Amazon launches data centre operations in South Africa - TechCentral

Amazon launches data centre operations in South Africa

The world’s largest enterprise cloud computing hyperscaler, Amazon Web Services (AWS), has launched its Cape Town data centres, the first on the continent.

The AWS Africa (Cape Town) region brings the cloud giant’s “availability zones” to 73 worldwide in 23 geographic regions and comes a year after its most direct rival, Microsoft, launched two Azure data centres in South Africa, one in Johannesburg and the other in Cape Town.

“Starting today, developers, start-ups and enterprises, as well as government, education and non-profit organisations, can run their applications and serve end users in Africa with even lower latency and leverage advanced AWS technologies to drive innovation,” AWS said in a statement.

The Cape Town region has three availability zones. These zones each comprise of one or more data centres and are located in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting business continuity, yet near enough to provide low latency for high availability applications.

Each availability zone has independent power, cooling and physical security and is connected via redundant, ultra-low-latency networking, AWS said.

Like all AWS infrastructure regions around the world, the availability zones in the Cape Town region are equipped with backup power to ensure continuous and reliable power availability to maintain operations during electrical failures and load shedding.

Data residency

“With the new region, customers with data residency requirements, and those looking to comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act, can now store their content in South Africa with the assurance that they retain complete ownership of their data and it will not move unless they choose to move it,” AWS said.

Amazon first established a presence in Cape Town with a development centre in 2004 to build technologies focused on networking, software for customer support, and the technology behind Amazon EC2. In 2015, Amazon expanded its presence in the country, opening an AWS office in Johannesburg. In 2017, the Amazon Global Network expanded to Africa through AWS Direct Connect, and in 2018, Amazon established its first infrastructure on the African continent, launching Amazon CloudFront locations in Johannesburg and Cape Town, followed in 2020 by an edge location in Nairobi.

Last March, Microsoft launched two Azure cloud data centres in South Africa to tap into growing demand for hyperscale cloud infrastructure and services in the region.

According to research from International Data Corp at the time, spending on public cloud services in South Africa will nearly triple over five years from R4.3-billion in 2017 to R11.5-billion in 2022, and the adoption of cloud services will generate 112 000 net new jobs in South Africa by the end of 2022. – © 2020 NewsCentral Media

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