TelOne’s US$5m centre boost for data storage 

Source: TelOne’s US$5m centre boost for data storage | The Herald

TelOne’s US$5m centre boost for data storage

Fungai Lupande  and Ivan Zhakata

The US$5 million TelOne optimised and secure data centre in Mazowe with six petabytes (6 million gigabytes) of data and increased capacity of 150 percent enables entrepreneurs and companies to capitalise on the opportunity to produce and distribute local content though local resources, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere said last week.

The six petabytes storage capacity is equivalent to 3 trillion pages of standard printed text and this means that a lot of back-up data for banks and others in Zimbabwe can now be stored in Zimbabwe.

The expanded data centre in Mazowe enhances data sovereignty in Zimbabwe by ensuring that personal information of Zimbabweans is kept safe and secure within the country.

The expanded data centre offers a full suite of rack products and secure disaster recovery hosting for carrier-grade IT resiliency.

Dr Muswere said the majority of information consumed in Zimbabwe was of foreign origin and a lot was retrogressive and toxic.

“Mazowe data centre initiative enables entrepreneurs and corporates to capitalise on the opportunity to produce and distribute local content though local resources,” he said.

“This reduces the country’s burden on under-sea cables as a landlocked country. A digital economy is a priority for the Government and a catalyst to transform the micro-economic landscape.

“Storage of information outside the country compromises our sovereignty. The Government launched the national data centre which will ensure that there is safety and security of information across ministries.”

The data centre has moved from a capacity of 14 racks to 34 racks capable of powering 300kW of IT equipment and up to 6 petabyte of data.

Dr Muswere said in the fourth industrial revolution, a lot of information was being generated world-wide and all information in manual form would be digitised.

“This ICT infrastructure development is a milestone achievement in line with the National Development Strategy 1,” he said.

“Our mission is to connect the unconnected and make sure that no one and no place is left behind as we journey towards Vision 2030.

“The launch of this centre is testimony of the Second Republic’s commitment that we follow through the data infrastructure expansion plan.”

Dr Muswere said the expansion of the Mazowe Data Centre was a firm foundation for the implementation of the NDS1, which requires the setting up of a sound digital economy.

NDS1, said Dr Muswere, rides on efficient digital infrastructure to ensure two-way communication between Government and its citizens and efficient gathering and storage of data.

“The rise of ‘Internet of Things’ which is what we are pushing for as we talk about smart cities, smart agriculture and smart everything will be creating huge volumes of data that need to be processed and stored.

“From a Government perspective, we therefore certainly are keen on seeing an even quicker increase of this kind of infrastructure in our country – it is as vital as roads, airports, and other infrastructure in the digital economy.

“Our Government wants to create a conducive environment to enhance our ease of doing business and I congratulate TelOne for this effort, which is an addition to our broader national strategy of modernising the country’s ICT infrastructure and will aid towards the attainment of an upper-middle-income economy by 2030,” said Dr Muswere.

TelOne managing director, Dr Chipo Mtasa, said the data expansion was in response to the demand spurred by the premium site and security that it offers.

“We pride ourselves with this facility which is a premium disaster recovery site with 100 percent power, cooling and security,” she said.

“Through this, TelOne will help organisations consolidate their IT resources and functions for enhanced efficiency. The expansion strengthens our capacity to provide cloud-based services such as virtual private servers, web and email hosting.”

She said they are offering a diverse portfolio of future proof services leveraged on data centre and cloud environments and TelOne’s renewed commitment was to deliver exceptional customer experience and 24hr support.

TelOne board chairperson, Dr Douglas Zimbango, said the expansion of the data centre ensures that customers, largely banks and financial organisations, telecommunication providers, will enjoy highly customised, fully managed and secure disaster recovery hosting for carrier-grade IT resiliency.

“Data centres are a key driving force to catalyse the development and adoption of e-business, digital government and smart city solutions that rely heavily on efficient computing facilities,” he said.

Since the inception of the data centre business in 2016, TelOne has been expanding their product offering and capacity through investing more than US$4 million.

A further US$1 million was injected for the latest project which has seen the completion of the fourth performance optimised data centre.