A test run of Bangladesh's first Tier 4 national data centre, comprising the most advanced technology in use around the world, will begin in the first week of October as part of the government's move to boost the country's data storage capacity.
Commercial operations of the centre, located in the Bangabandhu Hi-Tech City at Kaliakoir in Gazipur, will begin in December this year.
Following the trial run, Uptime Institute, the global authority on data centre best practices, will carry out a technical audit in October and another after its successful run for a year before giving certification to the country.
The recognition will make it the eighth Tier 4 centre in the world and the second in Asia, said officials related with the project.
In June last year, the government received a certificate from the Seattle-based institute after it examined the design, facility and operational sustainability of the centre.
“This is a pride project like the country's first satellite Bangabandhu-1 and it will be famous,” said Mustafa Jabbar, the ICT and telecom minister.
All the necessary equipment have been installed and it might start working within the next couple of weeks, he told The Daily Star.
With the trial, the Information and Communication Technology Division is moving to expand the capacity of the centre by at least four times from the current storage facility.
“We are planning to increase the capacity and it is possible to do so with some additional investments,” said Jabbar, adding that it will only require some racks and chilling capacity to boost the capacity fourfold.
He said the country's data generation has increased manifold in the last few years as more and more services are going digital.
When the centre was first designed, its capacity was deemed higher at the time, but now it looked tiny, added the minister.
The centre was built at a cost of Tk 1,516.91 crore, with a capacity of two petabytes. One petabyte is equivalent to 10 lakh gigabytes.
The project office has sent a proposal to the government to augment the capacity to up to 50 petabytes to store the huge data the country is producing.
At present, Bangladesh has a Tier 3 data centre, whose capacity is already full.
The centre was supposed to be up and running from June 2018, but it was delayed by a few months after the US suddenly imposed restriction on Chinese vendor ZTE Corporation, the developer of the project.
According to the global standard of a Tier 4 data centre, it will remain available 99.995 percent of the time, up from 99.982 percent in case of a Tier 3 centre.
In other words, a Tier 4 data centre will have 0.8 hours of interruption a year, which is half of the disruption faced by a Tier 3 centre.
For the data centre, the government is providing Tk 317.55 crore while the rest is coming from the Export-Import Bank of China as project assistance.
There are three Tier 4 data centres in the US, two in Spain and one each in Saudi Arabia and Canada.