Africa data center market size is expected to cross $3 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of over 12% during the forecast period. The Africa data center industry has witnessed a steady interest from major global cloud service providers such as AWS and Microsoft, along with Huawei over the last five years. The increasing demand for cloud-based services and modular data center solutions among enterprises, especially in SMEs and government agencies, are expected to drive the market in Africa. It is expected that over 70% of organizations operating in the region will shift to the cloud region by 2025. South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Egypt, and Nigeria are at the forefront of improving the digital economy. These countries, along with cloud-based service adoption, have also witnessed high usage of big data analytics. Several African countries are yet to be cloud-ready, and the improvement in inland and submarine connectivity will see multiple enterprises migrating their workloads to the cloud during the forecast period. A majority of the investment in Africa is led by colocation and telecommunication service providers, followed by enterprises and government agencies due to the installation of modular data centers.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 has significantly increased data traffic since March 2020. To provide high availability services to end-users, operators are taking precautionary measures for their on-site employees. Colocation data center operators have taken steps to manage the available workforce to monitor their existing faculties without any service disruption. Construction projects in African countries have not been completed halted after the outbreak of the COVID-19. A reduced workforce followed restrictions imposed by the government on site. The impact of the pandemic in African countries is low-to-moderate.
- The all-flash storage segment and hybrid storage arrays segment are expected to grow at a CAGR of over 40% and 30%, respectively, during the forecast period.
- VRLA battery-powered UPS systems are expected to dominate the Africa data center market. However, the adoption of lithium-ion batteries is projected to register significant growth by the end of the forecast period.
- The adoption of scalable and modular power solutions is expected to contribute significantly to Africa data center market growth.
- The adoption of efficient power solutions is likely to aid data center operators in maintaining the PUE of upcoming facilities at less than 1.5.
- The data center market in Africa will witness an increase in greenfield construction and modular data center development compared to brownfield construction.
INSIGHTS BY IT INFRASTRUCTURE
The server market in Africa is expected to witness significant growth in the next few years due to investments from major cloud service providers in the region. It is likely to grow with the increase in the physical presence of SaaS providers. These expansions will increase the demand for servers and promote the procurement of high-performance infrastructure solutions. The trend of adopting organization-specific software over the cloud platform will also increase the demand for high computing servers.
The all-flash storage array market in Africa is around 20–25% of the overall storage Africa data center market. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 40% and the hybrid storage arrays market at a CAGR of over 30% during the forecast period. In Africa, big data and IoT technology will be a major catalyst for the growth of all-flash storage arrays in the market. Applications such as e-commerce and online financial transactions are growing, which will increase the need for flash storage in the region.
INSIGHTS BY ELECTRICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
UPS systems are widely adopted to provide backup power for cooling systems installed in the region. Over the last five years, the operators have been laying higher emphasis on the monitoring of batteries in the UPS system. The adoption of lithium-ion batteries is expected to grow during the forecast period as their price will continue to decline. However, the use of lithium-ion batteries will be witnessed only after 3 to 4 years in Africa, as many operators start to build large and hyper-scale facilities in the continent.
The generator market will continue to grow because of the continuous construction of large and mega facilities in Africa. The service providers are concerned with carbon emission, which is likely to increase the adoption of efficient generator systems. Recently, the adoption of Diesel Rotary Uninterruptible Power Supply (DRUPS) systems has grown since they combine both battery and flywheel UPS topology and a diesel generator to provide backup power during outages. However, the dependence on diesel generators is still high in the region.
INSIGHTS BY MECHANICAL INFRASTRUCTURE
Data centers in Africa support the use of free cooling systems as they take advantage of cold nights and winter seasons in the region. This will lead to the adoption of free cooling chillers. Operators in the African region are still dependent on air-based cooling techniques. Dedicated data center buildings, especially those operating at higher rack densities, are witnessing the use of chilled water systems. The operators are looking for efficient solutions to reduce their CAPEX and OPEX, maintain data center space, and reduce the power consumption of cooling units.
