Huawei has revealed that its first cloud data centre in Africa will open in Johannesburg next month, followed by another in Cape Town. The company is working with South African partners for the construction of the data centres.
Huawei says it will deploy localised public cloud services based on local industry policies, customer requirements and partner conditions.
Globally, Huawei Cloud has launched over 160 cloud services in 18 categories with more than 60 general-purpose solutions, such as SAP, HPC, IoT, security and DevOps. Huawei has also developed solutions for more than 80 industry-specific scenarios, such as manufacturing, e-commerce, gaming, finance, and IoV.
Speaking at a Cloud Summit in Johannesburg this week, Huawei outlined its plans for a fully connected Africa driven by Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications.
“If Cloud 1.0 is an era driven by infrastructure resources, then Cloud 2.0 is the era of cloud-native applications, driven by data and AI platforms,” said Huawei Cloud’s Farouk Osman Latib.
Latib emphasised the importance of the combination of cloud and AI: “If we compare an enterprise to an aircraft, techs like AI, IoT and 5G can be regarded as engines, but Cloud is like a runway for the aircraft to take off towards digitisation.”
Huawei believes industry is changing in the Cloud 2.0 era. Existing IT systems at medium-to-large sized enterprises are moving towards hybrid cloud architectures. Internet applications and other new technologies like cloud computing, AI, and loT are all growing at rapid pace.
“In the Cloud 2.0 era, infrastructure must meet the rapid development of big data so that hundreds of industries, especially Internet, can mine more dividends from data,” said Latib. “The physicality of industry is integrating with IT in deeper ways to improve productivity and socioeconomic benefit.”
In terms of application prospects, Cloud + AI can improve the capabilities and explore the potential of many industries and professions.
“With cloud and AI, we aim to provide enterprises, small and large, with one-stop AI platform services, enriching fine-grained APIs, adapting rich algorithms in diverse industry sectors and heterogeneous computing infrastructure so that everyone can use various artificial intelligence algorithms to solve practical problems.”
When Huawei’s anticipated cloud services are launched in March, the company says, it will make it the world’s first cloud service provider with an operational data centre in Africa.
Microsoft was set to open Azure data centres in Cape Town and Johannesburg before the end of 2018, but missed its own deadline. At the Cloud Summit, principle solution specialist for Azure Apps and Infrastructure at Microsoft, Ky Ox, confirmed that the first data centre would also open in March, but did not provide a date.
Amazon Web Services previously announced it would open three data centres in Cape Town in the first quarter of 2020.
The Huawei cloud service will be available to organisations in South Africa and neighboring countries, providing lower-latency, reliable, and secure cloud services. Huawei says the service will be ready for trial use from next week.