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Building Africa's biggest data centre in Isando

20 February 2015 | Isando, Johannesburg, South Africa

In a build comprising 17 500sqm, Teraco, Africa’s only vendor neutral data centre, will be adding to its existing colocation facility and creating Africa’s largest data centre. 

Gys Geyser, Head of Operations – Teraco, says the build is not just an extension of services and white space, but a milestone for Teraco and the African data centre industry: “In this expansion of our footprint, we are achieving what few companies have; building the largest data centre in Africa in accordance with modern international standards.”

Geyser says that the build brings the total size of the Isando facility to 9000sqm of white space and 18 500sqm of utility space. He says that the volume of data centre space is directly related to the power feed negotiated with the local council: “We now have a total of 16MVA of power, which will ensure that we can adequately power the all the data centres, as well as ensure that they are properly cooled and maintained.”

Initially launched seven years ago, Teraco has quickly established itself as the leader in terms of Africa. “We have seen an increase in demand based on the number of local and international cloud, content and network providers coming into Africa, as well as from existing clients. Teraco has also seen growth in the ICT sector, particularly from within the managed service provider segment.”

With an estimated 18-month build time, Geyser says Teraco’s new site should be operational towards the end of 2016.  He says that there are some unique elements included in this build such as the approach to cooling. 

“Teraco has implemented a Dynamic Free Cooling system. We have taken what has worked in our previous deployments and applied the latest technology and best practices. Additional support services have been added, such as a water supply system to ensure that our environment can operate independently from council for a period of time, guaranteeing uptime and availability.  Aiming for a low Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating, the new cooling systems will definitely assist Teraco to achieve greater efficiencies,” says Geyser. 

After completing an Environmental Impact Assessment, Teraco was granted permission to store 210 000l of diesel on site. Geyser says that this is a significant achievement and will enable Teraco to run all the data centres for a minimum period of 40 hours at maximum load, again guaranteeing uptime. 

“The overall design and build of the new data centre is focused on achieving international data centre design, build and operating standards but with our clients’ current and future needs in mind,” concludes Geyser.