Lex van Wyk, managing director of Teraco Data Environments says that data centres are key to organisational IT strategies due to the substantially increased demand of application and content access from any location and at any time. “Vendor neutrality is still a new concept in South Africa and there is some confusion over what it really means and what benefits it holds for our clients. A claim of Vendor and Carrier Neutral or Vendor and Carrier Agnostic can only be made by a data centre infrastructure operator when the provider in question does not own or sell any carrier or managed services,” says van Wyk.
Van Wyk defines vendor neutrality as a focused business model in which a provider limits its activities to a fixed set of value layers in order to avoid conflicts of interest with clients. He says that this ultimately means that Teraco creates an open market for other service providers to add value from within the data centre facility. Teraco remains neutral and independent and offers standard open interconnect policies.
In a vendor neutral data centre customers benefit from the advantages of colocation in addition to having access to all submarine cable systems, all significant networks and carriers in South Africa and the increasing international carriers entering the Africa market. This allows for reduced interconnect fees, the freedom to select the best access provider and easy connections to the numerous other clients housed in the data centre.
“A vendor neutral data centre offers freedom of choice,” continues van Wyk. “We do not offer services and never will, thereby focusing our efforts on the data centre operations. This effectively eliminates any possible conflict of interest and promotes a free market place where clients are encouraged to transact”.
In addition to vendor neutrality, van Wyk says that power is another key reason why he encourages colocation over self-provisioning. “Power is a scarce resource and by managing it carefully in a larger environment one can get the benefits derived from economies of scale. With the correct focus and tools there are also advantages in managing the power supply all the way to cabinet level.”
“Infrastructure sharing, connectivity and efficient power management are all critical ingredients in building a competitive IT industry in South Africa. With an estimated 50% of an organisation’s power usage expended on IT resources alone, outsourcing your data centre provides a substantial saving on operational and capex expenditure,” concludes van Wyk.