Tech boost as new data cen­tres open in SA

The Star Late Edition - - METRO - MPILETSO MOTUMI

AMA­ZON Web Ser­vices (AWS) re­cently opened data cen­tres in South Africa.

The new AWS Africa (Cape Town) Re­gion will con­sist of three avail­abil­ity zones. Cur­rently, AWS pro­vides 55 avail­abil­ity zones across 19 in­fra­struc­ture re­gions world­wide, with an­other 12 avail­abil­ity zones across four AWS re­gions in Bahrain, Hong Kong, Swe­den and a sec­ond GovCloud re­gion in the US ex­pected to come on­line in the coming months.

The new re­gion will pro­vide lower la­tency to end users across sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa and will en­able more African or­gan­i­sa­tions to lever­age ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies such as ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, ma­chine learn­ing, the in­ter­net of things, mo­bile ser­vices, and more to drive in­no­va­tion.

“Hav­ing built the orig­i­nal ver­sion of Ama­zon EC2 in our Cape Town de­vel­op­ment cen­tre 14 years ago, and with thou­sands of African com­pa­nies us­ing AWS for years, we’ve been able to wit­ness first-hand the tech­ni­cal tal­ent and po­ten­tial in Africa,” said Andy Jassy, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of AWS.

AWS spokesper­son and sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa re­gional man­ager Ge­off Brown ex­plained the ben­e­fits of data cen­tres.

What are the ben­e­fits of hav­ing a lo­cal re­gion?

Cus­tomers will be able to store their data on in­fra­struc­ture in South Africa with the as­sur­ance that the data will not leave the coun­try without their con­sent. It also means a re­duc­tion in la­tency, of­fer­ing cus­tomers a much faster re­sponse time. For the con­sumers of our cus­tomers it will mean the game they play, how they dig­i­tally shop or bank, or the video they watch will re­spond faster, of­fer­ing an en­hanced ex­pe­ri­ence.

The new three-site re­gion will also al­low busi­nesses to fur­ther ac­cel­er­ate in­no­va­tion around new emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies like voice in­te­gra­tion, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, ma­chine learn­ing, the in­ter­net of things, and dig­i­tal user ex­pe­ri­ence ser­vices.

AWS en­ables de­vel­op­ers, start-ups and en­ter­prises to quickly launch and com­pete on a global scale, im­prov­ing the com­pet­i­tive­ness of Africa. When launch­ing a busi­ness, it is no longer enough to tar­get lo­cal mar­kets – more and more com­pa­nies are tar­get­ing the en­tire world.

What about jobs? Will the new re­gion cre­ate more jobs?

The in­fra­struc­ture re­gion will bring with it a num­ber of highly skilled, well­paid jobs to the lo­cal econ­omy and drive growth in cloud tech­nol­ogy jobs.

The kind of roles AWS is hir­ing for in­clude data cen­tre en­gi­neers, sup­port en­gi­neers, en­gi­neer­ing op­er­a­tions man­agers, se­cu­rity spe­cial­ists, se­cu­rity spe­cial­ists, ac­count man­agers, so­lu­tion ar­chi­tects, part­ner de­vel­op­ment man­agers, and more. It will also open up the op­por­tu­nity for new busi­nesses to flour­ish.

“This an­nounce­ment of the data cen­tres speaks loudly of our strong and long-term com­mit­ment to Africa, a com­mit­ment we made in 2004 with the Ama­zon De­vel­op­ment Cen­tre in Cape Town.

Look­ing ahead, and as we wit­ness the mo­bile first at­ti­tude across Africa, we an­tic­i­pate that ser­vices like Ama­zon Lex for build­ing con­ver­sa­tion bots, Ama­zon Polly that turns text into life­like speech, and Ama­zon Com­pre­hend Nat­u­ral Lan­guage pro­cess­ing ser­vice will en­able voice and ma­chine learn­ing to im­prove dig­i­tal user ex­pe­ri­ences in any ver­ti­cal,” said Brown.

| @mane_mpi

Ge­off Brown

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