This hurricane season has been the most active in several years, and many Caribbean islands are suffering, in some cases total devastation, as a consequence of growing weather systems.
For businesses, it has highlighted the importance of business continuity and disaster recovery especially for corporate data. Data centres play a pivotal role in safeguarding a company’s data assets and the COVE Eco-industrial and Business Park in Tobago will soon be able to support those mission-critical IT needs of tenants thanks to an agreement signed between TSTT and E-IDCOT to build a Tier 3 certified data centre there.
Data centres are facilities that centralise an organisation's IT operations and equipment, as well as where it stores, manages, and disseminates its data. Data centres house a network's most critical systems and are vital to the continuity of daily operations – source Palo Alto Networks. Data centres can be extremely expensive so while some companies may make the investment, most cannot and rely on data centre service providers like TSTT. The important thing about a data centre is the way it is designed to guarantee virtually continuous uptime. Businesses that want the assurance of the safety of their data look for internationally certified centres like the one TSTT operates in Trinidad and like the one to be built in partnership with E-IDCOT in Tobago.
Building a Tier 3 TIA-942 Certified data centre is a guarantee to customers that the data centre offers the highest levels of reliability with 99.982 per cent service availability, as well as a warranty that TSTT and E-IDCOT has followed the established, international, best-practice guidelines in four main areas:
1. architectural, including building and location;
2. mechanical, including cooling, safety, fire suppression and security;
3. electrical; and
4. telecommunications, including uptime and reliability.
Customers can also be assured that a certified data centre will have redundancy in power and data storage, and high security features to eliminate risks from fire, theft, earthquakes, floods and hurricanes.
For this reason, the data centre can drive economic development and transformation in Tobago in furtherance of the goals and objectives of the THA's Comprehensive Economic Development Plans (CEDP). “It will also support new, eco-friendly, technology-dependent businesses by providing a world class facility to house enterprise class ICT equipment, among other areas,” said CEO of TSTT Dr Ronald Walcott. Dr Walcott expressed that the venture remains a timely one for the people of Tobago. “Along with the data centre world, comes a whole range of eco systems, solutions and services that are required to ensure that businesses can maximise the data centre’s full potential,” said Dr Ronald Walcott.
Deputy Chairman of E-IDCOT, Kamau Akili said, the data centre will be the backbone for companies, especially in the protection of information, in the event of a natural disaster. Companies will have the option of renting customised, packaged IT services and infrastructure or, purchase their own hardware to be housed at the data centre. “And we have been able to arrive at an agreement that is of mutual benefit and more importantly an agreement that holds tremendous potential for the economic and social development of Tobago and the country at large.” Akili stated that the agreement can be seen as the beginning of a new phase of ICT development for Tobago.
The E-IDCOT / TSTT joint venture company will be called Nuklyus Tobago Company Limited and chairman designate, Wendell Berkley said, at present, there is no data centre facility located on the island of Tobago. “There is a growing local and global demand for data centre-based services, and with this collaboration, it is designed to do a number of things. To expedite technology transfer to E-IDCOT, to add revenue streams for both companies and to elevate Tobago’s profile as an important ITC centre.”
The TSTT/E-IDCOT Data Centre will be one of a few internationally certified data centres in the Caribbean and Latin America making it an attractive feature for investors that are familiar with type of service in other parts of the world.