[South Africa] BCX fully acquires software firm DotCom Software Projects to push cloud adoption

BCX, one of Africa’s largest systems integrators and digital transformation partners, has acquired 100% of the shares in DotCom Software Projects  (“DotCom”).

The acquisition will see BCX enrich its cloud services and provide greater value to its clients across key verticals.

“With greater access to on-demand computing power, highly scalable platforms and more flexible ap-proaches to IT spending, cloud computing has gone from an emerging technology to an indispensable business resource, ”said Jan Bouwer, Chief of Digital Platform Solutions at BCX. 

BCX has, over the past year, increased its focus on Cloud Computing with its cloud-agnostic strategy, having recently announced an exclusive rights deal with Alibaba Cloud, one of the largest cloud players globally. The acquisition of DotCom brings this strategy to life by providing greater choice, diversity, and value to its clients. DotCom was founded in 2012 and has become a significant player in digital transformation, specialising in cloud solutions and as a trusted Microsoft Azure Gold partner.

“As a Cloud Solutions Provider, DotCom adds to our own cloud capabilities, specifically with regards to Microsoft Azure, which further drives our cloud agnostic strategy”, said Bouwer.

“BCX is also aggressively growing its capabilities to create a more balanced product portfolio for growth. The acquisition of DotCom combined with existing capabilities at BCX will create a power-house in the cloud space. I am confident that welcoming DotCom into the BCX family will not only bolster our capabilities but will create further opportunities to grow our product portfolio in the future”, adds Jonas Bogoshi, CEO at BCX. DotCom delivers cloud computing-based services and solutions including Cloud software solutions, Cloud Managed Services and Cloud Advisory and Consulting services to companies migrating to cloud computing. Within eleven years, the company has built up a significant client base drawn from a range of industries, including the financial and insurance sectors.

“BCX and DotCom are a natural fit. I think we complement one another and share the same commitment of helping our clients make the transition to secure cloud in a way that strengthens their business and accelerates their growth,” JC van den Heever, CEO of DotCom said. “The cloud computing market continues to grow rapidly as companies move from on-premises solutions to cloud-based systems. Trends emerging suggest that companies will continue to adopt new deployment models, such as edge and cloud-native applications, to shifts in operating models, to remote and virtual desktops. I believe that together we can transition our clients seamlessly through these developments,” adds van den Heever.

The future of cloud computing is increased adoption and discovering new ways to use systems and in-formation in the cloud to drive insights and operational efficiencies. More and more businesses are investing in a hybrid approach that mixes on-premises and cloud-based systems, and the market as a whole is moving towards greater reliance on subscription-based software, infrastructure, and man-aged cloud services. This acquisition marks a significant milestone for both companies, who are ambitious about bringing the business benefits of this investment and greater innovation in cloud computing to their clients.

www.bcx.co.za

[Column] Marilyn Moodley: Cloud Security – Whose fault is it?

At least 95% of cloud security failures in the next three years will be the customer’s fault, according to Gartner. Unsurprisingly, the biggest threat to security is people. Misconfiguration mistakes escalated from 15% of exploitable errors in 2018 to more than 40% in 2021 and human error is now the third most common cause of security breaches, ahead of malware and right up there with social engineering and hacking. Complacency about cloud security is a major contributing factor, but this needs to change. Most cloud services operate under a shared responsibility model in which providers secure the infrastructure, while customers are required to lock down the software stack and applications. In other words, responsibility for patching vulnerabilities and controlling access to cloud accounts still lies with the user.

What does this mean? Organisations need to remain vigilant, ensuring that they take the necessary steps and precautions to secure their data and identities if they’re to avoid becoming an unfortunate statistic with no one to blame but themselves.

Identify, verify, control

No matter the deployment model, sufficient controls are required to govern access and usage. With such a variety of effective Identity and Access Control service providers available today, there is little excuse for businesses not to have these measures in place. Authentication and access control requires users to verify their identity, and secures their access to resources across cloud, SaaS, on-prem and APIs, while increasing speed, agility, and efficiency.

