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Hyperscalers disrupting the cloud space in Africa

August 19, 2018 • Cloud Computing, Top Stories

Hyperscalers disrupting the cloud space in Africa

Morne Bekker, South African country manager and district manager for the SADC region at NetApp.

With a dominant position in the cloud and networks, hyperscalers are consequently becoming leaders in the services space. A study conducted by Cisco reveals that hyperscale data centres will represent 53 percent of all installed data centre servers by 2021.

According to the Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2016–2021 White Paper, they will account for 85 percent of the public cloud server installed base in 2021 and 87 percent of public cloud workloads and compute instances.

Not only are hyperscaler disrupting the cloud space in Africa, they are also disrupting the business landscape and company IT spending.

“Customers are looking for new better ways to spend their money and hyperscalers provide them with infrastructure environment to do that. Hyperscalers offer services that customers want and are embracing,” said Morne Bekker, South African country manager and district manager for the SADC region at NetApp.

Advantages of Hyperscalers

The increasing need for data centre and cloud resources from both the business and consumer service perspective has led to the development of large-scale public cloud data centres called hyperscale data centres. Hyperscale cloud operators are increasingly dominating the cloud landscape.

It is not just in the cloud space that hyperscalers are disrupting. Thay have become increasingly influential in the server market over the past years. The companies run massive data centres to keep their web-based businesses up and running and buy huge numbers of servers and other data centre systems.

Bekker says, “Having hyperscalers drastically improves market time. You have got an environment where startups can blossom, they don’t need to have massive upfront investments. Hyperscalers offer agility, flexibility and innovation. They make it easier for businesses to innovate faster and deliver better products, newer feature-rich products that customers want.”

Moving to the cloud

Speaking about moving to the cloud Bekker says enterprises need to analyse and understand their own business. What the requirements are and where they want to go and what they want to achieve.

“There is definitely a cloud play for every single customer out there but each customer needs to determine if its an all-in or all-out. Customers need to understand what they are getting involved with and what they look to benefit from that. What your business impact and requirement is and then build your journey to the cloud. Businesses have a lot to benefit from the cloud”, he said.

Cloud-Ready and Discovery Workshops

Cloud-based services offer a level of agility that gives businesses a level of advantage over competitors. Cloud is ideal for businesses that require flexibility. It also allows smaller businesses to act faster than big, established competitors.

Many businesses are moving to the cloud mainly because cloud computing increases efficiency, helps improve cash flow and offers many more benefits. There are others businesses who have not yet made the move.

Bekker says, “NetApp offers cloud discovery workshops and cloud-ready workshop. These workshops assist customers to analyze their environment, they also help them understand where they are, what they have and help them facilitate the process.”

Data management in the cloud  is critical

Many organisations are concerned with the how to manage the ever-increasing huge volumes of data and to deliver more and more enhanced services with reduced cost. This is where cloud computing comes in. But, as with other cloud computing technologies, cloud data management can introduce opportunities and challenges.

“Data is the lifeblood of your company, you have to be in control of your data, you have to know where it is and who is accessing it. It should be available at the right place at the right time to the right people, said Bekker. Data management is key to cloud, says Bekker.

Companies that do not manage their data properly run multiple risks from a security perspective. Security becomes an issue. They become slow to market products and innovation and the likelyhood is that the company will not have a good customer experience.

Is Africa embracing cloud?

Cloud computing enables developers to concentrate more on the core issues like development of product, rather than worrying about secondary issues like availability of servers, storage space.

Bekker says that Africa is embracing the opportunity for cloud. He says there is a need in the African continent to develop, innovate and bring economic growth.

“Africa has a number of challenges including skills, foreign currencies and being able to trade. That makes cloud a very attractive model from an operational expense perspective rather than a capital-intensive experience,” he concluded.

By Fundisiwe Maseko
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