Mapping Africa’s data centers

Would it surprise you that 10% of all the data centers in Africa are on Mauritius? It shouldn’t given that there are ten in total for the continent and of those, six are in Egypt. In Sub Saharan Africa, there are four data centers. Yes, four.
I found this out while poking around the net and coming across a site quite aptly called, Data Center Map. I’m not sure if it’s 100% accurate, but it seems pretty good and has been around since 2007. For instance, they list 786 data centers in the US in comparison to the paltry four in Sub Saharan Africa on a continent of one billion people. But the US is always a bad comparison. To put this more in to perspective, Slovenia, a country of two million people and only 20,000 square km has five data centers.
So, basically, your choices amongst the few are Internet Solutions, RSA Web, and Teraco in South Africa or Bhumishq in Mauritius. Not that amazing, which is most likely why so many African sites are hosted in the US and Europe; Maneno included for the time being, although we’re hoping to change that in the near future. If anyone has information on more data centers in Sub Saharan Africa, please chime in below.
With the East African cables coming online, one can only hope that we’ll see more enterprising groups open up data centers in Kenya, Tanzania, or even Mozambique. Obviously, they aren’t cheap to set up, but a lot of factors like power don’t come in to play so much when building a data center due to their having a dedicated power system (usually their own generators) in some capacity due to how much they use. The only real issue is that solid terrestrial connection to the outside world. It will be interesting to see what happens in this space and I wouldn’t be surprised if Google already has designs on plopping down at least one of their data containers. On that note, you should check out the article on Data Center Map about data center containers. It’s a good comparison of all that’s out there in this market which will be pretty critical to all the “cloud” talk that’s hot these days.
Mapping Africa's data centers

4 Replies to “Mapping Africa’s data centers”

  1. Well … I don’t know if this has anything to do with data centers, but finding a good internet connection in Senegal was tough, very tough. Which isn’t surprising given than half the time I was there I stayed at homes with no electricity … And this seems to be a problem also in South Africa, where there is an electric infrastructure in place, but the current goes out all the time without warning. Could this lack of reliable infrastructure have something to do with what you’re talking about?

    Just curious :o)

  2. It actually has not all that much to do with data centers as they typically have their own power source because in reality, a public power grid isn’t stable enough for their needs anywhere in the world.
    There is a big difference between a data center and an internet relay point, which is what you’re talking about. Because the later don’t need 99.99% uptime, they typically rely on the public power grid, thus this issues. Data centers have to be up all the time or no one will pay for services with them.

  3. I see … Sorry if that was a stupid question, I don’t know much about these things. Thanks!

  4. No no, it wasn’t stupid. This connectivity issue is a big problem even when the infrastructure is there because of power issues, which is why they usually just have their own, completely separate generator system for stuff like this.

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