Joe on ITWeb

Spotted an article about Teraco on ITWeb : Ex-Storm investors in data centre deal

A few comments..

Teraco aims to be the first co-location data centre company in SA.

Teraco aims to be the first vendor neutral co-location data centre company in SA.

This means any business that needs secure data storage can use it without being locked in to specific hardware or telecommunication vendor’s services.

I’d say connectivity is a bigger factor than secure data storage.

The Cape Town site will have 228 cabinets, in which any range of storage devices can be located.

Naturally, you can host more than just storage devices… like servers and routers.

..supplemented by three generators and three uninterruptible power supplies.

The design allows us to start with this and add more units as the DC fills up.

Johann Botha, a director of wireless network provider Frogfoot

Frogfoot does a bit of Wifi, but Amobia is the wireless company. Frogfoot’s focus is on corporate Internet and carrier services.

Abz got left out. You have to love his website. The three initial founders of Teraco were, Matt, Abz and Joe… for the first year or so.

..everything has to be bought twice to ensure proper redundancy.

The idea is N + 1, as in.. Needed plus one. Which is not the same as 2N, though some parts of the design are 2N redundant.

I still need to write my “The brief history of Teraco” post as part of the story series. I have a few notes somewhere.

PS. Yes, the Teraco website is a bit lame at the moment, but it’s useful to have something up, if only for SEO reasons.

4 thoughts on “Joe on ITWeb

  1. Hi Joe

    The formation of Teraco and the data centers is news because of the following merits.

    Firstly, the size of the money being raised.. not easy when one considers the current market conditions, and so well done.

    Secondly, the people behind it have developed a reputation for being rather astute businessmen. This is important as it gives the market some sense of comfort that this is a very serious proposition.

    Thirdly, this project or company could, and probably will, have a market moving impact. It is the only data center project that is not being run by a telco.

    Phrases such as “vendor neutral”, are often marketing terms. We try to avoid them in a news story as they can mean a myriad of things to different audiences and so can create confusion of not used in a very specific context.

    Technical terms such N+1 or 2N, may be of great importance to Teraco’s business plan, but can mean very little to a general readership, even if the majority are involved in the ICT space. Those alpha-numerical expressions can be used in a huge number (N, infinitely) uses. For most people, however, these could also denote large roads where people gather to throw stones.

    I don’t like to leave out people when credit is due, and I believe that Abraham was one of the people who helped conceive this idea and is a director. I remember you mentioning this in passing, but when we had the telecon the other day and I started reading out the list of investors you did not mention his name, and neither did Lex when I spoke to him and did the same.

    Your bloggs about the funding of Teraco were quite interesting, particularly from the point of view that no official announcement had been made. As an experienced director I presume you know about fiducial responsibilities and the release of information to the market.

    Teraco is not a “mom and pop” business and it is not going after corner store clients. Security for your target market means more than having a CCTV camera and a guard. Discretion is going to be highly important.

    While you may not think that you released anything that is particularly sensitive you cannot be 100% sure of that. A case in point that I well remember was the berating and the hefty JSE imposed fine that Datapro CEO Jens Montanana had to endure after he inadvertently shrugged his shoulders and shook his head at the end of a press conference some years ago.

    Montanana argued that he could not believe that such a question could be asked of him (it was by an industry analyst and not a reporter), but the JSE countered and saying that his gestures implied something that could be read as information. Imagine what would have happened if he had blogged on the question.

    I know that blogging has been heavily promoted as a marketing tool recently. The main idea being to tease people into finding out a lot more about a product or service and then convert them into customers.

    However, one must never forget that blogging is publishing. While blogs may have a much smaller readership than an established publication, it is in the public domain, but does necessarily have the same reach as a publication that is geared towards being distributed as widely as possible. So the information in a blog can be considered to be of an uneven distribution and therefore could be considered prejudicial to others who would not normally find it.

    I suggest that you go to the Institute of Directors ( to find out more about a company director’s responsibilities over releasing information. Recently I had the good fortune to see a presentation by IOD CEO Lindie Engelbrecht at a Neoforum (an event for company directors hosted by Neotel) discussion and she really knows her stuff. The IOD publish the King Report on Corporate Governance and the third edition is due for release later this year. For the first time it will have a chapter devoted to corporate governance issues around IT, although I am not sure that blogging is considered.

    I also recommend that you contact the JSE’s legal department, while Teraco is not listed, their guidelines are useful to all companies.

    Then there is a young and highly intelligent lawyer with whom you are well acquainted, namely Dominic Cull, who, I am sure, can provide more illumination on this issue.

    Feedback over the creation of Teraco has been highly positive and I am sure it will be a success. Good luck with it all.

    Kind regards

  2. Hi Paul

    Thanks for your comment.

    I attended the same NeoForum event. I’ve been meaning to read more about the activities of the IOD.

    Btw. I’m not a director of Teraco (anymore). Worked myself out of a job it seems. :-P

    I think Dominic reads my blog. I’ll have a chat with him.

    I’ll have to write about the “vendor neutral” concept.. seems some people implicitly know what it’s about.. but too often people want a explicit definition. On my todo list.

    “It requires a very unusual mind to understand the analysis of the obvious.” -Alfred North Whitehead

  3. Paul
    I think you’ll find that Jens Montanana is CEO of Datatec not DataPro. Basically I’m here to pick apart your every word today. No honestly, it’ll be fun…

Comments are closed.