[Column] Tejpal Bedi: Kenya’s data centres – Essential infrastructure for expanding our digital economy

Although most of us don’t usually spend much time thinking about data centres, they play a fundamental role in the origin, delivery, and maintenance of Internet services and networks. And our need for them is growing as more people use the Internet to join the digital economy. Global traffic surged by more than 40% in 2020 as a result of increased video streaming, teleconferencing, online gaming, and social networking. The number of global Internet users has doubled since 2010, and with that increase comes the need for data centres that can not only cater for current requirements, but also for future loads that require even more complex computing capabilities.

In an African context, countries such as Kenya and Uganda have seen increased investment and interest from multinational operators. We see this with data centre operator Raxio launching its first carrier-neutral centre in Kampala in 2021. Other examples include PAIX building a data centre in Nairobi’s financial district, and Asteroid International expanding its Kenyan Internet exchange service from Mombasa to Nairobi. Combined with the increasing investment from hyperscalers such as AWS, Google, and Meta, the end result of this is more value for end users and enterprises in the East African region, with better speeds, better pricing, and a blossoming digital economy.

In Kenya, more data centres, and their surrounding technology infrastructure, could change how people and businesses engage with global networks and systems. To do that, it’s important to know what that infrastructure looks like, and what it is capable of. 

Inside a data centre

What do you see when you imagine a data centre? Perhaps a giant warehouse filled with endless corridors of blinking server towers, storing data or serving as a junction point through which data passes on its journey from A to B. However, today’s data centres are more complex. They are designed to support multiple on-site and cloud activities, especially when it comes to business IT. A data centre can support email and file sharing customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, enterprise resource planning (ERP) and databases, virtual desktops and communication services, as well as evolving applications in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Centres are comprised of servers, routers, switches, firewalls, and service delivery controllers, all vital components that work together to deliver comprehensive functionality.

While there are various kinds of centres that cater to specific services, colocation centres and carrier-neutral facilities are two of the most common; both of which serve important purposes for all kinds of enterprises. Simply put, colocation centres offer a space, both physical and virtual, for companies to store and manage their servers and other infrastructure, while carrier-neutral centres are independent entities offering various connection options to customers, including direct connections and cloud services.

The impact of Kenya’s data centres

Considered the gateway to the East Africa region, Kenya plays an important geographical and logistical role in the rollout of Internet connectivity and services on the continent. Our country enjoys the presence of several local facility operators that have grown and expanded in part thanks to acquisitions or partnerships with global operators, while also offering end-to-end solutions for companies of all sizes. Investments in broadband undersea cables and landing stations enable accessibility, connecting the continent to global cloud networks and serving as the bedrock on which Kenya can embrace cutting-edge digital solutions. 

According to the Kenya Data Centre Investment Analysis Report, our data centre market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.36% between 2021 and 2026. Kenya serves as of one the continent’s primary data centre hubs. Nairobi is a favourable location for data centre development, with Mombasa becoming more popular with service providers as well. Data centres enable the growing adoption of big data and Internet of Things (IoT) services, while the demand for original design manufacturer (ODM) servers among operators also fuels growth in server infrastructure. These factors contribute to Kenya’s position not only as a continental leader, but also as an opportunity hotbed for technology sectors. 

Innovation, energy, and the future

Despite this potential, Africa’s hosting capacity remains minimal. The continent’s capacity is only a fraction of some of the world’s largest data centre metros, such as London or Amsterdam. However, new facility construction has accelerated as markets consider hosting and cloud service opportunities. Reliable data centre infrastructure, as offered and maintained by reputable service providers, mean users in Nairobi can utilise AI, blockchain and other digital resources with the same level of security and ease as other users in the overseas metros.

This infrastructure, and its energy requirements, also raises environmental considerations that are being addressed. Growing demand for data centres continues to be mostly offset by ongoing efficiency improvements in servers, switches, and other infrastructure. Combined with mobile networks switching from 2G and 3G technologies to more efficient 4G and 5G ones, data centres are becoming increasingly energy efficient.

From fledgling start-ups to large corporates, we can’t underestimate the importance of data centres when it comes to delivering Internet solutions and unlocking digital opportunities. With data centres offering so much to the Kenyan economy and individual businesses, it’s a good time for companies to prioritise finding reliable ICT partners and service providers of data hosting facilities.

Tejpal Bedi is the SEACOM Managing Director and Regional Head of Sales for the ENEA region.

