Carrier-neutral data centre operator Teraco plans to expand its new Johannesburg facility to 1 250sq m because of growing demand. At the same time, it is about to begin work on its first data centre in Durban.
The company is putting the final touches on its Johannesburg facility, which is located near OR Tambo International airport, ahead of an official launch to industry executives on Wednesday.
The expansion comes on top of Teraco’s construction of a second data centre in Cape Town — in Pinelands — to complement its existing (and first) facility in Rondebosch.
Lex van Wyk, Teraco’s MD (pictured), says the Durban data centre, which will be built in the new commercial centre of Umhlanga, north of the city, will be operational by the end of the year.
The first phase of the Johannesburg facility is already live, with 740sq m of floor space available. A second phase, already being constructed, will take that to 1 250sq m. Eventually, it may be expanded to as much as 4 000sq m, Van Wyk says.
Van Wyk says he is pleasantly surprised at the rate at which telecommunications operators and Internet service providers are leasing space in the data centres.
Companies that have bought rack space include Telkom, Neotel, Cell C and Vodacom. Cell C is using Teraco’s data centres as a key component of the 3G network it plans to roll out later this year.
The only big-name operator that hasn’t signed up yet is MTN. Other Teraco clients include new Internet exchange player Africa.Inx, BCSNet, Dark Fibre Africa and T-Systems (in Cape Town).
Teraco has a different model to other large data centre providers. Because it is not owned by any of the operators, it can act as an independent and neutral facility for interconnecting network traffic. As such, the company doesn’t provide hosting or managed network services.
“We just sell space to people,” Van Wyk says, likening Teraco to an advanced property rental company. “We don’t even sell the connectivity into the building; the operators do it all themselves.”
The Johannesburg data centre is already one of the most wired buildings in the country, with high-capacity fibre links from most of the operators running into the building.
The data centre, which could eventually cost as much as R300m to build (Teraco has already invested more than R50m), features full redundancy, including two 1-megavolt ampere (MVA) diesel generators. Eventually, the site will have 8MVA of power, with a 12MVA back-up system of six 2MVA generators, to ensure the site keeps running even if Eskom cuts the power for several days. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral