How Galaxy Backbone’s Tier IV Datacentre will accelerate national development




Galaxy Backbone (GBB), an integrated ICT services and solutions provider under the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, is set to launch a Tier IV Datacentre. BENJAMIN SAMSON examines how the digital infrastructure will fast tract Nigeria’s digital transition.

Nigeria began its transition towards the digital economy in October 2019 when the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the re-designation of the Federal Ministry of Communication to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. This was followed by the launching and unveiling of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria (NDEPS, 2020-2030) by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 28th of November 2019 at the e-Nigeria International Conference and Exhibition. The NDEPS, as a strategic document, focuses on eight pillars, which are critical to the success of Nigeria’s transition towards the digital economy.

Similarly, since its establishment in 2006, Galaxy Backbone has kept its responsibility to the agencies of the federal government of Nigeria which among others consists of providing shared services from its Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure that enhance and promote the government’s digital services in a smart, secure and sustainable manner.

The huge investments that have gone into this infrastructure have been beneficial to the public and private establishments and the experience of Galaxy Backbone in building, deploying and providing infrastructure as a service is a testimony to its ability to manage and continue in this onerous task.

Visionary leadership

Significantly, since taking over leadership of Galaxy Backbone in 2020, Professor Muhammad Bello Abubakar has taken the organization to the next level with notable progress and pivotal achievements. He has ensured that Galaxy Backbone lives up to its primary responsibility of strategically deploying and managing IT infrastructure across the country so as to fast tract Nigeria’s digital transition.

The organization under his leadership is living its re-invigorated mission to provide state of the art digital infrastructure and services for a digital Nigeria. In doing this, the organization aligns with government priorities, underpinned by a commitment to data sovereignty.

Abubakar’s determination and passion to ensure that Galaxy Backbone plays its role in the nation as the digital infrastructure platform of choice for the government and other businesses in the nation is second to none.

Tier IV Datacentre

Expectedly, one of the infrastructure that will drive Nigeria’s digital transition is soon to be launched Galaxy Backbone’s (GBB) Tier IV Datacentre. This is indeed a welcome development. Coming at a time when so much data is being generated across corporate organisations and industries at an alarming rate. Galaxy Backbone is spot on in aligning with Nigeria’s aspiration of being an active player in global ditigization.

The Tier IV Datacentre will in no small measure enhance and deepen Nigeria’s digital economy drive towards becoming one of the most recognized digital economies of the world as envisioned by President Muhammadu Buhari and institutionally led by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami).

This is indeed a huge achievement for the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Galaxy Backbone, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and off course the nation at large being able to have such an expansive structure with the capacity and ability to store securely, huge amounts of data being generated by small businesses, government and other organisations across the country.

 Furthermore, the Managing Director/CEO of Galaxy Backbone Professor Muhammad Bello Abubakar, had disclosed at the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) International Conference held in Abeokuta, Ogun state, that the construction has been completed.

He said Galaxy Backbone took the step to design the centre to improve the total customer experience of its growing list of clients from the public and private sectors, adding that the new digital infrastructure in Kano will serve as a backup to the Uptime Institute Certified Tier III data centre in Abuja.

Professor Abubakar who was represented by Abdul-Malik Suleiman, the Group Head, Regional Offices Galaxy Backbone Ltd, said the organization is poised to operate state of the art Data centre infrastructure for the provision of secure and available Data centre services across the nation.

In this Galaxy Backbone Tier IV Datacentre facility, customers are guaranteed a Tier 4 service level agreement (SLA) that is near 100% uptime even in the face of required maintenance of redundant counterparts.

According to the Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone will continuously invest in enhancing digital infrastructure and human capacity to meet the rising and sophisticated demands across agencies and organisations including security and other arms of governments.

More benefits

Meanwhile, industry experts say that the Tier IV Datacentre when fully operational will be a game changer for everyone across sectors of Nigeria including education, health, digital media, Small and Medium Enterprises, government, financial services, etc. as it is set to support and encourage consistency and sustainability in generation and protection of data that will aid in transforming lives, enhancing business opportunities and promoting economic prosperity.

This is not a small feat for an organization that was set up only in 2006 by the federal government as a limited Liability Company for the benefit of Nigeria as a whole. It has in the last seven to eight years successfully operated the only Tier III Datacentre in the nation’s public sector space.  It is now deploying state-of-the-art digital infrastructure and applying international best practices to backstop public sector organisations with sensitive data and a growing number of private sector organizations to provide services. The level of professionalism on offer has become a reference point for other organisations that are considering getting on the platform.

 Similarly, Galaxy Backbone Tier IV Datacentre is positioned to attract organisations looking at deepening their digital services at vastly reduced cost of technology infrastructure, improved efficiency and productivity. It has also enhanced business continuity through Cloud and Disaster Recovery services. The infrastructure has been specifically built to respond to the desire of its growing base of customers and stakeholders. GBB Tier IV Datacentre storage has capacity of about 0.7 petabytes. This translates to huge amounts of data that can be securely stored.

Misconceptions

However, it’s important to note that the misconceptions that Galaxy Backbone is competing with other private ICT firms is incorrect.

The role Galaxy Backbone is playing is crucial to the development and enhancement of the standard of living of the people when one thinks of how important data is today in the life of professionals in Nigeria and across the globe. It has been widely reported that, worldwide,  people generate, on a daily basis, over 5 quintillion bytes of data.

Significantly, 51% of this will, by 2025  be stored in datacentres and 49% will be in the public cloud. Also, according to the IDC, 46% of the world’s stored data will reside in public cloud environments

What is interesting about these statistics is the reality that this data will be generated by individuals and organisations across sectors. That is why Professor Abubakar is very passionate about correcting the narrative that the organization is in competition with other private sector ICT companies. According to Abubakar, “Our goal is to collaborate with other private sector ICT companies to enhance digital transformation in Nigeria. So, I invite all of us to leverage this Tier IV Datacentre for the collective benefit of our customers and stakeholders’.

 It is important to realise that it is only through such initiatives and partnerships that the benefits of data sovereignty are attained. This is because at the heart of this, are people, who deserve to know where their data is stored, what it is being used for and how quickly they can access their data.

Certification

Meanwhile, we have begun to see great results with this Tier IV Datacentre built in record time according to global standards of design and operation. It’s no surprise that Uptime Institute, which is the globally recognized institute for certifying data centres, has certified the Datacentre of Galaxy Backbone, having met all the criteria and guidelines for the design of a Tier IV Datacentre.

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