Such IAM solutions make it straightforward to provide the means for customers, employees and partners to all have secure access to the necessary resources. By using identity verification and access control services located in the cloud, the limitations and costs associated with on-premises IAM can be replaced by a more flexible, scalable solution. Cloud IAM is key to ensuring security outside of network perimeters and capabilities include authentication, access management, identity verification, consent collection, risk management and API security.

Access control to the cloud should be regulated through the creation of centralised rules and policies to streamline processes. The use of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is critical to ensure the correct identification of individuals trying to access networked resources, while Privileged Access Management (PAM) tools enforce control over sensitive components and applications in the environment.  These tools form part of a larger cloud security picture that includes details such as a zero trust framework, bolstered with cybersecurity mesh, and reinforced with Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).

Zero trust: never trust, always verify

Zero trust is a framework for securing organisations in cloud and mobile spaces by insisting that no user or application be trusted by default. It enables least-privileged access, establishes trust based on context which is informed by user identity and location, endpoint security posture as well as the app or service being requested, while performing necessary policy checks at each step. A well-tuned zero trust architecture leads to simpler network infrastructure, a better user experience, and improved cyber threat defense.

SASE: borderless security

Secure access service edge (SASE) is a framework for network architecture that brings cloud native security technologies together with wide area network (WAN) capabilities to securely connect users, systems, and endpoints to applications and services anywhere. This ensures that data and traffic is secured, no matter where it travels.

Cybersecurity MESH: closing the gaps

Gartner describes cybersecurity mesh as “a flexible, composable architecture that integrates widely distributed and disparate security services”. Concerned with strengthening digital security while bringing tools closer to the assets they’re designed to defend, a cybersecurity mesh architecture (CSMA) encourages organisations to deploy solutions that fit their specific needs by working within their integrated ecosystems. This enables businesses to share cybersecurity intelligence, automate and coordinate responses to threats, and simplify their security operations. CSMA offers a distributed identity fabric that helps establish trusted access across all applications, customers, partners, and workforces.

Achieving visibility and developing security skill sets

Visibility in cloud security means eliminating blind spots that can result in overspending, performance inefficiencies and security complications. This is done through service-centric or role-centric tools, rather than host-centric tools to manage networks. If it is not possible to hire the necessary competencies, organisations will have to develop them. Many vendors offer online resources to help technologists learn the skills they need to become cloud security engineers. In addition to an increase in the need to cultivate the necessary skills, there will be an increase in demand for technologists that have the DevOps skills necessary to align business workloads with the cloud.  Upskilling will also be critical to bridging the skills gap which includes training business teams on how to use cloud tools.

Owning security responsibility

Accordingly, it’s important for businesses to remember that even when they’re purchasing infrastructure, software or functionality as a service, they’re not outsourcing total responsibility for security. This will continue to be a shared responsibility, because it is unlikely that service providers would willingly take on the possibility of being liable for human action or error beyond their control. As such, organisations will need to prioritise the acquisition of or the development of necessary security-minded skills in order to protect their digital assets from cyber harm.

Marilyn Moodley is the South African Country Leader for SoftwareONE.

How the biggest international cloud trends impact Africa

The latter half of 2022 was characterised by significant instabilities in the tech industry. E-retailer and cloud giant Amazon announced that it would cut tens of thousands of jobs, social media behemoths Twitter and Meta laid off significant percentages of their workforce, and even Microsoft saw its slowest revenue growth in five years.

“There’s chaos in the industry internationally,” says Andrew Cruise, Managing Director of Routed, a local cloud platform provider and VMware specialist. “The war in Ukraine has kicked off a period of great uncertainty that’s affected global inflation, exchange rates, and general risk appetite. This follows the boom during the early months of the pandemic, when the tech industry saw such growth that many companies made significant investments in new assets, infrastructure, and expertise. Now that growth has slowed, they’re faced with two options: sit tight and wait it out, or shrink. 

When it comes to cloud, specifically, the euphoria around hyperscale cloud (from providers like Amazon, Azure, and more) has also waned, adds Benjamin Coetzer, Director at Routed. “Firstly, enterprises are realising that hyperscale cloud is better suited to development and not everyday business. Secondly, they’re starting to scrutinise their mounting bills, which have grown significantly as their cloud needs have become more complicated and sprawled.” 

