Submarine cable investment and fiber connectivity to attract more data center investments in Africa, report

The data center market in Africa is attracting significant investments in recent years, led by South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria, and Ethiopia and an increase in submarine cable investment and fiber connectivity is likely to attract more of these investments in the region. This is according to Africa Data Center Market – Industry Outlook & Forecast 2022-2027 report released this week by Research and Markets. 

South Africa has the highest number of submarine cable deployments, followed by Nigeria and Kenya.

In Africa, there are more than 9 data centers that have added the white floor area of around 30,000 square feet area or more each in 2021. Several country governments are taking initiatives by developing special economic zones, and industrial parks, which provide tax exemptions for data center development.

Technologies such as the cloud, big data, and IoT generate more data through high-end applications and need more efficient systems for data processing. These technologies are growing the demand for advanced IT infrastructure in the African data center market. 

According to the report, enterprises prefer servers that can reduce space in the data center environment without affecting performance. The competition between branded and ODM server suppliers will continue because multiple enterprises opt for server infrastructure based on open community designs (OCP). The increasing demand for server shipments will continue to grow moderately as enterprises move to the cloud or colocation platforms for their IT infrastructure operations.

UPS systems are being widely adopted to provide backup power for cooling systems installed in the facility. Cooling systems are essential for the smooth operations of data centers since maintaining an optimal temperature will avoid malfunctions caused by overheating. The adoption of lithium-ion batteries is likely to increase during the forecast period as their price will continue to decline.

In South Africa, the report notes that the market will witness the entry of global data center colocation service providers through independent data center developments and partnerships or via acquisitions by major colocation providers in the country. In 2021, Teraco Data Environments, Africa Data Centre, NTT Global Data Centers were the major data center investors

In Nigeria, the shift of industry sectors such as BFSI, education, retail, manufacturing, and others toward new technologies such as cloud and big data is likely to aid the growth of the market during the forecast period. Microsoft has partnered with the Nigerian government to launch projects in the country aimed at promoting connectivity, upskilling citizens, and increasing digitalization.

Global cloud service providers such as AWS, Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle are expanding their presence with new cloud regions. So there is an opportunity for vendors to grow in suburban areas and fuel the demand for hyperscale data centers in Africa.

In December 2021, Equinix announced its plan to acquire MainOne data centers with a sum of around USD 320 million to expand operations in Africa.

The new entrants have a strong opportunity with new innovative technologies of infrastructure in the Africa cloud data center. In addition, the threat of acquisitions is to be also high since global data center operators acquire existing data centers in the region.

www.researchandmarkets.com

Cisco Middle East & Africa hosts ‘Future Cloud’ Summit to showcase new hybrid cloud innovations

Cisco led a MEA Cloud Summit showcasing new ways it is helping its customers and partners in the region accelerate digital transformations as they move more resources to the cloud.

The hyper-connected, distributed world we live in today relies more than ever on cloud, and IT teams are facing challenges to provide optimal digital experiences wherever and whenever people need access. As a result, businesses are migrating to a cloud-driven operational model based on speed, insight, and control to bridge the greater distribution of applications, users, and tech staff. 

Enabling customers realize better outcomes from the cloud

Cisco has made multi-billion-dollar investments over the past six years to build cloud into every aspect of its business, focusing on helping customers confidently develop complete cloud strategies across five key areas: Continuity, Insights, Security, Connectivity, and Operations.

During the virtual event, the company will showcase how it is advancing its cloud strategy across several of these areas to help businesses connect, secure, and automate to deliver seamless digital experiences in a hybrid cloud world.

“User experience is key to success in a digital world,” said Reem Asaad, Vice President Cisco Middle East & Africa, “We are focused on empowering and enabling technology groups to securely deliver the best possible application experiences. Only Cisco can power the hybrid cloud solutions, observability, insights, and automation necessary to be truly cloud smart.”

New hybrid cloud solutions discussed:

The agenda is designed to address key issues customers face when building their Cloud strategy. As Adele Trombetta, VP of CX EMEAR notes: ‘migrating to the cloud opens a whole new world of possibilities that promises cost optimization, security improvement and stelar user experience. It is, however – even for the boldest, most tech-savvy among us – incredibly complex.  The MEA Cloud Summit is a great opportunity to meet some of Cisco’s experts on Multicloud and hear from the people that help US design our strategy’.  

