The recent Seacom undersea cable outage is a clear indication that that hosting applications internationally can be dangerous for South African businesses.
This is according to Yossi Hasson, CEO of Synaq, who says that while hosting “in the cloud” is operationally cost-effective, it is important that these applications are hosted “at the edge” – within South Africa – to reduce downtime risk.
“The costs of local hosting have come down dramatically in recent months, reducing the need to host internationally any more,” he says.
Hasson points out that the Seacom outage did more than affect e-mail transmission and Internet browsing.
Most high-end e-mail security solutions, utilised by corporate South Africa are hosted overseas. With the disruption to the cable link, some businesses were left unprotected or unable to access their e-mail, he says.
Hasson believes the outage should be regarded as a warning to local businesses that intend to or already use the cloud for their business computing needs to look closer to home, particularly for the hosting of their enterprise applications.
“South African businesses have long had to put up with slow download and response times from the global internet because of our international bandwidth constraints. The completion of the Seacom cable was heralded as the start of a new era in international internet connectivity,” he says.
“Unfortunately, just as the Icelandic volcano showed with regard to air transport, the fault on the Mediterranean section of the Seacom undersea cable demonstrated that nothing in the world of communications can be taken for granted.”
Hasson emphasises that this does not mean that local businesses cannot enjoy all the benefits of cloud computing, including lower operating and capital costs as well as convenience.