[Column] Francis Wainaina: How cloud technology could transform manufacturing in Africa

Globally, the manufacturing sector plays a significant role in driving economic growth, job creation, and lifting people out of poverty. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, global manufacturing output has been in decline and Kenyan manufacturers say they are now prioritising cost reduction, increasing revenue, retaining jobs, and improving cash flow. At the same time, with the Fourth Industrial Revolution underway, manufacturers are being pushed to embrace technological development – or risk losing business to more technologically advanced competitors.

Cloud technologies offer manufacturers a solution to this, providing speed, agility, cost savings, and innovation advantages that could accelerate the recovery of the manufacturing sector as well as increase Kenya’s global competitiveness. The African Continental Free Trade Area, Kenya-USA Free Trade Area, Kenya-UK Free Trade Area, and the European Union, under the Economic Partnership Agreements, all present enormous export opportunities for our country, but our manufacturing sector cannot fully capitalise on these global markets without undergoing significant digital transformation.

Kenya’s vision

In 2008, the Kenyan government launched Kenya Vision 2030 with a long-term national development strategy to transform Kenya into a globally competitive industrial hub. Under the Big Four Agenda, the government hopes to increase the manufacturing sector’s contribution to Kenya’s GDP to 15% by 2022. 

The Competitive Industrial Performance Index Report (2020), which benchmarks our ability to produce and export manufactured goods competitively, ranked Kenya 115th out of 152 countries.  While this places us as a leader in East Africa, Kenya’s manufacturing sector still has a long way to go – and the pandemic has not made things easier. In May 2020, a KAM-KPMG survey showed that 53% of manufacturers were operating below 50% capacity during the pandemic. Although manufacturing’s contribution to GDP decreased from 7.8% in 2018 to 7.5% in 2019, the sector also saw an increase from KSh. 690.6 billion to Ksh. 734.6 billion in value added over the same period – largely due to increased output in the manufacturing of transport equipment, chemicals, and chemical products and pharmaceuticals.

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers developed the Manufacturing Priority Agenda 2021 to accelerate the recovery of Kenya’s manufacturing sector, with enhanced digitalisation as one of the seven key agendas to “enhance productivity, induce innovation, and enhance resource efficiency”.

The future of manufacturing

In the past, the prevailing winning strategies for manufacturers were large production sites, long product life-cycles, vertical integration, and a heavy investment in costly on-premise systems. But the face of manufacturing has changed, and today’s manufacturers do not only compete by the size and scale of their operations, but also by their speed and agility. For example, many plants today are distributed across the globe and dependent on a constantly fluctuating global supply chain, which necessitates more flexible and data-driven approaches to supply chain management. 

As is the case in most other sectors, the future of manufacturing now belongs to those who can successfully adopt technologies such as machine learning and automation, big data, or IoT. Cloud systems enable these forward-facing technologies, which is why 46% of respondents in Africa’s manufacturing sector, according to a study by World Wide Worx, reported an increased spend on cloud services.

Why manufacturers are using the cloud

Efficient manufacturing is about accomplishing more with fewer resources without compromising on quality. It is also about effectively managing communication between suppliers and distributors, streamlining production schedules through real-time and insight-driven monitoring, and minimising operational costs.

Cloud technologies play directly into all of this, and while some of these capabilities are possible with on-premise systems, cloud-based systems are much faster and more cost-effective to roll out, enable easier customisation and flexibility, allow for scalability, and open the door for innovation. Manufacturers often compete in highly regulated industries where being first-to-market is crucial, and cloud computing is making it possible for them to reduce the time it takes to conduct strategic sourcing, quality audits, supply chain management, optimisation, and more accurate forecasting.

Developing scalable manufacturing intelligence across various plants can be achieved at a much lower cost and with greater accuracy using cloud systems, which can provide real-time insights into production performance using one central dashboard. Cloud-based monitoring systems also allow production processes to be fine-tuned actively and with greater accuracy, making it easier to identify bottlenecks and make configuration changes from any location.

Legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that do not run in the cloud were not designed for complex compliance reporting requirements, which is becoming increasingly important in the manufacturing sector. Cloud computing is making it possible to integrate these legacy systems with the cloud and define entirely new metrics and performance indicators.

Unlocking Africa’s potential

As industries and businesses adapt to working in the digital-first world, digital transformation has become critical to success. Cloud technologies have become a pillar of the modern business world, and the manufacturing sector is certainly no exception. To accelerate the growth of Kenya’s economy through improved manufacturing capabilities, we need to follow international trends and take advantage of all the opportunities that cloud has to offer.