Supported by Cisco Customer Experience (CX) Services that offer:

  • Business Critical Services for Cloud provide advisory services plus expertise to architect, deploy, secure, and optimize digital transformations.
  • Intersight Workload Optimizer Services enhance the resource consumption of applications in the cloud.
  • Advanced Services for ThousandEyes and SD-WAN deliver the best application experience for cloud solutions, providing expert design and integration to reduce project complexity and speed transformation.
  • Custom Quick Start Solutions provide services for end-to-end automation and infrastructure-as-code (IaC).

Cisco believes that organizations want to see their Multicloud solution manage applications, workflows, and data better than ever before – providing better user experience, assurance of compliance, decreased security risk, programmable infrastructure and Reduced OpEx.

As stated by Osama Al Zoubi, Cisco CTO Middle East and Africa: “’We are experiencing a rate of change that we have never seen before; this acceleration created tremendous challenge and presented new opportunities. The ability to navigate the new world through multi-cloud architecture and all the innovation associated with it, is the path that many major organizations are embracing. We invite you all to come and join us through the MEA Cloud Summit forum to discuss and collaborate on ideas that will enable and accelerate digital business.

www.cisco.com

SoftwareONE and AWS sign agreement to accelerate global cloud adoption

SoftwareONE Holding AG, a leading global provider of software and cloud technology solutions, today announced a multi-year strategic collaboration agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to accelerate their customers’ cloud journeys. Through this comprehensive agreement, SoftwareONE and AWS will collaborate to accelerate the adoption of AWS services and solutions globally across all industries, supported by joint investments into go-to-market and delivery capabilities.

Building on a well-established relationship, SoftwareONE and AWS have entered into a multi-year Strategic Collaboration Agreement to provide customers globally with a variety of AWS solutions and services to support their cloud migration and modernization efforts. Key areas of collaboration include accelerating growth of SoftwareONE’s Simple for AWS offering, industrializing AWS cloud migrations and driving AWS Marketplace adoption in conjunction with SoftwareONE’s platform PyraCloud.

SoftwareONE helps customers manage their software and cloud spend through software digital supply chain and FinOps Certified services and platforms. By accessing thousands of ISV partners consolidated in SoftwareONE’s ecosystem, customers can use volume to maximize the value of the AWS Estate. At the same time, customers can achieve ongoing AWS cloud cost optimization and management. SoftwareONE’s PyraCloud platform delivers a single digital experience for customers to help manage their software and cloud spend in one place.

Utilizing investments from AWS, SoftwareONE will further develop its global Cloud Center of Excellence with best-in-class and fully certified AWS resources to support and improve the overall customer experience. In addition, SoftwareONE will provided dedicated training for the next generation of AWS cloud professionals through the SoftwareONE Academy by sourcing talent from a diverse range of backgrounds. The Academy will leverage AWS Education Programs to develop both sales and technical capabilities to support entire customer journeys and overall growth of SoftwareONE’s AWS practice.

SoftwareONE’s Chief Executive Officer, Dieter Schlosser, said, “We maintain long-term relationships with our customers, modernizing their software, cloud and technology to attain their digital transformation goals. This ground-breaking agreement signals our commitment to scaling out our global AWS practice to advance our customers’ multi-cloud strategies. It underpins our vision of growing our Application Services, SAP Services, Industry Vertical Solutions, Cloud Services and FinOps to a combined CHF 1 billion services business by 2025. Finally, it helps our PyraCloud platform customers optimize their AWS cloud service consumption.”

“As cloud adoption accelerates, we are excited to work with our AWS Public Sector Partners, like SoftwareONE, that are global in scale and have comprehensive cloud-native expertise and delivery capabilities to address mission-critical tasks and the complex needs of today’s organizations,” said Jeff Kratz, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector Partners and Programs, AWS.

