Africa's largest data centre nears completion

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The largest data centre in Africa, and one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, is almost complete and will be open for business within three months.

Teraco's Riverfields hyperscale data centre facility is situated in Bredell, near Kempton Park in Gauteng, and has a capacity of 24 megawatts. When it is done, $100 million will have been invested in it.

Teraco says the continent has seen top operators, content creators and cloud providers committing to significant infrastructure investment.

"In just under two years, African companies have started to fast-track the adoption of cloud and as a result are aggressively pursuing opportunities to migrate," the company said in a statement.

Teraco completed its Joburg West build in Isando earlier this year and is opening its Riverfields hyperscale data centre in response to growing demand for these facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

"The demand is driven by big data and cloud computing, as well as enterprise organisations that consume these services locally, many of which have not been available locally or are only in limited functionality due to restrictions presented by high latencies due to distance," says Teraco CEO Lex van Wyk.

The data centre is situated in the east of Johannesburg in the municipality of Ekurhuleni. Teraco says this part of town was chosen because it has access to stable power, and is built on a reliable grid. It is 20km north of the current Isando campus. The company says it did not want it too far from Isando as it has 160 telco providers there that are servicing the rest of Africa.

Jan Hnizdo (centre), CFO of Teraco, led a tour of the facility this week. He says the centre will be complete by 1 November. He says it is already 25% full, with customers pre-booking their space. In the next few days, generators will start going into the building and the site will be very busy, which is why tours have been offered so early.

Riverfields is the fourth facility built by Teraco, with the other locations in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg.

"The Riverfields facility in Bredell brings our power provision to 50MW, with over 18 000m2 of white space, all of which is required to meet the increasing demand for hyperscale computing," says Van Wyk.

The facility covers 6 000m^2 of technical deployment space.

Teraco says internationally, researchers predict the global co-location market will grow to more than $50 billion by 2020, a CAGR of over 12% from 2015 to 2020. A significant portion of this demand is being driven by the enterprise, IT and telecommunications sectors.

"The hyperscale data centre market was estimated at over $1 billion in mid-2015, with significant growth forecast based on storage resource demands in distributed or grid computing environments," the company says.

"Teraco has witnessed this growth first hand across its data centre businesses as well as the uptake within NAPAfrica, the largest Internet exchange point in Africa, which is located within Teraco's data centre facilities."

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