In this interview, MDXi COO Gbenga Adegbiji spoke candidly about his company’s vast impact on digital infrastructure in West Africa, the lingering challenges and the launch of the Lekki II data center in 2022. among various problems.
Following the launch of the Appolonia data center in Accra in June this year, MDXi announced the launch of its Lekki II data center in the first quarter of 2022. What exactly is driving MainOne’s investment in infrastructure digital?
The digital transformation and the growth of the digital economy are changing the world in many ways and will continue to transform the way we live and do business. There is still a huge digital infrastructure gap in many African countries and MainOne’s vision is to bridge this gap through our investments throughout the West African region. Our data center subsidiary, MDXi, is expanding its presence throughout the region, as seen with the Appolonia data center in Ghana and now Lekki Data Center II. These investments will fuel the explosive growth of data consumption and digital services in the region. We want to ensure that businesses have access to affordable data center and interconnection services of global standards to deliver services to end users across West Africa.
We know that Lekki Data Center 1 is an installation of 600 racks; how big will Lekki Data Center II be?
The Lekki II Data Center is the new mega-structure being developed within the Lekki I Data Center campus. The Lekki II DC is a 4 MW infrastructure with a total of 572 rack spaces and will benefit from the same seamless connection. to the national network with guaranteed availability of over 94%, making the two facilities the most environmentally friendly data center campus in Nigeria. The new facility will also be certified to applicable global data center and security standards.
Interconnection is very critical for data center services; What is MDXi’s position in the Nigerian data traffic ecosystem?
MDXi is the hub of digital content, cloud platforms and the network ecosystem in West Africa. Through our rich interconnection environment of global content players, network providers, cloud providers and local operators, MDXi connects the region to the rest of the world. Our data center hosts global players, over-the-top multimedia services (OTT), major financial institutions and with the traffic exchange in the Nigeria Internet Exchange (IXPN) and the Internet Exchange of the West Africa (WAF-IX), MDXi represents the largest open access data exchange in the region. In Nigeria, we enable access to over 40 network providers, connecting these providers to businesses and enabling local delivery of internet traffic to major content that users access with reduced latency. Beyond Nigeria, we also offer coverage in 10 West African countries through the MainOne network.
In a few years of operation, MDXi has become the destination of choice for content seeking a home close to West African consumers and for local businesses that have digitized their operations and seek to enable their customers to make online business.
As a key player in the West African digital ecosystem, what is MDXi doing to make the exchange of traffic more fluid and affordable in the region?
We have built a rich interconnection ecosystem consisting of telecom providers (local and global), internet service providers, cloud, payment and content providers, exchanging traffic with each other to drive significant cost reductions and latency. We have also extended network access to locally access global content providers through the West African Internet Exchange (WAF-IX) hosted in Nigeria with extensions in Ghana and Ivory Coast. This allows networks to significantly save on transport costs when content is accessed from offshore locations while improving access speed for users on connected networks. In addition to WAF-IX, MDXi hosts the Nigeria Internet Exchange Point (IXPN) and provides access to other global content through direct links to other exchanges such as DE-CIX, GIX, AMSIX and LINX.
A recent report claims that the usage of 11 data centers in Nigeria is around 30%. What clues show that âlocalizedâ data center attendance will double in the near future?
The demand for digital services in our region continues to grow exponentially with growth driven by the adoption of cloud and colocation services by large enterprises, fintechs and global players. This increase leads to the generation of large amounts of data that must be processed, managed and stored. There is also regulation: Globally, local regulation of domiciliation or residence of data is adopted and enforced by nation states to protect national security.
This means that the data content generated in a particular country must be stored on the coasts of that country. These demand drivers, coupled with Nigeria’s massive youth population and the adoption of digital, mobile technology and fintech, indicate that the opportunities for growth remain vast, especially as Africa does not. currently contributes only 1% of global data center capacity. That said, having the right interconnect ecosystem, a good understanding of the operating environment, and investments in world-class infrastructure and standards make a big difference in trying to grab the growth opportunity, but our market has yet to consume online data center services with demand observed in advanced economies.
Your facility is touted as the most environmentally friendly data center in Nigeria today. How can you do this?
Data centers typically consume a lot of power because of the amount of energy required to power and remove the heat generated by the IT infrastructure. This power must also be available 24/7 no matter what. To achieve high energy availability in our environment, most data centers rely on diesel generators to power operations that are not environmentally friendly due to carbon emissions and noise pollution. . The MDXi Lekki campus is strategically located near a national grid substation and the company has invested in the construction of a direct and dedicated 33 KV line to connect the grid. This initiative has reduced our carbon emissions by 95%, which is why the facility is attractive to organizations looking to reduce their carbon footprint and adopt a more environmentally friendly infrastructure space.
Gbenga Adegbiji is the COO of MDXi, a subsidiary of MainOne and the leading provider of Tier 111 data centers serving the colocation and interconnection needs of enterprises, ISPs and regional operators in Nigeria. , Ghana and CÃ´te d’Ivoire.