Table of Contents
1 Introduction–Moore’s Law & Increasing Demand for Data Centers
In 1965, Gordon Moore observed that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit (IC) doubles every two years, which was later termed as Moore’s law, a self-fulfilling prophecy with uncanny accuracy. Today, experts believe that Moore’s law is reaching its physical limits while some say it’s already dead.
For the last 50 years, Moore’s law has fueled the development of powerful computer chips, resulting in more data storage and greater processing capacity, eventually leading to rapid digital expansion. Today, an estimated 7.2 million  modern data centers store 1327 exabytes  of data, with the US leading with 2751  data centers.
Data centers have already pushed Moore’s law to extreme limits, with newer chip development gradually slowing down in the last few years. Traditionally, chip manufacturers would introduce lower-cost faster-performing chips every couple of years. Not anymore. Now, major data center market stakeholders invest more in innovative techniques to lower the overall cost of running data centers while improving data storage capacity to meet users’ demands.
1.1 Why Are Data Centers Becoming Increasingly Important?
In 2021, Gartner projected  end-user spending of $200 billion on global data center infrastructure, an increase of 6% from 2020. The increasing demand for data centers can be attributed to many growth drivers, mainly due to the explosive growth of data in every industry. In fact, IDC predicts  global data creation, consumption, and storage to reach 180 zettabytes by 2025, compared to 70 zettabytes in 2021. Some main growth drivers for the data center market include:
- Big data and IoT are making a significant impact in healthcare, retail, and large-scale manufacturing industries.
- Accelerated digital transformation among various industrial sectors.
- On-premise to cloud migration for scaling enterprise-grade web and mobile applications.
- Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are increasing. Intuit predicts  that 17 billion new small businesses will be established in 2022, adding around $5 trillion to the worldwide economy.
- A growing number of subscribers for Over-the-Top (OTT) services–digital content delivered directly via internet without traditional cable broadcasting. OTT market is expected  to reach $223 billion by 2026 compared to 101.42 billion in 2020.
- Accelerated development of data-intensive technologies like Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning (DL), Computer Vision (CV), and Natural Language Processing (NLP).
In this article, we’ll cover all aspects of data centers in detail. We’ll touch upon the history of data centers. We’ll delineate major data center components and discuss various benefits of data centers, key market players, data center rating systems, and future trends. In the end, we’ll briefly discuss the growing need for building more data center infrastructure in the Africa region.
2 History of Data Centers
Data centers have evolved over the course of the last 60 years. Dating back to the 1940s, ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) is considered the first vacuum tube-powered data center in the world. Designed by US Army during World War II, ENIAC’s primary objective was to assist in military and intelligence operations.
In the 1960s, computer technology started becoming more sophisticated. IBM launched the first commercial-purpose transistorized data center, TRADIC (TRAnsistorized DIgital Computer), which eventually helped NASA during their Apollo moon-landing missions.
In 1971, Intel launched the first-ever programmable microprocessor named Intel 4004 with 2300 transistors, which served as a building block for many electronic devices. In 1973, Xerox Alto was launched as the first personal computer with a user interface, ethernet networking, and large internal memory. In 1977, ARCnet was introduced, which facilitated LAN with data rates of 2.5 Mbps. In 1978, SunGard developed a commercial disaster recovery system which later paved the way for modern Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) methodology.
In the 1980s, Sun Microsystems along with other organizations a
- Apple’s famous $2 billion Mesa Data Center spans across 1,300,000 square feet in Arizona.
Let’s formally define data centers and discuss various deployment architectures.
3 What is a Data Center?
A data center is a centralized facility with powerful enterprise-grade computers and servers that store, manage, and disseminate data and critical software applications globally. Data centers contain racks of servers holding storage and processing resources connected via routers, cables, firewalls, and switches, along with a robust networking system that allows data center resources to communicate internally and make them accessible worldwide.
Data centers use advanced storage, compute, and networking hardware to provide uninterrupted services. Modern data centers use resource virtualization to enable scalable cloud computing. Business applications deployed on cloud-enabled data centers are fast, resilient, and secure.
3.1 Single-Tenant vs. Multi-Tenant
Cloud data centers offer two kinds of cloud environments for serving software and hardware resources, i.e., single-tenet cloud architecture and multi-tenet cloud architecture.
In single-tenet cloud environments, business data and applications are deployed on a separate server instance, only visible to the client who purchased the underlying cloud infrastructure. In multi-tenet cloud environments, various customers have shared access to software and hardware resources. However, data centers ensure data privacy for each client individually.