SoftwareONE is an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner and recently acquired HeleCloud, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner and AWS Managed Service Provider. SoftwareONE also holds competencies for Migration, SAP, DevOps, Solution Provider, Public Sector, AWS Well-Architected Program, End User Computing and Microsoft Workloads.

www.softwareone.com

Oracle opens first cloud region in Africa

Oracle announced the availability of its first cloud region in Africa to meet the rapidly growing demand for enterprise cloud services on the continent. The Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region will boost cloud adoption across Africa while also helping businesses achieve better performance and drive continuous innovation. The opening marks Oracle’s 37th cloud region worldwide with plans to have at least 44 cloud regions by the end of 2022, continuing one of the fastest expansions of any major cloud provider.

“The fourth industrial revolution, which is powered by cloud-led technologies, has significantly accelerated in South Africa and the wider African continent. In recent months, cloud technologies have played a vital role in helping African public and private sector organisations ensure business continuity, deliver essential services, and meet evolving customer expectations. The Oracle Johannesburg region offers a next-generation cloud to run any application faster and more securely for less, helping businesses build resilience, agility and achieve improved ROI,” said Richard Smith, executive vice president, EMEA, Oracle.

The Johannesburg region is built on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), which enables customers to easily migrate IT workloads and data platforms to the cloud or build new cloud native applications. In addition, Oracle offers a wide range of application modernisation and cloud strategies to help African organisations operate with global competitiveness.

Customer, Analyst, and Partner Commentary

African organisations are using Oracle to manage their mission-critical workloads and take advantage of cloud economics. Customers will benefit from significant performance improvements and reduced operational costs.

Airports Company South Africa owns and manages a network of nine airports in South Africa, including the three main international gateways: O.R. Tambo International, Cape Town International and King Shaka International, which together process more than 40 million passengers annually.

“Airports Company South Africa is mandated to advance South Africa’s national agenda of economic growth and development while delivering a sustainable and profitable business. Cloud-led digital transformation is vital for us to maintain an agile and profitable business model. The Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region will offer us the flexibility to explore the latest technologies that can support our digital roadmap,” said Mthoko Mncwabe, CIO, Airports Company South Africa.

The Government Pensions Administrative Agency (GPAA) ensures the effective, transparent and accountable administration of pension funds on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GPEF) and the National Treasury of South Africa.

“GPAA is in the process of replacing legacy applications and refreshing its IT infrastructure. The timing of the Johannesburg region opening is perfect to enable us to lift and shift our existing and future Oracle deployments to the cloud. This will enable us to cut down on on-premises infrastructure and assist with the management of Oracle services, cybersecurity and disaster recovery,” said Meiring Coetzee, CIO, Government Pensions Administrative Agency.

Telkom is Africa’s largest telecommunications company.

“Telkom plays a leading role in South Africa’s digital revolution, providing the latest converged ICT solutions for a range of business and residential customers. The Johannesburg region will boost the local infrastructure capability of South Africa and the wider continent, and help organisations kick-start their digital transformation journeys,” said Reubin Layman, CIO, Openserve, Telkom SA.

“Our deep partnership with Oracle has always been one of Accenture’s most strategic and important initiatives to help our clients leverage the cloud and thrive in a cloud-first world. In this era of rapid transformation, cloud has proven to be a powerful tool for organisations to master change – in fact, we have found that cloud-focused organisations in Africa and Asia Pacific were able to achieve 1.5 times more cost reduction and were reported to be 3.7 times more likely to innovate as compared to their competitors. We have seen the benefits Oracle Cloud Infrastructure brings to our clients and know that the Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region will further accelerate organisations’ cloud adoption and their ability to become agile, intelligent and digital businesses,” said Kgomotso Lebele, Technology Lead, Accenture Africa.

“Public cloud services adoption is accelerating at CAGR of 25 percent year on year between 2020 and 2025 in Sub-Saharan Africa and IDC projects that the growth momentum will continue. The role of cloud in enabling innovation is underscored by the priority organisations have given to it as part of their digital transformation initiatives. Cloud-based technologies have helped organisations weather the COVID-19 crisis and cloud is now helping them build resilient organisations that can withstand uncertainties. Our survey of CIOs in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria highlights that an in-country data center is an important factor for 60 percent of organisations that are planning to adopt cloud over the next 12-18 months. The Johannesburg region will boost regional cloud infrastructure availability. IDC believes that cloud has become an inseparable element of an organisation’s digital transformation and innovation roadmap,” said Mark Walker, associate vice president, Sub-Saharan Africa, IDC.

