Vodacom opened its eighth data centre today in Midrand, and to celebrate the grand opening gave us a peek inside. Going through the various chambers, the centre consists of three floors, each equipped with the latest technology to host a great amount of cloud-based services and traffic – both private and public.

Throughout the centre are highly-sophisticated fire suppressing cylinders, which releases a gas combination to extinguish any fire. In the event of a blaze, the system will trigger but anybody caught in the path of the gas will survive.

The fire system is also connected to a smart valve scheme, which will isolate the problem area to prevent the fire from flaring up again.

The data room, where all the traffic flows through, is kept at an optimum temperature at 22 degrees. Which is slightly warmer than the nerve centre of the operation – the server room. Here is where the actual magic happens, as the room hosts the server racks of Vodacom’s clients who make use of their cloud service.

The optimum operating temperature of this room is kept to about 12 degrees, and makes use of a free air system. That means that air from outside is used as much as possible to cool it down, and when the outside air temperature reaches 1 degree, it will be functioning at its optimum level.

The server room, while hosting all the server racks, can be configured into any combination, and is split between public and private use.

The data center is currently up-and-running, but Vodacom’s Louis Pienaar said that while it might not seem like it, they do have some customers already that installed their server racks recently. He mentioned that Vodacom will scale the operation as the business demand grows.

“Data Park gives us a vital edge. With full solutions integration, a single contract and a single bill, Vodacom Business cloud solutions will simplify the move to the cloud for businesses across South Africa. In addition, thanks to our ownership of six connectivity networks and our ability to access assets across the Vodafone Group, we can deploy solutions everywhere your business needs,” explained Ermano Quartero, managing executive at Vodacom in South Africa.

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.