Oracle opened a data centre in South Africa on Wednesday to provide local cloud services across Africa for the first time, joining the likes of Microsoft and Amazon Web Services in setting up facilities in the country.
Africa is the US company’s 37th “cloud region” — an area that allows customers to get faster access from a local data centre, in this case in Johannesburg.
Oracle is racing to open at least 44 cloud regions this year as it plans to catch up with cloud computing rivals such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google. TechCentral first reported about Oracle’s Africa data centre plan last year.
Though Oracle has no plans for more data centres in Africa this year, more could come next year as the company explores areas such as West Africa, Cherian Varghese, regional MD for Middle East and Africa, said in an interview.
Increased demand for faster computing from African banks and telecommunications firms has attracted big cloud operators into the largely untapped market, with Microsoft the first to launch data centres in South Africa, followed by Amazon and Huawei.
Fast connectivity provided by submarine communications cable and being Africa’s most developed economy have made South Africa a key location for cloud operators, with over 50 data centres in the country, mostly near Cape Town and Johannesburg.
However, South Africa comes with infrastructure challenges, such as high power prices and frequent power cuts, meaning additional costs have to be set aside for backup power.
Smaller cloud operators are also trying to grab a piece of the fast-expanding market for data localisation.
US-based Digital Realty is buying a majority stake in data centre operator Teraco for R55-billion, while Vantage Data Centers has also announced plans to invest up to R15-billion to set up a data centre in South Africa. — Supantha Mukherjee and Promit Mukherjee, (c) 2022 Reuters