In big news coming from Microsoft, Microsoft has revealed plans to deliver the complete, intelligent Microsoft Cloud for the first time from datacenters located in Africa. These datacenters located in Johannesburg and Cape Town, with initial availability in 2018.
In many ways this announcement by Microsoft is very important and indicates the state and maturity of the cloud as an industry in South Africa and the rest of Africa. For many years now especially in the Western nations, there has been a long held view that cloud technology in Africa is still relatively new and that Africa would take a couple of years to catch on with the rest of the world in becoming competitive in the cloud space. This announcement by Microsoft dispels those kinds of views and makes a bold statement that there is an exciting future for Africa, from a technology perspective.
Microsoft deciding to build a Microsoft Cloud region on Africa, bringing their total number of regions around the world to 40, solves a huge problem that has slowed down cloud adoption in many countries. For myself having worked in the NGO space for over 5 years travelling to a couple of African countries, the big issue that governments are clear on is that they want the information generated or captured from public services like health, education and welfare to reside in the country, and not to sit on offshore data centers mostly located in Western nations.
Hence, with Microsoft building data centers in South Africa, this solves that problem immediately. Microsoft can expect in the short term, many NGOs working with governments in many African countries to move their cloud computing instances to South Africa.
A huge issue that can be a stumbling block to cloud adoption especially for Software Developers, is the issue of latency. Latency in the computing terms means the delay before a transfer of data begins following an instruction for its transfer. With Microsoft establishing a cloud region in Africa, this would mean that people consuming cloud services in Africa should expect to experience faster connection speeds to websites and web services served out of African cloud regions, as opposed to those served out of Asian or European based regions.
The establishment of an intelligent Microsoft Cloud region on African soil makes a statement that the stage has been set for technology specialists based in Africa to build globally competitive solutions that will serve the African market and the rest of the world. The “playing field” has really been flattened such that, its is now up to people, companies and organizations to take advantage of the opportunity, and start building world class solutions that will put Africa on the global stage.
Every advancements in new technology brings with it the need to learn new skills. The Microsoft Cloud, also known as the Azure platform is a complex, sophisticated technology that needs one to acquire the right training in order to be able to deliver the right solutions to organizations, companies and individuals. Those intending to be players in this space are well advised to acquire the best training available. The cloud is bringing opportunities that will empower people today and the next generation, therefore acquire the training and skills you need today!
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