Africa: Amazon Web Service Approves Liquid Cloud As Direct Connect Delivery Partner

18 September 2022

The reality of Africa's historically low economic growth is the very reason the world mistakenly believes that Africa lags too far behind the global cloud innovation boom. That way of thinking is essentially erroneous.

According to Business Daily Africa, as of 2021, our continent accounted only for $1.2 billion of the global public cloud market; it has more than doubled in the past three years and continues to grow exponentially year on year.

  • Liquid Cloud has been approved by Amazon Web Service (AWS) as a Direct Connect Delivery Partner.
  • The certification secured by Liquid Cloud makes it one of only four partners in Africa to secure this achievement after undergoing an extensive and rigorous technical and business review by AWS.
  • A month ago, Liquid Cloud announced it would offer connectivity to Oracle Cloud through Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) FastConnect in South Africa within the Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region.
  • In July, Liquid also launched its first Cyber Security Fusion Centre in Johannesburg.

Liquid Cloud, a pan-African technology group, has announced that it has been approved by Amazon Web Service (AWS) as a Direct Connect Delivery Partner. After passing a thorough and demanding technical and business evaluation by AWS, Liquid Cloud, a division of Cassava Technologies, was awarded this prestigious accreditation, making it one of just four partners in Africa to do so.

Cassava Technologies was founded by African entrepreneur, Strive Masiyiwa. The group's Executive Chairman Masiyiwa also serves on several international boards, including Unilever Plc, Netflix, the Global Advisory Board for Bank of America, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and is also a longstanding board member of the United States Holocaust Museum's Committee on Conscience.

Existing and potential AWS users can directly access their Direct Connect services, which are accessible to customers in all nations where Liquid has operations. Additionally, through this partnership, they can now reduce admin overheads by managing the end-to-end process and non-differentiated tasks on behalf of customers.

Cloud allows businesses, especially those who are young and ready to grow, a pathway that is ready to scale at a moment's notice. Since latency is such a widespread issue in Africa, serving a customer as quickly as possible is the key to competitive advantage, which is life or death in a start-up landscape.

According to the company website, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a subsidiary of Amazon that provides on-demand cloud computing platforms and APIs to individuals, companies, and governments on a metered pay-as-you-go basis. These cloud computing web services provide distributed computing processing capacity and software tools via AWS server farms. One of these services is Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), which allows users to have at their disposal a virtual cluster of computers, available all the time, through the Internet. AWS's virtual computers emulate most of the attributes of a real computer, including hardware central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs) for processing; local/RAM memory; hard-disk/SSD storage; a choice of operating systems; networking; and pre-loaded application software such as web servers, databases, and customer relationship management (CRM).

"Liquid has over 100,000kms of fibre coverage across the continent, and we leverage our fibre infrastructure to enable customers to connect directly to the AWS cloud without a middleman. This relationship with AWS marks a vital step in our strategy to support our enterprise customers' needs in many of our African markets," said Winston Ritson, Chief Operating Officer, Liquid Cloud and Cyber Security.

This partnership will bring significant benefits to Liquid Cloud's multinational and large enterprise customers. Through AWS Direct Connect, customers can connect to the AWS cloud bypassing the public internet via a dedicated connection. In addition to Liquid Cloud customers having access to a range of services, including Microsoft and Oracle, they will experience a more consistent, reliable, and stable performance.

"With Liquid Cloud, our customers are getting access to international-standard offering via a service provider that has extensive expertise in bringing seamless cloud services to African businesses of all sizes," said Ritson.

Liquid Cloud is committed to working with businesses and assisting them in every step of their digital transformation. "We are continually investing in ensuring local businesses have access to the highest standards of tech that provides a seamless experience for their customers and can compete with businesses in other developed economies. Africa is ripe for international investments, and cloud technologies are a critical element for assured success," he said.

Meanwhile, just a month ago, Liquid Cloud announced it would offer connectivity to Oracle Cloud through Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) FastConnect in South Africa within the Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region.

Through the partnership with Oracle, clients of Liquid Cloud will have access to Oracle Cloud via FastConnect and Liquid's large fibre network.

FastConnect will be offered at current Africa Data Centre (ADC) facilities all over the continent for Liquid Cloud's co-located clients in addition to organizations using Liquid CloudConnect as a service. An organization's on-premises applications and Oracle Cloud Fusion Applications will be connected through this solution, improving the user experience. Businesses may move massive volumes of data safely, economically, and effectively with FastConnect via Liquid CloudConnect.

Whether on-premises or co-located through ADC facilities around the continent, Liquid will assist its customers in achieving simplicity, enterprise-class security, and seamless operations.

In July, Liquid also launched its first Cyber Security Fusion Centre in Johannesburg in a bid to eliminate silos and enhance threat visibility leading to deeper collaboration across teams and increased cyber resiliency.

There has been a rapid acceleration in the adoption of digital technologies globally, and Africa is no different. However, the nature of work and how businesses operate constantly evolves, and so has the scale of cyber threats.

It also brings together the existing Liquid Cloud Operations and Liquid Network Operation Centres, ensuring customers have full support across cybersecurity, cloud, and networks for end-to-end security.

The Fusion Centre, one of six planned across Africa, provides 24/7 managed cybersecurity detection and response services to mitigate the growing threat of cyberattacks against governments and enterprises of all sizes.

Liquid Cyber Security's new centre, enhanced by partners advisory-led cybersecurity services provider ITC Secure, Microsoft, and cybersecurity firm Xcitium, will provide threat intelligence and help protect African enterprises against rampant and rising cybercrime.

"Our pan-African Cyber Security Fusion Centres will, when fully operational, leverage our ability to track and predict threats across the continent and will be enhanced by the capability of our international partners like Microsoft, ITC Secure, and Xcitium," says Liquid Cloud and Cyber Security CEO David Behr.

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