Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

SA to get local Azure servers in 2018

SA to get local Azure servers in 2018

This year, VMWare has entered into a deal with Amazon's key competitor, Microsoft, as the virtualization major announced that it will soon deliver its VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure, to help its enterprise customers move to Windows 10 and bring the company's virtual desktops and applications to the growing cloud platform.

The two datacenters, located in Cape Town and Johannesburg, will provide a range of cloud services from Microsoft such as Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365. The local data centres will offer "enterprise-grade reliability and performance and local data residency, which is very important for African companies".

Recently, we have seen Microsoft announce new regions where local laws require data to stay inside the countries borders and also in other areas where they are adding additional capacity due to strong growth.

Executive VP of cloud and enterprise Scott Guthrie also hopes that the data centres will act as a "catalyst for new economic opportunities".

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It looks like we're getting local Azure data centres (via htxt). It, therefore, gives Microsoft a significant advantage on the African continent. "There are some unbelievable companies in South Africa and this can only serve that". "There are a lot of concerns around data governance and moving sensitive data offshore, and this will obviously resolve that issue immediately".

Thus, the presence of local Azure servers should have a big impact on the apps and services that depend on it, something locals have been asking for, for years.

The one overarching benefit of offering a local data center infrastructure is lower latency - customers in the region should experience much faster cloud services, as the data has less distance to travel between a customer's premises and the data center. "At Microsoft's request, we are not disclosing who the collocation partner is at this stage", he says. "It takes relatively few people to run a hyperscale data centre". Microsoft's cloud computing customers in the market include Standard Bank of South Africa and the South African State Information Technology Agency, she said.

Tullett said he expects some services to go live with early adopters in the first half of next year. "And the business case is now right", Zoaib Hoosen, Microsoft South Africa's Managing Director told us in an interview just prior to the official announcement. "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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