A lot has been said in recent time on the need for local hosting of data as a cost saving measure for Nigerian entities that have to subscribe to service providers abroad. At the same time, it has been said that increasing the focus on local hosting of data will further grow the local industry.

What may have been lost somewhere in translation however is that, hosting data locally also ensures that data integrity is guaranteed to the extent that such is only subject to prevailing (data privacy) laws in Nigeria. Where data is held abroad, Nigerian law lacks jurisdiction on how it can be released under any given condition. Further to this, data centres outside the country do not offer the opportunity to physically ascertain the capability of the data centre to deliver on what promises are made to the potential customers.

Today, it appears things are rapidly changing, as Rack Centre; a leading provider of data hosting solutions has thrown its doors wider opened to accommodate more of Nigeria’s MSMEs.

“Whatever we do has to be world class and of comparable standard to anywhere else in the world,” said Ayotunde Coker, CEO, Rack Centre. “I am passionate that Nigeria should be as a good as anywhere else in the world.”

Assurance, and reassurances of security, quality service

The “Cloud on Ground” offering according to Coker, is “West Africa’s supermarket for cloud services.”

“We are setting it up as a very comprehensive one stop point for delivery of world class cloud services. When I say that, it ranges across web hosting; that is as good as obtainable in the best of foreign companies, it is Infrastructure As A Service (IAAS) where you can procure your infrastructure as you require.

“You don’t have to go to Amazon web services and elsewhere to get that, and your data is held here in Nigeria, which is the key factor” Coker said.

The Cloud on Ground™ refers to cloud services hosted within Rack Centre, here in Nigeria. The company prides itself as the heterogeneous and diverse marketplace for a wide range of cloud services. Cloud services are provided within what Rack Centre describes as “the most connected Tier III design certified data centre in West Africa with direct access to all countries on the South Atlantic coast of Africa.”

Data is held in country ‘on-ground’ appealing to all market segments, including corporates, MSMEs, and Government MDAs. It is also one of the most interconnected data centres in the country, hosting the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN).

Rack Centre has developed CloudonGround as an innovation that is expected to transform the20 million strong Nigerian SME community, while also ensuring Government MDAs can now bring data hosted abroad to Nigeria.

During a tour of the Rack Centre facility, it was observed that there is attention to security, a measure which is expected to boost confidence in multinationals contemplating hosting highly valuable data.

The centre prides itself as having world class ten (10) levels of physical security on a complex located within a private estate that is secured by guards, card access, biometric verification, and CCTV. This it says, gives clients’ equipment the highest level of physical protection and security.

Apart from priding itself on security and quality of service rendered to its clients, innovation is another key attribute which drives the company.

“Rack Centre over the past four years since its creation has been driven by innovation in all its activities. It has reinvented and led the data hosting industry in West Africa by defining a new level of quality that is recognised and celebrated on the global stage. Proudly Nigerian with global recognition,” said Coker.

He further explained that this has brought together leading technologies from around the world to create a wholesome Nigerian integrated solution and intellectual property.

Interconnectivity

The facility prides itself as West Africa’s most connected data centre, hosting IPNX, 21st Century, Swift, Vodacom, WIOCC, Glo, Broad based, MTN, Airtel, Smile, Etisalat, MainOne, Coolink, IS-DD, Spectranet.

It is also the host of Nigeria’s Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN). The IXPN point of presence established in Rack Centre allows for direct and indirect peering, the widest choice of carriers and ISPs, lower cost, improved quality through lower latency and robust connectivity redundancy.

With IXPN in Rack Centre, local ISPs and telecom carriers switch data traffic more quickly and at a faster speed. Data transactions are domiciled in Nigeria.

Coker explains that as a truly carrier neutral Tier III certified data centre, the first in West Africa, it has over twenty local carriers directly connected to its ‘meet me room’ a true innovation. With connectivity to all undersea cables, all countries on the South Atlantic coast of West Africa are directly connected; with the capability to bridge through Angola to Brazil should that be required.

Innovation in people, process and technology has enabled it to achieve 100% uptime which means not one second of downtime since live operations 40 months ago. It was industry leading in being the first to be Tier III certified by the Uptime Institute and is certified to ISO 27001, the global standard for information security.

Focus on managing business operations, not a data centre

As highlighted in one of its text of value offerings, co-locating within Rack Centre is said to allow companies avoid fixed infrastructure investments and to leave the growing complexity of managing power and environmental issues to specialists. Riding on its track record and clientele, it says providing reliable infrastructure to some key international blue chip, corporate organizations positions it to serve any other organisation which requires data hosting solutions.

The technology invested in Rack Centre, it says, will provide clients with guaranteed levels of uptime, power and service availability as standard.

Security, fire monitoring and prevention, power supply and cooling distribution are all governed by a 100 percent resiliency policy: one passive set of components for every active set to protect valuable data systems.