Liquid Telecom launches Microsoft Azure Stack in East Africa

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Liquid Telecom has today launched Azure Stack a Microsoft Cloud service that offers a step change in cybersecurity for the region’s most sensitive databases. The service will be available from today across East Africa, hosted in private cloud nodes in Kenya and Tanzania, which makes it possible to replicate databases at different locations to increase reliability and flexibility.

The  Azure Stack service will allow companies to run a private Microsoft cloud within East Africa, rather than at one of Microsoft’s 54 public data centres located outside the region. This means users benefit from the cutting-edge security protocols developed and run by Microsoft on its cloud platforms, while holding their data locally, which makes data uploading faster for databases that can be as large as one terabyte or more.

According to Liquid Telecom, data transmission time to Europe is around 200 milliseconds, and for the closest Microsoft cloud server, in South Africa, 55 milliseconds. But the new Azure Stacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam will mean data transfer speeds of less than 20 milliseconds for all users within East Africa. This increase in speeds will transform back-ups and uploads from previously lengthy processes to swift data exchanges. Globally, companies have reported that this has transformed their operations, with one logistics company in California achieving a 50% improvement in service delivery on increased data speeds.

Winston Ritson, Group Head of Cloud Services for the Liquid Telecom Group, had this to say, “Using Azure Stack also opens the way to a level of cybersecurity that few organisations have the capacity to develop. He also added, “Microsoft spends some $1bn a year on ensuring the security of its Azure platforms. This is a scale of spend and professional attention that companies cannot match or surpass in securing their data.”

This comes as East Africa’s data security continues to deteriorate. In 2017, Kenya lost over Sh21bn to cybercrime. But the nation’s losses are forecast to rise further on new cyber threats, including attacks on built-in Windows IT admin tools, Powershell files and Windows Scripting executables.

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