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AWS Expands Regions Into Africa

by Adam Armstrong
AWS Africa Region

Today, Amazon Wed Services (AWS) opened a new region, the AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region. This marks a whopping 73 Availability Zones within 23 geographic regions around the world for AWS. Opening up a new region in South Africa gives developers, startups, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and non-profit organizations the ability to run applications and serve end-users in Africa with even lower latency and leverage advanced AWS technologies to drive innovation.

Today, Amazon Wed Services (AWS) opened a new region, the AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region. This marks a whopping 73 Availability Zones within 23 geographic regions around the world for AWS. Opening up a new region in South Africa gives developers, startups, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and non-profit organizations the ability to run applications and serve end-users in Africa with even lower latency and leverage advanced AWS technologies to drive innovation.

AWS Africa Region

An AWS Region consists of three Availability Zones. Availability Zones are AWS’s way of saying data center in this case. These data centers reside in a particular region (South Africa here), but are far enough apart to reduce the risk of a single event impacting business continuity, yet near enough to provide low latency for high-availability applications. To further reduce risk, each Availability Zone has its own power, cooling, and physical security along with back-up power. Users that need higher redundancy can run their workloads across the Region in multiple Availability Zones.

While the announcement makes this seem like it is AWS’s first foray into Africa and South Africa, the company has been investing in South Africa since 2004.  AWS built a Development Center then to build pioneering technologies focused on networking, next-generation software for customer support, the technology behind Amazon EC2, and more. The company also opened an office in Johannesburg in 2015. In 2017 Amazon Global Network expanded to Africa through AWS Direct Connect. The following year, Amazon CloudFront locations were added in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, followed in 2020 by an edge location in Nairobi, Kenya.

AWS also announced that the intended to keep expanding with 12 more Availability Zones across four more AWS Regions in Indonesia, Italy, Japan, and Spain.

AWS Regional Product Services

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