Building out a new data center is not a small investment. In the past, Microsoft has said that each new location costs about a billion dollars or more which means that when they decide to open up a new region for Azure, it’s a serious investment.
Recently, we have seen Microsoft announce new regions where local laws require data to stay inside the countries borders and also in other areas where they are adding additional capacity due to strong growth. But, one area of the world that has not seen much attention is Africa but that will all change in 2018.
Microsoft has announced that they will be opening up two new locations on that continent next year. The company will build two new data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town with these new regions offering Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics services.
After these two locations open, Microsoft will have 40 regions online around the globe. Considering the significant investment that a new data center requires, this is one of the company’s primary differentiators when it comes to its competitors.
While Amazon and Google certainly have the capital to compete in the cloud game, for new companies or smaller firms, the capital expense required to create a ‘cloud’ is significant and also prohibitive as well.
The cloud segment is of vital importance for Microsoft as the company looks to find a way to topple Amazon who owns the largest slice of the pie. For now, the company is investing heavily in new regions and services that help differentiate their offering from Amazon and Google.