The Executive Director of National Information and Technology Authority (NITA-U) has described the planned Raxio Data Centre, to be built at Namanve Industrial Park as a “brilliant opportunity” for especially Uganda’s Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and innovators to “lower their cost of IT investments”, allowing them to be competitive in the market.
“For SMEs, this is a blessing because they will be able to lower their costs. For innovators and those people who need big data computing, this is an investment that is very welcome. These are the kind of investments that Uganda would like to get,” said, James Saaka, adding: “SMEs, innovators and private companies, better use these data centres that are emerging because that brings down their cost of their IT investments and allows them to roll out their services in a much smarter way.”
NITA-U is an autonomous statutory body established under the NITA-U Act 2009, to coordinate and regulate Information Technology services in Uganda.
“For SMEs, this is a blessing because they will be able to lower their costs. For innovators and those people who need big data computing, this is an investment that is very welcome. These are the kind of investments that Uganda would like to get”
Saaka, was speaking on the sidelines of Raxio’s corporate launch at Kampala, Serena Hotel on 4th October 2018. The launch was attended by several leaders of business, IT experts and executives from Raxio as well as Roha Africa, the lead investor in the data centre.
The launch was also attended by James Wilman the Chief Executive Ofﬁcer: Data Centre Consultancy, Data Centre Design, Construction & Facilities Management at Future-tech- Designer of Raxio DC as well as Bernard Geoghegan – KPL Consult, International Consultant for Raxio DC.
“This is a brilliant opportunity because we mostly see such data centre investments near the oceans where submarine cables land. The investors having put their confidence in Uganda and building their data centre here, it means that our investment environment is good,” he said.
About the Raxio Data Centre
The Raxio Data Centre, to be built at Namanve Industrial and Business Park will be a state-of-the-art, Tier III, carrier-neutral data centre, – the first privately owned shared facility in Uganda.
According to James Byaruhanga, Raxio’s General Manager, ground breaking will happen in the next few weeks and completion and opening is slated for Q3 2019.
“At full capacity, the centre will be able to house up to 400 racks, delivering 1.5MW of IT power. It will operate optimally, 24/7, in a fully safe, secure and redundant environment,” he said.
Raxio’s largest investor is Roha Group, a US greenfield investment company that builds and and develops new businesses across Africa.
Raxio has selected Future-Tech, a UK specialist data-centre design company with over 30 years of experience to design the centre to global Tier III standards.
Symbion, a leading local architectural firm will carry out the civil and structural design of the building. Future-Tech and Symbion are working hand-in-hand to oversee the building and commissioning of the centre.
Byaruhanga, said, the world-over, businesses and governments are adopting the digital economy as a means to improved services delivery, but this digital transformation requires real-time data storage capabilities as well as robust business continuity and disaster recovery solutions.
“The digital disruption caused by the digital economy also demands that organisations and or governments must also deliver this digitalisation more affordably and perhaps even more important; safely. Fast, affordable & safe has become a very critical language in today’s digital economy and this is where the Raxio Data Centre comes in handy,” he said.
Why use the Raxio Data Centre?
Byaruhanga said that the data centre was carrier-neutral with up to nine (9) telcos and internet services providers; users will have a choice to access at least three providers of the nine.
“This will guarantee more competitively priced services, diversity and flexibility, but more importantly 99.999% uptime which means maximum reliability for mission critical operations,” he said, adding that the data centre will have professionally managed facilities in-line with international operating procedures as well as a 7 level security access system that “ensures sensitive systems are kept safe.”
“Shared managed facilities translate into lower running costs compared to in-house data centres, allowing organisations to use their physical space more efficiently as well as enabling enterprises to focus on core their core businesses,” he added.
Robert Mullins, the Roha Group Lead Partner and Director, Raxio said that the affordability, flexibility and scalability offered by the data centre, presented Ugandan organisations- government, private sector and non-government alike, is “truly liberating.”
Mullins said that much as internet penetration as well as the adoption of ICTs in delivering services and solutions by both the private sector and government was experiencing a healthy growth, driven by largely the falling costs of internet and the cost of internet, many an organisation was yet to adopt shared/managed services.
“The Raxio Data Centre has been designed to deliver a disaster recovery and business continuity solution locally under local laws, with local customer-service but at global world-class security standards,” he said adding: “Other than bringing critical services closer to the local market, this (data centre) will also make data/internet services cheaper and faster to the end users, but most importantly, bring down the overall cost of connectivity in the country, thus increasing global competitiveness of Ugandan businesses.”
He also said that by “intermediating between the increasing need for high-grade data security and the preventive costs involved in setting up in-house foolproof disaster recovery and business continuity solutions, the Raxio Data Centre is a timely investment and key pillar in Uganda’s digital economy.”
“With this world-class facility, we also believe, we shall attract some of the world’s major global content data networks, cloud services providers as well as regional data carriers to Uganda- thus creating an even bigger ripple effect,” he said.