1 March 2019

Nigeria: Medallion Democratises Data Centre Service in Nigeria

Engr. Ike Nnamani, managing director, Medallion Communications, a data centre operator in the country has attributed the emergence of his company's data centre as the most connected data centre in the country to the democratization policy being implemented at its data centres.

Nnamani stated this in a chat with Nigeria Communicationsweek, explaining that they accommodate both small and big operators with cost effective pricing.

"We are able to provide a carrier neutral infrastructure where they are not afraid they are dealing with a competitor. Any service our customers are offering from our data centre, we at Medallion don't go and start competing with them to offer such service. That gives them the confident that truly they are at carrier neutral place.

"We also enable every one of our customers to be treated equally no matter their size, whether you are big like MTN or small operator, we give every of them equal opportunity to do their business in efficient and cost effective way.

"We make sure we don't fall below availability and the minimum standard. Of course pricing is important; I don't think we are the most expensive in the market. You have to ensure that your client can afford the cost of the services you are offering them. Clearly, Medallion data centre is the most connected presently," he said.

Nnamani frowned at the use of Tier certification as a marketing tool in the market, noting that the standard specified by Uptime Institute that manages those certifications are minimum standard that every data centre should be operating at even higher especially in our environment where companies almost operate their own power system.

"Uptime Institute is assuming for instant, if you have data centre in California and unfortunately because of the California fire issue that took place last year and your data centre had to be cut off from the public power supply, within the data centre do you have availability of power? That will last for 72 hours which is Tier 111 certification, which means you should be self- sustaining in power for 72 hours if there no public power supply.

"If you are operating a data centre in California with Tier 111 certification, you have to show outside of the traditional power supply that you have built redundancy, if it goes off you can self-sustain yourself either on battery back- ups, generators or some other means that will ensure that your data centre should be operational for 72 hours in case of Tier 111 certification.

"It becomes interesting when you bring such requirement into our climate, where you usually operate your data centre almost on private power supply, like our data centre we operate seven days straight on self -generating power, because the public power supply from PHCN is not available.

"So, how many Tier will you put such a data centre? From power perspective it becomes interesting when you look at markets like ours. There was a particular case we were on our self -generating power for more than five weeks running.

"Although there are areas that uptime institute looks at but the key point is power. They also look at redundancy; for instance, you should maintain dual power feed equipment to data centre.

"My take is that Tier certification is important because it gives a guide to minimum service level you should attain as a data centre operator. It is worth doing or attaining.

"Where I have a problem is when people start using it as a marketing tool as if it is a big deal then I have a problem with that because by default every data centre should operate at that standard," he added.

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