Microsoft Reveals Why it Deployed Data Centres in South Africa

Microsoft’s Head of Cloud Technology Mr. Ruediger Dornharles
Microsoft’s Head of Cloud Technology Mr. Ruediger Dornharles

Microsoft’s Head of Cloud Technology Mr. Ruediger Dornharles

While highlighting the importance of using cloud services for businesses, Microsoft’s Head of Cloud Technology Mr. Ruediger Dorn shed light on a couple of cybersecurity issues that are detrimental to the progress of this technology. Speaking at Microsoft’s headquarters for East and Southern Africa region, Mr. Dorn emphasized on the need to secure the cyberspace.

At the moment, more than 1 million malware are created every day to infiltrate internet-based systems. It is believed that these attacks will mutate and leverage the popularity of IoT to deploy large-scale vulnerabilities. Also, companies are spending up to $15 million yearly to mitigate cyber-attacks.

Mr. Dorn also revealed that South Africa successfully met the criteria required by the U.S.-based corporation for a data centre. Located at Cape Town and Johannesburg, the data centres will be used to augment the delivery of cloud services, including Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamic 365 – all constituting more than 600 million installations across the globe.

To support a South African deployment, Mr. Dorn highlighted a number of requirements that must be met to allow the establishment of a data center. One key prerequisite is energy consumption as the facility spends millions in energy costs. It is estimated that data centers will require 140 kWh of power by 2020.

Another issue that was brought to light was telecommunications infrastructure. South Africa, which has access to high-speed lines and high-bandwidth networking tools than Kenya, among other African countries, must have impressed folks at Microsoft to support their decision. Additional telecoms requirements include a track record of power outages, what carriers charge for services and so forth.

At the same time, Microsoft looks into availability of technical skill, customer proximity and a regulatory environment that supports long-term business planning.

Collectively, it appears South Africa met the minimum requirements for the facility.

Asked about the security of their cloud services, Mr. Dorn insisted on the superiority of the system over competitors.

Unfortunately, Microsoft did not reveal plans to bring the facility to Kenya in the near future.

Finally, Mr. Dorn asked businesses to revisit cloud security by asking themselves if their security budget is scaling appropriately, whether they have visibility into and control of essential business data and whether they are monitory IT adequately.


  1. Just a few corrections and notes:

    140 kWh of power is a measure of energy, not power. I use that much energy in my (small house) in a few months. Presumably you mean 140 kW of power? Power (kilowatts) × time (hours) = energy (kilowatt – hours).

    Also malware is an uncountable noun (like toothpaste, water or software). You can’t have 1 million water, or 1 million malware. You should rather say 1 millions “instances of malware” or 1 million “types of malware”.

    It is also not clear whether MS has in fact deployed to South Africa or not. You say “To support a South African deployment” which seems to mean that it may be coming (in theory). If there is a deployment, you should rather say “To support *the* South African deployment”….

    Otherwise, useful information, thank you.

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