How Interconnection Can Help Africa’s Cloud And Data Centre Ecosystem
16 November, 2020 by Alex Hawkes
2020 has been a significant year for Africa’s cloud and data centre ecosystem. Considerable new investment is going into carrier-neutral data centres across Sub-Saharan Africa and slowly but surely the adoption of cloud services is gathering pace.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has led many businesses to accelerate their adoption of cloud services in order to help them operate during these difficult times. But they are also looking beyond the short-term and want a more strategic view of how cloud can drive efficiencies and reduce cost in the future.
To gain a deeper insight into these trends, Console Connect by PCCW Global recently commissioned consultancy firm Balancing Act to gather market research on the region’s data centre and cloud ecosystem.
Clouds gather over Africa
The Africa Interconnection Report looks in detail at the current state of Africa’s data centre and cloud landscape, exploring some of the broader global and local trends that are driving growth in data centres and cloud services.
It identifies that about a quarter of Sub-Saharan African countries have an existing or planned carrier-neutral data centre. Of the rack capacity in 5 key countries (South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Angola), South Africa represents 89% of total capacity in those selected countries.
According to the report, the quality and operational expertise of carrier-neutral data centres in Sub-Saharan Africa has improved a great deal over last 5 years and looks set to improve further in the years ahead – with several of the region’s planned next-generation data centres are being built to Level IV standard.
Meanwhile, five major hyper-scale cloud providers are found to have an active interest in Africa, including Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google Cloud, Whale Cloud and Huawei Cloud. The availability of more cloud services in the region is enabling businesses in the region to press ahead with digital transformation initiatives - examples of which are provided throughout the report.
The need for local interconnection
The acceleration in digital transformation and the arrival of more data centres and hyper-scale cloud service providers in Africa is also increasing the need for local interconnection.
As they move further along their digital transformation journey, businesses across Africa will become interdependent on a much larger pool of cloud, SaaS and other business services. As well as needing quick and instant access to data centres, enterprises will require seamless interconnection between their SaaS, cloud and other business critical services.
“Network automation can help support the development of Africa’s cloud and data centre ecosystem. Console Connect’s Software Defined Interconnection platform provides African enterprises and carriers with new levels of network speed, agility and security as they connect to more clouds and data centres inside and outside of the region,” says Neil Templeton, VP of Digital Innovation Marketing at PCCW Global.
Console Connect is the only Network-as-a-Service (Naas) platform that offers extensive reach across Africa. Users of the platform can interconnect between data centres in a growing number of African countries, including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Uganda, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Djibouti.