42U rack units are the most commonly used in the Africa data center market. These racks can be equipped with 42 1U servers or 14 3U blade servers. The increased use of rack-scale converged infrastructure systems in data centers will have a positive impact on the rack market in Africa, affecting the rack adoption because rack-scale converged infrastructure can support additional computing capacity in less space.
INSIGHTS BY GENERAL CONSTRUCTION
The greenfield development of data centers in South Africa, Morocco, Kenya, Nigeria, and Egypt will continue to grow along with the installation of on-site renewable power sources such as solar energy to partially or entirely power the operations. Global construction contractors dominate the Africa data center construction market as principal contractors and local construction companies as sub-contractors. However, the increasing demand is prompting contractors to consider data centers as continuous revenue generators with a skilled workforce trained in building the facilities. Labor costs are low in the country. However, the demand for a skilled workforce will increase labor costs in the region. The growth in greenfield facilities will generate more revenue for installation and commission service providers.
INSIGHTS BY TIER STANDARDS
The number of Tier I and Tier II data centers in Africa has reduced significantly over the last five years because of high awareness about the use of redundant infrastructure. UPS and PDU systems of Tier II facilities are equipped with a minimum of N+N redundancy. Most under-developed projects across the region fall under the Tier III category. This trend is likely to continue throughout the forecast period, with many operators expected to move to the Tier IV category based on the growth in rack power density and critical applications. Tier IV facilities are equipped with at least 2N+1 redundancy in infrastructure that makes the facility fault-tolerant, with UPS systems and PDUs having 2N+2 redundancy. In Africa, mostly enterprises offering cloud services are likely to develop Tier IV facilities during the forecast period.
INSIGHTS BY GEOGRAPHY
Data center facilities in South Africa are equipped with reliable power backup sources. The country suffers from non-reliability in the power supply. UPSs and generators will continue to grow due to the increasing construction of large and mega facilities and the inaccurate power grid connectivity. The increased need for data center solutions in the country is expected to fuel the demand for transfer switches and switchgear during the forecast period. South Africa is likely to move to the adoption of free-cooling chillers or evaporative coolers. The market for cooling systems is likely to depend on the construction of mega and hyperscale data center, especially of 10 MW capacity. While several smaller facilities in Africa use DX-based CRAC units, medium and extensive facilities are installing CRAH units. The implementation of air-cooled CRAC systems with cooling units that use refrigerants or glycol-based cooling is expected to grow during the forecast period. In terms of general construction, most colocation facilities in the country have installed physical security solutions, ranging from perimeters to rack-guarded through CCTV cameras and biometric systems. Companies have also adopted DCIM/BMS solutions that enable remote monitoring of entire operations.
INSIGHTS BY VENDORS
The Africa market has a strong presence of leading IT infrastructure vendors - HPE, Dell Technologies, Cisco, Huawei, IBM, and Lenovo. The Africa data center market share is growing YOY due to the increase in digitalization initiatives. Schneider Electric, Vertiv, and Huawei are the major vendors in electrical infrastructure and have a strong presence in the market. In terms of generators, Cummins and Caterpillar have a strong market presence. Multiple colocation providers are operating in this market with strong partnerships with facility operators. The market for mechanical infrastructure comprises multiple systems that provide sufficient cooling solutions for the growing rack power density. The market will witness intense competition owing to the growing construction of data centers over the next few years. The Africa data center market comprises several construction contractors, architectural and engineering firms, physical security vendors, and DCIM solutions providers.
The Africa data center market research report includes in-depth coverage of the industry analysis with revenue and forecast insights for the following segments:
By IT Infrastructure
- Server Infrastructure
- Storage Infrastructure
- Network Infrastructure
By Electrical Infrastructure
- UPS Systems
- Transfer Switches & Switchgears
- Other Electrical Infrastructure
By Mechanical Infrastructure
- Cooling Systems
- CRAC & CRAH Units
- Chiller Units
- Cooling Towers & Dry Coolers
- Other Units
- Other Mechanical Infrastructure
By General Construction
- Building Development
- Installation & Commissioning Services
- Building Designs
- Physical Security
By Tier Standard
- Tier I & Tier II
- Tier III
- Tier IV
- South Africa
- Other Countries