South African businesses will benefit greatly from Microsoft’s two newly opened data centres. It means they’ll get more reliability, faster speeds and lower latencies than before when they had to access cloud services from data centres in Europe or the USA. The DCs, located in Cape Town and Johannesburg, give local companies the opportunity to achieve a global reach while maintaining local data residency. Microsoft is the only cloud service provider who truly has a hybrid offering which will take you beyond your on-premises data centre using the scalable, trusted and reliable Microsoft Cloud.  

Initially Microsoft had planned the opening of the DCs for 2018 but it was delayed by a few months. Speculation is that Eskom’s failure to offer a reliable source of electricity was to blame for the delay. Microsoft usually only opens DCs in locations were two electricity providers are available. This best practise was overlooked in South Africa’s case and apparently resulted in additional infrastructure being built by Microsoft for them to meet their guaranteed availability of 99.9%. 

When Microsoft announced the plan to build the data centres in 2017, the company’s corporate vice president for Azure and Security, Julia White, said it made sense to invest in infrastructure in Africa given the “incredible innovation and growth” taking place on the continent. The facilities will “improve services from Cairo to Cape Town”, she said.  

South Africa is host to 2 data centres located in Cape Town and Johannesburg

Microsoft is referring to Cape Town’s DC as South Africa West and Johannesburg as South Africa North. It’s common practice to pair up data centres in geographic regions with one centre being designated as primary, and the other as secondary, for disaster recovery purposes. Sources have revealed that the latency for South African companies to the DCs is 10 milliseconds, in other words, 0.01 of a second. That’s brilliant. 

Crimson Line holds Microsoft Gold competencies in data centre and small to midmarket cloud solutions. It’s important to note that in the USA small to midmarket refers to companies with up to 2000 users. Crimson Line has done over 4000 user migrations and successfully migrated South Africa’s largest fabric house to Azure in 2018. We believe in educating our clients and their teams to ensure their experience with Microsoft Cloud is a positive one that will see an increase in productivity and a boost in business results. Something the South African economy needs desperately. Contact us to gain deeper knowledge about Microsoft Cloud and our managed cloud and IT services.