Microsoft to build new high-tech data center in South Africa

Microsoft has announced plans to build a state-of-the-art data center campus in Kosmosdal, Centurion Province, South Africa. This investment in technology infrastructure strengthens leading technology companies’ efforts to improve their data management capabilities.

The technology company said: “Microsoft is still in the early stages of development and is building cloud infrastructure in new regions in South Africa to meet growing demand from public sector and private organizations for cloud and AI services and solutions in Africa. We aim to do so.”

The company added that it looks forward to working with the municipality, local organizations and residents of Kosmosdal in developing the data center plan in a sustainable manner.

Microsoft is said to be the second “hyperscaler” to officially launch cloud computing services in South Africa, after delaying the launch of local Azure nodes several times, according to a report in Broadband. Because of this, Huawei outperformed them by one day.

Microsoft officially opened data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa in March 2019. Azure Availability Zones were introduced by Microsoft in October 2021 in the South Africa Northern region. The company affirms his 30-year presence in South Africa and expresses its dedication to promoting technology transformation and digital empowerment, supporting infrastructure, innovation, skills and enterprise development for the benefit of all South Africans.

The company, founded by Bill Gate, said: “This data center campus represents the next stage in Microsoft’s commitment to driving and accelerating the pace of digital transformation in South Africa and across the African continent, and is inclusive in its approach. “It ensures reliability, reliability and responsibility.”

Read more: Microsoft hires former OpenAI executives Sam Altman and Greg Brockman to lead advanced AI team

Explaining Microsoft’s cloud expansion in South Africa

In September 2023, TechNext reported that Microsoft was considering investing at least $1 billion in South Africa and planned to power its data centers using nuclear energy. The company posted a job posting for a lead program manager for nuclear technology, indicating a focus on integrating the controversial nuclear energy into future data centers. The successful candidate was expected to oversee the development and implementation of a global small modular reactor (SMR) and microreactor energy strategy.

Microsoft’s potential move coincides with its consideration of using small nuclear power plants, which have an estimated cost of about $1 billion, according to job postings spotted by CNBC. Such a power plant could have the capacity to power about 300,000 homes, but the cost could rise to as much as $6.8 billion, depending on the capacity of the reactor.

If the deal goes ahead, Microsoft could allocate between $1 billion and $6.8 billion to each country hosting its data centers. This initiative is notable considering the company’s vast network of more than 200 data centers across 35 countries. Notably, South Africa is the only country in Africa where Microsoft has data centers, with two facilities in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Prior to September last year, the company announced the general availability of its Dynamics 365 and Power platforms in enterprise-grade data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The company emphasized that this is a testament to its commitment to investing in South Africa.

Microsoft to build new high-tech data center in South AfricaMicrosoft to build new high-tech data center in South Africa

Microsoft emphasized in an online press conference that this move will enhance cloud capacity and functionality, helping organizations grow faster. The South African data center has started offering online services for Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform to support a variety of organizations.

Additionally, Microsoft noted that the Power Platform, a low-code/no-code solution, allows individuals within an organization to quickly build custom solutions without relying heavily on IT resources.

Karin Jones, Director of Business Applications GTM at Microsoft South Africa, says organizational leaders are proactively seeking digital solutions to enhance innovation flows across the business and break down silos between data sources, people, processes and insights. I said that I am doing it. She emphasized the importance of these cloud services offered from South Africa, allowing local businesses to securely move their businesses to the cloud while adhering to data residency, sovereignty and compliance requirements. I did it like this.

Microsoft’s announcement comes at the same time Google is launching a new Google Cloud region in South Africa. This followed in the footsteps of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure, which had previously invested in large-scale cloud infrastructure and data centers in the country.

Microsoft Azure established data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town in March 2019, becoming the first global provider to do so. AWS launched its Africa Region in Cape Town in April 2020.

Karin Jones pointed to the growing awareness of the value of cloud in South Africa, revealing that almost half (48%) of organizations in the country are using cloud as a platform and driver for digital innovation. I cited the South African Cybersecurity Situation Report. She further reported that 61% of South African organizations increased their spending on cloud solutions in 2021 compared to 2020.

Read more: Microsoft could invest $1 billion in South Africa for nuclear data center project

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