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Pics: Tour Africa Data Centres’ Midrand facility expansion

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Pan-African cloud-neutral data centre provider Africa Data Centres recently completed the first phase of its Midrand-based data centre expansion (JHB1), in efforts to provide the wide range of co-location services required by its African business clients.

The expansion, according to the company, is in response to the skyrocketing demand for data centres, as businesses across the continent accelerate their digital transformation journeys in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inside the JHB1 data centre.
Inside the JHB1 data centre.

Africa Data Centres forms part of fibre solutions provider Cassava Technologies, based across 14 countries, primarily in Eastern, Southern and South Africa, providing mobile operators, carriers, enterprise, media and content companies with high-speed connectivity solutions.

The company owns three data centres in SA, in Midrand (JHB1), Centurion (JHB2) and Elfindale, Cape Town (CPT1).

The JHB1 data centre now offers a range of co-location services, from low-density racks for small businesses, to high-density racks for larger enterprises.

During a media tour last week, Dr Angus Hay, GM of Africa Data Centres, Southern Africa region, noted the new facility’s capacity has been increased by 10MW of IT load.

“The total available capacity on this campus is up to 15MW. We achieve power usage effectiveness (PUE) of between 1.3 and 1.4 PUE,” explained Hay.

“The facility has 6 000 square metres of white space, where we house our IT equipment and provide our co-location services. We specialise in delivering power, maintaining humidity and regulating temperature for our clients – delivered through a tier three infrastructure.”

The data centre is connected to a white box server, which helps organisations to run their operating systems. It is equipped with a power source, as well as tools to help clients control humidity and temperature, among other services.

The 6 000 square metres of white space.
The 6 000 square metres of white space.

Africa Data Centres plans to build 10 additional data centres on the continent and expand its data centre footprint to more than twice its current capacity across Africa.

The company has invested almost R4 billion to further expand its two Johannesburg-based data centres from 30MW to 100MW of IT load.

The data centre storage system.
The data centre storage system.

In terms of renewable energy use, the JHB1 campus is equipped with solar PV power sources and several generators to circumvent Eskom’s load-shedding periods. Africa Data Centres has set a target to become carbon-neutral by 2030.

“We currently run about 1MW of solar power on the campus. In light of the new regulations, we are busy contracting to buy power from independent power producers and we are looking to add 10MW of solar power,” said Hay.

Fibre-optic network cabling.
Fibre-optic network cabling.

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