Microsoft Azure, data centres coming to Cape Town and Johannesburg in 2018

Microsoft is adding data centers in Africa, now has more regions than any other cloud provider

Microsoft is adding data centers in Africa, now has more regions than any other cloud provider

"By delivering the Microsoft Cloud from within Africa, cloud services ranging from intelligent collaboration to predictive analytics will spur entrepreneurship and innovation, fuel growth for businesses of all sizes, and enable government organisations to better serve the needs of their citizens".

Microsoft South Africa today announced its Azure Cloud servers and services are finally heading to the country.

Microsoft has announced a milestone moment for its cloud aspirations with the news that it's launching its very first data centers in Africa.

Jon Tullett, research manager of IT Services at IDC Africa, says "this is a significant announcement as none of the top-tier cloud providers has [sic] traditionally had a data centre footprint in Africa".

Details are not yet available on specifics of the data centres' build and investment, or whether they will be co-located or 100% Microsoft-run.

An additional benefit to offering local data centers is that Microsoft will be able to cater to any "data sovereignty" concerns, as digital data is subject to the laws of the region in which it's stored.

The addition of these two new regions brings Microsoft's total number of regions to 40, significantly more than its biggest competitors.

"In the past, there have been a lot of questions around these providers' commitment to the region due to their lack of data centre infrastructure on the continent", says Tullett. This is Microsoft showing that they are all in, with multiple data centres, full redundancy and the full stack of services available. They dominate the cloud space and at this stage, nearly anything that Microsoft or Google can do, Amazon either already has or can build quickly.

After all, an Office 365 contract signed on July 1 means 12 months of revenues for Microsoft, while a deal closed in May is only worth two months of subscriptions. "There has also been deferred project spend because of the ongoing economic conditions and this removes another barrier to unlocking some of that spend". We asked, but all Microsoft would say is "We won't put a stake in the ground about the actual latency performance until the datacentre is up and running". "It takes relatively few people to run a hyperscale data centre".

Horizon Cloud, the outgrowth of the company's Horizon Air virtual desktop service, was launched earlier this year as part of VMware's Workspace One portfolio, initially supporting IBM's SoftLayer as its only public cloud provider.

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