Francis Wainaina is a Senior Product Manager at SEACOM East Africa.

[Column] Francis Wainaina: The 4 steps to a successful cloud migration

Migrating to the cloud can seem like a daunting task for businesses that are still at the start of their digital transformation journeys, but the costs of delaying this decision can be far greater than the initial challenges of cloud adoption. In a survey by World Wide Worx, 31% of Kenyan businesses reported spending between 51% and 75% of their IT budgets on cloud services in 2020, and 68% intend to increase their cloud spend in 2021. With so many businesses moving to the cloud, you can’t afford to be left behind.

The pandemic has doubtlessly accelerated this shift toward cloud environments, and more organisations are beginning to capitalise on the various innovations that cloud can offer. If your business is about to undertake this digital migration, there are a few steps you don’t want to miss.

Develop a clear cloud strategy

Cloud migration may seem like a journey of a thousand miles, but with a clear hybrid strategy, it can be made manageable with smaller, calculated steps. Developing a cloud strategy should always come first, and in a way that prioritises business objectives above implementing new technology for innovation’s sake.

Start by defining the purpose for migration by evaluating your requirements and use cases for cloud. Know your workload priorities: are you going to move in phases, starting with the least critical workloads? Or is a new technology or your competition making migration a matter of urgency? It’s important to know what your plan is, why you’re doing it, and how you’re going to get there.

Capturing baseline metrics for your on-premise IT infrastructure can help establish key performance indicators when planning for a successful migration. Measurements such as CPU and memory usage, disk performance, network latency, and load balancing can tell you how well your applications and services are running and establish success criteria for areas that need improvement. Also consider the maintenance costs, access speeds, and scalability of your on-premise applications: are legacy systems costing you more, for less versatility?

Identify the right applications and services

Some applications that are not cloud native might not use resources as efficiently in the cloud as they do on-premise. This makes it important to assess which applications, assets, and services you want to move. Certain applications might need minor adjustments while others need in-depth code changes to function optimally.

You also need to know which applications work better in public, private, or hybrid environments in terms of performance, functionality, or security requirements. Whether you need to share resources with other companies via a public cloud, use a private cloud to avoid public network overloads affecting crucial business processes, or use a hybrid cloud for a bit of both, there’s an environment for every business requirement.

Maintain data integrity and operational continuity

Before conducting a complete digital overhaul of your business, it is crucial to manage the risks of cloud migration and ensure operational continuity. Moving mission-critical processes and applications without downtime harming your business is certainly possible, especially with more ‘lift and shift’ platforms becoming available that replicate network environments. But this process still requires careful planning and analysis.

When valuable business data is being moved, the integrity of the information needs to remain intact, and there should always be a back-up system in place. There is also the matter of security standards and regulatory compliance to consider, as well as potential software licencing issues when extending on-premise proprietary software to the cloud. But businesses don’t need to navigate these challenges on their own; this is where service providers come into the picture.

Choose the right cloud provider

Once you know which applications and cloud environments can bring more value to your business, you can determine whether you need to take a single or multi-cloud approach to fulfil all of your essential requirements. Choosing a reliable cloud provider can make the cloud migration journey much simpler, which is why it is helpful to partner with someone that understands the unique requirements of your business, big or small, and allows your cloud infrastructure to scale and grow as your business does.

Many business owners are not aware of the fact that a cloud provider with proven experience can handle most of the complexities of cloud migration. Having managed cloud services allows for a more seamless transition toward digital innovation while businesses can focus on their core offerings.

Cloud services have certainly revolutionised the way we do business, offering various benefits such as cost-effective access to computing power, on-demand applications and services, remote collaboration, and greater network security. Cloud migration is not a journey that happens overnight, but it is ultimately essential for those who wish to thrive in today’s digital age.

Francis Wainaina is a Senior Product Manager at SEACOM East Africa.

[Column] Patrick Ndegwa: The future of cloud computing: moving at the speed of business

is in the cloud.

And with services like cloud-based email, many companies are already using this innovative technology – whether they realise it or not. The conversation has changed from asking ‘what is cloud technology?’ to looking at how it can be harnessed to achieve business success.

Organisations need to be able to adapt at the same speed as this new technology and take advantage of the opportunities it presents. This will ensure business continuity and resilience in the long term. So what’s next for the cloud?