Interestingly, things look a bit different in Africa. Hyperscalers like Azure and AWS only started arriving in South Africa in recent years, while Google, Alibaba and BCX just announced their arrival. “It surprised me to see how many hyperscalers decided to set up shop in South Africa almost overnight, as well as how many datacentre companies and IT players have started investing in Africa as a whole,” adds Coetzer.

However, the current economic climate and insufficient infrastructure across the continent warrant some caution: “There is big demand in South Africa, there is big money in South Africa, and there is good infrastructure in South Africa. But when it comes to cloud, I always say the one non-negotiable precondition to move into enterprise cloud (or for enterprise applications to move into the cloud) is fast, reliable, cheap internet. Only fibre sufficiently provides that, and only in South Africa. In Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Kenya and Nigeria fibre penetration is low and it is still extremely expensive at low speeds. No-one else in sub-Saharan Africa has got the precondition for enterprise cloud to be successful. And yet, we’re still seeing demand from people. And I think the demand is misplaced for the moment,” says Cruise.

Worryingly, some hyperscale resellers aren’t giving potential clients the full story – or perhaps they aren’t aware of the conditions on the ground. “They’re delivering the same message in Africa as in the rest of the world, not understanding that Africa can’t deliver on that until local infrastructure improves. South Africa is five years behind the West, and some other countries in Africa are five, if not ten, years behind South Africa. Sure, you can eventually back up your data with an internet connection speed of five megabits per second – but what happens when you need to recover it?”

And then there are the costs to consider. “I think people are going to be surprised by the price increases from AWS, Azure, Google and the like over the next year. Experts in the West are predicting major increases – and that doesn’t even factor in the weak rand.”

Coetzer adds: “Those who don’t need the bells and whistles that developers use and opt for an enterprise cloud will now start seeing significantly more value for their money as that gap increases. Routed’s pricing, for example, has come down in the six years since the company started, while hyperscalers’ prices have kept climbing.

Cruise concludes “I’m hoping that allows people to make better decisions going forward. Many think that IT and cloud is exciting and cutting edge, but what most people really want from the cloud, really need, is for it to be boring. It has to work, all the time, no surprises. And that’s what enterprise cloud does really well. This coming year will bring more of the same, and there isn’t a problem with that.”

www.routed.co.za

Cloud in South Africa to increase by up to 50% in 2023.

As most of the working world vacated their premises early in 2020, the cloud market boomed. And it continues to do so today, expanding at around 30% per quarter. In fact, analysts estimate that half of all servers currently being shipped worldwide are being bought by just the top seven cloud providers.

But as the market grows, so do the costs. Public cloud prices are expected to increase by a third in Europe next year as lending rates increase and energy prices soar. While it initially seemed like public cloud would become increasingly more cost-effective, the opposite happened. This year, Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft even admitted that their customers have realised their cloud costs are out of control. In one survey, over 80% of IT leaders said they have begun to halt cloud spending.

There are several reasons for the sprawling costs, says Andrew Cruise, MD of VMware Cloud provider Routed. “First, as the hype around public cloud grew, many businesses started migrating to cloud without doing the necessary proper planning. Careful planning and deployment, using optimised architectures instead of what seems to work for others, can mitigate costs. Secondly, multi-cloud environments have grown increasingly complex, with no comprehensive visibility. Organisations are running different services on the cloud provider that best meets their needs for the given application, with no overarching system to link all these siloes, and have hit a complexity wall – with no way to overcome it within existing budgets and resources.”

But, on the other hand, those who remained on-premises or even migrated back from cloud to on-premises when they hit the proverbial wall, are looking longingly at those who did their homework and are now happily fully functional in the cloud. “The benefits cloud offers are numerous – increased agility and efficiency, longer-term hardware efficacy, greater security, convenience, and scalability. And, yes, it comes at a cost,” says Cruise.

“At first glance, managing your own infrastructure looks less expensive. Cloud adds up over time and amounts to a larger number than the once-off cost of on-premises infrastructure. But when making these calculations, many forget to add the hidden costs: The expertise needed to run the infrastructure, the software and hardware warranties and software licencing or subscriptions that need to be renewed, and the inevitable cost of eventually replacing hardware.” 

