Big data centre growth in South Africa

Turner & Townsend has released its Data Centre Cost Index 2019, which shows that South Africa’s data centre industry is thriving.

According to the report, Johannesburg its largest data centre market in Africa – twice the size of Cape Town.

“Johannesburg has up to 52 Internet users per 100 people, and the connectivity ecosystem is made up of 60 colocation data centres, 319 cloud service providers, and six network fabrics,” it said.

While Johannesburg remains the biggest data centre hub on the African continent, Cape Town has also seen strong growth.

“The data centre construction market in both Johannesburg and Cape Town are hot with key projects coming to fruition and hyperscale investments increasing,” the report said.

It added that this growth is partly fuelled by the fact that South Africa is a stepping stone into the rest of Africa.

Big data centre projects in South Africa

Over the last year South Africa has seen many new data centre projects take shape, which include big names like AWS and Microsoft.

Microsoft opened two South African data centres – in Cape Town and Johannesburg – in 2019. There is more demand from Microsoft with a further two data centres being developed for 2020.

AWS has also launched infrastructure points of presence in Cape Town and Johannesburg, bringing Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Route 53, AWS Shield, and AWS WAF services to the continent.

Teraco in the lead

Teraco Data Environments remains Africa’s largest data centre operator – however, growing competition is evident in the market.

Dimension Data is currently developing a large data centre (20MW) for a hyperscale client from Europe, which is due for completion in 2020.

Huawei also has a significant footprint in South Africa and the rest of Africa. It is active in the market as an integrator and provides facilities for local telecoms company MTN.

While general construction spending continued to suffer in 2019 due to negative investor sentiment and slow economic growth, the data centre market remains strong and is showing continuing improvement.

Now read: The future of data centres in Africa

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Big data centre growth in South Africa