KENET Data Services

KENET operates three data centers that host the network equipment used for providing broadband connectivity to the KENET member institutions. The data centres also provide community cloud services (dubbed enterprise services) to the KENET community. These services include co-location services, storage as a service and hosting services on dedicated virtual private servers. Some of the specialized services offered to member institutions include disaster recovery services, web hosting, DNS services, hosting of elearning systems among others.

The data centres are located at different universities namely; university of Nairobi (UON), United States International University (USIU) – Africa and Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). The data centre at UON has a capacity of 10 server cabinet racks; USIU has 18 while CUEA has 12 rack spaces. Institutions can therefore co-locate full cabinets or bare metal servers in any of the data centres based on their geographical preference.

KENET runs EMC storage infrastructure  in the data centres. UON and USIU data centres have storage capacity of 83TB each. The storage systems have unified implementations supporting both file and block storage with both Fibre Channel and iSCSI connectivity to the back end and supports NFS, CIFS, pNFS, FC, iSCSCI and FCoE protocols. Currently the systems are implemented to use FC protocol for block storage while file storage is accessible using IP file shares. The storage system back ends are able to scale to 1PB of capacity per site, however based on the current deployment at KENET; the remaining expansion slots are able to accommodate up to 500TB of usable capacity per site.

Other notable features offered by the implemented storage system include redundant battery backed cache with dual controllers working in active/active load balanced mode; fully automated storage tiering that enables migration to high performance drives or high capacity drives based on user access, support for 15K RMP SAS and 7.2K RMP NL-SAS disks; quota management and auditing; among others.