The good news is that it’s not an either-or decision. “The truth is that every enterprise’s requirements will be different and there is no magic cloud bullet that can meet every need. Those who focus on development will likely want to look at hyperscalers that offer bells and whistles. For those with more straight-forward business needs, that would be a waste and VMware Cloud would make more sense. For others, the solution might be a little of one and a little of the other. Some might even need to keep certain workloads on-premises due to regulatory requirements.”

Though the cost of VMware Cloud licensing is increasing by 10% too, that’s not quite the same rate as public cloud’s 30%. “With the worsening exchange rate, my guess is that most South African VMware Cloud Operators will be increasing their prices in 2023. AWS and Azure rand-denominated price increases are inevitable – rampant dollar inflation and the broad 25% rand/dollar exchange rate deterioration have also not yet been taken into account and I predict increases of 35-50% in the next 12 to 18 months.” 

At Routed, however, we’ve decided to absorb these costs. In fact, we haven’t upped our prices since our inception – the benefits of an increasing economy of scale. We are more akin to ‘enterprise IT’, and our IT Channel Partners are less likely to suffer from the inflationary pressures that the native hyperscale cloud are subject to. Whatever cloud solution you choose, know that proper planning can prevent unreasonable costs later – and you’ll then have the best of both worlds.”

routed.co.za

[South Africa] Teraco breaks ground on JB5 – A 30MW data centre expansion to the Isando Campus

Africa’s interconnection hub and vendor-neutral data centre provider Teraco has commenced construction on a new hyperscale data centre facility with 30 megawatts (MW) of critical power load at its Isando Campus in Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg, South Africa.

The facility, known as JB5, is scheduled for completion in 2024 and will incorporate the latest environmentally sustainable cooling and water management designs.

CEO of Teraco, Jan Hnizdo, said that the company continues with solid growth as enterprise and hyperscale requirements continue apace due to sustained demand for hybrid cloud deployments and the adoption of cloud services in Africa. “South Africa is a springboard for cloud provision into Africa and, as a result, has become the technology and data centre hub for sub-Saharan Africa. Massive global investments into undersea cables, like Equiano and 2Africa, further strengthen this position. This will enable global cloud providers to service not only the South African market but also the rest of the sub-Saharan African region.”

“Teraco is committed to growing its capacity footprint across its core hubs. We ensure our clients have the flexibility to scale and take advantage of the digital transformation across sub-Saharan Africa. We continue to invest significantly in the region’s ICT infrastructure and have built Africa’s largest data centre platform. We take pride in enabling open access interconnection and providing world-class data centre infrastructure for all our clients,” concludes Hnizdo.

The JB5 facility is Teraco’s eighth data centre development located in the heart of Ekurhuleni’s Aerotropolis. It is here that Teraco’s data centres already provide access to a wide choice of network service providers, peering at NAPAfrica, regional IXPs, content delivery networks and cloud provider on-ramps. Hnizdo says that this expansion aims to further support sub-Saharan enterprises by advancing their digital transformation strategies and enabling global cloud providers to expand their footprints —spurring innovation.

JB5 has been designed to put sustainability first and minimise its environmental footprint. JB5 will incorporate the latest state-of-the-art cooling designs, a closed-loop chilled water system that incorporates 100% free air cooling. This design will bring about industry-leading PUEs, thereby reducing the energy consumed and limiting water used in the ongoing cooling process to zero. 

JB5 is the latest expansion to Teraco’s growing data centre platform and takes critical power load capacity at Teraco facilities to 156MW, which includes the Isando Campus facilities; JB1/JB3/JB5 (70MW), Bredell Campus JB2/JB4 (64MW), Cape Town Campus CT1/CT2 (21MW) and Durban (1MW).

Organisations working to accelerate their digital transformation utilise Teraco to dynamically scale their IT infrastructure, adopt hybrid multi-cloud architectures and interconnect with strategic business partners within the Platform Teraco ecosystem of global and local clients.

www.teraco.co.za

[South Africa] Teraco completes JB4, the latest hyperscale data centre expansion to the Bredell Campus

Teraco has announced the completion of the first phase of JB4, its new hyperscale data centre addition to the Bredell Campus, Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg, South Africa.

The new facility supports the growing demand by enterprises and cloud providers for data centre capacity. JB4 offers highly resilient and secure colocation facilities in line with Teraco’s long-term vision of enabling digital transformation across Africa.

