When three power houses in their various respects come together for a common purpose we can only expect something big.
These power houses are no other than MainOne, Intel and Whogohost. Prior to yesterday (when they announced the new service) they’ve been working on the drawing board to not only bring a revolutionary solution for SMEs and startups, but change the culture of data hosting in the country in the long term perhaps. This collaboration saw them provide provide Cloud hosted Servers for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) in Nigeria.
This service is delivered through the cloud platform of MainOne’s Data Centre subsidiary, MDX-i, which is powered by the Intel Cloud Processors and is aimed at bringing the advantages of in-country cloud services to Nigerian businesses.
The move is supposed to be a collaborative effort at increasing cloud penetration in Nigeria; as they face a stiff competition from cloud hosting services abroad.
Anyone who knows MainOne would agree that they’re primarily an Internet Service Provider (ISP) for big clients (government inclusive) and only last year, they launched their Tier III data centre that allows these same big clients bring their infrastructure to host with them. The more reason I feel this partnership couldn’t have been more timely as it now allows SMEs host their servers with MainOne regardless of the size of disk space, offer easy access to such servers (since they are hosted locally) and pay in Naira (something they consider to be an additional benefit as the Naira further extends losses against the dollar)
Speaking of the latter, I’ve listened to quite a lot of argument regarding why people prefer hosting their servers overseas and amidst the plenty worrisome concerns being drawn out, pricing usually comes on top of all. As it stands, it’s not like there aren’t existing local cloud hosting services, it’s just that people have to pay through their nose to acquire the services. Let’s face it, even some of the government’s servers are hosted overseas; even though we might not blame that on the price. But generally speaking, why would someone host their servers in Nigeria when they can get a better service at an even cheaper price overseas?
The case for me
During the course of the event, a lot was said about how this might be the future of data hosting in Nigeria. More so, being just only at the pilot phase, the primary focus remains to provide an easy alternative for those who wish to host locally. And even though I’m not putting myself in between those facts, I was quite eager to find out what the pricing was like. Perhaps if the price was friendly enough, it may cover up for the inherent and arising lapses pending when the product moves from pilot to beta.
To cut the long story, one thing led to another, I found myself at the site looking at the price list and here’s what it looks like
When you compare this to what foreign hosts, or local resellers currently offer, this is quite on the high side.
“As the numbers and opportunities improve, the number will definitely go down hopefully to a point where it will be cheaper to host locally” says Oluwatoba Obaniyi (CEO of Whogohost)
I already present you with the numbers, you be the judge.
The growing conversations around why data hosting in Nigeria pales in comparison to foreign counterpart isn’t far-fetched. Rather it serves as a template or springboard of sort for local players and government alike to innovate on technology so as to make these services readily accessible by Nigerians. Come to think of it, who says our local hosting services can’t play host to foreign servers? Personally I’m not obsessed with hosting locally, however I feel there are benefits encouraging local hosting brings to the table; of course that only works if we aggressively tackle the lapses.
On the other hand, pricing can be as important as any other thing in business. You can also say that it’s just one of the many pointers businesses need to leverage on to buy off the loyalty of their customers (assuming they’re delivering a very competitive and quality product). Give your customers a fair price for a very good product and you’d find yourself leading a large flock of sheep.
Regardless, that’s not to say that Whogohost effort isn’t commendable. If you’ve been yearning to focus on your business and not wanting to be perturbed by the worries of seeing your servers anywhere nearby, then Whogohost is just a click away.
Ifeanyi is a desk reporter-turned administrator. Outside of work, I love to read and travel.