South Africa’s data centre industry has grown tremendously in recent years, with the country’s top providers being Africa Data Centres, BCX, Open-Access Data Centres, and Teraco.
These companies have attracted and invested billions in the South African economy, and they support many of its businesses, hosting providers, and hyperscalers.
Internet Exchange operators also use data centre providers to allow for the interconnection of various networks.
The data centres provide the required power supply, resources, and space for businesses to store and manage their servers.
Critical aspects of data centres include cooling, as high heat directly impacts server performance, and backup power systems to ensure that there are few outages.
The latest developments from South Africa’s top data centre providers are summarised below.
Teraco recently completed a significant upgrade at its DB1 (Durban) data centre, which included expanding the facility’s capacity to 2.2MW of critical power load and increasing its footprint to 5,800m2.
Shortly before its announcement, the Digital Realty-owned company announced its plans to expand its CT2 hyperscale data centre facility in Brackenfell, Cape Town.
Once completed, CT2 will feature 73,000 square metres of building structure serviced by 90 megavolt-amperes of utility power supply.
Teraco is the biggest data centre provider in the country and is continually expanding its capacity.
It completed construction on the first phase of its hyperscale facility at its Bredell Campus in Ekurhuleni in late 2022. The facility — JB4 — will be one of the largest single-site data centres on the continent once completed
It features 8,000m2 of data hall space, 19MW of critical power load housed in a 30,000m2 structure, and it will be serviced by 80MW of utility power supply upon completion, with its critical power load reaching 50MW.
The facility will be serviced by 80MW of utility power supply, and once completed, its critical power load will reach 50MW.
Shortly after announcing the completion of JB4’s first phase, Teraco announced that it had broken ground on another facility, also in Ekurhuleni.
While BCX hasn’t broken ground on new facilities in recent months, it is a well-established data centre provider in South Africa.
The Telkom-owned company has 12 data centres across the country’s metros, including Johannesburg, Centurion, Cape Town, and KwaZulu-Natal.
BCX has top-tier — tier 4 — data centres in Midrand and Bellville. It also has two tier 3 facilities in Centurion and a third in Bellville.
The remainder of its data centres are tier 2 facilities.
In 2017, the company established a new headquarters in Centurion. The campus features 36,000 square metres of office space and a 2,500 square metre warehouse.
Open Access Data Centres
WIOCC-owned Open Access Data Centres (OADC) deployed a core data centre in Isando, Johannesburg, to serve the cloud ecosystem in late December 2022.
The facility features 1,600 square metres of IT white space and up to 7MW of site load, with an expansion capacity of up to 3,000 square metres and 15MW of site load.
Two other data centres became operational shortly afterwards — CPT1 in Rondebosch in December 2022 and CPT2 in Brackenfell in January 2023.
Mike Last, OADC chief marketing officer, told MyBroadband that the provider’s network of edge data centres had reached 26 operational facilities as of August 2022.
Today, its number of edge data centres in South Africa sits at over 30 facilities.
The company announced the launch of its large-scale, open-access data centre network in Africa in May 2022, saying its rollout would help support 5G rollouts and extensions on the continent.
Its data centre environment comprises a network of 0.5MW edge data centres that offer colocation, rooftop access, and high-speed network interconnectivity between facilities at up to 100Gbps on multiple routes.
Africa Data Centres
Africa Data Centres broke ground on a second data centre facility in Cape Town in January 2023.
Located in the North of the Mother City, the facility will have a critical IT load of 20MW, and Africa Data Centres says it will be up and running by mid-2024.
“We built and operate the first hyperscale colocation data centre in the city, which already houses a number of global providers alongside major South African enterprises and government, and this second facility will add capacity to the region, and redundancy too,” said Tesh Durvasula, CEO of Africa Data Centres.
Once completed, 12,000 square metres of hall space will be available for customers to lease. However, the company notes that the site itself is much larger than that.
Also in January 2023, the data centre provider announced the launch of free remote peering through its partnership with INX-ZA.
The partnership brings free peering from Africa Data Centres facilities to the Johannesburg Internet Exchange (JINX) and Cape Town Internet Exchange (CINX).
The move lets Africa Data Centres customers use any network provider’s infrastructure to reach Internet exchange points.