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Paratus data centre to power Africa’s digital transformation

2022-08-10  Staff Reporter

Paratus data centre to power Africa’s digital transformation

Last week, Paratus launched its newest Data Centre (DC), dubbed Armada, which is Namibia’s largest carrier neutral DC. The launch of Armada signals Namibia’s readiness to participate in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), offering Namibian businesses the whole gamut of digitally resilient infrastructure and hosting services, complemented by complete connectivity freedom and the opportunity to compete at world-class levels.  

Situated just outside Windhoek, the Armada DC campus boasts a high availability hosted environment, with resilience on each infrastructure level, from power to cooling, carrier interconnects and extremely low latency. The new purpose-built facility will enable businesses to host their ICT infrastructure in a secure and world-class Tier III equivalent data center. 

According to Paratus, Armada has been designed to exacting and precise standards, leveraging the latest physical and virtual security and the highest possible uptime. The DC will also offer businesses a colocation environment with a resilient infrastructure environment which minimises the IT capital expenditure and operating costs associated with on-premise data storage and management.  

Announcing the launch, Paratus Group CEO Schalk Erasmus said: “The Paratus Armada DC is the safest and most secure environment for any business’ most precious asset – its data. The resilience we offer at Armada is unmatched in Namibia. This is the archetype of modern technology at work, and Armada is another example of how the Paratus mission to transform Africa through excellent infrastructure is being realised.  As a state-of-the-art facility and one in which we have invested around N$123 million, Armada is a one-of-a-kind, one-stop shop for businesses of all sizes to compete at world-class levels. This is a proud day for Paratus Group.”

Erasmus explained: “Our DC plans have aligned with one of the big five tech giants in the world, which sends a strong message of confidence to other operators. For the end-user, more content and information may be transmitted to more people through multiple operators. The content will be closer to the end-user, and we are giving ISPs a level playing field to deliver that content.”

Paratus offers superior DC connectivity and 99.98% uptime and as a carrier neutral DC, Armada offers users the ISP resilience that a single carrier DC cannot. Having connections to multiple carriers backed by critical IT infrastructure means even if one carrier has an outage, colocation customers’ connectivity is not interrupted, and better resilience is assured for all. 

The Paratus Armada DC also encourages interconnectivity between multiple telecommunications carriers, allowing multiple service providers to use the facilities and thereby enhance service offerings to colocation clients. This broadens the appeal of the Armada DC because it can serve any business across industries including financial services, retail, oil & gas, SOEs, etc…

Paratus further noted that Armada has been designed to help meet the ever-increasing need for services that will enable digital transformation and, with existing facilities in Namibia currently at capacity, this new DC will help meet market demand and give Namibian and international businesses the opportunity to participate in the 4IR.

“Businesses today understand that technological advancement is critical for economic development,” Erasmus explained. 

 “To participate in the 4IR, they need an independent, secure, and highly sophisticated DC facility to store and protect their data 24/7/365; one that can house and physically protect all equipment and computer systems. Armada also offers an array of add-on services and features such as fully equipped boardrooms, high-quality video conferencing facilities and lightning-fast connections,” said Erasmus.   

Also, at the launch, ICT minister Peya Mushelenga referred to the government’s Vision 2030 which stipulates that ICT must be the most critical sector in the country’s economic development. 

“ICT has become a fundamental part of how we interact, communicate, conduct business, or manage our affairs. It will play a major role in realising our vision for Namibia, one of being a prosperous and industrialised nation developed by her human resources, enjoying peace, harmony, and political stability. Through reliable infrastructure, like the Armada Data Centre and the Google Equiano Cable landing station, it is evident that Paratus is stepping up to the obligations set by the government,” said Mushelenga. 

Meanwhile, Armada is helping propel the Namibian economy into a new era of advanced data centre offerings, as it is open to both network operators and individual colocation tenants. The new DC provides clients the freedom of choice in respect of connectivity resilience, multiple concurrent MMPs (Meet-Me-Points) on campus, access, and uptime.  While Paratus operates its own resilient quality network that interconnects with the rest of Africa and the world through its Trans Kalahari network, the Armada DC’s carrier neutral status gives clients total control over their connectivity options. 

From a start-up 19 years ago, Paratus has become a major telco player with an impressive footprint in Africa. Owning its own infrastructure, building expert teams in seven southern African countries, and serving customers across the continent with a seamless quality network service, are the cornerstones of the Paratus Group’s success so far.  

Through its extended network, the Paratus Group serves customers in 37 African countries; has landed the Google Equiano subsea cable in Namibia; and, with the new Armada DC, has built four of its own Data Centre facilities in three African countries (including Angola, Zambia and now Namibia).  

Erasmus added: “With Armada, we’re helping to ‘unlimit’ the future for Namibian businesses and end-users.”

Paratus further stated it has considered every aspect of security, including 24-hour perimeter security, facility, computer room, and cabinet controls to prevent unauthorised entry into the Armada DC. 

Further security is provided within the inner layers of Armada, including battery backups, generators, cages, and data racks. Reliable and carefully monitored power supply and cooling systems ensure optimal temperature and humidity for all equipment is maintained, mitigating the loss of data due to any equipment failure caused by the lack of power or equipment overheating.

Paratus added that Armada has been designed to mitigate environmental impacts.  Trees that needed to be uprooted during construction of the DC have been replanted, a large duck pond has been created on the campus and, to help offset its carbon footprint and reliance upon fossil fuels, a sophisticated set of renewable solar energy systems have been incorporated which provide an approximate yield of 400kWp. “Our customers may be reassured of our good environmental governance and indeed that local communities have been empowered through the creation of Armada,” said Erasmus.

 “What’s important here too is that the Armada DC removes the need for businesses to build their own facilities to house and protect their data,” he added. 

2022-08-10  Staff Reporter

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