Vodacom Business has opened a new data centre in Midrand, which is in line with Vodacom’s new cloud strategy. The facility is designed to meet the increased demand for hosted services across the country.
According to the company, Vodacom Business has officially opened its eighth data centre in South Africa – a 3000m2 facility in Midrand, Gauteng that has been built in line with the company’s “green” philosophy and designed to have a minimal impact on the extremely sensitive environment that we live in today. The new facility adds a significant amount of additional hosting capacity and will help Vodacom Business deliver on its new cloud strategy as South African businesses increasingly look to move from traditional on-site hosting to a shared data centre environment enabled by cloud or hosted services.
Ermano Quartero, Managing Executive at Vodacom Business South Africa, said: “Data Park was conceived in response to faster than expected utilisation of space in our first data centre in Midrand. We’ve seen that the combination of lower cost bandwidth, mobile devices, storage, and computing power is driving a rapid uptake of cloud services. Data Park will be an extension to our existing facilities and gives us the scale needed to service customers for the entire range of cloud services. These services include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).”
As Vodacom’s overall customer base in South Africa passes the 32.5 million mark and with data traffic having increased by 70% on the previous year, the company is investing heavily in infrastructure. This year alone, the group is investing R9 billion in its network in South Africa in order to continue to meet the demand for high-speed access and data services. The Data Park investment, which is part of this investment programme, supports Vodacom Business’ overall growth goals in the access and cloud services areas.
Quartero notes cloud services are now economically viable for more businesses than ever before: “Today, businesses tend to own on-site servers to store data and run enterprise software. These servers can be expensive to buy and run, and need to be maintained and upgraded on a regular basis. On top of this, the software they run requires regular upgrades. Finally, dedicated IT support staff are needed to keep all this running smoothly.
“There is another way. Businesses across South Africa and further afield are recognising that as low-cost, high speed connections become increasingly available, all of these services can be moved off-site to optimised, cloud-based data centres. This translates into capex savings, stability benefits, and savings in running costs including reduced power bills.”
In addition, moving the data centre to the cloud can also reduce a company’s carbon footprint, particularly when the cloud service provider has strong green credentials. While there is no formal “green” benchmark rating in place for data centres, Vodacom follows the guidelines set out by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). The company’s latest data centre incorporates a series of green innovations designed to reduce electricity consumption and maximise the use of recycled materials, with the overall aim of minimising the site’s impact on the environment.
To address the upsurge in demand for cloud-based services, Vodacom Business is bringing to market a new portfolio of cloud services and has restructured its cloud team in order to deliver a full suite of consulting and professional services. The new solutions within the portfolio will include disaster recovery as a service, SAP Hana enterprise resources, and security as a service.
“Data Park gives us a vital edge. With full solutions integration, a single contract and a single bill, Vodacom Business cloud solutions will simplify the move to the cloud for businesses across South Africa. In addition, thanks to our ownership of six connectivity networks and our ability to access assets across the Vodafone Group, we can deploy solutions everywhere your business needs,” Quartero concluded.