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Nakuru County explores partnership with Konza Technopolis data center

The County Government of Nakuru is exploring modalities to migrate its data to the Konza Technology City Data Center for safekeeping to reduce the strain on its financial and infrastructural resources.

The devolved unit’s administration has further indicated that the move is motivated by a need to ensure the highest level of safety for all data and information collected from employees, members of the public, State agencies, private entities, and organizations.

Chief Officer for ICT E-Government and Public Communication, Stella Mwaura said the collaboration would be a game changer as it will cut down the need for an in-house data center with infrastructure and operational staff, hence downsizing the expenditure for managing data assets and personnel.

“The county is preparing to make far-reaching changes in ICT solutions across various departments and revolutionize its digital infrastructure by exploring a strategic collaboration with Konza Technopolis Data Center. Digital revolution in county operations is a key pillar in Governor Susan Kihika’s manifesto,” stated Ms. Mwaura.

Konza Technology City Tier III Data Centre is the biggest in East Africa with a capacity of 1.6 petabytes.  It is also the first cloud infrastructure in the region.

Ms. Mwaura observed that by migrating to the facility, the devolved unit would make work easier for its employees, clients, and the public as the Data Center was capable of providing them with high computing power and faster Internet and streaming services given that it was hosting the servers for fibre and mobile service providers.

She noted that the Data Center has multiple servers with a high bandwidth that will be able to cater to the devolved unit’s increased demand for internet services and offer better protection from cyber-attacks, especially those that work by overwhelming servers with a flood of queries.

“The Konza Technopolis Data Center can offer advanced security layers meeting the latest security and compliance requirements. They can respond to changing capacity requirements and allow us to manage our data operations dynamically and easily scale our operations up and down,” stated Ms Mwaura.

Konza Technopolis is a multi-faceted vision 2030 project whose objective is to position Kenya as a knowledge-based economy and a preferred Science, Technology, and Innovation destination.

The Data Centre has so far attracted interest from both public and private entities.

Dubbed the ‘Silicon Savannah’, Konza aims to become a smart city – using tech to manage water and electricity efficiently and reduce commuting time – and a solution to the rapid, unplanned urbanization that has plagued existing cities.

Konza’s dream is to become a top business process outsourcing hub by 2030, with on-site universities training locals to feed into a 200,000-strong tech-savvy workforce providing IT support and call centre services remotely.

According to Ms. Mwaura, once the migration happens, the devolved unit will concentrate on its core business and achieve more output with minimal infrastructure in terms of computer hardware and manpower.

“A data center is one key area where an organization may have to expend significant amounts of both capital and labor to maintain operations. Having an in-house data center along with servers, racks, power management, and specialized air conditioning can gobble up office space. If space is at a premium, or if the business is considering an office space move, outsourcing the data center can be a strategic move,” the Chief Officer explained.

The Konza Technopolis Data Center serves government departments, state agencies, and private agencies and enterprises with high-quality, world-class cloud computing services. It provides various cloud services like Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Noting that she had made a fact-finding visit to the Konza Metropolis Data Center in the company of the County Director for ICT Mr Leonard Kirui and his Resource Mobilization counterpart Mr Charles Lwanga, the Chief Officer observed that third-party data center facilities have the necessary power backup and network resiliency to withstand common energy and communication disruptions that haunt technical environments.

“We are satisfied that the data center facility has provisions for scaling up the storage infrastructure without any difficulty as our operational needs grow or our services expand into new horizons. We are confident that they have sufficient capacity to provide technical support for issues such as disaster recovery, troubleshooting, operation, and maintenance, thanks to their dedicated staff,” she added.

The Chief Officer noted that as consumers become savvier and businesses more reliant on real-time information, data centers become the backbone of this digital revolution.

She observed that Governor Kihika’s administration had realized the benefits of cloud adoption, such as scalability, cost-efficiency, and seamless collaboration, adding that data center outsourcing has gained traction worldwide as a viable alternative to building and managing an in-house data center facility.

The Konza National Data Center and Smart City facilities project is being implemented by the Ministry of ICT through the Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA).

KoTDA was established by the Kenyan government as a special-purpose vehicle to oversee the transformation of Konza Technopolis into world-class smart city standards.

By Jane Ngugi and Veronica Ngina

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