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Azure in Africa

March 6, 2019.

Sandton, Johannesburg.

Sandton, Johannesburg. © iStock.

Two Azure data centers were brought online in South Africa--one in Cape Town and the other in Johannesburg. This makes Microsoft the first major cloud service provider to enter the African continent. Despite delays (the centers were to open last year), Microsoft still beat Amazon to the finish line: the AWS data center is not due to open in Cape Town until 2020. In addition to offering Azure services, Microsoft will use the facilities to host Office 365 starting in the third quarter of the year and Dynamics 365 starting in the fourth quarter. The arrival of data centers also pleases South African gamers, weary of never finding nearby gaming servers to get a proper ping. Microsoft is also investing in connectivity in Africa, with a fiber optic network reaching Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and soon Angola.

Ars Technica, “Microsoft is first major cloud provider to open African data centers.”