Gbenga Adegbiji, General Manager of MDXI, the MainOne Data Center subsidiary has answered the most asked question about the survival of data centers in Nigeria, even with limited power supply.
According to him, the data center which achieves almost 100 percent uptime does not have a problem with power generation to keep it running, even as over 90 percent of its power comes directly from the national greed.
Adegbiji was prompted to speak about the data center’s power situation after reports were made that ‘power supply is a key problem for data centers across Africa and Nigeria’s power issues are on a larger scale and more constant than what is experienced in other parts of the world.’
‘It is a myth that power hungry industries such as data centers cannot successfully operate in Nigeria. MDXI has enjoyed over 90 percent power uptime since 2015 and is poised to achieve 95 percent availability in 2018, based on a growing partnership with a local power distribution company,’ he said.
During an interview at the data center recently, Adegbiji stressed the MDXI facility was purpose-built to mitigate all challenges that global businesses may have in a Nigerian data center. He mentioned that before constructing the data center, the company realised constant 24 hours’ everyday power supply was a critical challenge for businesses requiring high availability colocation infrastructure within Nigeria and invested in a direct private connection to the National grid through newly privatised Eko Electricity Distribution Plc.
‘We recognised the crippling impact of downtimes, the peculiarities of the Nigerian power environment as an albatross that had forced many companies to relocate outside Nigeria and ensured MDXI was established with the most robust electricity power and back-up arrangements, in line with the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) ANSI/TIA-942, the leading Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers.
Though we made provision for the full complement of generators and diesel tanks with capacity of over 100,000 liters to secure the data center’s operations and guarantee 99.995 percent availability, we also partnered with Eko Disco and co-invested in a dedicated 33KV feeder and line connection to the National Grid through the Ajah sub-station,’ Adegbiji said.
He further explained that, connecting directly to the grid provides access to multiple power generating plants and guarantees backup in the event that one power plant goes down.
‘This was a capital investment of hundreds of millions in substation equipment and dedicated power lines which bypass all ‘last-mile’ challenges encountered in electricity distribution. This has guaranteed an increase in power availability at the data center from 50 percent average commercial power availability to between 95 percent and 98 percent,’ Adegbiji said.
Aside the steady state of operation and the attendant reliability of equipment and systems that the public power provides, MDXI has been able to guarantee a significant cost savings which is passed on to its numerous customers which include Banks, Government parastatals, international financial organizations and the large over-the-top operators.
The data center’s performance and service delivery has earned the company an Impact Award during the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Impact Awards for its contribution to improving Nigeria’s rank in the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ index through its colocation of critical server infrastructure for the Federal Government.
Adeoye Fadeyibi, Chief Executive Officer, Eko Disco, highlighted MDXI as a stellar example of how privatisation of the power sector is making a positive contribution to the Nigerian economy by guaranteeing a higher level of power availability.
‘With MDXI’s significant investment in last mile transmission and distribution infrastructure, EKEDC has been able to provide an average of 88 percent uninterrupted uptime to the data center on a monthly basis since its launch in January 2015,’ he said.