Microsoft has brought new Azure datacentres to South Africa, based in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The datacentres are the company’s “…first enterprise-grade datacentres in Africa”, and will be instrumental in connecting the country (and the continent) with Microsoft’s services. The data centres were originally meant to go live late last year, but ran into delays.
Several South African companies and institutions will be leveraging Microsoft’s closer presence to improve their services. Nedbank is using Azure in order to further its digital ambitions, the Peace Parks Foundation will be using it to keep tabs on at-risk animals over very large areas (among other things), while eThekwini Water in KZN will utilise the service for “…critical application monitoring as well as site failover and disaster recovery initiatives.”
We expect that these are just the first centres and that others will be joining Microsoft in order to provide broader cloud-based services to the country.
Tom Keane, Corporate Vice President of Azure Global, says “The new cloud regions in Africa are connected with Microsoft’s other regions via our global network, one of the largest and most innovative on the planet, which spans more than 100,000 miles (161,000 kilometres) of terrestrial fibre and subsea cable systems to deliver services to customers”.
Microsoft’s Azure services are first on the menu for SA, but later this year we’ll also be picking up locally-hosted Office 365 services as well as Dynamics 365, a business application. Those services should both launch before year-end, with Office 365 turning up in Q3 and Dynamics 365 in Q4.