Microsoft is hitting another cloud milestone- the tech giant is launching its first ever data centers in Africa. The rivals, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google are yet to firmly mark their data center footsteps in the continent, while IBM was the first major cloud provider to offer a data center infrastructure in Africa, when it launched a hub in Johannesburg in 2016.
Microsoft Data Centers will be functional in Africa from 2018 and will operate a range of cloud services including Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365. The data centers will be located in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The key advantage of providing a local data center infrastructure is reduced latency, that is, customers in the region will enjoy faster cloud services since the data doesn’t have to travel a long distance. Another advantage of having local data centers is that Microsoft will be able to address any “data sovereignty” concerns in the geography. This is because the digital data is completely governed by the data laws of the region in which it’s stored.
“This announcement brings us to 40 cloud regions around the world — more than any other cloud provider — and helps organizations and people from Cairo to Cape Town accelerate their journey to cloud computing,” remarks Scott Guthrie, EVP for Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group. Scott adds that the mission will empower individuals and organizations across the globe to achieve more as part of Microsoft’s ongoing effort “to create a cloud for global good.”
Microsoft is on a phase of transition into becoming a cloud company. The recent financial reports and the vast presence of cloud regions across North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America indicate that Microsoft is travelling on the right path of its cloud mission. Instead of routing data transfers to nearest servers in Southwest Asia or Europe, customers in Africa can now access the new data centers in South Africa, while those in North Africa may still prefer to use the servers in Europe owing to greater proximity.