Amazon Web Services opens data centre in Cape Town

Amazon Web Services opens data centre in Cape Town
With the launch in the Cape Town region, AWS now spans 73 Availability Zones within 23 geographic regions around the world. Photo: Ivan Alvarado

DURBAN - Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced that the AWS Africa Cape Town data centre is now open.  

With the launch in the Cape Town region, AWS now spans 73 Availability Zones within 23 geographic regions around the world, and has announced plans for 12 more Availability Zones across four more AWS Regions in Indonesia, Italy, Japan, and Spain. 

Now, developers, startups, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and non-profit organisations can run their applications and serve end-users in Africa with even lower latency and leverage advanced AWS technologies to drive innovation. 

"The cloud is positively transforming lives and businesses across Africa and we are honored to be a part of that transformation,” said  “We have a long history in South Africa and have been working to support the growth of the local technology community for over 15 years. In that time, builders, developers, entrepreneurs, and organisations have asked us to bring an AWS Region to Africa and today we are answering these requests by opening the Cape Town Region. We look forward to seeing the creativity and innovation that will result from African organisations building in the cloud," said Peter DeSantis, Senior Vice President of Global Infrastructure and Customer Support, Amazon Web Services.

The Cape Town data centre has three Availability Zones. AWS Regions are composed of Availability Zones, which each comprise of one or more data centres and are located in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting business continuity, yet near enough to provide low latency for high availability applications. 

Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security and is connected via redundant, ultra-low-latency networking. AWS customers focused on high availability can design their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones to achieve even greater fault-tolerance.  The Availability Zones in the Cape Town Region are equipped with back-up power to ensure continuous and reliable power availability to maintain operations during electrical failures and load shedding in the country.

Customers with data residency requirements, and those looking to comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), can now store their content in South Africa with the assurance that they retain complete ownership of their data and it will not move unless they choose to move it. 

Last year July, AWS made the announcement that it would be adding Cape Town to its global infrastructure and the announcement was made by AWS global infrastructure and customer support head Peter DeSantis. 

Later in the year, AWS launched a program to help SMEs innovate. The Amazon Web Services Equity Equivalent Investment Program (AWS EEIP) has been designed by Amazon Webs Services South Africa and Amazon Data Services South Africa. 

AWS EEIP will see R365 million invested in the development of sustainable 100 percent black-owned South African small businesses within the Information Communications Technology sector, supporting them to become cloud computing experts using the AWS Partner Networks (APN).

The AWS Africa Cape Town data centre adds to Amazon’s ongoing investment in South Africa. Amazon first established a presence in Cape Town, setting up a Development Centre in 2004.

In 2015, Amazon expanded its presence in the country, opening an AWS office in Johannesburg, with significant and growing teams of account managers, customer services representatives and technical account managers amongst others as well as many more to help customers move to the cloud. 

In 2017, the Amazon Global Network expanded to Africa through AWS Direct Connect, and in 2018, Amazon established its first infrastructure on the African continent, launching Amazon CloudFront locations in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, followed in 2020 by an edge location in Nairobi, Kenya.