As a Cloud Solution Providers (CSP’s) we are happy to share Microsoft’s announcement today about the official launch of not one but two Microsoft Azure Data regions in Africa.
Nick Botha: Managing Director Dynamics Africa – Microsoft Indirect CSP Provider
To start off, let’s just get the terminology correct; Africa now have two Data Regions and not two Data Centres. The new regions are:
- South Africa North (based out of Johannesburg)
- South Africa West (based out of Cape Town)
A data region is a combination of Data Centres. Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you – the region has multiple data centres. This is why we talk about hyper-scale! Geo redundancy and fail-over are critical components of a modern hyper-scale Cloud provider and as such we have more than one physical data centre associated to the two new regions.
What Services are Available
Azure and the related services offered on the Azure platform can broadly be broken down into three ‘buckets’:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/what-is-iaas/
- Platform as a Service (PaaS) – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/what-is-paas/
- Software as a Service (SaaS) – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/overview/what-is-saas/
It’s important to understand that as a new data regions are announced, the different Azure services are delivered in ‘service rings’. Thus, not the full spectrum of Azure Services are available immediately.
Compute, Storage, Networking and Security: If we make this practical, think of the range of Virtual Machines deployed for common virtualisation workloads. A select group of VM’s are available in the new data regions. VM’s in the A, B, D, E and F-range. Have a look at this link for a full range of VM’s available locally: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/global-infrastructure/services/?products=virtual-machines®ions=france-central,france-south,south-africa-north,south-africa-west
This will grow over the following weeks and months.
Office 365: As certainly Microsoft’s most widely used SaaS Solution, Office 365 and related productivity solutions will be available soon after the initial launch. Customers with a high need for local data residency will have the option to migrate via the ‘Move’ program = reach out to us or your Microsoft Cloud Reseller to tell you more about this.
Have a look at this cool site to help you identify your data’s current location: https://products.office.com/en-us/where-is-your-data-located
Dynamics 365: Dynamics 365 Data is not local yet. Same as with O365 this will be part of a future ring expansion.
A Cloud Backed by a Tech-savvy Giant
When it comes to data protection and privacy, Microsoft really are the experts. Their high standards help customers globally to comply with international privacy and security requirements. The Microsoft Trusted Cloud principles and wide set of compliance certifications are recognized worldwide. This means the data you store in the Cloud is completely safe in their hands. With the implementation of the Africa data regions, Microsoft will now have 54 Azure regions around the globe.
Exciting times ahead!