What local AWS and Azure servers mean for South Africa

The arrival of hyperscale cloud platforms in South Africa is great news for local developers with relevant skills, and it means “adapt or die” for industry players.

This is according to RSAWEB, a South African ISP which offers a range of connectivity and data products to consumers and businesses.

The company told MyBroadband that the recent launch of local Azure servers and the upcoming roll-out of an AWS presence in South Africa is good news for the industry.

It added that cloud-centric skills across various disciplines would also become increasingly relevant and local cloud providers would need to embrace hybrid offerings while diversifying their product ranges.

Adapt or die

RSAWEB said that it views the presence of hyperscale platforms in South Africa as positive, as it is both a local cloud provider and a partner with AWS and Microsoft.

This means that it can now provide its customers with cloud solutions which were not previously available.

“The only challenge that local cloud providers face currently is the market perception that we will need to compete with the hyperscalers. Instead, there is a place for both local cloud and hyperscalers,” RSAWEB said.

“The hyperscalers have specific offerings tailored for specific segments and uses,” the company said. “With this in mind, there is a requirement for professional services, and providing hybrid solutions to businesses who require systems to run in the hyperscale platforms is one way we are remaining relevant.”

When asked whether some local cloud providers might be forced to scale down or close their doors as a result of Azure and AWS entering the market, RSAWEB said that those who could not adapt their strategy would be the worst affected.

“This may be the case for a segment of the industry resistant to change. Those of us who remain excited about the future of hybrid cloud and partnering with the hyperscalers, as well as the infinite possibilities that come with technical advancement, will adapt under market pressures and seek out niche opportunities to deliver useful solutions and services,” the company said.

Local impact

Cloud software teams and companies in South Africa will need to adapt to this new environment, and skilled, dynamic teams will be required to implement offerings which integrate with local hyperscale presences.

“One of the key success criteria is ‘ease of use’, and the reality is many deployments will occur on one particular preferred or chosen platform conducive to the technical use case and will be governed largely by cost,” RSAWEB said.

It added that each cloud platform requires teams to have a significant level of training and skills development to be fully self-managed.

“In certain instances, it is more beneficial to outsource managed services to a company like RSAWEB who will have qualified engineers who have the experience of working in local and hyperscale cloud environments.”

RSAWEB noted that the launch of Microsoft Azure and the upcoming roll-out of AWS servers has created a conversation around cloud which never existed previously in South Africa.

“Yes, there is a place and necessity for hyperscalers in South Africa, but there is also a need for local public cloud providers who assist SMEs to begin their journey to the cloud,” the company said.

“RSAWEB assists companies with beginning conversations and assisting the move to the cloud whether it be local only, hyperscaler, physical with the plan to migrate, or a combination of these; depending on their company’s needs.”

Essentially, while hyperscale providers like AWS and Microsoft Azure can offer powerful platforms with unprecedented features, enabling a smooth migration and integrating systems with these platforms to best suit your needs still requires tailored solutions created by skilled local providers which can guide South African companies towards this migration.

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What local AWS and Azure servers mean for South Africa