Rivals Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google have yet to announce definitive plans to launch data centers in Africa, while IBM was the first of the major cloud providers to offer data center infrastructure when it opened a hub in Johannesburg past year. Microsoft plans to open the centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
You can read additional details at the Microsoft MEA News Center and stay tuned for more news about cloud-enabled innovation in Africa. The local data centres will offer "enterprise-grade reliability and performance and local data residency, which is very important for African companies".
With the introduction of these new cloud regions, Microsoft has now announced 40 regions around the world - more than any major cloud provider.
As for the service availability, VMware said it will start offering customers the option to host their virtual desktops and business applications in the Microsoft Azure sometime in the second half of this year. "By delivering the Microsoft Cloud from within Africa, cloud services ranging from intelligent collaboration to predictive analytics will spur entrepreneurship and innovation, fuel growth for businesses of all sizes, and enable government organisations to better serve the needs of their citizens". Rival Citrix Systems, which is set to have its annual Synergy technology conference in Orlando, Fla. next week, almost a year ago launched a virtual client Windows-as-a-service offering hosted on Microsoft Azure as part of a broad partnership between those two companies.
Microsoft South Africa has yet to confirm whether this means what we hope it does for Xbox Live in the country. AGIN has built an app connecting 140,000 smallholder farmers to key services, enabling them to share data and facilitating $1.3 million per month in finance, insurance and other services. "It allows us to take advantage of new opportunities to develop innovative government solutions at manageable costs, as well as drive overall improvements in operations management, while improving transparency and accountability", says Dr. Setumo Mohapi, chief executive officer at SITA.
The Microsoft Trusted Cloud: Microsoft has deep expertise protecting data, championing privacy, and empowering customers around the globe to meet extensive security and privacy requirements. "We are excited to see VMware bring their Horizon Cloud offering and enterprise customers to Azure".
"The addition of VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure puts VMware in a unique position to offer customers several infrastructure options for virtual desktops and applications with the flexibility to move between different platforms", said Sumit Dhawan, senior vice president and general manager, End-User Computing, VMware.
For Samsung, the partnership aims to simplify Internet of Things deployments for industrial and enterprise customers. Distributed by APO on behalf of Microsoft.