[Image Source: Africa Data Centres]
Strive Masiyiwa recently announced that Africa Data Centres is working on building the largest data centre on the continent outside of South Africa.
The data centre will be located in Lagos, Nigeria on a 5-acre piece of land. If you’re like me and you generally have no idea what 5-acres actually looks like in real life here’s an estimation from Ozarkland:
Mr Masiyiwa also confirmed that work is already underway and has been for months, with constructors about to start work on the data centre.
As to what the data centre will be used for, Strive’s posts highlighted a few things. The data centre will make it possible for Nigerians to get more cloud services cheaply. How, you ask? Well, I had the same question and one of our engineers explained some of the staff to me pretty clearly;
As long as you have infrastructure that is not local, there are going to be costs associated with accessing that infrastructure.Engineer who shall not be named
So by building the data centres locally, you remove the costs associated with an end-user accessing this data by moving through different countries to find where the data is.
Another benefit he highlighted was the fact that having the data centres locally would result in lower latency for end users since they are physically closer to the data as well.
Beyond the benefits highlighted by my colleague Strive Masiyiwa also said they expect the data centre to drive investment into Nigeria and create thousands of tech jobs.
Africa Data Centres has been on the aggressive following its acquisition of a Tier IV data centre in Johannesburg earlier this year. Tier IV data centres are described as “the most advanced type of data centre tier, where redundancy is applied across the entire data centre computing and non-computing infrastructure”. It’s not clear what type of data centre is being built out in lagos and I’ll update the article once I have a clearer picture