A real-world analogy of single tenancy is where a tenant rents the whole apartment without sharing it with other tenets. While in multi-tenancy, multiple tenants rent different rooms within a single apartment where each tenant has a key to access their room.
Organizations can choose any model as per their requirements. Large-scale businesses often prefer single-tenancy to ensure enterprise-grade security, strong governance control, high performance, and high disaster recoverability. A trade-off for single-tenet architecture is paying high costs for owning and maintaining the complete cloud infrastructure.
On the other hand, startups and small businesses prefer multi-tenancy as it offers lower maintenance costs while mildly compromising governance control and security.
3.2 Clustered vs. Non-Clustered
Another essential aspect of cloud data center architectures is managing application and data load. Data centers offer two deployment architectures for load balancing, i.e., clustered and non-clustered data centers.
Non-clustered data centers are similar to on-premise servers with additional security and cloud-enabled features. Organizations that prefer to keep their existing application infrastructures intact often choose non-clustered environments. On-premise to cloud migration follows a simpler deployment topology, but the application server presents a single point of failure. Non-clustered data center deployment does not ensure high availability or robust disaster recovery.
Clustered data center deployment offers load balancing capabilities to support high availability and disaster recovery for mission-critical applications. Clustering uses additional infrastructure to deploy multiple nodes of servers. Critical applications run on these nodes, managed by a load balancer that directs incoming traffic and distributes processing tasks efficiently to ensure application reliability and uptime. Backup nodes are activated immediately to minimize downtime in case of any failure.
Organizations can prefer any deployment architecture as per their requirements. In terms of cost, clustered deployment strategy is more expensive than its non-clustered counterpart since it requires additional cloud infrastructure to support scalability, which takes more time and governance effort.
4 Key Components for Designing a Data Center
Data centers are remarkable feats of modern architecture and engineering. In the last 20 years, data center service providers have brought considerable innovation in various data center design components. As a result, data centers are faster and more robust than ever before. Let’s discuss some major data center components below.
4.1 Server Racks
Racks are the building blocks of a data center, organized into rows. Generally, 19-inch standardized racks are used in enterprise data centers, but they can be customized according to the available floor space and design. Racks are placed strategically to allow maximum ventilation.
Racks contain electronic devices such as hard drives, servers, and networking equipment. Racks are placed on raised flooring which is covered with removable tiles. Different cables are passed underneath these raised floors that ensure overall data center connectivity. Data centers must have wide floor space to accommodate more racks and cabinets in the future.
4.2 Power Supplies
Continuous power supply is the holy grail of data centers. Electricity powers hard drives, servers, networking infrastructure, and other electronic components. Each electronic device generates heat which increases the temperature inside the data centers. Proper ventilation and continuous air conditioning also consume a lot of power.
In case of primary power failure, data centers must employ redundant power supplies, including backup generators and UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply), to maximize data center uptime. Enterprise data centers also use in-house green energy sources to meet their electricity demands.
4.3 Cable Management
Cables connect servers and networking equipment to create an effective data center communication infrastructure that serves mission-critical business applications. However, data center cable management requires specialized skills. Without prior consideration of floor design, proper cable management would be impossible. Complete cabling infrastructure must be documented to ease future maintenance and troubleshooting.
Storage is one of the three most fundamental functions of a data center, along with compute power and networking. Data centers contain tons of modern storage devices (hard drives) to store critical business data. Drives are duplicated over multiple racks to ensure fault tolerance.
Cloud-enabled data centers offer Storage as a Service (STaaS) which businesses can request on-demand to store various digital assets. Data center manufacturers install specialized hard drives that ensure faster data loading time.
Compute refers to the computer processing power required to execute software applications in the data center. Data centers use fast processing chips (often specialized and proprietary) with scalable workloads to ensure maximum application runtime. Data centers must be powerful enough to process enterprise application traffic which can be thousands of requests per second.
Data center networking is a constellation of routers, switches, cables, and load balancers. A robust networking infrastructure ensures resource communication inside the data center. It enables data center virtualization, which allows the use of data center resources globally. Networking also allows automatic resource provisioning and de-provisioning, load balancing, and resource duplication across various availability regions to avoid drastic failures.
