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Tier IV Datacentre: A Digital Game Changer

By Bashir Ibrahim Hassan

With the remarkable achievements recorded in the last two to three years in the drive towards Nigeria becoming a fully digitized economy, the news that it is set to launch a world class and tastefully built Tier IV Datacentre is a welcome development. Coming at a time when so much data is being generated across corporate organisations and industries at an alarming rate, Nigeria Galaxy Backbone is spot on in aligning with national aspiration by being an active player in global digitization.

Daily, raw data, personal and corporate information of individuals, organisations and governments are being created. So, these huge data, if not protected and documented properly, will be a recipe for disaster because of their potential to make or mar the development of any nation and its nationals.

Galaxy Backbone (GBB) is set to launch its Tier IV Datacentre into the public and private sector spaces of Nigeria. For an organization that was set up only in 2006 by the Federal Government as a Limited Liability Company for the benefit of Nigeria as a whole, it has in the last seven to eight years, successfully run the only Tier III Datacentre in the nation’s public sector space. This is a great feat indeed. It is now deploying state-of-the-art digital infrastructure and applying international best practices to backstop public sector organisations with sensitive data and a growing number of private sector organizations to provide services. The level of professionalism has become a reference point for other organisations that are considering getting on the platform.

GBB’s Tier IV Datacentre is positioned to attract organisations looking at deepening their digital services at vastly reduced cost of technology infrastructure, improved efficiency and productivity. It has also enhanced business continuity through Cloud and Disaster Recovery services. The infrastructure has been specifically built to respond to the desire of its growing base of customers and stakeholders. GBB Tier IV Datacentre storage has capacity of about 2.2 petabytes. This translates to huge amounts of data that can be securely stored.

GBB’s responsibility to the agencies of the Federal Government consists of providing shared services from its ICT Infrastructure that will enhance and promote government’s digital services in a smart, secure and sustainable manner. The huge investments that have gone into this infrastructure are for the benefit of public and private establishments. The experience of GBB in building, deploying and providing infrastructure as a service, is a testimony to its ability to manage and continue in this line of business.

The Tier IV Datacentre, which is the first and only one in the nation’s public sector, was built at the nation’s commercial city, Lagos and situated in another commercial hub of the country, Kano. It will aid disaster recovery, back-up and redundancy purposes will in no small measure enhance and deepen Nigeria’s Digital Economy drive. Ultimately, the country will become one of the most recognized digital economies of the world as envisioned by President Muhammadu Buhari and institutionally led by the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami).

It is also worth recalling that, in 2020, the vision of the Honourable Minister to make Nigeria a fully digitalized economy by the year 2030, was put together in the document called the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (2020 – 2030). The document was launched by the President. In this document, eight pillars were identified as key instruments to help drive Nigeria towards digital transformation. One of the pillars is Solid Infrastructure. This TIER IV Datacentre feeds directly into the transformation of that pillar from just being a policy to reality. This will further move Nigeria on its journey towards becoming a digitally transformed nation. In addition, TIER IV Datacentre is a huge achievement for the Minister, the President and the nation at large, because of its expansive structure, capacity and ability to securely store huge amounts of data, especially generated by small businesses, government and other organisations.

The role of the GBB is crucial to the development and enhancement of the standard of living of the people, when one thinks of how important data is today in the life of professionals across the globe. It has been widely reported that, worldwide, people generate, on a daily basis, over 5 quintillion bytes of data. Significantly, 51% of this will, by 2025 be stored in datacentres and 49% will be in the public cloud. However, according to the IDC, 46% of the world’s stored data will reside in public cloud environments.

Specifically, this data will be generated by individuals and organisations across sectors. That is why Professor Muhammad Bello Abubakar, GBB’s Chief Executive is very passionate about correcting the narrative that the organization is in competition with other private sector ICT companies. According to Abubakar, “our goal is to collaborate with other private sector ICT companies to enhance digital transformation in Nigeria. So, I invite all of us, to leverage this Tier IV Datacentre for the collective benefit of our customers and stakeholders.’’ The benefits of data sovereignty can be attained through such initiatives and partnerships. Individuals, corporate organisations, multinationals and governments all deserve to know where their data is stored, what they are being used for and how quickly they can access them.

One big lesson we ought to have learnt from the last pandemic and how it has transformed our lives even up till today is the power of data-driven digital platforms. During the lockdown, they enabled people to connect with one another, build relationships, transact business and solve problems without physical contact. The trust and confidence placed on GBB at that time, gave it the opportunity to play a formidable role which yielded great achievements and continues to propel it to raise the bar in provision of digital services across the country.

Professor Abubakar’s leadership in Galaxy Backbone since he resumed in 2020, has led to a lot of progress and pivotal achievements. The organization is living its re-invigorated mission to provide state of the art digital infrastructure and services for a digital Nigeria. In doing this, it aligns with government priorities, underpinned by a commitment to data sovereignty. Security of government data is strengthened. He has determination and passion to ensure that Galaxy Backbone plays its role in the nation as the Digital Infrastructure platform of choice for the government and other businesses. Meanwhile, we have begun to see great results with this Tier IV Datacentre built in record time, according to global standards of design and operation. It’s no surprise that Uptime Institute, which is the globally recognized institute for certifying data centres, has certified the Datacentre of Galaxy Backbone, having met all the criteria and guidelines for a TIER IV Datacentre.

The Tier IV Datacentre is a game changer for all sectors across Nigeria, including the education, health and digital media sectors, as well as SMEs, government and financial services. The Datacentre aims to support and encourage consistency and sustainability in generation and protection of data that will aid in transforming lives, enhancing business opportunities and promoting economic prosperity.

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