“Supply chain is mission critical. Kӧrber’s unrivaled portfolio of supply chain software, spanning WMS, voice, robotics and beyond, empowers businesses to turn what were once warehousing and logistics challenges into strategic differentiators. Our work with Oracle takes this to another level, enhancing our capabilities with the power of the cloud. We look forward to the possibilities our solutions and the Oracle Cloud together will bring the industry in South and Sub Saharan Africa and globally”, said Joe Couto, executive vice president, robotics and 3PL at Kӧrber Supply Chain Software.

Preparing Africa’s Next Generation for the Digital Economy

In South Africa, Oracle has initiated an annual “Graduate Leadership Program” to address the skills gap in the local ICT industry and creating employment opportunities for South Africa’s youth. The program focuses on equipping disadvantaged South African students with specialised technology and leadership skills that prepare them for a career in the IT industry. Since its inception in 2014, more than 200 graduates have completed this program with several securing permanent employment with Oracle partner companies and other organisations.

High Availability and Disaster Protection

Oracle’s strategy is to meet customers where they are, enabling customers to keep data and services where they need it. Customers can deploy Oracle Cloud completely within their own data centers with Dedicated Region and Exadata Cloud@Customer, deploy cloud services locally with public cloud-based management, or deploy cloud services remotely on the edge with Roving Edge Infrastructure.

OCI’s next-generation architecture provides a high-performing, resilient foundation for cloud services, while its physical and virtual network design maximizes performance and security. For example, each Oracle Cloud region contains at least three fault domains, which are groupings of hardware that form logical data centers for high availability and resilience to hardware and network failures.

Sustainability

Oracle is committed to sustainability and has pledged to power all Oracle Cloud regions worldwide with 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.  Several Oracle Cloud regions in North America, South America, and Europe are already powered by 100 percent renewable energy, and all Oracle Cloud regions use state-of-the-art energy management and cooling technologies to minimize their impact on the environment.  As part of its clean Cloud initiative, Oracle reused or recycled 99.6 percent of its retired hardware in FY21 while strictly adhering to Oracle’s data privacy and security practices.

Cloud Regions Deliver All Cloud Services and Multicloud

Oracle Cloud regions support every Oracle service and feature and are available to customers anywhere in the world. This includes Oracle Autonomous Database, Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes, Oracle Cloud VMware solution, and Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications Suite.

OCI’s extensive network of more than 70 FastConnect global and regional partners offer customers dedicated connectivity to Oracle Cloud regions and OCI services – providing customers with the best options anywhere in the world. FastConnect provides an easy, elastic, and economical way to create a dedicated and private network connection with higher bandwidth, lower latency, and more consistent performance versus public Internet-based connections. Partners available at launch for the Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region include Colt, Telia, Equinix, and Megaport.

In addition, OCI and Microsoft Azure have a strategic partnership that enables joint customers to run workloads across the two clouds. This partnership provides a low latency, cross-cloud interconnect between OCI and Azure in ten regions (San Jose, Phoenix, Ashburn, Toronto, Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Tokyo, South Korea and Vinhedo), federated identity for joint customers to deploy applications across both clouds, and a collaborative support model. Customers can run full stack applications in a multi-cloud configuration, while maintaining high-performance connectivity without requiring re-architecture. They can also potentially migrate existing applications or develop cloud native applications that use a mix of OCI and Azure services.

www.oracle.com

Safozi launches high performance cloud services in Tunisia with Sunlight.io Infrastructure Technology

Sunlight.io, the edge infrastructure company, has announced its partnership with North Africa’s leading Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider, Safozi. Together they’re bringing high-performance and private cloud services, with local support, to Tunisia and other countries across North Africa.

Sunlight is working with Safozi to deploy high density servers with high core count CPUs, fast SSD and SAS storage and fast networking. This means they can offer their customers, including key Tunisian news outlets and financial services firms, a no-compromise cloud service that combines the ease of cloud with the performance of bare metal infrastructure.