As one of Africa’s economic powerhouses, Gauteng (the greater Johannesburg Metropol) is a logical destination for Teraco’s continued investment in data centre infrastructure on the continent. Home to digitally connected enterprises, including telecommunications, financial services, e-commerce, logistics, and retail, the Johannesburg Metropol benefits from its enviable location in the heart of southern Africa, which has led to it becoming the hub for connectivity and peering.

JB4 represents a strategic addition to Platform Teraco, offering enterprises and cloud providers a scalable platform for IT infrastructure deployment while sustaining performance, reliability, security, and the most comprehensive network choice. The first phase of JB4 comprises 30 000sqm of building structure, 8 000sqm of data hall space, and 19 megawatts (MW) of critical power load. Teraco has secured adjacent land and power for Phase 2 expansion, bringing the total critical power load in the facility to 50MW at the end state.

The JB4 addition to Teraco’s growing data centre platform takes critical power load capacity at Teraco facilities to 126MW, which includes the Isando Campus JB1/JB3 (40MW), Bredell Campus JB2/JB4 (64MW), Cape Town Campus CT1/CT2 (21MW) and Durban (1MW). 

This data centre facility dramatically extends Platform Teraco’s capacity in South Africa, according to Jan Hnizdo, CEO, of Teraco: “Forming a vital part of the African IT landscape, Platform Teraco is an essential part of the modern enterprise’s digital transformation strategy with its diverse industry ecosystems and open interconnection marketplace.” JB4 is connected to all the other Teraco data centres through the diverse ecosystem of network operators in the facility, making it ideal for the distributed interconnection-defined architecture of the modern enterprise.

Hnizdo says that the majority of enterprise organisations are accelerating their digital transformation strategies and placing a greater focus on cloud adoption strategies: “Enterprises are looking for the ability to scale as network strategies evolve, and in a world where fast and secure interconnection with strategic business partners is a priority, this is a source of competitive advantage.” 

Organisations working to accelerate their digital transformation utilise Teraco to dynamically scale their IT infrastructure, adopt hybrid multi-cloud architectures and interconnect with strategic business partners within the Platform Teraco ecosystem of global and local clients. 

Hnizdo said that the company continues to see significant growth as hyperscale requirements expand due to increased demand for cloud services in Africa. “The continued increase of cloud adoption in Africa is also being enabled by investments in critical infrastructure, including hyperscale data centre facilities such as JB4. This will enable global cloud clients to service the South African market and the rest of the sub-Saharan African region.”

www.teraco.co.za

New Region for Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure Opens in South Africa

Oracle has announced the opening of a new Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure location in Johannesburg, South Africa, providing direct connectivity between the Oracle Cloud Johannesburg region and the Microsoft Azure South Africa North region.

With the latest Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure, customers across Africa can now use the Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure. This Oracle service builds upon the core capabilities of Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure and enables customers to easily integrate workloads on Azure with Oracle Database services on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). Customers can also easily provision, access, and monitor enterprise-grade Oracle Database services in OCI. 

Since 2019, Oracle and Microsoft have partnered to deliver 12 Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure locations around the world, including San Jose, Phoenix, Ashburn, Toronto, Vinhedo, Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore, and Johannesburg. These locations offer customers multicloud capabilities to run their business-critical applications. For example, customers using Oracle Autonomous Database on OCI can connect to Azure analytics tools and AI workloads without copying data. Customers can also run applications like Oracle E-Business Suite on Azure or OCI and integrate as part of a single solution. 

“Our longstanding collaboration with Microsoft Azure gives our joint customers the flexibility and choice to innovate using the best of both our clouds. With growing customer demand for multicloud capabilities across Africa, we look forward to helping Microsoft Azure customers migrate their workloads to the cloud without the need for complicated re-platforming, while giving them seamless access to Oracle Database services on OCI,” said Nick Redshaw, senior vice president, Technology Cloud, Middle East and Africa, Oracle.

“Microsoft and Oracle share a longstanding history of delivering excellence on behalf of our mutual customers and supporting their evolving needs,” said Colin Erasmus, COO, Microsoft South Africa. “Expanding the Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure to Johannesburg ensures our valued customers in this region can benefit from the choice to deploy multicloud solutions.”

