AWS Launches 3 New Regions In Cape Town | Exploring The Impact Of Local Availability Zones

May 21, 2020

AWS Launches 3 New Regions In Cape Town | Exploring The Impact Of Local Availability Zones

Amazon Web Services, a subsidiary of Amazon and leading cloud computing platforms and services provider, has recently expanded their global reach with the launch of the first AWS Africa Region in Cape Town, South Africa. The AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region has been in the pipeline since 2018, but with a surge in cloud computing demands due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the launch timing couldn’t have been better. 

AWS Africa

Over the years, Amazon has continued to invest in South Africa. After establishing their presence in Cape Town by building a Development Center in 2004, focusing on pioneering technologies and next-generation software, Amazon has made numerous further investments, clarifying the value Amazon places on the South African market. Amazon has continued to broaden their presence by opening an AWS office in Johannesburg (2015), expanding the Amazon Global Network to Africa through AWS Direct Connect (2017) and launching Amazon CloudFront edge locations in both Cape Town and Johannesburg(2018). The launch of the AWS Africa (Cape Town)  Region in South Africa (2020) thus only adds to the value AWS places on their relationship with the South African and Southern African markets, and moving forward, we are bound to see further growth and exciting opportunities as AWS Partners. 

Availability Zones Explained

The AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region encompasses three Availability Zones.  Each Availability Zone consists of one or more  data centres and are located in separate and distinct geographic locations with enough distance to significantly reduce the risk of a single event impacting business continuity. All the Availability Zones within an AWS region are interconnected, providing low-latency and encrypted networking between them. AWS clients are able to design their systems to work across multiple Availability Zones in order to achieve even greater fault-tolerance, mitigating the devastating implications of power outages and numerous natural disasters, such as lightning strikes and floods. 

Benefits of a Local AWS Region

Some applications like online gaming and high-frequency trading are not feasible with the high latencies associated with hosting applications in the US and Europe. Hosting services closer to the end-user will result in much lower latencies and higher transfer speeds making these types of applications finally possible.

The POPI act will also be influenced by the new AWS Africa data centres. Signed into law in 2013, the POPI act outlines how personal information may be collected and stored, and the introduction of Local AWS Zones grants customers the assurance that their data can be stored locally and will not be moved without consent. True to their brand promise, AWS’s infrastructure adheres to the highest levels of security, compliance and data protection, and as POPi laws broaden to include additional stipulations, AWS clients can rest assured that they will continuously comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act. 

How Swipe iX Utilises AWS Services

Swipe iX has been an AWS partner for years, continually implementing AWS services into our advanced product offerings, providing innovative solutions to our clients, and working our way up to being an AWS Select Tier Consulting Partner. Having access to AWS services and the expertise to incorporate these products into our solutions, has allowed Swipe to conceptualise, design and build advanced cloud computing platforms in record time. In situations where clients require fully functional products in a matter of weeks, we have been able to adhere to these strict timeframes and exceed client expectations every time. Some of our noteworthy projects where AWS services greatly accelerated our development schedule and ultimately reduced expenses for the client include; our fully functional Robo-Advisor prototype built in a matter of weeks and building a “first of its kind” content management system which gives the client the option to deploy fully customised sites from the origin site, without having to rebuild each site from the ground up.

The speed at which Swipe is able to transform ideas into functional solutions is also sported at our annual Innovation Hackathon. The Hackathon format consisted of dividing the Swipers into 5 teams, each consisting of a team lead, backend developer, frontend developer, product owner and consultant, and giving each team one day to conceptualise, develop and present  a functioning prototype which solves a given problem. At the end of the day, the teams were able to build amazing products using AWS services, some of which would normally take years to build. Take a few minutes to browse through the incredible products we developed at the Innovation Hackathon whilst keeping in mind that if (divided) Swipe could develop and deploy these products in one day, what can’t we achieve (combined) when given a week?

As an AWS Partner, Swipe iX will continue to benefit from further AWS Africa investments, utilising launches and increased capabilities to exceed client expectations. The introduction of AWS Africa regions in Cape Town will only add to our current service offering as we continue to build top of the line, scalable systems for our current and prospective clients. To discuss how we can help you code your dreams into reality and bring your company vision to life - Get in touch!

Jacques Millard

VP of Engineering

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