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Siemon prescribes the perfect network infrastructure for the National Health Insurance Fund's new data centre

Tanzania's National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) is at the forefront of improving healthcare provision within the country. When this government backed initiative decided to construct a new data centre at its headquarters in Dar es Salaam, it specified state-of-the-art network infrastructure technology from Siemon throughout.

With a population of almost 52 million people, Tanzania is the 13th largest country in Africa but still one of the poorest in the world. However, there has been growth in the national economy and the government has pledged to improve the level of healthcare across the nation.

Launched in 2001, the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) is Tanzania's largest health insurance scheme and is compulsory for public sector workers. NHIF's scope of coverage has been widened since 2009 to include private sector workers and cover a range of heath related services, with employers giving three per cent of a contribution and employees also paying three per cent.

As the scope of NHIF has grown, so has the organisation's reliance upon information technology (IT) to facilitate its administration and support services. As part of its upgrade programme, NHIF decided to configure a new data centre at its headquarters in Dar es Salaam. Bakari Yahaya Mhamali, NHIF's data centre manager, explains, "We wanted a facility that could provide us with cutting edge performance in the short-term but also cope with our projected expansion plans. To configure the best possible solution, I contacted Emerging Communications Limited (E-COM)"

Also based in Dar es Salaam, E-COM has gained an enviable reputation as one of the leading IT companies in Tanzania. It provides highly qualitative and cost effective services to a wide variety of clients and has a diverse range of accreditations and approvals from some of the world's leading technology vendors. Saidi Buhero, E-COM's Managing Director, states, "We have a team of qualified, motivated and experienced personnel that can configure exceptional data centre solutions. As a Siemon Certified Installer, after discussing the various options with Bakari, I had no hesitation in recommending a solution that made extensive use of the company's products."

Buhero's strategy centres around deploying six Siemon VersaPOD® cabinets that meet the high-density requirements of the modern data centre. VersaPOD leverages the vertical space between bayed cabinets for patching and cable management, freeing critical horizontal space for active equipment and providing superior density in minimum floor space. In a standard server rack configuration, 48 port patch panels required for patching to each server each occupy 2U worth of horizontal space. With VersaPOD cabinets, these patch panels can be mounted in the vertical patching area. For added security, the cabinet doors of the VersaPOD can also be locked to prevent access to the server connections but still allow access to the patching zones. Based on comparison studies, Siemon claims that VersaPOD cabinets can reduce the number of cabinets required in a typical data centre by 20 per cent.

With a total of 92 copper connections, the NHIF data centre also requires Category 6A cabling that exceeds current standards. Siemon's Z-MAX® 6A F/UTP solution was considered the most suitable option by combining superb performance and unparalleled usability with security and robust noise immunity. It also helped speed up the installation. Iyer Sivakumar, Africa Sales Manager, says, "'Due its innovative design, Z-MAX 6A offers significantly reduced installation times when used in conjunction with our Z-MAX Termination Tool. This combination means outlets can be terminated in as little as 60 seconds, which helps reduce labour time and costs."'

Complementing Z-MAX is Siemon's XGLO® multimode high density plug and play optical fibre cable, incorporating modules, reel and connect panels. XGLO utilises laser-optimised fibre for superior transmission performance for up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet applications and exceeds all ANSI/TIA/EIA and ISO/IEC insertion loss and return loss requirements. As with Z-MAX, installation time is also saved thanks to the use of Siemon's fibre mechanical splice termination tool and connectivity system.

The new data centre has been a huge success and NHIF's Bakari Yahaya Mhamali is confident that the network infrastructure solution configured by E-COM will ensure an unrivalled level of future proofing. He concludes, "The Siemon technology we have offers best in class performance and will help us continue to develop NHIF for the benefit of as many people as possible across Tanzania. We also have the added peace of mind of a Siemon 20-year warranty, which covers products, performance and applications assurance."


About Siemon
Established in 1903, Siemon is an industry leader specialising in the design and manufacture of high quality, high performance low voltage infrastructure solutions and services for data centres, LANs and intelligent buildings. Headquartered in Connecticut, USA, with global sales, technical and logistics expertise spanning 100 countries, Siemon offers a comprehensive suite of copper and optical fibre cabling systems, cabinets, racks, cable management, data centre power and cooling systems and intelligent infrastructure management solutions.

With more than 400 patents specific to structured cabling, Siemon Labs invests heavily in R&D and the development of industry standards, underlining the company’s long-standing commitment to its customers and the industry. Siemon Interconnect Solutions (SIS) is a Siemon business unit comprised of a team of dedicated technical sales professionals supported by Siemon Labs, mechanical, electrical and signal integrity engineers committed to solving industry and customer driven interconnect challenges. Siemon provides custom network infrastructure solutions to OEMs, leading manufacturers, value-added resellers and system integrators.
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Susann Bladwell, PR Consultant
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