AWS Cape Town region goes live

Amazon Web Services (AWS) went live with its Cape Town region on 22 April 2020.

As of this morning, AWS administrators could enable the Cape Town region for their account through the AWS portal.

The region is named “Africa (Cape Town)” with the label “af-south-1”.

AWS regions consist of a cluster of data centres named Availability Zones. These zones offer cloud computing services to the region and nearby edge networks, and they are connected with redundant, ultra-low-latency networks.

The availability of an Amazon Cape Town region would be great news for South African developers, as they could make use of cloud storage and computing services with much lower latency than if they were connected to a region in Europe or the United States.

AWS currently maintains regions in North America, South America, Europe, China, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

Amazon’s Cape Town region

In late 2018, Amazon announced that it would open an infrastructure region in South Africa, consisting of three availability zones, headquartered in Cape Town.

Since then, the company started expanding its local presence rapidly, with the AWS South Africa division hiring over 100 new employees in July 2019.

Amazon’s AWS Africa page still states that the Cape Town region is coming soon, with no official launch date announced.

“We will be opening an AWS Region in South Africa in the first half of 2020,” Amazon said. “The new AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region will consist of three Availability Zones.”

“The addition of the AWS Africa Region will enable organizations to provide lower latency to end users across Sub-Saharan Africa and will enable more African organizations to leverage advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile services, and more to drive innovation.”

Amazon confirms launch

Amazon Web Services has confirmed that the Cape Town region was made available on its platform today.

“Starting today, developers, startups, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and non-profit organisations can run their applications and serve end-users in Africa with even lower latency and leverage advanced AWS technologies to drive innovation,” the company said.

Customers and partners can begin using the platform by visiting the AWS Cape Town Region landing page.

“Builders, developers, entrepreneurs, and organisations have asked us to bring an AWS Region to Africa and today we are answering these requests by opening the Cape Town Region,” said Amazon Web Services Senior Vice President of Global Infrastructure and Customer Support Peter DeSantis.

“We look forward to seeing the creativity and innovation that will result from African organisations building in the cloud.”

AWS said its infrastructure regions meet the highest levels of security, compliance, and data protection.

“With the new region, customers with data residency requirements, and those looking to comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), can now store their content in South Africa with the assurance that they retain complete ownership of their data and it will not move unless they choose to move it,” the company said.

AWS Cape Town screenshots

Screenshots showing the new Africa (Cape Town) region live on the AWS platform are below.

AWS Cape Town 1

AWS Cape Town 2

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AWS Cape Town region goes live