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.