One of Two Mega Data Hubs in Africa to Be Built in Kenya

Mega Data hub
Photo courtesy

An organization that coordinates domain name systems, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has announced that it will set up two Root Server (IMRS) clusters in Africa, with one of them being located in Kenya.

As part of its aim to ensuring that the Internet stays safe, reliable, and resilient around the world, ICANN said it is building infrastructure in Africa.

“ICANN will install and manage two new ICANN Managed Root Server (IMRS) clusters in Africa, one of which is confirmed to be in Kenya. This is ICANN’s first-of-its-kind investment in Africa,” the organisation said in a statement to newsrooms.

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The two mega data centres are expected to boost Internet Data speeds and provide extra security to make it more difficult for hackers to bring down websites. They will have several servers with enough bandwidth to handle traffic spikes and provide the continent with speedier access and greater cyber-security.

“The clusters ensure that Internet queries from Africa can be answered within the region, and not be dependent on networks and servers in other parts of the world, thus reducing latency and improving Internet user experience in the entire region,” the organization said.

The new infrastructure, according to ICT Cabinet Secretary Joseph Mucheru, is in line with the African Digital Transformation Strategy (2020-2030) and, more specifically, Kenya’s Digital Economy Blueprint, which lists infrastructure as one of the five key pillars required for the economy’s digital transformation.

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“We, therefore, thank ICANN for their confidence in choosing Kenya one more time as one of the hosts of this important infrastructure that would serve not only Kenya, but the rest of Africa and the world,” Mr Mucheru said.

“Implementation of this initiative will be of immense importance in accelerating the digital transformation agenda in Kenya.”

The company works by converting Internet inquiries into numeric codes that are used to create unique web page addresses. Once you type something it identifies the search and links it to an IP address. This is accomplished through the Domain Name System (DNS) root server, which is in charge of performing basic services such as translating domain names into IP addresses.

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In other words, it helps in the identification of a website’s IP address when someone types a domain name into their computer.

The clusters will cut down on the time it takes for a website to load, especially during periods of high Internet demand. The chance of the Internet falling down due to a cyberattack will be considerably decreased with two independent IMRS cluster locations and greater bandwidth and data processing capacity, as more capacity decreases the impact of attacks.

There are currently four such ICANN data centers throughout the world, two in North America and one each in Europe and Asia.

ICANN’s announcement is a big boost to One Data Kenya’s regional status and sets the foundation for the country’s digital transformation. The two high-bandwidth regional servers are bound to reduce the possibility of the Internet being overrun by hackers.

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Written by Vanessa Murrey

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