Nigerians preference for foreign hosting of assets seem unabated despite the presence of the towering Rack Centre in Lagos which provides collocation services for hosting IT assets for organisations and Small Medium Enterprises(SMEs).
Speaking to Daily Times on this emerging trend when government is talking of local content, the Managing Director, Rack Centre, Mr Ayotunde Coker said that the Centre provides collocation services for hosting IT assets for organisations, and SMEs.
“This means that you don’t need to go to any data centre abroad since you can have it hosted here. We operate on the highest global standard of reliability and sophistication and that is why you have to offer here in Nigeria so you don’t need to go abroad to host your IT asset. You can come to Rack Centre and collocate and get assets immediately to high quality services on as pay as you go basic, you don’t have to come as a company,” he said.
According to him, the Rack Centre provide SMEs services that is affordable so that they can get their businesses going quickly on pay as you go basics and also as scale as businesses they pay as a scale.
He added: “when it comes to the IT services and asset that they have, these are the kind of services that we are able to provide the SMEs. In the IT space we look at the CSR that they can do with respect to helping the smaller companies understand how they develop and how they can scale their own businesses.”
He explained that data from around the world has shown that internet access drives successful SMEs for ecosystem, adding that with more internet access they can deliver for Nigeria the more to assist SMEs in growing because the access it adds to the internet give some access to other resources like websites, whether cloud services, access to the internet, consumers and so on.
“You need that to transform your SMEs ecosystem,” he said.
He commended the Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, who he said was at the Centre a couple of months ago and was amazed that the quality that the Centre is providing is world class.
“The Minister said he will ensure that the ministry supports that type of infrastructure locally.We are certainly getting all the supports from them, and we are already working on how government will locate its own data here in Nigeria,” he hinted.
Coker admitted they still have a lot of challenges to creating the capacity locally, adding that there is a lot of opportunity in the industry while significant of energy are being put in now especially in the youth in creating capacity and capability.
“You will see other benefits coming out from five to 10 years in terms of impart from all these entrepreneurs and also impart from the GDP,” he insisted.
Commenting the some companies that have their own physical server, Coker said, if you are privileged to buy your own physical server and so on, that is fine, stressing that a lot of companies that do that including top and medium enterprises bringing their servers and their rack, but some don’t need a rack, some less than a rack.
“We provide some of these services through partners, but some don’t want that amount of scale, they only want a little amount slice of IT, that we can also provide. It means therefore that you don’t need to have all that income that can buy big expensive servers you can start your business at the level of scale that works best for you,” he explained.
When probe about the percentage of those hosting in Nigeria and abroad, the MD Rack Centre highlighted that there is higher percentage abroad, stressing that they are creating the awareness here, because if people don’t know it’s here they will not come back here.
“So if we create the awareness of what we have got here, they will start to reassess their other reason of hosting abroad. We don’t have that data; all we have is the feeling that there is a significant amount of hosting abroad and we see that being brought back here,” he pointed out.
Established in October 2013, Rack Centre is the home of Nigeria’s Internet Exchange. It is the only Tier III design certified data centre hosting the Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN). The IXPN point of presence established in Rack Centre allows for direct and indirect peering, the widest choice of carriers and ISPs, lower cost, improved quality through lower latency and robust connectivity redundancy.
With IXPN in Rack Centre, local ISPs and telecom carriers switch data traffic more quickly and at a faster speed.