Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud division of Amazon.com, today made the long-awaited announcement that it will open data centres in South Africa in the first half of 2020.
AWS sets up what it calls infrastructure regions, which comprise a series of availability zones in that region. Each zone represents a data centre.
The new AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region will consist of three Availability Zones. Currently, AWS provides 55 Availability Zones across 19 infrastructure regions worldwide, with another 12 Availability Zones across four AWS Regions in Bahrain, Hong Kong SAR, Sweden. (See more information on AWS’s global infrastructure here: https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure).
“Having built the original version of Amazon EC2 in our Cape Town development center 14 years ago, and with thousands of African companies using AWS for years, we’ve been able to witness first-hand the technical talent and potential in Africa,” said Andy Jassy, CEO, Amazon Web Services. “Technology has the opportunity to transform lives and economies across Africa and we’re excited about AWS and the Cloud being a meaningful part of that transformation.”
The new region is the latest in a series of AWS investments in South Africa. In 2004, Amazon opened a development center in Cape Town that focuses on building pioneering networking technologies, next generation software for customer support, and the technology behind Amazon EC2. AWS has also built a number of local teams including account managers, customer services representatives, partner managers, solutions architects, and more to help customers of all sizes as they move to the cloud.
In 2015, AWS opened an office in Johannesburg, and in 2017 brought the Amazon Global Network to Africa through AWS Direct Connect. In May of 2018, AWS launched infrastructure points of presence in Cape Town and Johannesburg, bringing Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Route 53, AWS Shield, and AWS WAF to the continent and adding to the 138 points of presence AWS has around the world.
AWS says the addition of the AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region will enable organisations to provide lower latency to end users across Sub-Saharan Africa and will enable more African organisations to leverage advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile services, and more to drive innovation.
Local AWS customers will also be able to store their data in South Africa with the assurance that their content will not move without consent, while those looking to comply with the upcoming Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) will have access to secure infrastructure that meets the most rigorous international compliance standards.
Continue reading to find out what businesses are moving to AWS in Africa.