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  1. #1
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    [EN] Microsoft to Open Africa Data Centers

    Microsoft Corp. said Thursday it plans to open two data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town as part of an expansion that stretches across 40 regions globally.

    Scott Guthrie
    May 18, 2017

    Few places in the world are as dynamic and diverse as Africa today. In this landscape, we see enormous opportunity for the cloud to accelerate innovation, support people across the continent who are working to transform their businesses, explore new entrepreneurship opportunities and help solve some of the world’s hardest problems. For these reasons, I’m very excited to share our plans to deliver the Microsoft Cloud from datacenters in Africa.

    We plan to deliver the Microsoft Cloud — including Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 — from datacenters located in Johannesburg and Cape Town, with initial availability in 2018. These new Microsoft Cloud regions will offer enterprise-grade reliability and performance combined with data residency.

    Customers across Africa, including local startups and NGOs, will be able to use the cloud services delivered from these new regions to power innovation and opportunity for Africa and the world. For example:

    • M-KOPA Solar has used mobile and cloud technology to develop an affordable pay-as-you-go solar energy solution to provide electricity to more than 500,000 homes.
    • AGIN has leveraged the cloud to enable an app to connect 140,000 smallholder farmers to key services, enabling them to share data and facilitate $1.3 million per month in finance, insurance and other services.

    This announcement brings us to 40 cloud regions around the world — more than any other cloud provider — and will help organizations and people from Cairo to Cape Town accelerate their journey to cloud computing.

    This new investment is also major milestone in our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, part of our ongoing effort to create a Cloud for Global Good and an extension of the efforts we have put in place to invest in Africa, including:

    • Helping to transform and modernize 728,000 small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) by bringing their companies online, with more than 17,000 continuing to use the 4Afrika hub to promote and grow their businesses.
    • Using the Microsoft Cloud to bring access to training and education, building job skills for more than 775,000 people in Africa on subjects ranging from digital literacy to software development.

  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    SA to get local Azure servers in 2018

    Deon du Plessis
    May 18, 2017

    Microsoft has officially announced that it is building Azure datacentres in Cape Town and Johannesburg, which will come online in 2018. Those datacentres will deliver Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 services to local customers.

    Julia White, Corporate Vice President for Cloud Platforms at Microsoft South Africa, made the official announcement today in a conference call to local tech journalists and other interested parties.

    Licking latency

    While many South African businesses have made use of Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure services for years, they have been connecting to datacentres in Ireland and other European locations to do so. That has meant longer latencies, which has in turn impacted on the performance from those services.

    Generally speaking, a typical round trip from here to Europe takes anything from 200ms to 250ms, whereas connecting to local server – especially with a low-latency fibre connection that prioritises business traffic – drops that round trip time into single-digit-territory.

    The time is right

    Thus, the presence of local Azure servers should have a big impact on the apps and services that depend on it, something locals have been asking for, for years.

    “We’ve always said when the business case is right, we will put in the investment. And the business case is now right”, Zoaib Hoosen, Microsoft South Africa’s Managing Director told us in an interview just prior to the official announcement.

    Hoosen didn’t provide insight into the specific latencies they expect to see, but he did emphasise that “Lower latency is definitely a benefit” when we asked.

    Further benefits

    The presence of Azure datacentres in South Africa has further benefits for the entire sub-Saharan region, Hoosen told us, as companies in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and other countries in the lower half of Africa will also be able to connect to it and enjoy the lower latency on offer.

    Just how much lower, though, is yet to be determined. We asked, but all Microsoft would say is “We won’t put a stake in the ground about the actual latency performance until the datacentre is up and running. But we will say that lowered latency is definitely a benefit.”

    Mystery partner

    During the call, White didn’t mention who Microsoft is partnering with on the actual datacentre hardware.

    She also didn’t say when in 2018 operations would commence, but if we look at the company’s track record, there’s typically a 12-month window between announcements and general availability, so we expect much the same this time around.

    In terms of the pricing of the services on offer, Microsoft indicated it has been discussed, but not finalised.

    Still, the mere presence of Azure servers inside South Africa’s borders bodes well for everyone who uses Microsoft’s cloud services.

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