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商业 - 科技

微软在非洲押下重注

Jonathan Vanian 2017年05月22日

微软相信,在非洲赢得更多份额的最好方式,就是在这里建立巨型数据中心。

 

 

科技巨头微软在上周四表示,他们计划2018年之前在南非的约翰内斯堡和开普敦建立数据中心。借此,公司可以更有效率地为这片地区的用户提供Office 365等各项服务。

微软的云服务与企业部执行副总裁斯科特·格思里在声明中表示:“非洲云服务日益增长的需求,以及它们催化新的经济机遇的潜力,让我们十分激动。”

建立数据中心的决定凸显了非洲经济增长的速度,这吸引了许多希望借机获利的大型科技公司。例如,今年2月,Facebook就与当地的电信公司合作,在乌干达安装了500英里的光纤,用以提高该国的联网水平,获取更多用户。

与企业通常用来开展信息技术运维的传统数据中心不同,微软和亚马逊(Amazon)拥有一群联系在一起的数据中心,把它们当作一个巨大的设施。这些公司会通过这类大型数据中心来提供服务。

微软和亚马逊会利用这些中心,按照商业客户的需求向他们出售计算资源,这样他们就不用建立自己的数据中心。微软表示,他们计划在非洲提供的产品包括Azure云计算服务、Office 365商业软件和Dynamics 365数据库服务。

尽管非洲的公司也可以使用云服务,不过这些服务往往都由位于其他地区的数据中心提供,因此速度更慢,更容易断线。微软表示,通过在非洲开设数据中心,客户可以在本地存储数据,这也可以满足那些禁止公司在国外保存数据的规定。

去年,IBM表示他们与南非的信息技术公司Gijima和电讯公司Vodacom合作,在约翰内斯堡建立了一个云数据中心。微软的声明则似乎表明他们建立了自己的设施而没有借助任何当地信息技术公司或电讯供应商的帮助。

亚马逊网络服务(Amazon Web Services)目前还没有在网站上列出任何位于非洲的数据中心。

谷歌的发言人表示,他们目前还没有非洲的数据中心,不过“未来几年内将继续积极拓展公司Google云平台(Google Cloud Platform)的架设地区”。

Facebook尽管不是云计算的供应商,不过在全球各地也拥有多处数据中心,然而目前他们也还没有在非洲建立这样的设施。

《财富》(Fortune)联系了微软,希望获取更多信息,如果得到回复,将会对本文进行更新。(财富中文网)

译者:严匡正

The business technology giant said Thursday that it planned to open data centers in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa by 2018. By opening data centers in Africa, Microsoft will be able to more efficiently deliver its various services like Office 365 to users in the region.

“We’re excited by the growing demand for cloud services in Africa and their ability to be a catalyst for new economic opportunities,” Scott Guthrie, Microsoft's executive vice president of cloud and enterprise, said in a statement.

The decision to open a data center facility highlights the growing economic development in Africa, which has caught the attention of big tech companies looking to capitalize. In February, for example, Facebook partnered with local telecommunications companies to install 500 miles of fiber optic cable in Uganda to improve the country's Internet connectivity and obtain more users.

Unlike traditional data centers that businesses typically use to run their IT operations, companies like Microsoft (msft, +0.34%) and Amazon (amzn, +1.45%) operate clusters of data centers that are tethered so they can operate as one mega-facility. These companies maintain several of these vast data center regions to provide their services.

Microsoft and Amazon use them to sell business customers access to computing resources on-demand so they don’t have to operate their own data centers. Some of Microsoft’s products it plans to deliver in Africa include its Azure cloud computing service, Office 365 business software, and Dynamics 365 database services, the company said.

Although companies in Africa can access cloud-based services, those services are typically delivered from data centers located outside of Africa, which could make them slower or more prone to going offline. Microsoft said that by opening data centers in Africa, customers would be able to store their data locally, which could satisfy any regulations prohibiting companies from keeping that data outside the country.

Last year, IBM (ibm, -0.10%) said it partnered with South African IT company Gijima and telecommunication company Vodacom to open a cloud data center in Johannesburg. From Microsoft's announcement, it appears it is building its own facilities without any involvement from local IT companies or telecommunication providers.

Amazon Web Services currently does not list any African data centers on its website.

A Google spokesperson said that it does not have an African data center but “will continue to aggressively expand our Google Cloud Platform regions over the next few years.”

Facebook, while not a cloud-computing provider, maintains sophisticated data center regions all over the world and does not currently have such a facility in Africa.

Fortune contacted Microsoft for more information and will update this story if it responds.

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