In this exclusive interview, Guy Willner and Clement Martineau discussed sustainability, hyperscale infrastructure, and bringing the Big Edge to emerging and underserved markets.
“People talk a lot about the edge, and the idea I’m pushing a lot is what I call The Big Edge,” said Willner, a 20 year veteran of data centre build outs throughout Europe, Russia, and Africa. Willner is the co-founder and Chairman of both IXcellerateand IXAfrica. “The edge is a train station in Northampton – a drop off place for Netflix or whomever; the Big Edge is Lagos, the capital of Nigeria with a population of 210mn people. It’s all the cities around the world with more than a million people but without the digital infrastructure to match.”
“The campus is tailor-made for hyperscale clients,” said Martineau, co-founder of IXAfrica and the company’s Director of Operations. “We are almost done with the shell construction and are entering the fit-out phase, bringing in all the equipment, from chillers, servers, and switch gears, to power and backup generators. We will most-likely be one of the biggest data centres in Africa – the biggest in East Africa by far – when the project is completed.”
Harry Menear, Editor at Data Centre Magazine, said: “Sitting down with Guy and Clem was a thoroughly illuminating experience. They’re both industry veterans with a great deal of passion, both for their ongoing project and the East African data centre industry as a whole.”
He added: “We were also fortunate to be able to partner with Future-Tech, the data centre consultancy that helped design, build, and outfit IXAfrica’s Nairobi campus. I got to have a really good conversation with their CEO, James Wilman, whose experience as a designer and builder of data centres in Kenya specifically has been a huge boon to the project.”
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