Local companies plug into new AWS data centres
Local organisations have already started hooking up to the recently-launched Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cape Town data centres.
Artificial intelligence (AI) start-up DataProphet and bioinformatics tech company Hyrax Biosciences are among the companies leveraging AWS technology to scale their services since the launch of its local data centre region.
In April, AWS announced the opening of its data centre region in Cape Town.
At the time, the cloud giant said the new data centre will enable developers, start-ups and enterprises, as well as government, education and non-profit organisations, to run their applications and serve end-users in Africa, with lower latency and leverage advanced AWS technologies to drive innovation.
With the local launch, AWS now spans 73 Availability Zones within 23 geographic regions around the world, and has announced plans for 12 more across four more AWS regions in Indonesia, Italy, Japan and Spain.
AI-as-a-service start-up DataProphet believes the new AWS data centres will help it provide its customers with improved efficiencies, high data security, increased response times and regulatory compliance capabilities.
DataProphet enables manufacturers within the automotive, casting and wheel fabrication industries to implement autonomous manufacturing.
While it has been utilising AWS services for a while − including Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon Route 53 and Amazon CloudFront − the company says it will be migrating to additional services to rapidly scale its infrastructure to meet high demand without degrading the user experience.
Through its AI-powered platform, PRESCRIBE, a proprietary technology that runs on AWS, DataProphet says it will help customers around the world to experience significantly improved product quality outputs, and reduce costs by an average of 40%.
“As a company that relies heavily on the leading cloud services of AWS, the new data centres will provide our customers and engineers the highest levels of security, availability, compliance and data protection,” says Frans Cronje, CEO and co-founder of DataProphet.
“AWS will unlock new opportunities for AI-as-service companies in the region, to extend and deepen their product offerings. Through AWS’s continued investment and innovation, AI adoption will continue to accelerate through their industry-leading availability and increasing flexibility in data residency.”
The manufacturing sector, which is the largest producer of data when compared to all the other sectors, is at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution, and the increased availability of AWS in the region will be critical to the continued cost-effectiveness of local manufacturers that compete globally, adds Cronje.
Hyrax Biosciences specialises in high-performance Web services that analyse DNA for a range of infectious diseases to conduct accurate and cost-effective drug-resistance tests.
The health-tech company, which recently released a software tool to detect mutations in the genome of the coronavirus (COVID-19), says AWS is playing a crucial role in the accuracy, speed and efficiency of the COVID-19 testing process.
The Hyrax Biosciences Exatype SARS-COV-2, a genotyping tool used globally for SARS-COV-2 genotyping, runs on the AWS cloud to track the evolution of the virus as it spreads.
Exatype SARS-COV-2 automates the analysis and interpretation of data, reducing the time spent analysing the data from days or weeks to hours, according to Hyrax Biosciences.
When a sample from the lungs of an individual suspected to have COVID-19 arrives in the lab, the DNA of the virus can be extracted from the sample and then sequenced using a DNA sequencing machine.
“Usually, these machines produce large quantities of messy, complex data, which would usually require painstaking, expert analysis,” explains professor Simon Travers, co-founder and CEOof Hyrax Biosciences.
“Through AWS, the Exatype SARS-COV-2 tool removes the need for long expert analysis and speeds up the process to get results at an efficient pace. Hyrax Biosciences runs its API servers on Amazon EC2. When a customer uploads data, that data is moved directly into an Amazon S3. Following that, Amazon Cloud Formation downloads the data and analyses it, while Amazon Aurora database backs up the company’s API on AWS Relational Database Service.”
The opening of the AWS data centre in Cape Town came amid a hive of activity in SA’s cloud computing space.
Last year saw US-based software giant Microsoft open two data centre regions in SA, becoming the first global provider to deliver cloud services from data centres on the African continent.
In March last year, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei started offering its cloud services in SA.
US-based enterprise software company Oracle in September last year also announced plans to launch data centres in SA.