Trends impacting on South Africa’s datacentres

July 27, 2014

Big data is fast taking roots in Africa where business units are increasingly demanding capabilities that involve real-time analytics and immense intelligence in their IT operations. In a South African company where a friend works in marketing department, they deliver sales messages to mobile phones based on a customer’s purchasing history, social media platforms activities, location among many other sensor data. That has not stopped them from running customers relations management system and other applications on the same infrastructure. In our recent conversation he informed me that their data-centres have the flexibility to meet all these varying needs, and handles usage spikes by shifting resource utilisation instead of them maintaining costly excess capacity that can at times go unused for significant periods of time. The South African firm has employed greater simplicity in the physical infrastructure, solution stack, and the tools used to monitor and manage operations. Infrastructure agility has offered them greater flexibility and scalability beyond what exists in other data-centres. In South Africa, hyperscale computing paradigms has now entered mainstream with companies building their own datacentres and the technologies within, in order to address the flexibility and efficiency as well as distinct differences between web companies and the traditional enterprise by leveraging hyperscale design principles as models to meet broader enterprise needs like greater density, more efficient use of power, more direct-attached storage, and a greater focus on modularity and scale-out capabilities.

In Cities like Durban, Cape Town, converged infrastructures has gained ground over the last two years where operational silos that exist for servers, storage and networking functions have given way to a unified architecture meaning the hardware systems integrated, sold, and managed as a single unit. Strategically, several organisations are making it a goal to extend the concept of converged infrastructure to encompass the entire data-centre with all heterogeneous components. Also, datacentre management are increasingly going mobile in South Africa. Managing the datacentre remain the upmost priority. The administrators have found a growing number of options for monitoring, managing and automating infrastructure hardware from mobile devices. For example, a data centre in Cape Town has actionable alerts, intuitive interfaces and navigation, and personalised dashboard views that gives administrators the ability to manage the datacentre anytime, anywhere. The South African technology industry is ahead of Sub Saharan Africa competitors like Nigeria, Kenya and Angola and its again witnessing unique developments where task of managing datacentre is more simpler and these trends have moved IT management in land of Madiba to the direction of greater simplicity, modularity, and efficiency.

Contador Harrison