Huawei building a data centre in South Africa

Huawei is constructing a data centre in South Africa from which it will offer cloud services, the president of the company’s cloud business unit, Zheng Yelai, has confirmed.

Yelai was speaking at Huawei Connect 2018 in Shanghai.

The company aims to launch its cloud services in South Africa by the end of the year.

“We are comfortable that we can provide the most advanced cloud AI and big data solutions to government institutions, enterprises, and consumers in South Africa and its neighbouring countries,” Yelai said.

The CTO of Huawei’s cloud business unit, Bruno Zhang, also explained the company’s decision to build its own data centre in South Africa.

Zhang was answering questions about Huawei’s partner strategy for the rollout of its cloud services around the world.

Huawei’s global cloud alliance was announced at last year’s Huawei Connect conference, where it was likened to the world’s major airline alliances: SkyTeam, Star Alliance, and Oneworld.

The company predicted that there would be five major cloud platforms in the world, and promised that it would be one of those five.

Telecoms operators

Zhang explained that Huawei decided to partner with telecommunications operators around the world to build this alliance, and selects partners based on three criteria: capability, willingness, and resources.

This means that partners must directly interact with customers, be able to develop cloud services, and have their own cloud strategy.

“In fact, they should have a cloud-first strategy. If they don’t have their own strategy, they won’t come far with cloud services,” said Zhang.

If finding new partners based on these criteria is difficult, then Huawei prefers to focus on its existing partners. Where no partners can be found in a particular region which fit the criteria, the company can build its own data centres.

South Africa is a region where Huawei elected to build its own data centre. However, it is not known which company is running the build.

Microsoft has been similarly tight-lipped about who will build its Azure data centres in South Africa. Industry sources have said that Microsoft will use two different providers for its builds — one in Johannesburg and one in Cape Town.

Amazon is also expected to launch a data centre for Amazon Web Services in South Africa after its local launch of AWS Direct Connect at the end of last year. No details about Amazon’s plans for a local AWS node have been confirmed.

Now read: Huawei takes on Qualcomm and Nvidia with new AI chips

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Huawei building a data centre in South Africa