NetApp, a UK-based information communication technology (ICT) firm, Wednesday launched a NetApp data centre in Harare jointly with a local ICT company called Frolgate Technology, to help the country’s ICT sector reduce costs, improve efficiency and respond speedily to data growth.
Under the partnership, NetApp — which operates in more than 130 countries in the world — acts as distributor of the data centre while Frolgate Technology acts as the agent for the reselling, presales and after-sales of NetApp products to local players.
Frolgate Technology managing director Tongesai Chingwena said NetApp and Frolgate Technology started working on the data centre in 2008.
He said the data centre would help the ICT sector to store data as well as to catch up with other countries in the world that already have the product.
“Zimbabwe is a bit behind, by two or three years, in ICT and there is a huge leap and commitment that is needed,” Chingwena said. “We can catch up in other sectors while in other sectors of the economy we are already there.”
NetApp offers storage systems, management, protection and object storage software as well as business, engineering and infrastructure solutions.
NetApp strategic advisor Matt Watts said the company invested $20 000 in the project while its reseller and distributor invested $30 000.
“The amount of data that people are creating is becoming exponentially big and it requires people to manage that data in a different way,” Watts said.
“It would be too costly and complex to keep the data the usual way. Our technology centralises data; it’s efficient in the way that we store the technology and how the data can be adequately protected.”
Watts said there is increasing need to virtualise the storage of data and reduce storage costs as data increases by 50% every year.
NetApp Sadc sales manager Richard Lantz said the ICT company had already successfully launched the product in Angola, Mauritius and Malawi.
During the launch ceremony, government said Zimbabwe had put in place necessary policies and legal and institutional frameworks to strengthen public transparency and accountability as well as data management – a key ingredient in the country’s ICT revolution.
“One of our chosen partners in this endeavour is NetApp which creates products and service that stores manage, protect and retain electronic data,” Cosmas Chigwamba, principal director in ICT Ministry said.
“NetApp shares a common passion with our government for enabling corporations in Zimbabwe as well as the entire Sadc region to provide faster online services, cut IT spending and save power by going green, thereby driving IT economy solutions further faster.”