Data centre power ‘not an issue’ – MDXI boss
Though power availability in Nigeria may be the bane for other data centers and enterprises, General Manager of the MainOne Data Center subsidiary, MDXI, Mr. Gbenga Adegbiji has said that the MDXI data center is achieving almost 100% power uptime availability, with a surmountable 90+% of that power coming directly from the national grid.
He stated this while reacting to a report published in the media that was quoted to another data center operator who complained that power is a key problem across Africa and Nigeria’s power issues are on a larger scale and more constant than experienced globally. Adegbiji debunked the myth that power hungry industries such as data centers cannot successfully operate in Nigeria, claiming its company has enjoyed 90+% power uptime since 2015 and is poised to achieve 95% availability in 2018, based on a growing partnership with a local power distribution company.
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 realized 24×7 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 privatized Eko Electricity Distribution Plc.
“We recognized 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% 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. Connecting directly to the grid provides us 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% average commercial power availability to between 95% and 98%,” Adegbiji said.
Aside from 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.
Chief Executive Officer, Eko Disco, Mr. Adeoye Fadeyibi highlighted MDXI as a stellar example of how privatization 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% uninterrupted uptime to the data center on a monthly basis since its launch in January 2015.”