The future of cloud computing: opportunities for Africa

The Internet of Things  is set to become even more prominent, with companies able to automate and optimise more processes as connected ‘smart’ machines are used. Interconnected systems mean that business processes and actual equipment will be linked to ensure ease of access and optimisation. This has the power to significantly improve efficiency for businesses that can get it right.

This could include inventory systems that automatically order more stock when levels are low; smart machines that notify you before a part needs to be replaced; or logistics tracking that optimises routes and delivery based on orders and current traffic congestion. As we progress into this digital world of work, systems will become more interlinked and intertwined, providing opportunities for companies that are ready to take advantage.

Furthermore, the cloud enables remote working and service provision, regardless of where employees or organisations are located. This opens up business opportunities as distance from customers and clients is no longer a stumbling block.

African companies can offer their services to a wider market – and in turn use additional services – as a result of a digitally connected world. The same applies to workers; employees can search for jobs nationally and internationally, as opposed to simply searching for opportunities in their immediate area.

Business flexibility and scalability will be key to enabling growth while reducing unnecessary costs as a result of more streamlined operating systems and access to more markets and a wider range of service providers.

Ensuring the safety and security of the business

The importance of security in this new cloud-connected world cannot be stressed enough. As more data is moved to a cloud environment, businesses that don’t take security seriously become more susceptible to data breaches.

User rights need to be properly managed and the relevant software put into place to prevent cyberattacks and data leaks. In addition to this, each individual accessing a system affects the safety of the wider network, so employee training is vital. Accessing and managing data remotely will need to become a priority. The constant influx of data that is being collected and stored needs to be organised and used strategically. Regular backups are crucial in ensuring that information is safe and easily accessible should the original data be deemed at risk. This will ensure business continuity and reduce downtime.

Companies that stand to win will be those that partner with cloud providers that can help them put the right security measures in place.

Adapting to a cloud-driven world of business

Research indicates that by 2025, all of the world’s data is expected to increase by five times. This data is estimated to be worth around 123.2 billion USD. In addition to this, the mobile cloud services market will be worth an estimated $95 billion by 2024. This trend also applies to Africa.

As Internet usage in Africa grows, so does the amount of data created – as well as the value of that data. Accessing these huge amounts of data won’t be the biggest challenge – making sense of it will be. Companies that can collect, collate and analyse the sheer volume of data generated every day by their customers, employees and other stakeholders stand to gain a lot. If you aren’t organising your data and using it strategically, you will be left behind.

As we look to the future, the importance of partnering with a provider that can assist your business in meeting its operational needs to remain a top priority. A forward-thinking cloud partner can help your business plan for the future, while making the most of the latest innovative technology.

Patrick Ndegwa is Business Sales Lead for SEACOM East Africa

SEACOM invests in fibre capacity to support cloud computing

Pan-African service provider SEACOM has announced plans to double the data capacity on its broadband submarine cable system from 1.5 terabytes to 3 terabytes. The move will see more businesses on the continent utilize emerging technologies such as cloud computing.

SEACOM CEO Byron Clatterbuck says the decision is informed by the increasing demand for cloud-based data processing by companies with multinational operations across the continent.

“It’s not just about connecting from Africa to Europe and Asia anymore,” Clatterbuck said. “A lot of content and computing power is moving onto the continent, so connectivity requirements are becoming more regional, and specifically interregional. With such a complex environment, greater capacity is essential.”

SEACOM is already providing direct broadband access to corporate customers through its SEACOM Business arm.

As a partner to African business, the undersea broadband cable services provider has already enabled cloud-based operations for a variety of companies through high-speed, secure and reliable connectivity to platforms such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

Going forward, the company says it plans on expanding further inland, widening fibre access across the continent while targeting large and medium corporations with its premium offerings.

“You will see more terrestrial cables being laid, and the quality of those builds will get better,” Clatterbuck explained. He added “This isn’t to say there aren’t challenges. There is a long way to go in terms of basic infrastructure provision, relating to roads, rails and highways, all of which make it easier and more affordable to deploy fibre-optic networks.

In April, SEACOM announced the conclusion of the agreement for the 100% acquisition of FibreCo Telecommunications in November 2018. FibreCo owns and operates a national open access dark fibre network, providing infrastructure and connectivity services across South Africa. Acknowledging its benefits for the South African economy and local citizens, the South African Competition Commission approved the acquisition in March.

