AWS Cape Town launch a boon for Africa’s economy

Johannesburg, 23 Apr 2020
Read time 2min 30sec
Muggie van Staden, MD of Obsidian Systems
Muggie van Staden, MD of Obsidian Systems

The launch of AWS Africa Region in Cape Town represents a great opportunity for Africa to strengthen the speed and reliability of connectivity, create jobs and optimise workloads.

This is according to Muggie van Staden, MD of Obsidian Systems, a leading provider of end-to-end digital services and solutions, and official AWS partner supporting the AWS Africa region.

On 22 April 2020, AWS announced that its AWS Africa Region had gone live and customers will be able to run their applications and serve end-users in Africa.

The AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region has three availability zones.

“We can confirm that there are indeed three availability zones (af-south-1a, af-south-1b, af-south-1c) and we have created test workloads in Cape Town,” says Grant Bingham, MD of Autumn Leaf, in partnership with Obsidian.

While Bingham advised that, for now, the use of the availability zones should be limited to non-production workloads while the central team performs some tests and monitoring of the environment, he said there are very clear benefits linked to the launch.

In terms of connectivity, it will largely remove dependency on international Seacom lines and enhance national connectivity, but some services do need international access.

“There will undoubtedly be latency improvements in speed. We'll need to measure these, but we can expect some significant improvements,” he said.

The South African and African market can look forward to access to a range of services that were previously unavailable.

Bingham said: “We are looking at that list, but already we can see various services such as Athena, Quicksight, EKS and service quotas.”

He also advised that users should expect costs within the newly launched AWS Africa Region to be higher than other regions and explained that this is due to the higher costs of hosting in this region.

“For example, S3 costs in Ireland are $0.023/GB, while in Cape Town it is $0.0274,” said Bingham.

As far as support is concerned, details regarding documentation and general descriptions are not yet in place.

Obsidian Systems is well positioned to assist its clients in leveraging this ground-breaking resource.

It says AWS has embarked on an extensive marketing campaign, including detailed online information.

AWS says the new region is open to all: existing AWS customers, partners and new African customers working with local partners across the region.

Van Staden believes the resource will certainly boost the local economy, with job creation among the main benefits.

“This has created local jobs and will have a profoundly positive impact in our country and on our economy… something to support and be immensely proud of!”

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Rubicomm Gloria Malan (+27) 82 340 2876
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