4.7 Cooling Infrastructure
Data centers use megawatts of electricity to run electronic equipment, which heats up quickly. Without proper cooling equipment, devices can malfunction, resulting in performance degradation and increasing management costs. To naturally maintain temperature, data center manufacturers build data centers in colder regions. (discussed in the next section)
Data centers employ various cooling mechanisms to reduce the overall heat produced from devices, resulting in lowering electricity costs. To reduce heat, some data center manufacturers use water and evaporative cooling with better airflow management. Underwater cooling systems are also installed under the raised flooring on which racks and cabinets are placed.
4.8 Environmental Controls
Temperature management has been a long-standing pain point for building highly operational data centers. After years of hazardous experiences, data center facilities now install various fire protection and safety protocols. Automatic temperature monitoring and management, smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire sprinklers are some of these safety protocols.
Besides these critical components, the operational success of a data center relies on choosing an appropriate physical location for construction.
5 Selecting a Suitable Site for Building a Data Center Facility
Building state-of-the-art data center facilities start with choosing a suitable physical location. It plays a crucial role in maximizing the return on investment for establishing a robust data center facility with a lifecycle spanning 10 to 15 years. Many geographical, economic, political, and social factors can influence the data center site selection criteria, including:
- Favourable Environmental Conditions: The chosen site must be away from disaster-prone regions to avoid property damage. Data centers are generally built closer to large water supplies or in colder regions with better air quality to reduce the cooling costs and increase the operational lifespan of electronic devices.
- Availability of Wide Area Network: Data centers prefer areas with lightning-fast internet connectivity. The selected region’s fiber optics and communications infrastructure are critical in building a highly operational data center.
- Continuous Power Supply: Data centers consume 1-2% of electricity globally. Regions with a continuous supply of sustainable and cheap electricity are favored when selecting a data center location.
- Cost of Data Center Land Acquisition: One factor in measuring the overall cost of building a data center depends on land cost per square foot. Data centers are generally built in regions with cheaper real estate prices to optimize the overall cost.
- Cost of Data Center Construction: Enterprise data centers optimize their multi-million dollar construction budgets depending on the cost of labor and construction supplies in the region.
- Taxation Policy of the Region: Many countries offer tax-free special economic zones with cheap electricity and water supply along with other subsidies. Data center manufacturers prefer regions where the tax policy is stable and consistent in the long run.
- Stable Political Landscape: Building a new data center initiates massive economic activity in a region, potentially attracting political interference that can slow down the construction progress or increase the overall construction cost. Data center manufacturers prefer regions with a stable political landscape.
- Availability of Skilled Labor: Building a data center requires highly skilled architects, engineers, and construction workers. A region lacking low-cost skilled labor is unfavorable for building new data centers.
6 Physical Security in a Data Center Facility
Data centers are multi-billion dollar facilities housing vast amounts of invaluable data. In addition to many software security layers and firewalls, data centers must have a multi-tiered physical security system to save people, property, and expensive electronic assets from theft, burglary, terrorism, and natural disaster.
Physical security features are incorporated into the engineering and design of data center facilities. While data center service providers can have different taxonomy for physical security, a general multi-tiered physical security system for any modern data center is as follows:
- Layer-1: Secure Perimeter
The first security layer requires securing the data center perimeter with gates, barriers, fences, CCTV cameras, and guards to avoid any unauthorized entry. Guards can be stationed on watchtowers, main entrances and exits, and using on-ground vehicle patrols to identify irregular activities.
- Layer-2: Building Access
The second layer of data center physical security contains identification cards and biometric scans. Only registered personnel should be allowed to enter the data center facility after ID verification. Cards and biometric scans can categorize individuals as per their clearance level. For example, a customer care representative should be prohibited from entering the data center floor or restricted rooms.
Data centers must have a separate entrance for loading and unloading supplies like external equipment and accessories. No unregistered personnel must be allowed to enter the vicinity without prior approval.
- Layer-3: Main Security Hub
The third tier of physical security is a centralized security hub that monitors all activities inside or outside the data center. A central hub is like the brain on the data center facility. It runs 24/7 throughout the year to proactively assess threats and ensure safeguards. High-definition cameras can identify potential threats and the central hub can notify security personnel on the ground to avert any unfavorable conditions.
- Layer-4: Data Center Floor
Only individuals cleared by the first three tiers should enter the data center floor. The data center floor or region contains racks of servers aligned in rows. The server racks can be further restricted using electronic locks or biometric access to avoid data breaches. As we move up the physical security layers, the number of authorized individuals would significantly decrease.
