Cloud computing in layman’s terms is simply renting out storage space over the internet. This is done as opposed to buying the equipment to store the data themselves. Over the years, it has quickly been adopted globally. The access to unlimited computing power without having to actually manage all the equipment and networks has become a thing of attraction for most businesses.
Microsoft, a multinational technology provider has seen about 300% growth in cloud computing over the years. To leverage all these new businesses, Microsoft has partnered up with SEACOM to take things up a notch. They launched an online service that will allow customers to extend their on-premise networks without having to go over public internet. The new service called Azure Express Route will enable companies to create private connections between data centres and infrastructure on their premises.
Normally, businesses control the connection between them and their Internet Service Providers (ISP’s). These service providers go ahead and hand over the traffic to other providers until the service in question is accessed. With this new Azure Express Route service, businesses can eliminate the need to rely on other service providers and control direct access to their data. This service will address the need for high capacity, high speed, low latency connections for a business. It will provide a highly secure, private and high bandwidth connection to the cloud. This will, in turn, allow people to run their businesses offsite or in some cases out of the country.
One of the key features to note about the Azure Express Route is its provision of low latency. This has a guaranteed network experience with up to 99.9% throughput and uptime. In matters to do with security, Microsoft has invested Kshs 1 billion to protect customer data from hackers.
M-KOPA has seen great success from the use of the new service. The business is the first pay as you go service that offers access to off-grid electricity. Over time as people continue to adopt the service, the company has seen the need to provide data hosting solutions to scale up and get into new markets. With the Azure Express Route service, they are able to seamlessly provide electricity to over 600,000 homes across East Africa. They also process 1.8 million mobile transactions per month. Additionally, they track the readings of the equipment they give to their customers. They are now able to get 40 million readings from their equipment on a daily basis.
In a decade, Kenya has come from being one of the lowest connectivity hubs in Kenya to be one of the best. With this service, Microsoft hopes to increase the value they provide to their customers while still accelerating their businesses.