SANSA’s Hartebeesthoek facility is now the proud owner of a dedicated fibre line with the potential to carry data at speeds of up to 100Gbps. Yes, you read that right: 100 gigabytes per second. They’re using it for 21st century African science.
Completed towards the end of 2018 after seven months of work, the installed fibre optic line stretches 118kms from Hartebeesthoek to a Teraco Data Environments data centre in Isando, Johannesburg.
This is currently a dark fibre line, which means that it is not yet used to transmit data. The aim is for SANSA to have the future capacity for reliable, near real-time data transfer.
Ultimately, this will allow SANSA to meet its strategic objectives: to enhance the South African space industry and develop active global partnerships.
Through this connection, SANSA gains access to Africa’s only data center not linked to a specific telecommunications company, says Simon Chaba, ICT Project Manager at SANSA.
“This provides SANSA with easy and unlimited access to over 40 local and international carriers, content providers, ISP’s and other service providers. Undersea cables are directly accessible from the Isando data centres, improving connection requirements and connecting SANSA to the rest of Africa and the world,” Chaba explains.
SANSA’s commercial services and research activities at Hartebeesthoek entail working with vast quantities of earth observation or other data. This data often needs to be transferred quickly and reliably to clients, other institutions, or various stakeholders. “The new fibre line ensures that SANSA will be able to do this in almost real-time,” says Chaba.
SANSA has already signed a contract for exclusive fibre use with one of their clients, prompting the next phase of fibre installation. Phase Two of construction will be completed by June 2019, in good time to meet SANSA and other clients’ data needs.
“The global space industry is constantly changing and improving,” says Raoul Hodges, Space Operations Managing Director at SANSA.
“As an organisation that wants to be the preferred Space Operations service provider to the local and international markets, it is wholly appropriate to invest in such infrastructures.”