Microsoft Azure servers coming to South Africa

Sad robot

The new data centres on the African continent will add to Redmond's 38 sites across the globe. This is Microsoft showing that they are all in, with multiple data centres, full redundancy and the full stack of services available.

He says this move by Microsoft tackles several concerns head on.

While the company's marketing towards businesses and economic growth are clear, the company didn't mention gaming in its announcement. "It also addresses the issue around data sovereignty".

Tullett adds that this is a rare opportunity for Microsoft to confidently state that they offer capabilities which chief rival Amazon can not. And Google and Amazon don't have any data center in the African continent at present.

"Over the years, there has been significant interest from Microsoft in the local environment. Microsoft has a strategic advantage which is significant, though possibly for a short window period".

That's right: The VMware Cloud will run on the Azure cloud in addition to the Virtustream cloud. The cloud infrastructure and virtualization giant VMware this week announced an expanded support for VMware Horizon Cloud to include the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

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Building out a new data center is not a small investment.

The presence of Azure datacentres in South Africa has further benefits for the entire sub-Saharan region, Hoosen told us, as companies in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and other countries in the lower half of Africa will also be able to connect to it and enjoy the lower latency on offer. "It takes relatively few people to run a hyperscale data centre", he said.

"These new Microsoft Cloud regions will offer enterprise-grade reliability and performance combined with data residency", said Microsoft. "They will however be sourcing most of the equipment locally".

As Microsoft shifts its revenue mix from on-premise to cloud, you might expect the transition to change the company's calendar emphasis on closing deals from the end of the fiscal year - June for Microsoft - to the beginning of the year a month later. "That will only increase pressure on competitors to follow suit with local infrastructure". "We're looking forward to achieving even more with the cloud services available here on the continent".

"There are a number of things that we look at when we select a data centre destination", Hoosen adds. "This is a strongly positive development for the cloud industry in Africa, and particularly Microsoft's ecosystem of partners, ISVs and customers". "This model is not unique to what they are doing in South Africa and it minimises their risk in terms of infrastructure investment".

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