Data centre environments key to the IT strategy

By Lex van Wyk, managing director of Teraco Data Environments.

Read time 2min 10sec

Lex van Wyk, managing director of Teraco Data Environments, says data centres are key to organisational IT strategies due to the substantially increased demand of application and content access from any location and at any time.

“Vendor neutrality is still a new concept in South Africa and there is some confusion over what it really means and what benefits it holds for our clients. A claim of vendor- and carrier-neutral or vendor- and carrier-agnostic can only be made by a data centre infrastructure operator when the provider in question does not own or sell any carrier or managed services,” says Van Wyk.

Van Wyk defines vendor neutrality as a focused business model in which a provider limits its activities to a fixed set of value layers in order to avoid conflicts of interest with clients. He says this ultimately means that Teraco creates an open market for other service providers to add value from within the data centre facility. Teraco remains neutral and independent and offers standard, open interconnect policies.

In a vendor-neutral data centre, customers benefit from the advantages of colocation in addition to having access to all submarine cable systems, all significant networks and carriers in South Africa and the increasing international carriers entering the African market. This allows for reduced interconnect fees, the freedom to select the best access provider and easy connections to the numerous other clients housed in the data centre.

“A vendor-neutral data centre offers freedom of choice,” continues Van Wyk. “We do not offer services and never will, thereby focusing our efforts on the data centre operations. This effectively eliminates any possible conflict of interest and promotes a free marketplace where clients are encouraged to transact.”

In addition to vendor neutrality, Van Wyk says that power is another key reason why he encourages colocation over self-provisioning. “Power is a scarce resource, and by managing it carefully in a larger environment, one can get the benefits derived from economies of scale. With the correct focus and tools, there are also advantages in managing the power supply all the way to cabinet level.

“Infrastructure sharing, connectivity and efficient power management are all critical ingredients in building a competitive IT industry in South Africa. With an estimated 50% of an organisation's power usage expended on IT resources alone, outsourcing your data centre provides a substantial saving on operational and capex expenditure,” concludes Van Wyk.

Teraco Data Environments

Founded in 2008, Teraco is Africa's only vendor-neutral data centre colocation operator. Teraco builds and operates its colocation data centres for the most demanding IT infrastructure requirements, including the increased power and cooling demands of today's high-density cloud server computing environments backed by a 99.999% uptime guarantee. Client equipment and data centre environmental parameters are monitored 24x7 by Teraco's control centre, staffed by specialists versed in all aspects of IT and colocation facility management. Teraco has grown to include three state-of-the-art colocation data centres in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, and is also home to NAPAfrica, a neutral layer two Internet peering exchange (IX) point.

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