- Layer-5: Equipment Maintenance
The fifth layer is the most sensitive physical security level, where hard drives and data-sensitive equipment are maintained. Usually, a top-secret room is built where existing hard drives are brought for repair, recovery, or erasure. Data centers ensure that no data can be taken outside this specified region, let alone the facility. Only the most trusted individuals are allowed inside.
7 Benefits of Data Center
As companies expand their IT applications, data centers become more vital to technological maintenance and sustainable growth. Let’s discuss some benefits of data centers below.
7.1 High Availability
Data centers offer a continuous power supply that can keep your IT application running 24/7, 365 days. In case of any device failure, data centers offer redundancy in IT equipment along with backup generators.
However, depending on the data center Tier rating (discussed below), the facility can face maintenance downtime for a few minutes to a couple of hours annually. Before any scheduled downtime, the data center customers are made aware of the possible downtime, which allows them to mitigate any loss beforehand.
7.2 Data Storage
Data storage is the most significant operation offered by data centers. It includes collection, storage, retrieval, governance, distribution, and backup services. Organizations can choose data services according to their business requirements.
7.3 Performance at Scale
Performance includes compute power and data processing. Data centers contain specialized memory management and processing chips tailor-made to fulfill the modern data and networking requirements. The compute power can scale up or down as per the organization’s requirements.
7.4 Reduced Management
Organizations can reduce their overall IT management efforts by outsourcing the governance of data and software applications to the data centers. Data centers have high-skilled employees responsible for keeping the system running throughout the year.
7.5 Disaster Recovery
Data is the most critical asset for any organization. Data center facilities offer redundancy in storage where data can be backed up safely and retrieved in case of any failures. With virtualization, organizations can set up redundant instances to back up their entire IT environments that can be used as a replacement in case of a fault within a few seconds, reducing any revenue loss.
Data centers have multi-tiered physical and virtual security. High-end data center facilities are like data fortresses. No one can enter the building without authorization and clearance. Also, data and IT applications are often encrypted, significantly reducing the chances of data theft.
7.7 Cutting Costs
Data centers reduce the overall operational costs of their customers. They offer specialized power sources, cooling mechanisms, efficient storage, and optimized memory, all of which lower the cost of running IT applications in the data center. One such example is the AWS Graviton2 CPU  that offers up to 40% more application performance while reducing the price by 20%.
8 Understanding the 4 Tier Rating System for Data Centers
Selecting a data center that aligns with business requirements is critical for success. Uptime Tier Classification System  certifies the performance of data centers on their topology and operational sustainability by classifying them into one of four Tiers, i.e., Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4.
Topology focuses on the data center infrastructure along with other capabilities like maintenance, power, cooling, and fault tolerance. At the same time, operational sustainability depends on the data center management that allows it to continue meeting business requirements in the long run. The Tier classification system is progressive, starting with Tier 1 at a basic capacity level and going up to Tier 4, indicating advanced data center capabilities.
8.1 Tier 1 Data Center
Tier 1 represents the most affordable class of data centers, preferred by small companies and start-ups, without any complex or large-scale business demands.
Tier-1 data center promises an uptime of 99.671% annually, which indicates a downtime of fewer than 28.8 hours per year. It has an uninterruptible power supply with a dedicated cooling system that can keep the data center running 24 hours a day. However, the data center could face power outages or maintenance downtime due to the lack of redundant power sources.
8.2 Tier 2 Data Center
Tier 2 data centers are more resilient to power outages due to the availability of backup power and cooling supplies like generators, energy storage, chillers, heat rejection equipment, fuel cells, and more.
In Tier 2, customers can have an uptime of 99.741%, which indicates a downtime of up to 22 hours annually. Such data centers are suitable for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) as they provide a good cost-to-performance ratio.
8.3 Tier 3 Data Center
Tier 3 offers more redundancy for various data center components with an uptime of 99.982%, bringing annual downtime to less than 1.6 hours. Tier 3 requires no maintenance shut down as the power supplies are redundant.
Each data center component can be maintained or repaired without facing any disruptions in IT operations. Tier 3 offers cost affordability with high performance for larger businesses.
8.4 Tier 4 Data Center
With an uptime of 99.995%, Tier 4 offers the most fault-tolerant and advanced data center facilities that can process high volumes of data and accommodate large applications for enterprises, conglomerates, and government entities. All data center IT devices offer redundancy and alternate power distribution paths that bring the annual downtime to 26.3 minutes.
