Start ups

AWS, Intel court local start-ups

Read time 2min 40sec

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and its partner Intel are targeting South African start-up companies before AWS launches its data centres next year.

In October last year, AWS 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 Cape Town will consist of three availability zones. AWS currently provides 57 availability zones across 19 infrastructure regions worldwide.

SA is witnessing a flurry of activity as several companies open data centres locally. Last week, Dutch-based DataManagement Professionals announced the opening of a data centre in the country.

Last month, software giant Microsoft announced the opening of two data centre regions in SA, one in Johannesburg and another in Cape Town, while Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei started offering its Huawei Cloud commercial services in SA.

In March, AWS with partners such as Intel hosted the Pop-up Loft, a space created for organisations to learn more about emerging innovation around cloud computing.

The Pop-up Loft offered a variety of activities, including technical sessions, workshops and in-person AWS technical and business guidance from AWS experts.

According to AWS's chief technical officer, Werner Vogels, the idea behind the loft was mainly to provide education and information-sharing between AWS and its customers.

"The Johannesburg AWS Pop-up Loft is a temporary, free co-working space where anyone can stop by to hang out, network, get technical advice from AWS experts, or take part in a range of activities aimed at finding out how AWS can help to boost their business," says Steve Berg, Intel global account director to AWS.

"It was an exciting month-long event to have the opportunity to network with start-ups, including Pineapple and Custos Media Technologies."

AWS runs the lofts in other cosmopolitan cities, like London, New York, San Francisco and Tokyo, where visitors can choose from a programme of sessions covering topics like artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud security, big data analytics and building voice-controlled interfaces.

Berg says Intel has collaborated with AWS for more than a decade. "Together, we have done the hard work in optimising the infrastructure hardware and software for the best performance and lowest total cost of ownership, security and ease of use to allow builders to concentrate on doing what they do best - building."

AWS and Intel have a long history of developing custom cloud solutions, including Amazon EC2 instances with Intel processor technologies.

Recently launched EC2 instances, based on next-generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors (codenamed Skylake), allow developers to take advantage of the newest features to accelerate business innovation.

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