Kathy Gibson is at AfricaCom in Cape Town – Huawei launched its public cloud in South Africa a year ago and pan-African customers are already consuming services from the facility.

To this end, the company is planning points of presence in Nigeria and Kenya to make access to the South African data centre easier.

The first region, Johannesburg, is already running with additional facilities set to come online soon, says George Thomas, solutions manager of the Huawei cloud business unit

Huawei Cloud offers about 180 services. “First of all we opened our API gateway to integrate with customers’ applications and many services are already up and running.”

About 1,7-million developers are signed up to write new solutions on the platform.

Huawei’s public cloud data centres are built on the company’s own server, storage and networking hardware and self-developed chips.

“Whatever we develop in R&D is integrated into our cloud platform,” Thomas says.

Huawei is today launching Kunpeng Elastic Cloud Server (ECS) cloud services, adding the high-performance processor into the publicly-available platform.

“This is the highest performing CPU in the market today,” Thomas explains. “It is 25% faster than any other cloud virtual machine.”

The ecosystem that spans x86 and Kunpeng processors can scale to meet any business need, he adds.

The Kunpeng-powered cloud services will be made available to African customers by the end of December and will offer 15% faster multi-core computing power and a 30% higher performance/price ratio than the industry average.

These cloud services offer an unprecedented capability to meet the ever-shifting requirements of a diverse range of public and private institutions.

Underpinning the new cloud offerings is Huawei’s high-performance Kunpeng, explains Marcus Tay Soon Guan, director: cloud and data centre solutions at Huawei.

The Kunpeng chip has been expanded into a full ecosystem that powers native applications, big data and hybrid cloud, with 80% better performance and 35% less processing time.

Huawei’s hybrid cloud solution helps carriers and enterprises to accelerate intelligent transformation.

Huawei Cloud is the public cloud offering, while the Huawei Cloud Stack enables the private cloud and customers can even extend the public cloud into their own data centres with Huawei Cloud Stack Online.

Artificial intelligence (AI) touches on just about every business, adds Thomas, and Huawei Cloud AI services are available in various vertical markets.

Security is always an issue in computing, particularly in cloud, which is why Huawei Cloud conforms to regulations on operations, operations and management, and private data security.

“We deal with six different layers of security,” Thomas says. “And on top of this, customers can implement their own security.”

Huawei has launched new servers and storage products that provide the foundation for its AI and cloud offerings.

“Cloud has changed the way organisations work,” says Farouk Osman Latib, senior manager: cloud and data centre at Huawei. “And this leads to questions about the best way to take advantage of these services.”

The business reasons for switching to cloud include efficiency improvements, business agility and risk reduction. But there are technology challenges, including mixed architecture, operations and management, and data compliance issues.

The four issues that organisations have to overcome are architecture reconstruction, difficult operations, maintenance and expansion, isolation and compliance, and investment and delivery.

This leads to the decision about which cloud strategy to adopt. “The strategy must cater to the application or workload, as well as to the company itself,” Latib says.

Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud are dominating the cloud architecture landscape, he adds.

Huawei’s public cloud (Huawei Cloud), private cloud (Huawei Cloud Stack) and hybrid cloud (Huawei Cloud Stack Online) offerings are unified so customers get consistent performance and experience regardless of which cloud they use.

Latib says the business reasons for choosing hybrid cloud include business security compliance, a leading technology position, reduced O&M manpower, internetworking across architectures, and a shared ecosystem.