SLT launches SL’s first Tier III ‘National Data Centre’

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By 2018-01-21

Sri Lanka Telecom PLC (SLT), the licensed national backbone network operator, with the Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure (T&DI), recently launched a state-of-the-art Tier III Data Centre in Pitipana, Homagama, a press release stated. This is the country's first 'purpose-built, Tier III Data Centre', recognized as the 'National Data Centre', and will enhance the provision of secure, reliable data hosting facilities and Cloud computing services in Sri Lanka.

Through this, the Ministry and SLT aim to equip local businesses with a full range of ICT solutions. Speed, connectivity and security are among the key demands made by businesses when looking at ICT solutions, and SLT's wide portfolio of services, which now includes the state of the art tier 3 data centre services, aim to not only meet but to exceed these expectations, the release added.

The opening ceremony for the centre was held at the Pitipana venue on Tuesday 16 January 2018. Indian Minister of Law and Justice, Electronics and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad was the Chief Guest, while many VVIPs, the Board of Directors of SLT Group and senior SLT officers were also present at the event.

This purpose-built, energy-efficient Data Centre is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka to be awarded with an Uptime Tier III design certification by the Uptime Institute LLC, the global leader in data centre certification. The inclusion of a Gold-Rated Green Building certification, which has been obtained from the Green Building Council of Sri Lanka, will further contribute towards reducing the carbon footprint of the company.

The Ministry of Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure said, "The country's digital transformation is right on track, as you can see today. We believe the country is getting ready to face the data explosion taking place. The Government is very keen on implementing the National Cloud and Data Centre infrastructure to accelerate digital transformation. The already-established Local Government Network, or LGN, which integrates all Government establishments in the country for effective communications, is another clear example of the way forward. Today, public and private enterprises are beginning to embrace hosted, managed services and Cloud services because they promise increased agility, in addition to making a saving in OPEX and CAPEX. It provides them the benefit of leveraging this infrastructure and the expertise of SLT, without having to incur the substantial costs associated with deploying such solutions themselves."
SLT's Data Centres and Cloud platform provide a scalable and cost effective alternative to dedicated computing resources deployed in-house by companies and includes managed virtual data centres, virtual private servers, and virtual LANs to assure customers of high availability. It will also provide enterprise customers with a range of flexible hosting solutions integrated into corporate networks, which are IP/MPLS (Internet Protocol/Multi-Protocol Label Switching) networks.

SLT Group Chairman P G Kumarasingha said, "The functions of SLT align with the Government's development and digital roadmap, as well as the needs of the consumer. As a vital player in the backbone of Sri Lanka's ICT industry, SLT is dedicated to developing the country's ICT infrastructure in every way possible. The capability of providing high speed connectivity is essential to our business, so it makes perfect sense that the data centre is meshed into our national backbone network and MPLS network for seamless delivery of hosted applications."

SLT began implementing this data centre on 1 February 2016, when it laid the foundation stone for the building. The investment for this venture has been more than Rs 2.4 billion.

Located in the newly proposed Tech City area, the new data centre will have a capacity of roughly 500 racks. Customers will be able to hire racks as and when they are required to manage their CAPEX and OPEX effectively. With this move, enterprise customers and Government organizations will be able to minimize their investments and operational expenditure by eliminating the need for maintaining their own data centres. SLT stated that customers could expect rental rates far below the cost required to operate their own data centres. SLT intends to provide expert knowledge and bear all costs associated with space, protection, disaster management, etc. All data entrusted to the data centre will be stored lawfully under all necessary regulations, and is thus secure against any vulnerability.

SLT Chief Commercial Officer/Group Chief Enterprise and Wholesale Officer Kiththi Perera said, "SLT has already set up the nationwide fibre optic network and connected important Government establishments into a single unified network under the LGN project, so we are confident that we will be able to provide high quality hosted data products and cloud services."

"This is South Asia's First Data Centre capable of supporting Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) environments, which is a futuristic approach. In global markets, SDN and NFV are set to achieve unprecedented growth in years to come. According to ITU, rapid adoption of new technologies, such as SDN, NFV and new wireless network technologies and solutions, are helping change how we use ICT. SDN enables instant re-configurations of networks, even without the involvement of technical experts. NFV replaces specialized network devices (such as routers, firewalls, switches) with software analogues, reducing the number of physical components in the network," he added.

"Over the recent years, SLT Group's IDC infrastructure developments through major investments have powered the country's enterprise and SME business segments. With the commissioning of its new Tier 3 DC to the Multiple DCs, SLT has now further strengthened its rich portfolio of Enterprise Data Centre Services." The new Data Centre in Pitipana is located 24km from the SLT HQ Data Centre, Colombo, and 8.4km from the nearest expressway exit. Business establishments will therefore benefit from cost-effective measures that would also enable them to outsource ICT functions with SLT's Data Centre and avoid in-house data management. The new DC will also provide competent infrastructure for the requirements of Enterprise Customers Disaster Recovery (DR), the release concluded.

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