Ok, now we have the market places for almost everything….the latest one being Cloud Services Market place which has been launched today by Seacom. Call it diversifying or taking a new route ,Seacom is trying out to do something entirely new from what they have been known for in Africa. Pamoja, the Cloud services business unit of SEACOM, want to take advantage of the evolving local Cloud services market, characterised by the rise of Telecommunication and ISPs over traditional IT service providers.
Pamoja Cloud Services Market place is targeting the Small and Medium sized enterprises in the region which offer cloud computing based services to their customers. With access to dedicated SEACOM bandwidth, Pamoja Cloud Services will be able to deliver Cloud services from any of its data centers in Africa, thereby bringing the Cloud to Africa. To start with, Pamoja is already offering the following services
- Hosted Microsoft Exchange and other mail related services
- Staorage, archiving services and online backup
- Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Hybrid Cloud services (integration of Public Cloud Services with Private Cloud Services)
- Server Virtualisation
AccessKenya will be among the first super resellers of the Pamoja Cloud Services.
I like the fact that they have their data centers in Africa. Most of the Cloud providers in Kenya and in Africa generally have their Data Centers based outside Africa. There are a number of advantages in having the Data center based in the continent as opposed to being in Europe or US. The first one being the Cloud providers need not to worry about the cable cuts within the Sea joining the content from the other continent. For example, recently we had Seacom and TEAMS Cables cut at the sea near Egypt. The act made accessing most websites in Kenya almost impossible due to slow internet or delivery of the content. And that is a problem right there… most websites in Kenya including this blog are hosted outside the continent. If there is a problem with the connectivity between the continent, then we are completely screwed.
Another advantage of local Data center is the issue of Latency. Latency , is amount of time or the delay as the data packets move over the various networks between the end user’s computer, the cloud provider’s application platform, and any storage networks. A Data center based in US for example means, someone accessing the service hosted there in Kenya will have to wait for the communication to go to US though Europe most likely and back to Kenya through the same route. . How fast the data is transferred from one location to another, depend not only on the speed of the internet but also on the distance within which the data has to travel. A data center closer to where end users are located makes a huge difference in solving the issue of latency. That is why African hosted data center should be a great news to all around here
At this point one would ask how far is the country in terms utilizing the opportunity provided by the Cloud Computing?
Many people in Kenya still don’t understand what the cloud computing is, but in one way or another they use it. Mr.Brian Longwe who presented during the Pamoja launch said the greatest thing about Cloud Computing , is that the cloud service providers build the infrastructure where the SMEs just plugin into them. The cloud enable the small businesses to enjoy the computing services on the world class platform at affordable rates. At operational level the Cloud Computing allows the SMEs to concentrate in building the business as opposed thinking about the infrastructure.