The FibreCo acquisition represents another significant step for SEACOM in fulfilling its vision to increase the company’s 2019 national footprint in South Africa and Africa as a whole through the consolidation of fibre assets. SEACOM believes this is necessary for the evolution of the market, particularly with the increased demand for data owing to the growth in fibre based connectivity and emergence in technologies such as 5G.

The acquisition of FibreCo further enables SEACOM to scale and upgrade its African Ring by connecting its East and West coast submarine assets with a robust network of trans-South African fibre.

While SEACOM connects South Africa to the east coast of Africa, India and Europe, FibreCo network runs along South Africa’s highest-traffic transmission routes and connects over 60 points of presence across the country that include key data centres in major metros like Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Durban and East London.

Additional end-to-end fibre connects the SEACOM subsea cable system (which lands in Mtunzini on the east coast of South Africa) to the WACS cable (which falls at Yzerfontein, on the west coast of the country), ensuring fully redundant high-speed ring protection around the African continent.

By expanding its wholesale portfolio to include several national long-distance services and last mile metro connectivity, SEACOM has become the provider of choice to local and international data communications customers.

Lighting up additional fibre across South Africa also creates a platform for SEACOM to deliver affordable, high-speed Internet connectivity and cloud services to traditionally-underserved mid-tier cities and towns along the new routes.

www.seacom.mu

SEACOM launches direct-to-corporate connectivity and cloud services in Uganda

Pan-African telecoms enabler SEACOM has further extended its corporate market offering into the East African region, under its SEACOM Business brand, by providing its Internet connectivity and cloud services directly to corporate customers in Uganda.

SEACOM has been a leading data connectivity provider in Uganda enabling access though the service provider segment.  It is now bolstering its presence in Kampala by expanding its enterprise reach and will now be able to provide corporate organisations in Uganda with reliable data connectivity and cloud services. SEACOM will provide a corporate-grade consistent service quality by leveraging SEACOM’s existing high-speed fiber-based network infrastructure that extends from Kampala onto its diverse subsea international backbone.

Speaking during the launch, SEACOM’s Managing Director for the Eastern North and East Africa region, Tonny Tugee, said the new development is part of the telecoms provider’s plan to strengthen its position as the regional connectivity provider with the ability to link businesses together within Africa and globally.

“We own and operate our core data backbone network end-to-end, enabling us to offer seamless and cost-effective solutions across the region. In addition, we have highly skilled experts here in Uganda with all the tools customers will need to scale up on the services that they may require now or in future,” said Mr. Tugee.

Since its launch in July 2009, SEACOM has steadily increased the availability of international bandwidth and now operates more than 1.2 Terabits of lit capacity on the SEACOM subsea cable system. SEACOM has risen to the forefront of providing hyper-scale data infrastructure, starting as a carrier’s carrier before diversifying to managed data network services and now cloud computing services. The company aims to leverage its existing high-speed fiber network infrastructure in Uganda that currently covers Kampala, Entebbe, Jinja, Mbarara and Gulu.

In addition to the services that are already being provided locally through local last-mile partners, SEACOM will be riding on its abundant and scalable capacity to deliver cloud services, dedicated, low latency transmission connectivity and VPN connectivity through international partner networks.

“Migration to Cloud Services will help our customers to improve business processes and significantly reduce costs. This, in addition to our redundant connectivity ring around the continent, will provide an ultimate ‘data home’ for your business,” explained Francis Ndegwa, SEACOM Senior Product Manager.

Recently, SEACOM partnered with Microsoft to launch a cloud service that allows customers to extend their on-premises networks into the cloud without going over the public internet. The service, dubbed Azure ExpressRoute, enables customers to create private connections between data centres and infrastructure on their premises or in a cloud environment.

The ExpressRoute partnership has already recorded success with a number of corporate customers such as M-KOPA – the world’s leading pay-as-you-go off-grid solar company, which is now able to deploy its IT technologies in a seamless and reliable manner to bring power to over 750,000 homes across East Africa.

SEACOM launched the first broadband submarine cable system along the East African coastline in 2009 linking South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique with several major hubs in Europe and Asia. The company has been pivotal in ICT infrastructure development in Africa through ensuring the provision of high-speed, reliable and secure connectivity to cloud services and other online tools across the continent. Today, SEACOM offers a redundant connectivity ring around Africa’s east and west coasts, optimal traffic routing, and resiliency through multiple tier-1 upstream partners in Europe and Asia. It also offers direct connectivity to African routes and content.

