 1 Data Centre.

Dimension Data parent company NTT today officially opened its latest data centre, based in Johannesburg.

The Johannesburg 1 Data Centre, a tier three facility, has a capacity of 12MW, covering 6 000 square metres of IT space, and forms part of NTT’s investment of up to €120 million (R1.2 billion) towards its expansion into the African continent.

The project was first announced in 2020, when NTT commenced with the construction of the project, which it says is “one of many” similar projects planned by the company in future.

NTT, which already operates 11 data centres in Africa under the local Dimension Data brand, plans to accelerate its data centre footprint in Johannesburg and other African cities, to support this growth over the next several years.

According to the company, the carrier-neutral facility will cater to hyperscalers and enterprises, by providing them with an opportunity to use NTT’s full ICT stack of services, including managed hybrid cloud, network management, collaboration, security and application monitoring.

During the official launch held in Centurion this morning, Michael Abendanon, head of Global Data Centres EMEA at NTT, noted the company has opened six data centres this year, including the Johannesburg 1 Data Centre.

According to Abendanon, NTT has identified huge opportunities in Africa – a continent which only has 1% of the global data centre footprint.

Michael Abendanon, head of Global Data Centres EMEA at NTT.
Michael Abendanon, head of Global Data Centres EMEA at NTT.

“Africa’s growth and reliance on technology is fuelling digital transformation initiatives and demand for high-performing data centre space. Estimates show that 615 million users in Sub-Saharan Africa will subscribe to mobile services by 2025, a 24% increase from 2020.

“Our presence in Africa is underpinned by the significant digital change we’re seeing across the continent. Companies providing new digital services need data centre space with high power density, global connectivity, carrier neutrality, cloud network access, and on-site support to ensure they can continue to grow,” noted Abendanon.

The project was constructed in two phases, with the first phase completed and the second phase expected to be completed over the next few months.

IDC estimates public cloud services adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa will accelerate at a compound annual growth rate of 25% year-on-year between 2020 and 2025.

The growth in Africa’s cloud sector is leading to more international players choosing to invest in the market. Since 2019, SA has seen an influx of tech companies investing in local data centres, including hyperscalers like Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, as well as the likes of Teraco, Dimension Data and Huawei, among others.

In September, Google confirmed plans to establish a data centre in South Africa, in the medium- to long-term.

Premised on sustainability

According to NTT, the technical infrastructure of the facility is supported by N+1 uninterruptible power supply systems, generator backup and highly-redundant cooling systems.

The company says this will provide organisations with dedicated sustainable infrastructure, operational control and the design flexibility required to support their high-performance needs.

The facility uses a closed-loop chilled water system with air-cooled chillers, meaning the water running through the cooling systems isn’t evaporated. This reduces the threat of potential drought water restrictions and allows the data centre to achieve low power usage effectiveness and water usage effectiveness.

“We’re incredibly proud to be investing in Johannesburg and extending our global data centre footprint to South Africa,” said Florian Winkler, CEO of Global Data Centres EMEA at NTT.

“The country forms a significant part of NTT’s growth strategy as we continue to support Africa’s digital transformation.

“The opening of Johannesburg 1 will contribute towards the economic growth and social development of the region, as our clients shape the country of tomorrow.”

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