The project could have big implications for organisations and individuals in Africa looking to connect to cloud storage.
In short, peering can be described as another term for routing, and is the process of selecting a path for traffic in a network, or between or across multiple networks. A faster peering offers better performance, better security and lower latency – meaning faster speeds and less of a delay when using services.
Microsoft ExpressRoute, part of Liquid Telecom’s CloudConnect offering, allows businesses to establish private connections to Microsoft’s Azure. Previously, customers could only access ExpressRoute via peering (read: routing) locations in Europe.
Liquid Telecom recently deployed an ExpressRoute link for the Western Cape government in South Africa, which is overseeing a major upgrade to communications infrastructure in the region. The project also means the government in Western Cape is the first customer with a direct private connection to the Azure Cloud exchanged locally in Africa.
Naturally, that has folks pretty excited. A Western Cape government spokesperson said they were especially impressed by the increased speed of cloud services – which would help the government better serve citizens. “Liquid Telecom’s CloudConnect service has significantly increased the performance of our cloud services and will support the rollout of leading-edge cloud solutions to more of the region.”
Liquid group chief product officer David Behr is also looking forward to what comes next in terms of more people in Africa connecting to the cloud. “Our advanced ExpressRoute offering is another important step forward for Africa’s Cloud,” he says. “Liquid Telecom’s CloudConnect service is strongly positioned to be the highway that links businesses to a whole host of leading local and global cloud services.”
Liquid Telecom will also be able to offer ExpressRoute directly to the Azure Cloud in Africa when it goes live in data centres in South Africa later this year. Liquid is the only Microsoft partner to be providing an ExpressRoute service across eight African countries on its own fibre network, including South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya. It has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, spanning more than 50,000 kilometres, and operates data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi, with a combined 6,800 square metres of rack space.