The company says it will offer cloud services including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 from the new data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Many businesses in Africa currently rely on cloud services from European data center hubs. Moving data closer to the customers will speed up cloud services and “offer enterprise-grade reliability and performance combined with data residency,” wrote Microsoft’s Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, cloud and enterprise group, in a company blog post.
The move will bring Microsoft’s cloud expansion up to 40 regions globally, which it says it more than any other cloud provider. It also comes at a time when Microsoft Azure is closing in on AWS’ cloud dominance. Microsoft Azure’s revenue grew 93 percent in the first quarter of 2017, compared to AWS’ 43 percent growth.
As a whole, the worldwide cloud infrastructure services market continued growing in the first quarter, up 42 percent year-on-year to reach $11.4 billion, according to Canalys’ latest estimates.
Microsoft’s cloud services growth in the first quarter demonstrates the benefit of having a huge enterprise client base and converting it to Azure, according to the technology market analyst firm. Many of the leading enterprise vendors are building on Azure Stack to provide customers with hybrid solutions, it says.
Case in point: earlier this month Dell EMC launched a hybrid cloud platform for businesses that have hybrid clouds based on Microsoft Azure Stack. “Sixty-six percent of enterprise servers run on Microsoft platforms, and it’s the fastest growing cloud provider with over 120,000 new customers every month,” Peter Cutts, senior vice president, hybrid cloud platforms with Dell EMC told SDxCentral.