Microsoft Extends Cloud-Computing Arms Race to Africa

Joan Terry
May 18, 2017

"We are announcing for the first time that the Microsoft Cloud will be delivered directly from Africa with data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town, with initial availability of our cloud technologies in 2018", said Julia White, corporate vice-president for Azure and Security at Microsoft.

The data centre presence in South Africa will bring Microsoft to 40 cloud regions around the world - more than any other cloud provider.

"Cracking the public sector cloud opportunity is hard because the government has very specific regulations that must be adhered to, but this takes care of that", he says. "There are some incredible companies in South Africa and this can only serve that". "At Microsoft's request, we are not disclosing who the collocation partner is at this stage".

Tullett does not expect a significant increase in Microsoft headcount for the project.

"These new Microsoft Cloud regions will offer enterprise-grade reliability and performance combined with data residency", said Microsoft. The multinational currently has data centres in 38 regions and this will now be increased to 40.

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In a recent VMware's press release, VMware senior vice president and general manager Sumit Dhawan said that the addition of VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure will enable the virtualization giant to provide its customers with several options for virtual desktops and applications along with the added flexibility to move between different cloud platforms.

These services are available through both hosted and hybrid cloud. "That sense of wanting your data close to home and under control is strong, so I think we will see migration of customers moving their workloads to South Africa. That will only increase pressure on competitors to follow suit with local infrastructure".

Horizon Cloud, the outgrowth of the company's Horizon Air virtual desktop service, was launched earlier this year as part of VMware's Workspace One portfolio, initially supporting IBM's SoftLayer as its only public cloud provider.

It looks like we're getting local Azure data centres (via htxt). "The combination of Microsoft's global cloud infrastructure with the new regions in Africa will connect businesses with opportunity across the globe, help accelerate new investments, and improve access to cloud and internet services for people and organizations from Cairo to Cape Town". "This model is not unique to what they are doing in South Africa and it minimises their risk in terms of infrastructure investment".

Other reports by BadHub

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