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SEACOM adds eight new PoPs across Africa for more African businesses to connect to worldwide cloud facilities

The PoPS will also enable the businesses to connect to the continent’s first Microsoft Azure data centres, in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Pan-African Internet and connectivity service provider SEACOM is adding eight new Points of Presence (PoPs) across Africa to enable more African businesses to connect to cloud facilities worldwide. The PoPS will also enable the businesses to connect to the continent’s first Microsoft Azure data centres, in Johannesburg and Cape Town.  

In Kenya, SEACOM has extended its presence in the brand-new icolo data centre in Mombasa. This full-service facility acts as an on-ramp to SEACOM’s resilient network, providing better support to service provider and enterprise customers in the country. It offers both premium IP/MPLS and transmission services from this new PoP.

SEACOM’s Mombasa PoP is also significant as it connects Kenya’s first truly open-access data centre onto the SEACOM open-access data network. Rare in the region, in comparison to operator-owned data centres, these carrier-neutral facilities encourage competition in the local ICT sphere, helping to increase cloud-based service offerings for customers while driving down costs.  

SEACOM has similar plans for new open-access PoPs that are coming in Nairobi and Kampala. In preparation for higher demand and expanded services to business customers in the region, SEACOM has upgraded its backhaul connecting Mombasa to these new PoPs to include four separate and resilient routes.

In South Africa, SEACOM is deploying a new PoP within the carrier neutral Teraco Bredell data centre. Robert Marston, Global Head of Product at SEACOM, explains, “This new facility is a key location, catering specifically to content providers and enterprise customers. It will also serve as an important data recovery site for many operators.”

Although it already owns Africa’s most extensive international ICT data infrastructure, SEACOM says it is continually investing in strategic upgrades and expanding its PoP footprint within Africa. The company’s recent acquisition of FibreCo has added more than 60 network nodes across its South African network – including six core PoPs in major metros – vastly extending its reach. Internationally, SEACOM is the only African carrier to cover all five of the largest exchange points in Europe (London, Frankfort, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Marseille), in addition to Mumbai.

SEACOM’s PoPs are key to the provider’s direct access offerings, which bypass the public Internet in connecting company networks to digital business solutions. The standard-setting service sees line rates reach from 100 Mbps up to 100 Gigabits per second. By connecting onto a SEACOM PoP that is in closer proximity to their core business sites, customers can experience the SEACOM network’s speed and reliability with more convenience, and generally less cost.

Marston concludes, “The moves that SEACOM is making to improve our infrastructure on the continent will benefit African companies with greater high-speed, reliable and secure connectivity to cloud services and other online tools. One of our major objectives is to add simplicity to cloud migrations wherever possible.”

www.seacom.mu

Seacom to provide direct connectivity for Kenyan businesses to South Africa

Leading Pan-African Internet and connectivity service provider, SEACOM has announced that it will now offer direct connections from its East Africa network to public cloud networks and data centres located in South Africa. This follows the launch of Microsoft’s enterprise-grade data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

SEACOM’s offering, available to business customers, will deliver direct, high-speed, dedicated and secure connectivity to the Microsoft data centres via resilient network connections from Kenya to South Africa. The SEACOM subsea cable, which connects Kenya to South Africa, offers a fibre express route that carries Terabytes of capacity with speeds from as low as 50 Mbps up to 10 Gbps. In addition to this, SEACOM’s recent acquisition of FibreCo’s network allows it to extend this capability across South Africa and into the major data centres where cloud providers, such as Microsoft, have a presence.

Ten years ago, Pan-African Internet provider SEACOM first brought its high-speed Internet connectivity directly to Africa, opening the continent to the technological advancements we enjoy today. In 2016, SEACOM upscaled its commitment to Africa, offering business customers high-speed, reliable Internet connectivity and cloud-based business solutions, without relying on middlemen.

Through years of experience with global cloud providers such as Microsoft, SEACOM has provided solutions to businesses that are considering cloud migration. One such example is the launch of the Azure ExpressRoute offering together with Microsoft, that allows SEACOM customers to extend their on-premises networks into the cloud without going over the public Internet. Until now, this solution had been limited to data centres outside of the African continent.

The opportunity for Kenyan businesses to leverage SEACOM’s ExpressRoute to connect directly and reliably to these Microsoft data centres will enable more Kenyan businesses to embrace the cloud and enhance digitisation.

www.seacom.mu