Expanding Multicloud Opportunities in Africa

With Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure, customers in Africa can now migrate and run mission-critical enterprise workloads across their Azure and OCI environments with a private, dedicated low-latency connection and identity federation. Customers also receive a collaborative, comprehensive service support model. Pricing is port-based with no additional charges for bandwidth consumed.

Customers can use the Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure to connect components of one or more applications that require frequent communication, running some parts on OCI and others on Azure, thus benefitting from a “best-of-both-clouds” experience. They can also use either OCI Identity and Access Management or Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) for single sign-on to the two clouds and the respective applications. Customers can build high availability architectures within the regions and disaster recovery capabilities with another pair of interconnected regions using architectures published in the Cloud Adoption Frameworks for OCI and Azure.

“Cloud has become the foundational technology for organizations to modernize their critical IT infrastructure and leverage the benefits of emerging technologies such as AI/ML, analytics, IoT, security, and automation. The continuous investment in cloud data center space in South Africa by the global cloud providers has accelerated the adoption of public cloud services across industries, including some highly regulated sectors such as government, healthcare, and banking,” said Mark Walker, associate vice president, Sub-Saharan Africa, IDC.

“The total spending on public cloud services in South Africa is forecast to grow at a five-year CAGR of 24.6% between 2021 to 2026. The Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure in South Africa will boost options available to local and global enterprises in the country. Given the availability of multiple in-country cloud providers, customers will be adopting a multicloud strategy based on price, functionalities, SLA, QoS, interoperability and innovation that, in turn, benefits the overall market,” added Walker.

“Because our platform was developed on the Microsoft .NET Framework and runs on Oracle Database, Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure provides us with the best of both clouds. As Soho Media operates internationally, the fact that Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure continues to rapidly expand into new regions allows us to accompany our customers wherever they are. The low latency connectivity of the interconnect helps ensure our platform runs seamlessly, better serving customers across the globe,” said Guillaume Delannoy, CEO, Soho Media Solutions.

“Oracle and Microsoft, together, enable us to realize our multicloud freedom and we’re glad to see these two leading cloud providers continue to make multicloud deployments seamless, safe, and cost-effective. With Oracle Interconnect for Microsoft Azure, we have been able to significantly expand our reporting and advanced data analytics capabilities, which allows us to better serve the needs of our customers and patients,” said Peter Gawroniak, senior director, IT Infrastructure and Operations (I&O), Integra LifeSciences.

www.oracle.com

[South Africa] Teraco helps VMware cloud providers drive carbon neutrality

Teraco Data Environments has announced an initiative to enable VMware Cloud Verified partners using Teraco data centre facilities achieve VMware Zero Carbon Committed status and badging.

This will help enterprise clients and cloud providers in Sub-Saharan Africa transition to zero-carbon clouds and pursue sustainability and supply chain decarbonisation strategies.

As a provider of colocation data centres and interconnection platforms in Africa, Teraco made significant strides in building a sustainable future for its business and its clients, with activities spanning the environment, social governance, and community upliftment. Despite challenging regulations and legislation around the generation and supply of renewable energy in South Africa, Teraco is committed to accelerating the shift to renewable energy and offering its clients, including cloud providers, a route to reduce their carbon footprint.

Teraco has committed to powering its data centre colocation facilities with 50% renewable energy by 2027 and 100% by 2035. It will also maximise its combined rooftop solar footprint across its facilities to 6MW by 2023. VMware Cloud Verified Providers who host their cloud platforms at the Teraco data centre facilities have an opportunity to leverage Teraco’s sustainability commitment to attain Zero Carbon Committed status.

“At Teraco, we understand that our success lies in tandem with that of our clients. This is why sustainability is a business imperative; it goes beyond just renewable energy and our environmental impact, extending to our people’s well-being and development, how we support and uplift our communities and making sure we continue to grow our business in the right way,” said Bryce Allan, Head of Sustainability, Teraco Data Environments.

“Teraco’s sustainability goals extend to investing in our rooftop and utility-scale solar energy programme as well as partnering or working with 3rd party renewable energy providers and stakeholders across the private and public sector to deliver renewable energy to our facilities. Working with VMware Cloud Providers, this initiative is the perfect catalyst to assist VMware Cloud Verified partners and their clients who want to move to the cloud and pursue their sustainability goals,” added Allan.

