I was invited to attend the official launch event for MTN’s refurbished Data Centre in Galo Manor.
I have been a supporter of MTN’s hosting facilities for many years. I have my own servers and customer servers in the hosting facility from way back when the business was known as UUNET, then it changed to Verizon and now MTN Business. As “Galo” is MTN’s flagship hosting environments, I was very keen to see what changes have been made and also to ensure that my customers are still in good hands.
I must report back that I am not disappointed.
The new facilities have been retrofitted – which is a fancy word to explain that the same facilities have been upgraded with new technology, new power, new redundancy, new systems and even new shiny cabinets. What is unique is that the same facilities have been upgraded whilst live customers were in the building and operational. This was not always a smooth path and downtime due to power issues did occur but overall customers did not feel the impact of the changes that were happening in Galo.
So what have been done ?
The main focus is on power management. Each cabinet now gets 22amps (vs 16amps in the past). Power utilisation is also measured in real-time down to a cabinet level which allows MTN to better manage and distribute power to its customers. The power is backed up by UPS and not just one but three generators. Those customers currently hosting their servers in Galo would be thrilled to hear that. We now can say that generator issues are a thing of the past.
A unique offering from MTN is that customers can now be charged on a Pay as you Use basis and not a flat fee. This benefits customers with only a few servers.
The physical environment where the servers are hosted is now 2000 square meters with an additional 500 square meters in the waiting just in case they have to increase capacity again.
Security has been increased dramatically from perimeter security to internal security, authentication, ID verification, Bio metrics, card authentication and even a “bank style” revolving door. All of these have already been implemented.
MTN has even thought of the poor techies who have to do the work to maintain their customers equipment and so they even upgrade the work area. This area now includes a microwave, coffee machine, couches and a TV – those of us who spent many many many many many many hours working into the night will really appreciate this !
The only issue I could see when when going into the Data Centre was that the cell phone signal was very poor in certain spots. On Vodacom I could only pick up 1 bar. This is an issue if you are working in the Data Centre and need to make calls to the office or suppliers. This is also an issue if your servers have any 3G modems attached to them.
Other new services:
- No more paying for both incoming and outgoing data – just pay for the one traffic (whichever is the greater)
- If you host in multiple location, there is a new services to connect your servers – no more MPLS and paying for that.
- No more space constraints (with limits) – there are half cabinets, full cabinets and even caged areas for those larger equipment.
- Full Power Management reporting available online – ensuring MTN lives up to its SLA
Overall the facilities are impressive and on a world-class basis. I have no hesitation in continuing host my servers there and recommend the facility to anyone looking for a safe, secure and stable home for their precious equipment.
Note: no pictures were allowed to be taken of the inside of the facility