Leading pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Econet Global, will become a Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute partner with pan-African network reach when the Microsoft Azure cloud platform is generally available in 2018.
Through its CloudConnect service, Liquid Telecom will be offering direct private connections to Microsoft’s South African ExpressRoute locations allowing businesses of all sizes in Africa to have private access to Azure on their own continent.
CloudConnect for Azure ExpressRoute will enable customers to create private, predictable, high performance, SLA based connections between Azure data centres and infrastructure on their premises or in a colocation environment.
To support access to Azure services, Liquid Telecom is adding CloudConnect nodes to over 25 Points of Presence (PoPs) across Africa, and is also making major upgrades to Liquid Telecom data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town to meet the needs of global cloud players and enterprise customers.
Liquid Telecom is already taking pre-orders from some of the region’s largest enterprises for CloudConnect, which leverages its extensive pan-African fibre network that connects more African countries on a single network than any other. This is part of Liquid Telecom’s strategy to become an integrated fibre network, data centre, content and digital services provider.
“The arrival of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform in South Africa is a statement to the world on how far Africa’s cloud ecosystem has come,” said Nic Rudnick, Group CEO, Liquid Telecom. “We are delighted to be able to offer enterprise customers fast and reliable connections to the Azure platform through a local connection to their nearest Liquid Telecom CloudConnect node.”
In August, Liquid Telecom joined Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider programme and is now able to offer Azure as a managed service to enterprises and small businesses alike in the region.
“Liquid Telecom’s extensive fibre footprint across Africa provides support for the upcoming launch of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform in South Africa. With scale and reach across Sub-Saharan Africa, Liquid Telecom will increase Azure ExpressRoute availability across the region and help deliver Azure to more enterprise customers,” said Ross Ortega, Microsoft Azure, Networking Product Management, Microsoft Corp.
· As an official Cloud Solution Provider, Liquid Telecom is now serving businesses of all sizes in Africa with cloud services and products, such as Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Office 365, Enterprise Mobility Suite and Windows 10. The agreement with Microsoft brings together enterprise-grade reliability and performance from the Azure cloud with Liquid Telecom’s award-winning fibre network.
· ExpressRoute can support businesses for scenarios such as periodic data migration, replication for business continuity, disaster recovery and other high-availability strategies. It can be a cost-effective option for transferring large amounts of data, such as datasets for high-performance computing applications, or moving large virtual machines between your dev-test environment in an Azure virtual private cloud and your on-premises production environment.
· Liquid Telecom is also expanding its award-winning East Africa Data Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, which currently houses 2,000 square metres of secured space for data servers over four floors. Along with further expansion of its two state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town, Liquid Telecom data centres are home to fibre routes of many major carriers, MNOs, cloud service providers and financial institutions.