Geoff Brown     Picture: Supplied
Geoff Brown Picture: Supplied

#TechFriday Feature: Tech boost as new data centres open in SA

By Mpiletso Motumi Time of article published Dec 7, 2018

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently announced new data centres in South Africa.

The new AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region will consist of three availability zones. Currently, AWS provides 57 Availability Zones within 19 geographic regions worldwide, with announced plans for 15 more Availability Zones and five more AWS Regions in Bahrain, Cape Town, Hong Kong SAR, Milan, and Stockholm.

The new region will 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, the internet of things, mobile services, and more to drive innovation.

“Having built the original version of Amazon EC2 in our Cape Town development centre 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, the chief executive of AWS.

AWS spokesperson and sub-Saharan Africa regional manager Geoff Brown explained the benefits of data centres.

What are the benefits of having a local region?

Customers will be able to store their data on infrastructure in South Africa with the assurance that the data will not leave the country without their consent. It also means a reduction in latency, offering customers a much faster response time. For the consumers of our customers it will mean the game they play, how they digitally shop or bank, or the video they watch will respond faster, offering an enhanced experience.

The new three-site region will also allow businesses to further accelerate innovation around new emerging technologies like voice integration, artificial intelligence, machine learning, the internet of things, and digital user experience services.

AWS enables developers, start-ups and enterprises to quickly launch and compete on a global scale, improving the competitiveness of Africa. When launching a business, it is no longer enough to target local markets - more and more companies are targeting the entire world.

What about jobs? Will the new region create more jobs?

The infrastructure region will bring with it a number of highly skilled, well-paid jobs to the local economy and drive growth in cloud technology jobs.

The kind of roles AWS is hiring for include data centre engineers, support engineers, engineering operations managers, security specialists, security specialists, account managers, solution architects, partner development managers, and more. It will also open up the opportunity for new businesses to flourish.

“This announcement of the data centres speaks loudly of our strong and long-term commitment to Africa, a commitment we made in 2004 with the Amazon Development Centre in Cape Town.

Looking ahead, and as we witness the mobile first attitude across Africa, we anticipate that services like Amazon Lex for building conversation bots, Amazon Polly that turns text into lifelike speech, and Amazon Comprehend Natural Language processing service will enable voice and machine learning to improve digital user experiences in any vertical,” said Brown.


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