After missing its own deadline, Microsoft has announced that its enterprise-grade data centres have launched in South Africa.

The use of a plural is not a mistake as Microsoft has launched an Azure data centre in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Speaking at a launch event in Johannesburg, corporate vice president of Azure Networking, Yousef Khalidi, said the launch of Azure in Africa would improve access to cloud and internet services.

“The availability of Microsoft’s cloud services delivered from Africa will mean local companies can securely and reliably move their businesses to the cloud while meeting compliance requirements,” Khalidi said.

Having a local data centre will likely be of particular interest to companies which would prefer to keep their data inside South Africa rather than storing it in one of the various other Azure data centre regions. Decreased latency thanks to the servers being local will also be attractive to app developers who are looking for a robust platform.

“Azure is the first of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud services to be delivered from the new datacenters in South Africa. Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity solution, is anticipated to be available by the third quarter of calendar year 2019, and Dynamics 365, the next generation of intelligent business applications, is anticipated for the fourth quarter,” corporate vice president for Azure Global, Tom Keane, said in a statement.

The other side of the coin is that it should be easier for game publishers and developers to deploy servers in South Africa. Of course we can’t guarantee that game servers will be deployed here but we’re hopeful.

South Africa is currently a hotbed of data centre activity. Microsoft is now the second firm to put roots down in Africa with Huawei launching its Huawei Cloud just yesterday.

Amazon’s AWS data centre is scheduled to go live next year in Cape Town.

To find out more about Azure and how it might benefit your firm’s processes head to this website.