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Cloud lets Africa fast-track infrastructure

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African businesses can fast-track the digital transformation of their organisations by tapping into affordable, dedicated Ethernet links between their own IT environments and the world’s leading providers of cloud computing services.
This offers a high-performance, secure alternative to accessing cloud services across the public Internet, according to Robert Marston, ‎global head of product at Seacom.
He says that African organisations can today benefit from fast, direct connectivity to cloud data centres operated by the likes of Google, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM. The benefits of dedicated Ethernet links to these cloud service providers (CSPs) include more reliability, faster speeds, lower latencies and higher security than typical public Internet connections.
“By using cloud computing for solutions such as infrastructure-as-a-service and software-as-a-service, it promises African organisations massive cost-savings over operating and maintaining their own data centres and on-site IT infrastructure,” Marston says. “It also enables them to ramp computing capacity up and down in response to changing business needs, and gives them the flexibility they need to innovate and grow with little risk.
“The cloud is an opportunity for many African enterprises to leapfrog legacy systems or manual processes to the latest technology – it’s a perfect fit for a continent where many companies lack modern IT infrastructure and the skills to effectively manage it. Yet many companies have had concerns about the performance of the cloud in the past.”
One of the major challenges was the fact that most of the world’s large, multinational cloud computing providers do not yet have data centres in Africa. Many businesses were concerned that they would not get the speed and responsiveness they required if they were to access these cloud services across the public infrastructure, Marston says.
A dedicated, high-quality connection to the major international cloud services hosted in Europe or other parts of the world ensures a smoother, faster experience for the end-user, delivering reliability and performance that compares well to locally hosted applications and data.
Seacom owns and operates Africa’s most advanced and largest IP/MPLS fibre backbone, interconnecting Africa with rest of the world. The company has recently been expanding metro networks in major business centres to connect business customers directly onto its high-speed international fibre backbone, offering quality connectivity and guaranteed network latencies.