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Why no datacenters in Middle East and Africa?

Hi Microsoft,
I can’t help thinking that Microsoft is pursuing some sort of imperialist western agenda with the deployment of its worldwide Azure Datacenters! As an independent software developer based here in Dubai with clients right across Africa, The Middle East and the Sub-continent we currently have the choice of hosting in Western Europe (Amsterdam) which is between 6500km and 8000km away from our clients, or South East Asia (Singapore) 5000 to 11000kms away.
Guys it is time to realize that there is 2/5's of the world’s population nearby - let’s see something proactive in terms of datacenter deployment, and get the priorities right instead of deploying two new datacenters in Australia to service only 20mill people.
Get with it fellows!

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    Allan Hill shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    17 comments

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      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        They have already started the road to Africa. We're starting to leverage Microsoft solutions in Africa as we speak..

      • Mohammed Al-Basri commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Aws just announced a three availability zones in Bahrain (my country)
        It is the first in middle east
        What is microsoft answer to that?

      • Data Quest commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Africa is planned, great. What about the Middle East? Amazon just beat you to it by announcing a data center in Bahrain starting 2019.

        Between hosting in West Europe (currently lowest latency azure dc for middle east) and Bahrain, enterprise clients - especially in the financial sector - will want to opt for something local when compliance & regulatory bodies get in on it.

        Azure Stack, you say? As of this post, it's only available in 3 middle eastern countries.

      • Jon Burchel commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Microsoft and Satya have made many overtures toward Africa. This could show Microsoft's long term commitment to the forgotten continent, even if it is not initially profitable, the goodwill it will earn will repay for decades, if Microsoft makes a real and lasting commitment there. And there is _vast_ untapped market potential once African economies are modernized, which can happen quickly with technology. Please help Africa! As the leaders, isn't that your duty?

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        its not a cost thing, we use vodacom hosting services in South Africa and it is much more expensive than Azure, which we use in the UK, the connectivity is available in South Africa so that is not an issue. IBM has just launched there cloud services in partnership with vodacom last month, i was at the launch, so they see a market in SA. There is a huge growth market in Africa for this and MS AZURE is far cheaper than the competition so it would easily win business. All the other providers also don't offer the flexibility Azure do, they "manage" it for you, which we don't want.
        Come on Azure get it done!

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We have clients in Africa trying to use Azure based portals to access data from other Microsoft datacenter setups and the speeds are unacceptable. Microsoft has to solve this to be a real player in Africa.

      • Kris H commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Actually, it looks like BT is in Dubai and "partners" with Microsoft, providing an Enterprise level reputation in the region.

      • Kris H commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        While Erik brings up some valid points, The financial and political risks can generally be covered with OPIC coverage. The attacks in France and the US illustrate that no region is immune to these risks.

        In working on several projects in the Middle East, the lack of reliable data connections between regions consistently arises, with Skype and other platforms...making me look for local data hosting capacity with reputable names.

        While areas of reasonable stability and integrity may be isolated in some regions, there are some...and the population and volume of potential clients could support profitable projects.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I am an ISV based in Cape Town. Last week i did a demo to potential customer of my software running on Azure in the states. The international lines out of south africa were cut in Egypt that morning and it would have been faster to retrive data by pigeon that get it via the net. Not much point having 99.5% uptime SLA when we cant rely on getting data in and out of our country. Please put a data centre in Africa. Preferably South Africa. Preferably Cape Town.

      • Erik commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Seriously? Don't you think it might have something more to do with issues around security, cost, connectivity, political stability, corruption and governmental regulation? It's likely a quagmire of regulations and red tape to go through, not to mention you probably have to spend a fortune in bribes to make it happen. The region is unstable.. even long lasting governments can topple overnight, leaving a huge investment lost. Governments can just decide to confiscate foreign property if they don't pay their bribes on time, or heaven forbid, terrorists come in and take over the facility and use it to gain access to other systems running in the Azure network. I'm sure Microsoft would be more than happy to build a data center there if they thought it was a safe and profitable investment.

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