This initiative has been met with resounding support from Teraco’s clients and the South African-based VMware Cloud Verified Partner community, many of which use Teraco’s data centre facilities. Five of these partners have just recently achieved VMware Zero Carbon Committed status.

“Teraco has set ambitious targets and is pioneering the shift to carbon neutrality within the African data centre industry. Its Environmental, Social and Governance goals and commitments are closely aligned to VMware’s 2030 Agenda. This collaboration provides VMware Cloud Verified Providers with an invaluable and timely opportunity to jump-start their transition to zero-carbon clouds and, in turn, enable their clients to decarbonise their digital footprints,” said Sumeeth Singh, Cloud Provider Business Head, VMware Sub-Saharan Africa.

Teraco is dedicated to protecting, connecting, and growing the enterprises and ecosystems shaping Africa’s digital future sustainably and responsibly. In line with this objective, Teraco recently underwent an independent ESG sustainability rating through EcoVadis and obtained a silver rating. The rating scores the ESG performance of a company across several themes, including Environment, Labour and Human Rights, Ethics and Sustainable Procurement. 

“We are delighted to be working in collaboration with VMware; their focus on carbon neutrality resonates with that of Teraco, as we have an open access platform philosophy offering connections to all the cloud onramps, both public and private,” said Michele McCann, Head Interconnection & Peering, Teraco Data Environments.

www.teraco.co.za

www.vmware.com

[South Africa] Netskope further expands NewEdge Security Private Cloud in Africa

Netskope has announced its continued global expansion of the Netskope NewEdge network with an additional data centre now launched and taking traffic in South Africa.

The new Cape Town deployment complements the existing Johannesburg infrastructure to address growing customer demand and provide more in-region capacity and redundancy. NewEdge is now powered by data centres in 57 regions, with everyone providing full compute for security traffic processing, the full breadth of SSE services, and accessibility to every Netskope customer without surcharges.

Grant Reynolds, Regional Manager for South Africa at Netskope, said “Every year the threat landscape becomes larger and more complex, and regulatory requirements for data protection grow, and so it is no surprise that we are seeing strong growth across Africa. Organisations are eager to adopt an SSE approach to security so that they can embrace working practices and cloud technologies that enhance productivity while ensuring their security policies follow data wherever it goes.

“In practice, however, you cannot place your security at the ‘edge’ without powerful in-region infrastructure as part of a distributed and dedicated service edge, and that is why we are investing in NewEdge around the world. NewEdge is capable of inspecting massive amounts of data locally, with no need for complex, latency-prone backhauling or reliance on unpredictable public transport.”

Netskope has been in partnership with value-added distributor Exclusive Networks Africa, throughout the continent, since late last year. Stefan van de Giessen, Exclusive Networks Africa Country Manager: SA and SADC, explains: “We investigated multiple cloud vendors to supplement our security strategy, and were attracted by Netskope’s NewEdge Network – its globally distributed private cloud network, which serves as the network foundation for the Netskope platform, as well as an enabler for current and future Netskope capabilities. We congratulate Netskope on this new development, which will enhance its leadership in the SASE space even further.”
As the infrastructure underpinning the Netskope Security Cloud, NewEdge delivers real-time inline and out-of-band API-driven services spanning Cloud Firewall (FWaaS), Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), Cloud and SaaS Security Posture Management (CSPM/SSPM), and more.

In addition to accelerating the adoption of a Zero Trust approach, the performance-focused NewEdge architecture ensures there are no performance trade-offs when security is implemented. This approach reduces the risk of users working around security controls, productivity being negatively affected, or business processes being slowed down or impeded.

Placing data-centric security as close to the user as possible is a key requirement of a SASE-ready architecture and the delivery of world-class Security Service Edge (SSE) capabilities. NewEdge’s expanding global coverage also addresses unique enterprise business requirements and compliance objectives, such as having a data centre in-region for content localisation or to ensure customer traffic stays within intent-based zones.

