Google Marks South Africa as a Cloud Data Centre ‘Region’

South Africans will be thrilled to hear that Google’s Cloud Division has announced the launch of its first cloud data centre infrastructure in Africa. The announcement marks South Africa as one of 36 cloud centre “regions” around the world, joining competitors Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and Oracle in selecting South Africa as a location of choice.

Whilst Amazon selected Cape Town for their data centre campus, and Microsoft chooses to operate out of both Johannesburg and Cape Town, there has not yet been an announcement from Google on their location of choice or what date the region will be commercially available. According to Google Cloud leader for Africa, Niral Patel, we can expect a time frame of about 18-24 months.

As part of the announcement, Google has made known their intention to build cloud interconnect sites, to provide access to the company’s South African data centre infrastructure. The sites will be linked to its new Equiano subsea broadband cable, in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Lagos as well as Nairobi.

Siatik CEO, Ashton Fourie notes that South Africa has lagged behind the rest of the world in cloud computing adoption. However, this is changing rapidly as the availability of fast, reliable, affordable internet is creating a swell of adoption of cloud computing. The launch of the Google Data centre is positioning Google, and Siatik (as a Premier Google partner) to take advantage of this trend.

Fourie also outlines the four critical reasons every business should be considering migration to the cloud. Namely, stability & security, scalability, powerful analytics and affordability.

  1. Stability & Security: No ordinary business can compete with the resources available to Google. They are able to provide near-infinite availability, and near impenetrable encryption.
  2. Scalability: Google allows businesses to scale up and down within minutes, as per demand. Paying only for the minutes you actually need the increased capacity.
  3. Analytics: No one does analytics like Google. Cloud-based data, allows businesses to analyse their data in ways that are simply not possible with on-prem infrastructure. Historical, backed up data that would be physically inaccessible in an on-premises environment, can be part of the analysable data set in a well- designed GCP environment.
  4. Affordability: Considering the immense capability on offer, (speed, availability and security), cloud infrastructure is far more affordable than maintaining your own infrastructure.

In a statement made on Wednesday, October 3rd 2022, Google said “the new cloud region will help users, developers, businesses and educational institutions across Africa to move more information and tools online, improve access options for customers and, in turn, create jobs.” This comes as welcome news to South Africans who are currently facing a national unemployment rate of 34,5%. (statssa)

Research conducted by AlphaBeta Economics, commissioned by Google Cloud, indicates that the presence of the South African based cloud region, will add more than a cumulative R37-billion to the country’s GDP. The research also showed that the centre will support job creation by upwards of 40 000 by the year 2030.

Siatik is renowned as one of the most Google focused technology partners in South Africa, a Google Premier partner, and certified Google Training partner. One of Siatik’s specialist skills is the migration of on-premise environments to the Google Cloud Platform, increasing business efficiencies across industry sectors. The business has done some of the biggest migrations in Africa, including the migration of one of the leading insurers in South Africa, and the migration of one of the biggest media houses on the continent.