With Sunlight, Safozi’s enterprise customers can benefit from a superior cloud solution that is locally hosted in Tunisia. Safozi can offer a higher performance and lower cost alternative to AWS or OVH. In addition, customers have the flexibility to take advantage of their virtual data center service – allowing CIOs to subscribe to a guaranteed set of CPU, memory and storage resources, which can be sliced into virtual machines that precisely meet their workloads’ needs.

“With Sunlight, we can offer our enterprise customers a superior cloud solution that’s hosted locally in Tunisia, with local support and at a low cost,” said Zied Ouled Ali, Safozi’s Founder & General Manager. “The Sunlight team has been on hand to help get our new cloud capability up and running quickly. My customers are excited to experience the high performance they can now get from the Sunlight infrastructure.”

Sunlight Founder and CEO, Julian Chesterfield, said, “It has been a pleasure working with Safozi to bring affordable, high performance cloud services to Tunisia and the North African region. Applications running on Safozi’s cloud will now be able to deliver a far higher level of responsiveness to their users which translates to better customer satisfaction.”

Under the partnership, Safozi will also act as a value-added reseller for Sunlight in the region.

www.safozi.com

www.sunlight.io

[South Africa] Cloud provider Routed launches new portal to provide curated resources for its partners

South Africa’s cloud provider Routed, has launched its channel partner portal to provide curated resources for partners, managed services providers, and ISPs selling, marketing, and operating as resellers of VMware Cloud through Routed.

Routed became the first VMware Cloud Verified partner in Africa in 2019 and has gone on to become a VMware Principal Partner, too. Andrew Cruise, managing director for Routed, says that Routed has built a resilient and robust channel to assist its partners in delivering the best solutions that their end-customers have come to expect from VMware. 

“VMware has a discerning customer base with specific requirements of their cloud technologies. Building our Partner Platform has allowed us to curate and focus our efforts on providing our partners with the right tools, material, and support for VMware Cloud presence in Africa through Routed,” says Cruise. 

Sumeeth Singh, Cloud Provider Business Head at VMware South Africa, added that “Cloud computing solutions are driving the current wave of digital innovation. Through partners like Routed and their channel, we see the acceleration we look forward to, in an age where organisations big and small can benefit from a secure, efficient, and scalable VMware Cloud service delivery platform.”

According to Gartner, spending on the public cloud is forecast to grow over 18% in 2021, with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) expected to gain the most. Managed Service Providers, ISPs, even ISVs and distribution partners will do well to capitalise on this as organisations’ needs evolve. The market has already shifted from supply-driven to demand-driven, and it’s become essential for all organisations to consider how the cloud fits into their infrastructure plans.

On-premises infrastructure will always have its place in organisations, especially when more control is required, but it is asset-heavy and slow to adapt to change and growth. For the right use-cases migrating infrastructure to the cloud provides end-customers with agility and cost savings.

Routed depends on partners who can manage the implementation of its solutions, some of the most complete VMware Cloud-based infrastructure deployments available locally. “The opportunity exists for our partners who, with the right resources, knowledge and support from Routed and VMware, can confidently engage with their end-customers to provide the world-class solutions that VMware is renowned for with the level of support and service that they come to expect,” adds Cruise. 

Over the past five years, Routed has established itself as the leading provider of VMware Cloud on the continent. Its success has followed from its relentless focus on providing an integrated cloud platform that addresses enterprise cloud, recovery, and modern application development requirements, which are taken to market through trusted partners.

“The Routed Partner Portal is the start of an exciting journey for cloud and specifically VMware Cloud in South Africa. End-user enterprises deserve a reliable, highly available and secure cloud infrastructure. Now the channel has the resources to grow their skills and access some of the best support materials available to develop this customer base.” Cruise says.

With its Principal Partner status as a Cloud Provider – the highest tiered recognition within the VMware Partner Connect programme – Routed’s partners now benefit from the same level of resources and support that a Principal Partner will enjoy but facilitated by Routed.

“We are changing the cloud landscape, and this is just the start because, at Routed, we want the industry to develop because when the end-customers realise the benefits, we all win,” adds Cruise.

New partner applications to the Routed Partner Portal will commence in 2022 by engaging with the Routed team.

www.routed.co.za