Thirty years ago, when the internet took the world of business and entertainment by storm, few realised the demands it would make on infrastructure. Among them was a South African, Chris Pinkham, who helped come up with architecture for the first global cloud computing provider, Amazon Web Services (AWS), in the early 2000s.

The cloud, in turn, drove the construction of massive, scalable data centres, known as hyperscalers, around the world. AWS eventually laid down such data centres in Cape Town in 2020, followed by Microsoft’s Azure data centre in Johannesburg in 2021. More have followed, from the likes of Oracle, Google and Huawei, while localised operators such as Terraco, African Data Centres and BCX continually expanded their footprints...

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