Recently, Raxio data centre launched Uganda’s first Tier III carrier-neutral data centre at its site in the Namanve industrial park.
The data centre, which will work towards supporting industries that are facing increasingly complex and unique information technology and regulatory challenges, will provide secure colocation space and redundant environment, writes ERNEST JJINGO.
A data centre is a secure facility that houses computing and networking equipment required to collect, store, process and distribute large amounts of data.
A tier 3 data centre has multiple paths for power and cooling and systems in place to update and maintain it without taking it offline with an expected uptime of 99.8 per cent with Raxio’s being the first of a kind in Uganda.
As a carrier neutral data centre, Raxio Uganda will offer a wide variety of seamless data connectivity options due to a variety of local and international fibre carriers currently connected at the data centre. These include Africell Uganda Limited, Airtel Uganda, Bandwidth and Cloud Services Group (BCSGroup), Liquid Telecom, MTN Uganda, National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U), Roke Telkom, SEACOM and Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL).
The multiple points of connectivity increase redundancy, resilience in service, optimal uptime, and diversity in business operations while driving down overall cost of connectivity for customers.
In addition, Raxio hosts an instance of the Uganda Internet exchange Point which allows networks to directly interconnect and freely exchange data traffic at a common point in the country, making internet cheaper, faster and more reliable.
According to James Byaruhanga, the General Manager of Raxio Data Centre, the primary aim of building this data centre was to set up a disaster data recovery location for enterprises in the country, facilitate the growth of the internet by enabling all players with the connectivity business have one location where they can all connect to each other through the internet exchange point and extend connectivity throughout the country.
“This is going to be the heartbeat of internet, connectivity and data storage in Uganda. We are evolving towards the 4th industrial revolution and companies are generating a lot of data because of digitalization of services and we want to have a location that is going to accommodate all this large volume of data because it is this data what drives enterprises to make strategic decisions,” he said.
Byaruhanga added that they so far have 70 per cent occupancy of the 400 racks where clients can store their servers with majority of clients being financial institutions, telecommunication companies, media companies, government agencies who have found the facility secure enough to store their large amounts of data.
Robert Mullin, the CEO of Raxio Group said that with the support of a strong institutional investor base, they are on track to launch up to 12 carrier neutral facilities across Africa within the next three years including a second one in Uganda soon.
“We strongly believe that by providing the right technological infrastructure needed to transform businesses, our data centres will help drive economic growth, social development, and digital transformation throughout Africa.”
Raxio’s data centre will also greatly support the core priorities of the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MoICT) in Uganda, including, extending the ICT infrastructure network to cover the entire country, ensure digital inclusion, increasing jobs creation through ICT Research & Innovation and improving and ensuring that the Information Security System is secure, reliable, resilient and capable of responding to cyber security threats.
The permanent secretary of the Ministry of ICT, Vincent Bagiire noted that with the growth in data usage storage and the broader digital transformation in Uganda, Raxio will be a centre piece of infrastructure supporting the Ugandan economy and the goals set in the MoICT Data Strategy.
“This innovation meets well with the digital transformation programme which is one of the 18 programmes under the third National Development Programme and it includes connectivity, electronic services, cyber security, extending digital services to the people and innovations. Our internet penetration is at 49 per cent at the moment and with the introduction of services like the ones Raxio is going to offer, this number will increase,” Bagiire said.
The facility is going to three phases with phase one which has half a mega- watt of data power already finished and ready for use. The addition of phase 2 and 3 which are going to have added cooling and data storage capacity is underway. All phases are expected to cost up to $ 15 million.