South Africa is now among Google’s global network of 35 cloud regions and 106 zones worldwide. The announcement follows the recent preview launch of regions in Malaysia, Thailand and New Zealand. Google Cloud regions allow users to deploy cloud resources from specific geographic locations, and access several services including cloud storage, compute engine, and key management system.
Google is also building Dedicated Cloud Interconnect sites, which link users’ on-premises networks with Google’s grid, in Nairobi — Kenya, Lagos — Nigeria, as well as Capetown & Johannesburg — South Africa, in its quest to provide full-scale cloud capabilities for its customers and partners in Africa.
The tech giant plans to tap its private subsea cable, Equiano, which connects Africa and Europe to power the sites. Equiano has been under development since 2019 and has so far landed in Togo, Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa.
Stating that the new region and interconnect sites will take Google Cloud computing services closer to its clients, allowing them choose where to consume the products, Niral Patel, Google Cloud Africa director, highlighted: “We are excited to announce the first Google Cloud region in Africa. The new region will allow for the localization of applications and services. It will make it really easier for our customers and partners to quickly deploy solutions for their businesses, whereby they’re able to leverage our computer artificial intelligence or machine learning capabilities, and data analytics to make smarter business decisions as they go forward.
“What we’re doing here is giving customers and partners a choice on where they’d like to store their data and where they’d like to consume cloud services, especially in the context of data sovereignty. This allows customers to then store the data in the country should they choose to do so… I guess for me the most important element is that it gives customers the element of choice.”
Still looking to launch in more African markets, Google Cloud’s choice of South Africa came as a result of the demand for cloud services and the market’s potential.