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MS moves data centres launch in SA to 2019

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Microsoft says it is making new investments in local infrastructure in response to the growing demand for services across Africa.
Microsoft says it is making new investments in local infrastructure in response to the growing demand for services across Africa.

Microsoft has confirmed it will now launch its data centres in SA this year.

This after the company missed its own deadline to launch data centres in the country by the end of last year.

In May 2017, Microsoft announced it would bring two data centres to SA, one in Cape Town and the other in Johannesburg. Currently, many African companies rely on cloud services delivered from outside the continent.

It said the new facilities would provide highly available, scalable and secure cloud services across Africa with the option of data residency in SA. The cloud services include Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365.

With the SA expansion, Microsoft will have a total of 42 announced Azure regions.

In an e-mail response to ITWeb, following the delay in the opening of the facilities locally, Ashleigh Fenwick, public relations and communications lead at Microsoft SA, said: "We're focused on building the right solutions for our customers and are working towards availability of our new enterprise-grade cloud data centres in South Africa in 2019.

"We're building an unprecedented level of infrastructure to support our new enterprise-grade cloud data centres in South Africa."

According to Fenwick, Microsoft is making new investments in local infrastructure in response to the growing customer demand for Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 services across Africa.

"These investments will enhance our ability to support our customers' digital transformation, and bring the benefits of data residency in South Africa. Today, Microsoft offers customers a range of innovative regional Microsoft cloud services to enable their businesses to move faster and achieve more."

She said the new data centre locations will offer the same reliability and performance combined with data residency in SA.

"This provides our customers trusted cloud services that help them meet local compliance and policy requirements. In addition, replication of data in multiple data centres across South Africa gives customers reliable protection for business continuity in both pure and hybrid scenarios.

"Furthermore, in our experience, local data centre infrastructure supports and stimulates economic development for both customers and partners alike, enabling companies, governments, and regulated industries to realise the benefits of the cloud for innovation and new projects, as well as bolstering the technology ecosystem that supports these projects."

Fenwick pointed out that according to the IDC report, "Economic Impact of IT & Microsoft in South Africa", the increased utilisation of public cloud services and the additional investments into private and hybrid cloud solutions will enable organisations in SA to focus on innovation and accelerate the pace of digital business transformation.

"In turn, this enablement will help businesses generate close to R81 billion in net new revenues over the next four years."

Meanwhile, Microsoft rival Amazon Web Services (AWS) in October, announced it would bring its data centres to SA, opening an infrastructure region in Cape Town in the first half of 2020.

Each AWS region has multiple 'availability zones' and the new AWS Africa region in the Mother City will consist of three availability zones. AWS currently provides 57 availability zones across 19 infrastructure regions worldwide.

Huawei also announced it would open its first public cloud data centre in Africa, in Johannesburg.

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