The long-awaited announcement this week that Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud division of Amazon.com, would open data centres in SA in 2020, sets the scene for an explosion in data services in this country. It will follow hard on the heels of Microsoft, which is due to open two Azure data centres, in Johannesburg and Cape Town, in the next two months. AWS sets up its data centres in clusters it calls infrastructure regions, of which it now has 19 worldwide, each representing substantial investment. The South African region, located in Cape Town, will be the first in Africa. Three availability zones - the AWS term for independent sites, each comprising at least one data centre - will be dispersed across the Cape Town metro. The decision to base the data centres in Cape Town was rooted in both practical and historic reasons, said Geoff Brown, Sub-Saharan Africa regional manager for AWS. "AWS has been operational in Cape Town since we opened the development centre in the city in 20...

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