Safaricom yesterday launched Safaricom Cloud services which include provision of Data centre as a service, storage as a service and data backup and recovery services. They call the it the largest native cloud service in Africa, having spent about Ksh.2billion($20million) and expect to spend further Ksh.1.5billion(Around $15million) next year.
Before i go far what is cloud computing?
Cloud computing provides computation, software, data access, and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system that delivers the services. In other words the computer data, software, transactions, are stored far away and delivered to the end user through network or internet. Yes stored in cloud ( data centre somewhere), and the end userdon’t need to understand the component devices or infrastructure required to provide the service.
For a long time people here have using cloud services probably without knowing they doing that. The basic example is the commercial emails service like yahoo, Gmail and hotmail. When you send email, or receive email or even save the draft , the files are stored somewhere you basically don’t know. But when you need to access them, you grab your phone, laptop or desktop, connect to the internet , do the simple thing of signing in and baaaaaam ..that is cloud for you
How about Mpesa, probably the best example i can use. As an user you have no idea where the actions behind the scene take place. When for example you send money through your phone, your part is simply to follow instructions and wait for Mpesa to do the rest. The process that take place behind the scene is done at the cloud. Talking of Mpesa i think it is the real reason why Safaricom invested Ksh.2billion to have the data centre . They are readying themselves to host the Mpesa locally and as discussed here earlier, that would be great. With 15 million subscribers and 200 transactions per second, hosting mpesa will require quite a space.
But before that , Safaricom want to convince you that their cloud service is the best and here is a deeper look at what they are offering:
Data Centre as a Service
Data center as a service provides resources such as mail servers, web hosting server, space for hosting different applications like payroll system, POS and many more. You get all that delivered to you through the purchase of Virtual Machine or Virtual servers accessed over the internet.
Storage as a service
This will enable users to store data online and access it remotely over the internet. I think the main attraction on this would be the online backup. The service will enable the users to store files, folders, music, videos online and access them when needed over the internet.
Back Up as a service
If you have ever lost everything after your computer crashed or when the Kenya Power get its moods , then you understand the importance of backing up your work. This applies everywhere, whether you are using cloud, you still need to back up that too. Here Safaricom will work closely with customers for their storage sizing and the retention they need. The main aim is to ensure that critical data are stored safely in case of emergency on the part of the users or customers.