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Cloud eXchange for Africa

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Teraco Data Environments has launched the Africa Cloud eXchange (ACX), making it the first premier grade data centre environment in Africa to provide access to a vendor neutral colocation space.

Due to the lack of power and general infrastructure around Africa, the opportunity exists to establish South Africa as a central hub for international access providers and cloud services to support the rest of Africa. There are many challenges in building data centres around the African continent, says Lex van Wyk, MD Teraco Data Environments. ‚With the rapid growth in IT requirements, Africa needs a solution to keep up with the demand. With the recent growth in fibre capacity along the East and West coasts, Teraco has identified the opportunity to offer the ideal data centre environment to all service providers wanting to provide IT solutions into African markets.‚

Along with current benefits like free peering, cost effective interconnects, access to all major carriers, resilient power, remote support and high levels of security, Teraco is the ideal space for cloud to be established in Africa. ‚Our facilities in South Africa already boast connectivity to all the undersea cables offering a combined 28 landing points along the East and West coasts of the continent, as well as all major carriers operating in SA and several active cloud providers. This in effect means the Africa Cloud EXchange is already in operation,‚ says Teraco Managing Director, Lex van Wyk.

Casper Kondo Chihaka, Managing Executive, Telkom Wholesale Services, says “With Telkom‚s ability to offer international connectivity via Eassy, WACS/SAT3/SAFE and terrestrial connectivity into South Africa, Telkom can back haul numerous African countries to Teraco’s environments. Telkom has deployed infrastructure into JHB, CT and DBN Teraco sites and has been offering services to Telkom clients from these environments since 2009.‚

Aidan Baigrie, Head of Business Development at SEACOM says that broadband connectivity will be one of the major spurs to the growth of African economies over the next decade, but there is still plenty of work to be done in building the telecommunications backbone that will connect the continent to the global village. ‚Broadband is to the 21st century what railways were to the 19th century ‚ the engine of social and economic progress that forges economic links between countries and supercharges trade and transactions.‚

· EASSy (Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System) is a 10,000km submarine fibre-optic cable system deployed along the east and south coast of Africa linking links South Africa with Sudan via landing points in Mozambique, Madagascar, the Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia and Djibouti. EASSY is the highest capacity system serving sub-Saharan Africa at 4.72Tbps.

· The SEACOM cable network directly connects South and East Africa with Europe and Southern Asia covering a distance of over 17 000km worth of fibre optic technology. The cable lands in South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya with a capacity of 4.2 Tb/s The latency on this cable is 195 ms.

¬∑ WACS (West African Cable System) is a 14,500km-long optical fibre submarine cable that, when launched, will land in Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, C√¥te d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands, Portugal and the United Kingdom with a capacity of 5.12Tbps. The cable is landing in many countries without undersea cable access and will dramatically change the connectivity landscape in those countries.

Teraco’s most recent offering, NAPAfrica, was launched in March 2012 providing an open, free and public peering facility with the aim of make peering simple and available to everyone. Van Wyk says that the Africa Cloud eXchange concept is no different. ‚We want to provide a highly secure data centre environment with easy access to global connectivity providers,‚ says van Wyk.

Richard Vester, Director of Cloud Services at EOH says, ‚Teraco provides a world class data centre facility which meets our unique SLA requirements and more importantly allows for our customers to connect from any network onto their private cloud. The ability to deliver services on-demand across Teraco’s data centre ensures we meet the operational requirements of our customers.‚

Ronald Boyle, Principle Consultant from Bytes System Integration says, ‚One of the essential characteristics of cloud computing is broad network access to offer services to customers wherever they may be. Teraco offers BytesNet the ability to connect and peer with other providers to ensure that our cloud services are delivered in the optimal manner for our customers within South African and throughout Africa.‚

‚The Africa Cloud eXchange allows South African and African cloud providers to host their platform, and offer services from a vendor neutral, well connected and highly secure data centre environment thereby opening up South Africa to the rest of the continent,‚ concludes van Wyk.

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