While both AWS and Azure cloud computing services are already available to South African businesses, the data centres will greatly augment the current offerings.
The implementation of the data centres will provide South African businesses with lower latency and the ability to store their information within the confines of South Africa – improving the safety, speed, and accessibility to information.
Microsoft announced in 2017 that it would be implementing data centres for its Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 services locally.
These data centres were expected to be installed in Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2018.
At the time, Robert Marston, Global Head of Products at SEACOM, said the development would provide huge assistance to enterprise-level implementations of infrastructure-as-a-service, software-as-a-service, and other cloud services.
However, Microsoft failed to complete the project by the end of 2018 – making it Microsoft’s only failure in terms of data centre implementation worldwide last year.
When MyBroadband last spoke with Microsoft, the company did not provide details regarding why it failed to implement its South African data centres on time.
“We’re building an unprecedented level of infrastructure to support our new enterprise-grade cloud data centers in South Africa,” Microsoft said.
“We’re focused on building the right solutions for our customers and are working towards availability of our new enterprise-grade cloud data centers in South Africa in 2019.”
MyBroadband asked Microsoft for comment regarding its latest plans for cloud infrastructure in South Africa, but the company said it had no further information to share.
In October 2018, Amazon announced that it would open data centres in South Africa to “enable customers to run workloads in South Africa and serve end-users across the African continent with even lower latency”.
“Having built the original version of Amazon EC2 in our Cape Town development centre 14 years ago, we’ve been able to witness first-hand the technical talent and potential in Africa,” said AWS CEO Andy Jassy.
Amazon said its AWS division already works with South African businesses such as Absa, Investec, Old Mutual, Pick n Pay, Standard Bank, and Discovery Vitality.
The new data centres will also benefit South African users, Geoff Brown, AWS Sub-Saharan Africa regional manager, told MyBroadband.
“Customers will be able to store their data on infrastructure in South Africa with the assurance that the data will not leave the country without their consent,” said Brown.
“It also means a reduction in latency, offering customers a much faster response time.”
“For the consumers of our customers it will mean the game they play, how they digitally shop or bank, or the video they watch will respond faster – offering an enhanced experience.”
Brown said the new data centres are still on schedule to open in the first half of 2020, and will be situated in Cape Town.