Africa now has its first AWS region — the public cloud giant’s twenty-third globally and the continent’s first set of data centres from Amazon.
The region comprises three availability zones; customers can now use a range of instances — or computational firepower based on different hardware configurations — including C5d, D2, I3, M5, M5d, R5, R5d, and T3.
Based in Cape Town, The AWS South Africa API name is
af-south-1. Customers can start to deploy workloads/store data today.
AWS South Africa: Second Hyperscaler to the Continent
Microsoft was first to make the move: AWS’s opening today comes a year after Azure opened its first enterprise-grade data centres in Africa, with Johannesburg and Cape Town regions going live in early May 2019.
South African businesses have had access to AWS networks since late 2017, when the company’s dedicated network connection AWS Direct Connect landed with access via Teraco data centres in Cape Town and Joburg.
The company also has a more limited “edge” presence in Nairobi, Kenya (smaller clusters of servers that allow local caching).
“The addition of the AWS Region in South Africa helps builders in organisations of all sizes, from startups to enterprises, as well as educational institutions, NGOs, and the public sector across Africa, to innovate and grow,” the company said in an update published Wednesday.
Africa, however, largely remains cloud-poor.
Neither Google Cloud, IBM nor Alibaba have a cloud presence/data centres on the continent, despite protestations of interest and planned investment.
(Inconsistent power supplies, limited fibre, and political risk are among the constraints, in what is a hugely capital-intensive business; many are also awaiting more sustained demand signals from African customers).
AWS’s South African users meanwhile, will be able to tap a sweeping range of cloud services, including Amazon API Gateway, Amazon Aurora (both MySQL and PostgreSQL), Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Redshift,AWS Database Migration Service, and more.