Amazon expands operations in Africa, introduces new cloud infrastructure

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  • These AWS Local Zones deliver single-digit millisecond latency performance at the edge of the cloud to hundreds of millions of people globally
  • Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) has revealed plans to launch an AWS Local Zone in Nairobi, Kenya
  • This year, Amazon plans to launch an additional 32 AWS Local Zones in 26 countries globally reaching millions of users

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) has revealed plans to launch an AWS Local Zone in Nairobi, Kenya.

The company infrastructure will join 16 existing AWS Local Zones across the US. This year, Amazon plans to launch an additional 32 AWS Local Zones in 26 countries globally reaching millions of users.

AWS is setting up an AWS Local Zone in Kenya to capitalize on the growing popularity of cloud computing.

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Why Cloud computing in Africa?

The question one would ask is what is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is a growing phenomenon owing to the advantages that come with it over on-premise data storage. For cloud computing, a client only pays for what they use, and there is no server space required. Cloud computing also requires minimal software and hardware maintenance while offering better data security.

In a simple definition, cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand computing services over the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Amazon setting up Cloud infrastructure in Kenya. [Photo/ Tech Arena Amazon]

What are AWS Local Zones?

These are infrastructure deployment types that places compute, storage, database, and other select AWS services close to the large population and industrial centres.

These Local Zones deliver single-digit millisecond latency performance at the edge of the cloud to hundreds of millions of people globally. They enable customers to deploy applications that require the fast transfer of data closer to end-users or on-premises data centres.

Robin Njiru, the regional lead (East, West and Central Africa) at Amazon Web Services (AWS) states that:

  • The AWS Local Zone in Nairobi serves as a continuation of Amazon’s investment to support customers of all kinds.
  • AWS Local Zone is a commitment to accelerating innovation by bringing cloud infrastructure to more locations in Kenya. The Zones deliver ultra-low latency applications for a flawless user experience in every business and industry.
  • AWS Local Zones will empower AWS partners, public and private organizations and innovative startups to provide a new generation of leading-edge, low-latency applications to the end-users.

Robin adds that customers in Kenya can take advantage of the cost savings, scalability, and high availability that AWS provides to help meet their requirements.

Joseph Mucheru, the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth said that the country is pleased to launch the AWS Local Zone.

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“This announcement reaffirms our country’s position as an attractive place to invest, powered by a high volume of local talented developers,” Mr Mucheru said. “It will boost the adoption of advanced cloud-based technologies such as AI, Machine Learning, and IoT while helping to ensure secure use across the Kenyan technology sector.”

What is cloud computing in Africa? [Photo/ Supply Chain Solutions]

Advantages of the AWS Local Zone in Kenya

  • The customers in Kenya will not have to incur expenses around procuring, operating, and maintaining infrastructure in Nairobi to facilitate low-latency applications as AWS supports and manages the Local Zones.
  • The Local Zones allow customers with local data residency requirements in Kenya to run parts of their applications in on-premises data centres and seamlessly connect to AWS while ensuring ultra-low latency for these types of hybrid deployments, all while using familiar AWS APIs and tools.
  • The AWS Local Zones in Nairobi will give customers the ability to offer end users single-digit millisecond performance designed to suit applications such as media and entertainment, remote real-time gaming, live video streaming, content creation, engineering simulations, augmented and virtual reality, machine learning inference at the edge, etc.

Customers can connect to AWS Local Zones through an internet connection or use AWS Direct Connect to route traffic over a private AWS network connection.

AWS Direct Connect is a cloud service that links an organization’s network directly to AWS to deliver consistent, secure, low-latency performance.

Amazon Web Services is partnering with Safaricom PLC, the biggest market in East Africa, and the second largest in the continent.

Peter Ndegwa, Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom PLC says that they believe an AWS Local Zone will enable the company to further enhance cloud offerings, especially to their Enterprise and SME customers, and migrate more of their own services to the cloud.

He added that customer obsession was still a key focus for Safaricom which will be boosted by the partnership with Amazon. The cloud infrastructure will help Safaricom achieve increased speed, reliability stability, and storage to support innovation and development of solutions fit for the future in the fast-evolving technological world.

Setting up of cloud infrastructure in Kenya will be a game-changer for data centres in the country.

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I am a journalist who is an enthusiastic tech, business and investment news writer from across Africa. There is always something good happening in Africa but most gets lost in the stereotypes. I tell the stories that matter to the Africans for Africa. Have a tip? You can contact me at j.kangethe@theexchange.africa

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