Equinix is building global connections from Africa to the rest of the world


Equinix MD Sandile Dube explains that the co-location provider is not your typical data centre: it secures your data, and businesses on the continent can tap into Equinix’s globe reach.

According to Sandile Dube, the managing director of Equinix in South Africa, part of their purpose, over and above delivering world-class digital infrastructure services, is putting African countries and businesses on the global stage – essentially creating an interconnected ecosystem for the greater good.

When he isn’t on the golf course, enjoying some much needed quiet and focus time, Sandile is responsible for leading the strategy and operations of Equinix in South Africa, as well as its expansion aspirations.

“Equinix has entered the South African market by way of building its first data centre,” Sandile explains. When building a data centre, considering access to reliable power, location, cooling, connectivity, and security is crucial, he adds.

This is why Equinix has located its data centre in Isando, east of Johannesburg, and very close to OR Tambo International airport.

“Airports, for instance, might not experience as much loadshedding as many other places do,” he says, “so, having a data facility in those areas helps.” He adds that he believes data centres are both essential services, or they deliver services to clients who, in turn, deliver critical services for the country – which makes continuous power supply crucial.

Internally, Equinix is covered: “We are self-sustainable and invested heavily in this regard,” he says. “We have our back-up system, mainly to avoid adding even more strain to the country’s power grid, and this also helps us deliver timely and consistent services to our clients.”

Sandile is very proud of the fact that Equinix can deliver the ‘five nines’ to its clients, which refers to a reliability level or uptime of 99.999 percent. This is very important in South Africa because of its power challenges – it puts clients’ minds at ease, he says.

Not just another data centre

According to Sandile, what really sets Equinix apart from other players in the market is the fact that Equinix is the platform where the world connects and enables innovations that enrich lives, work and the planet.

“In simple terms, Equinix has a vast number of connections globally,” he explains. “Our 260 global facilities are connected through a private backbone network, which means regardless of where you are located in the world, the experience you get as a client will be consistent. And we continue to grow.

“We also have the pleasure of housing an ecosystem of some of the biggest hyperscalers globally: large cloud services providers and interconnection partners. As a result, partners who wish to access offshore markets can do so with a click of a button and the same goes for international businesses looking to establish themselves in South Africa or the rest of Africa through Platform Equinix.”

Why Africa?

“Privilege is invisible to those who have it,” a renowned author once said. These words ring especially true to Sandile, who believes that South Africans to some extent take some things for granted: things like connectivity, something the rest of the continent struggles with.

“There’s no digital transformation without the basics in place, like infrastructure and connectivity,” he says. “Our presence in this particular market is to assist government and business to accelerate their digital transformation journeys – something Equinix is very passionate about.”

Sandile says that the level of interconnections they receive is second to none. In addition, for CIOs in global companies, having Equinix as a partner makes sense, because the Equinix hyper-scalers and systems integration results in one institution. Therefore, instead of CIOs having to invest with one institution, they can access any hyper-scaler through Equinix’s platform at the best value for their business.

“We also provide bare metal services, which means storage services adjacent to the cloud on a consumption basis. For a week, month or a year, we provide that level of flexibility which is very uncommon in the industry. As such, if CIOs seek good value at a consumption-based model, and access to the rest of the world through an interconnected platform across more than 33 countries on six continents across the world, look no further than Equinix,” Sandile concludes.

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