SEACOM, the telco that connects most South Africa to the internet, has announced that it is now an official Microsoft ExpressRoute partner.

With this, SEACOM is able to offer its clients direct Ethernet links to Microsoft Azure and Office 365 data centres around the world.

This will mean that traffic travelling on these connections is more secure and, as importantly, faster because ExpressRoute connections don’t travel via the public internet.

This is probably the next best solution for businesses using Azure.

The best solution would be to have Azure and Office365 data centres in Africa. Sadly the small amount of potential customers that would make use of such a centre, not to mention the cost involved in setting one up make it less than attractive for Microsoft to set up here.

SEACOM real test will be insuring that the latency of this priority connection is kept as low as possible. If its customers are able to connect quickly and with minimal latency, they may not even care that the server they’re using is in West India, for example.

“By offering our customer dedicated links to the Azure infrastructure, we will help them enjoy high throughput and fast latencies so they can benefit from the scale and economics of the public cloud without having to compromise on network performance,” Global head of product at SEACOM, Robert Marston, said in a statement.

“Because we can control the infrastructure from the last kilometre of the fibre to our many points of presence in the world’s largest Internet traffic exchange points, we can ensure our clients use Azure as naturally as if it was an extension of their own IT infrastructure,” said Marston.

[Source – SEACOM] [Image – CC BY SA Andrew Hart]