The Proliferation of Data Centers and their Impact on Digital Transformation

One cannot help but witness, as of recent developments, the announcement of data center inductions as part of a strategic partnership with the Ethiopian government. Prominent examples include the pan-African data center developer, Wingu Africa, aiming to establish its third data center in Ethiopia (next to Kenya and Djibouti), expected to be the country’s first-ever carrier-neutral hyper scale data center park, located inside the Ethio-ICT Park. In addition, Raxio Group, Redfox Solutions Group, and ScutiX are also due to build facilities at the Ethio ICT Park. RedFox has reportedly acquired a 43,000 sq. f. (4,000 sqm) plot, whereas ScutiX has obtained land measuring 68,900 sq. ft. (6,400 sqm). Raxio aims to build Ethiopa’s first private uptime certified Tier III co-location data center, which will reportedly accommodate an initial IT capacity of 1.5MW with the potential to double capacity.

What is, then, a Data Center?

Most organizations need to store data – whether for email, websites, databases, online transactions, and beyond; the conventional storage unit for electronic data is a server. Servers are specialized computers that are connected to the organization’s local network as well as to the Internet. If an organization is small enough, it may choose to install its servers in-house for internal management. However, as organizations expand – in other words, as more data is generated – more servers and physical space will be needed. This is where data centers come in handy.

A data center is a physical facility that organizations use to store critical applications and data. A data center’s design is based on a network of computing and storage resources that enable the delivery of shared applications and data. Data centers also serve as the principal repositories for IT equipment, including servers, storage subsystems, networking switches, routers and firewalls, as well as the cabling and physical racks used to organize and interconnect the IT equipment.

A common perception is that the private sector generates more data than other sectors – but this is not always the case. With increased efforts of digitization within governments of developing nations, the stock of data generated by the public sector is usually predominant. Hence does it become indispensable for such governments, including Ethiopia to explore possibilities of building national data centers to store the vast amount of data produced by institutions and citizens. Since data is becoming a new driving force of economies, collecting and managing as much data as possible is crucial.

Upcoming data centers will help organizations access affordable rates, provide a robust software and hardware ecosystem, and increase system performance by distributing loads across cluster nodes. They will offer instant scalability based on changes in capacity requirements by users and allow service access with systems that are automatically backed up.

In a dynamic world, data centers that accommodate evolving technological demands are critical for digital transformation. This is why Ethiopia, who is at the threshold of digital evolution, must play a leading role in technology absorption helping it propel toward realizing its national digital strategy by 2025.


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