The Tier classification system does not indicate that a Tier 4 data center is better than Tier 1. It represents the difference in their abilities to meet business requirements, enabling organizations to make better decisions while selecting a data center.
9 Upgrading From On-Site Storage to an Enterprise Data Center
Migrating from on-premise to an external data center requires extensive planning and decision-making due to the complexity of the task. With varying business requirements and goals, each migration is different from the other. However, a general guideline for enterprise data center migration is given below:
9.1 Build a Project Team to Oversee Migration
Hire or appoint specialized individuals to oversee the data center migration process. Though every organization has different staffing hierarchies, some following key roles are vital for the successful transition of a business from on-premise storage to an enterprise data center.
- Application Admin: Manages all aspects of the product, software application, and corresponding data during the migration process. An application admin has in-depth knowledge of all application functionalities and operational dependencies.
- System Admin: Handles all hardware requirements of the application. A system admin is responsible for setting up storage, networking, backups, virtualization, load management, and overall hardware or virtual performance for the deployed application.
- Project Lead: A project lead has prior experience in overseeing data center migrations and keeps the project timeline in check by ensuring task and milestone completion. Project leads provide a bridge between the organization’s executives or stakeholders and the data center procurement representative to streamline the purchase process.
- Executive Sponsor: Usually, the role of the executive sponsor belongs to the CEO, CTO, or an organization’s board of directors to approve the migration budget and all related costs. In case of any roadblocks, the executive sponsor holds the final verdict.
Depending on the scale of the project, organizations can have many other specialized roles to oversee each migration component, like network engineers, security experts, database administrators, and site reliability experts.
9.2 Review Existing Deployment Environment
Conduct a complete audit of the existing server infrastructure and deployment environment. All functionalities are thoroughly tested to verify performance benchmarks and identify any deficiencies.
Compare the server capabilities of on-premise deployment and enterprise data center and observe how the application’s performance can be affected after migration. Identify all dependencies, third-party applications, and APIs linked to the existing environment.
After conducting a comprehensive audit, work on any system deficiencies to fine-tune the on-premise application and make it compatible with the data center deployment environment for a smooth transition.
9.3 Document Current Workflows
Documentation is significant to track and record any software and hardware specifications. When the complete on-premise server environment is recorded along with any dependencies, potential modifications, and existing and potential errors, business stakeholders can better understand what to expect after migration.
9.4 Evaluate Technology Requirements
Enterprise data centers offer various deployment architectures and environment configurations, including clustered, non-clustered, single-tenant multi-tenant, shared, public and private cloud, etc. Each architecture offers various pros and cons regarding performance, availability, and disaster recovery. Prepare a complete purchase plan that aligns with the business’s operational and financial requirements before migration.
9.5 Implement and Test Data Center Deployments
Finally, it is time to deploy the business application to the data center environment. First, set up the hardware (virtual) components like nodes, clusters, and load balancers. Then, install the application along with data and other dependencies and ensure that each business function is working as expected. Testing, monitoring, and maintenance are conducted rigorously before launching the application for end-users.
10 Key Data Center Types & Market Players
Data centers require multi-billion dollar investments, which is why only big tech companies like Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and a few others offer data center services. In fact, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon account for over half  of today’s 600 hyperscale data centers. However, many other small to large-scale data center manufacturers and service providers offer data center services of different tiers with varying business use cases.
10.1 Types of Data Centers Offered in the Market
Many data centers offer overlapping functionalities and architectures. Based on general configurations, the following types of data centers are available in the market.
- Enterprise Data Centers: An enterprise data center is usually an on-site facility owned by the organization whose data and applications it supports. Depending on the budget, these data centers can have many racks, cabinets, and servers, operated by the organization itself. External companies may help in setting up the infrastructure and networking, but the data center remains the property of the organization.
- Managed Services Data Centers: Managed data centers are built and owned by external organizations that offer data center services to businesses looking to house their data and applications in a secure and pre-configured environment. The data center service provider owns the racks, cabinets, and servers on which this data and application are deployed.
- Colocation Data Centers: Colocation allows businesses to purchase a configured portion of an external data center. Colocation data centers are huge facilities that “co-locate” smaller data centers of many organizations. The data center is managed by a large IT staff who can maintain and run repairs on behalf of the business. Businesses can afford to set up data centers in multiple geographic locations to serve their customers.
