Internet Solutions unveils R500m data centre

The Parklands Data Centre will oficially begin operating in January 2019.
The Parklands Data Centre will oficially begin operating in January 2019.

Internet Solutions is set to open a R500 million pre-fabricated data centre in Rosebank.

The Internet service provider (ISP) today offered a preview of the facility to members of the media.

The ISP says the data centre will be regarded one of the most sustainable and energy-efficient pre-fabricated data centres in Africa.

The development comes as multinational companies - Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Huawei - have also indicated they will be building their own data centres in SA.

Speaking to the media this morning, Matthew Ashe, executive head for data centres at Internet Solutions, said so far the ISP has spent about R200 million to complete phase one of the data centre facility.

Located in Rosebank, Johannesburg, the Parklands Data Centre is a R500 million investment by Internet Solutions, which owns and operates a network of 17 data centres across SA, spanning 12 000 square metres, and is due to officially begin operating in January 2019.

According to the ISP, close to completion, the 1 600 square metre facility will provide 572 racks and 2.2 megawatts of IT power.

It says the facility is intelligently built for flexibility, optimal automation and minimal resource consumption.

Ashe describes the new data centre as a world-class facility, providing a high efficiency, highly resilient and exceptionally secure environment.

He points out that apart from boasting an ideal location for low latency application requirements within the economic hub of Africa, and carrier neutrality, resource and energy efficiency has taken centre stage in its design.

As the move to cloud-based solutions becomes more prevalent, the demand for carrier-agnostic, secure data centres on the African continent has increased, he notes.

"People and businesses are producing and consuming vast quantities of data and the security of that information has never been more important," Ashe says,

"The Parklands Data Centre allows data to be collected, stored and processed locally from a purpose-built modern facility that will help run our services faster and more efficiently. Further to this, with the growing demand for applications to be processed closer to the 'edge', having DC facilities which are as close to the edge of where processing is required to take place, is tremendously advantageous. This is an increasing requirement for a growing number of applications in IOT and fintech," says Ashe.

"Reducing energy and resource consumption in South Africa is a national imperative. South Africa's already struggling infrastructure and slowing progress on alternative energy sources means that the responsibility for ensuring energy efficiencies in data centres rests with data centre providers.

"With evolving technology, creating sustainable energy solutions is a much more realistic goal than ever before and we're pleased to have deployed a number of these technologies across our DC's to achieve such efficiencies."

Matthew Ashe, executive head for data centres at Internet Solutions.
Matthew Ashe, executive head for data centres at Internet Solutions.

Internet Solutions says data centres are power-hungry installations that require always-on supplies of energy - as much as 2% of the world's energy.

It points out that experts predict the amount of energy consumed by the world's data centres - the repositories for billions of gigabytes of information - will treble in the next decade, putting an enormous strain on energy supplies and dealing a hefty blow to global warming.

The Parklands Data Centre has implemented an infrastructure-on-demand model when it comes to increasing energy efficiencies; including dynamic power and cooling systems, the ISP says, adding that this agile approach means infrastructure is switched on and ramped-up depending on what is required at any point in time - a significant move away from the conventional method of running infrastructure at full tilt, even with minimal occupancy.

"IS remains committed to reducing energy consumption across our data centres, and we won't stop looking at new ways to advance. The benefits are threefold - we keep our costs down, we dramatically reduce our impact on our environment, and ultimately, pass the savings on to our customers," concludes Ashe.

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