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By 16 July 2018 | Categories: news

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It seems as though 2018 is shaping up to be a promising year for cloud in South Africa. The latest announcement to come from the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Summit in Cape Town, held last week, is the launch of a new Amazon CloudFront edge location in the Mother City.

 Why does this matter to South Africans? Simply because it promises that fast content delivery, acceleration and higher performance for websites and applications areq on the cards.

This is not the first CloudFront edge location to be unveiled locally, as it follows on the heels of the Johannesburg launch last month.

CloudFront explained

For those who aren’t familiar, Amazon CloudFront is a global content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to viewers with low latency and high transfer speeds. It is not just local applications that will benefit, so too will international applications. According to the company, CloudFront reduces the need to fetch content at its origin in data centers outside of the African continent, in some cases reducing latency by 75%.

According to AWS, companies of all sizes, and in any industry sector operating in Africa can reap the benefits offered by CloudFront. One example given was Aerobotics, which is based in Cape Town. The company focuses on on-demand drone and satellite analytics for healthier farming, and is using CloudFront to efficiently deliver content to farmers globally, helping them monitor their crops and warn them about potential risks.

Why it matters

In Africa, where so many people live in rural areas and depend on agriculture, CloudFront allows Aerobotics to get information to farmers more quickly, and help them grow healthier crops despite disease, pests, and drought issues.

“Given that we typically serve data in the order of gigabyes, CloudFront has enabled us to roll this out efficiently and quickly. Serving a lot of customers in South Africa, the new launch means that our local client base will be able to access their farm data even faster than before.” said Benji Meltzer, CTO, Aerobotics.

With the announcement, CloudFront’s global network has now been increased to 123 points of presence in 59 cities, across 26 countries .

Apparently, South Africa is particularly attractive to tech giants aiming to expand their datacenter/cloud footprint at the moment. Microsoft’s two new data centres – which promise similarly reduced latency for South African customers – are also due for Cape Town and Johannesburg later this year.

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