- Edge Data Centers: Edge data centers are relatively smaller facilities strategically placed around the world to increase internet and networking connectivity with minimum latency. These are meant to serve local regions and deliver data more quickly. Edge computing is a growing domain due to the increased usage of IoT
- Cloud Data Centers: Cloud data centers have the most state-of-the-art facilities, owned and operated by big tech companies like Amazon and Google, which offer cloud computing services worldwide. They offer all three cloud computing services models, i.e., Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).
11 Modern Technological Trends & the Future of Data Centers
The data center market is evolving rapidly with chip improvements, better cooling systems, optimized storage and networking infrastructure along with added security layers to meet the demands of the ever-changing technological ecosystem. Due to the emergence of technologies like automation, blockchain, IoT, 5G connectivity, and edge computing, data centers in the next five years would ensure more performance reliability and robustness. Let’s discuss some future technological trends in the data center market.
11.1 Hyperscale Data Centers
Cloud computing offers scalability, which is a critical business requirement for digital transformation. As worldwide digitalization accelerates, more businesses are turning towards cloud computing, increasing the demand for hyperscale data centers.
11.1.1 What is a Hyperscale Data Center?
Hyperscale data centers (HDC) consist of thousands of server cabinets connected with high-speed networking infrastructure that supports big data and cloud computing operations. International Data Corporation (IDC) defines a hyperscale data center as a facility with more than 5,000 servers spread across more than 10,000 square feet.
Hyperscale data centers are significantly larger than enterprise data centers, with more storage, processing, and networking power. They are mostly built and managed by technology giants who have enough revenue to support data center operations on a large scale.
11.2 Automation & Robots
Automation and robotics is another driving factor in the changing data center market trends. Manufacturers are looking to reduce the operational cost of data centers by decreasing human intervention, resulting in innovative solutions that can automate manual tasks. By 2025, Gartner predicts that half of the worldwide cloud data centers will deploy AI-enabled robots .
Automation is also leading digital transformation globally. Many businesses are implementing data-intensive automated processes to increase the productivity of their product or application features. All the data generated by these applications eventually land in the data center.
11.3 IoT, Edge Computing, & 5G Connectivity
High-speed internet connectivity has increased the development of IoT and edge computing. Billions of mobile and smart devices generate massive amounts of data and network requests every day. Data center manufacturers are improving their facilities to accommodate this inflow of traffic. Many new edge data center facilities are being built strategically in regions where smart devices are used more to offer high connectivity and response.
11.4 Environmental Friendly Data Centers
Data centers use 1-2% of global electricity each year to run huge volumes of IT devices that require a dedicated cooling mechanism. Manufacturers spend millions of dollars on optimized power supplies and cooling systems, which increase the overall operational costs of data centers.
To bring down energy costs, data center manufacturers are using renewable energy to build green data centers. They are also experimenting with innovative cooling mechanisms, including liquid cooling and underwater data centers. The future of data centers is green, renewable, and carbon-free.
11.5 Colocation Data Centers & Data Center as a Service (DCaaS)
Though the concept of data center colocation has been around for a while, but due to growing business demand, many companies are opting to set up their own data centers instead of limited on-premise server deployment, increasing the demand for colocation data centers.
Data center as a Service (DaaS) is another emerging trend similar to colocation. In colocation data centers, companies can choose to buy individual IT infrastructures like storage or memory. However, in DaaS, companies can purchase fully managed data center solutions, also referred to as the democratization of data centers.
12 Data Centers in Africa–The Untapped Market
The continent of Africa is technologically landlocked. However, efforts have been made to bring technology to the vast population of Africa recently. Many organizations are interested in constructing their data centers in the African region. In fact, in 2021, the data center market of the Middle East and Africa recorded investments  of $6.55 billion and forecasts investments of $12.19 billion by 2027.
Africa’s mobile userbase is increasing rapidly and requires more data centers to optimize intra-African network traffic and reduce latency. Reports  suggest that Africa requires 1000MW & 700 data center facilities, preferably outside of countries like South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, and Kenya, as they already hold two-thirds of the continent’s data center capacity.
Recently, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched  a cloud region in Cape Town, making it the company’s first African region. Customers can now store data and run applications locally within South Africa at low latency.
Some other companies have also started investing in data center infrastructure within Africa. Africa Data Centres plans to build 10 data centers and has announced  an investment of $500 million. Similarly, Huawei  and Oracle  plan to start data center operations across Africa.
EPCM Holdings is a global leader in infrastructure engineering, design, procurement, construction, and commissioning in various sectors. Contact us today to discuss how we can help in setting up enterprise-scale data center facilities.