By 6 December 2018 | Categories: feature articles


Half a billion rand. That is how much of an investment Internet Solutions (IS) has made into its new Parklands data centre, in Rosebank. It’s a staggering amount, especially in light of today’s economy, but according to the company, it  is justified.

Matthew Ashe, executive head: Data Centres at IS, enthused that South Africa is just at the beginning of a boom in the demand for data centre capacity and cloud services. He pointed out that of late there has been a significant amount of interest coming from China, both into South Africa and the African continent, along with the likes of Huawei, Microsoft and Amazon, with all three divulging plans to take advantage of the cloud market.

Growth ahead

Ashe elaborated that as a lot of content becomes locally produced and consumed, there will be increasing demand for data centres and the infrastructure they provide.

“If you look at the growth of Netflix, I anticipate there is going to be an increased push to provide more online content, which has to be stored somewhere, and the data centre is where it is going to be stored,” he added.

Furthermore, there is digital transformation and all it entails, with companies realising they need to transform their business to stay relevant, by embracing technology and participating in a digital economy. This is also expected to drive increased demand. “Certainly we see this in every area of business. For example, there is a lot happening in manufacturing, with a large amount of automation and AI being put into manufacturing plants, which requires a massive amount of computing power,” he noted.  

Security first

He continued that, as the move to cloud-based solutions becomes more prevalent, the demand for carrier-agnostic, secure data centres in particular is on the rise on the African continent. “People and businesses are producing and consuming vast quantities of data and the security of that information has never been more important,” he stressed. To this end, Ashe explained that the Parklands Data Centre allows data to be collected, stored and processed locally from a purpose-built modern facility that will help run IS’s services faster and more efficiently.

“Further to this, with the growing demand for applications to be processed closer to the “edge”, having facilities which are as close to the edge of where processing is required to take place, is tremendously advantageous. This is an increasing requirement for a growing number of applications in IOT and Fintech," he continued.  

Tony Walt, the chief operating officer, added that as there is a need to cater to increased traffic from public or private clouds, the demand on a network similarly increases. Thus, he elaborated, the company views the data centre as part and parcel of an ecosystem of offerings, such as network-related,  security and SD-WAN, with each supporting the other.

The IS data centre is due to open in January next year. Based on this new development, as well as the other recent investment announcements, it certainly seems like 2019 is being primed to be a year of a leap forward for South Africa on the tech front.   


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