Almost two years ago, Microsoft announced its intentions to deliver cloud services from datacenters located in Africa. Today, the firm has revealed that the datacenters have now been launched in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, as per initial plans.
Azure is now also generally available from these cloud regions, which will benefit organizations like Nedbank, Peace Parks Foundation, and eThekwini water that are already making use of Microsoft's cloud computing services in Africa. These services include Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365, and will help improve access to cloud and internet services across the continent. However, Office 365 is not currently available in the new datacenters, and is expected to begin being delivered by the third quarter of this year. Similarly, Dynamics 365 is anticipated to feature in the fourth quarter.
With this move, the Redmond giant has become the first global provider to deliver cloud services from datacenters in Africa. The company believes that this will encourage even more global investment in the continent in the coming years and simultaneously advance technologies at an accelerated pace.
The new cloud regions are connected with other regions through Microsoft's global network, which will be expanded to Angola soon. The company is hoping that its trans-Arabian paths through India and Europe, along with its trans-Atlantic systems like the undersea cable Marea, will help Africa connect with the global cloud. You can read in more detail about the new cloud services here.