Oracle Opens African Data Centres for Cloud Services

Oracle opened its data centre in South Africa on Wednesday to provide cloud services for the first time in Africa, joining Microsoft and Amazon in setting up facilities there.

The U.S. company has announced that Africa will be the 37th “cloud region” – a place where customers can access a local data centre, in this case in Johannesburg.

In order to catch up with its cloud computing rivals like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, Oracle plans to open at least 44 cloud regions this year.

Cherian Varghese, Regional Managing Director for Middle East and Africa at Oracle, said the company has no plans for more data centers in Africa this year, but more could be added next year as it explores areas such as West Africa.

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In response to the growing demand for faster computing in African banks and telecom firms, big cloud operators have entered the market, with Microsoft establishing its first data center in South Africa, followed by Amazon and Huawei.

The submarine cable that connects South Africa with the rest of the world and its status as Africa’s most developed economy have made it a major cloud operator hub, with 50 data centers in the country, mainly in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

South Africa, however, has a number of infrastructure challenges, such as high power prices and frequent power blackouts, which means additional back-up costs have to be planned for.

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Additionally, smaller cloud service providers are trying to capture a share of the data localization market, which is expanding rapidly.

United States-based Digital Realty is purchasing a majority stake in a Johannesburg-based data center operator for $3.5 billion. Vantage Data Centres is also planning to invest up to $1 billion to establish a data centre in South Africa.

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