SA gets Africa’s first IBM cloud data centre

IBM has opened its first cloud data centre in Africa in collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom.

IBM South Africa GM Hamilton Ratshefola

IBM South Africa GM Hamilton Ratshefola

American IT services giant IBM has announced plans to open a multimillion-rand cloud data centre in Johannesburg in collaboration with South African partners Gijima and Vodacom.

The facility will be designed to support increasing customer demand from across Africa with IBM Cloud services for running business workloads, IBM said in a statement.

Although IBM is not disclosing the value of the investment it is making into the Johannesburg facility, it is part of a US$1,2bn (about R18bn) investment that IBM announced in January 2014 to expand its cloud data centres globally.

The South African cloud service will be linked via Vodacom parent Vodafone’s global IPVPN network to IBM’s global CMS platform in multiple locations in Europe.

It will provide access to public, private and hybrid cloud services that include analytics, mobile, networking, storage, Internet of things and cognitive computing.

The company said the data centre will be tailored to running and managing SAP applications and workloads in the cloud. IBM is the German software firm’s “premier provider” of cloud infrastructure services for “business critical applications”.

The Johannesburg cloud data centre is the 46th such facility worldwide.

IBM South Africa GM Hamilton Ratshefola said the facility is important because, among other things, is gives business customers the ability to keep data within the country. This is a key requirement from a regulatory perspective for a number of local industries.

IBM said Vodacom’s network and Africa footprint, along with Gijima’s SAP expertise, as well as its own cloud platforms, will create a “powerhouse” in cloud services.

Having a local facility will resolve data latency and regulatory issues through the protection of data inside South Africa. It will also offset data networking costs.

Gijima and Vodacom will both resell IBM’s Cloud Managed Service offering to the SAP enterprise customer base in the region.  — © 2016 NewsCentral Media

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