In addition, every NewEdge data centre is extensively peered with the most commonly used web/CDN, cloud, and SaaS providers to deliver fast, optimised access to the content, apps, and data enterprises most care about. For example, every NewEdge data centre is directly connected with Microsoft and Google, plus other peering relationships in key regions with Amazon, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Box, and Dropbox, among many others.

Funzani Madi, Executive: Information Security (Chief Information Security Officer) for Netskope customer Telkom South Africa noted that “It is important for us that data processing occurs within our home jurisdiction, providing tangible improvements to user experience. The new Cape Town NewEdge facility further demonstrates Netskope’s commitment to the African continent.”

Danie Burger, Information Security Specialist at impact.com, a leading partnership management platform and Netskope customer, added “As a Cape Town-based organisation, having local cloud infrastructure for our security makes a material difference to our users’ experience. With offices and clients around the world, it’s imperative that we don’t create unduly lengthy data flows for security. With infrastructure located in Cape Town, and peered connections to all our main cloud services, we can introduce in-line security controls, speeding up access to cloud services.”

With more than 1,500 customers, Netskope serves some of the world’s largest and most technically demanding organisations. 

www.netskope.com

SAS’ cloud-first portfolio soars with customer success, industry solutions and strategic partners

SAS boldly stakes its future on a powerful cloud analytics platform and AI-driven, cloud-first industry solutions. It’s the analytics and AI leader’s cloud-first approach that eases customers’ digital transformations. And SAS’ cloud momentum is building, where despite the pandemic’s pressure and uncertainty, SAS’ global cloud revenue jumped 19% in 2021. With results like this, SAS is deepening its broad industry portfolio with solutions that support life sciences, energy and martech.

According to McKinsey & Company, 70% of companies using cloud technology plan to increase their cloud budgets. The public cloud computing market is projected to grow to $800 billion by 2024, with implementations across all industries – retail, media, telecom, education, banking, insurance and more.

What’s driving this investment? Forrester Consulting’s new Total Economic Impact study, shows organisations deploying SAS® Viya® on Microsoft Azure can see significant returns in as little as 14-months. In fact, one company more than tripled its investment in three years, results that will be explored during the May 18 webinar, Driving 204% ROI With SAS Viya On Microsoft Azure.

Journey to the cloud

SAS’ cloud-first transformation didn’t happen overnight. Using its decades-long legacy as a bridge to the future, step No. 1 was to develop SAS® Viya® as a cloud-first analytics platform. That endeavour ran in sync with ongoing strategic partnership investments, including Microsoft Azure. More recently, SAS joined new partner Cosmo Tech to fortify its digital twin simulation capabilities.

“We transformed our portfolio to be cloud-native and cloud-portable so customers can accelerate their move to the cloud and expand their use of analytics, machine learning and AI,” said Bryan Harris, SAS Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “At the end of the day, we want our platform and industry solutions to be a critical part of every customer’s analytic innovation.”

Because SAS is both cloud-first and cloud-agnostic, helping customers manage the complexity of analysing intense data in the cloud is second nature. “Our customers don’t need to stress about data complexity or the details of running analytic workloads in the cloud, because SAS gives them the expertise they need,” said Jay Upchurch, SAS Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer – who also leads the SAS cloud business. “SAS analytics in the cloud gives our customers a distinct advantage, whether they’re using SAS Viya or an industry solution.”

In 2021, SAS realised the most cloud revenue growth from customers Asia Pacific (48% growth) and EMEA (29% growth) – and SAS’ commitment to cloud and AI innovation lives in its customers’ successes.  

SAS Hackathon teams innovate with SAS in the cloud

The SAS Hackathon is an incubator for innovation and a test bed for AI in the cloud. Hackathon teams use SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure, along with open-source tools, to help solve some of the world’s toughest social and economic challenges.

This year’s SAS Hackathon included a team of eight members from South African who competed alongside 69 other team, representing 135 organisations and 75 countries.

The team from South Africa leveraged advanced augmented intelligence to build a solution that included creating models that could be trained to identify lung disease using digital X-rays. Even with limited data sets available the models were able to achieve diagnostic accuracy above 90% – and while for the duration of the Hackathon the team focused on lung diseases, the models have the potential to be scaled up to include other body parts for the same purpose of quick identification, diagnosis and treatment prioritisation.

www.sas.com