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Leading pan-African Internet services provider, Internet Solutions (IS), has announced that CloudConnect – its international colocation connectivity solution – has been incorporated into Microsoft’s Azure ExpressRoute network.

With Internet Solutions’ robust carrier infrastructure, Azure ExpressRoute clients in Africa will link directly to the Microsoft Cloud – including Azure, Microsoft Office 365, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 – hosted in Microsoft’s South African data centres when they come online in 2018.

“The ability to link directly and securely to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform locally will significantly increase the performance of our customers using Microsoft’s cloud services in South Africa,” says Gopal Govinder, Executive: VPN and MDNS at Internet Solutions. “We anticipate that this will encourage companies to move more of their workloads into the cloud, so they can take greater advantage of the benefits that cloud technology offers.”

Govinder explains that average latency between South Africa and London is currently less than 180 milliseconds, whereas Internet Solutions’ terrestrial network latency is under 20 milliseconds nationally. This is a significant improvement when companies must access critical cloud services such as client account information or stock data.

“CloudConnect already offers clients access to multiple cloud service providers on a reliable, high-performance virtual private network,” says Govinder. “As part of Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, we’ll extend the service to wholesale clients in South Africa and the rest of the continent.”

Internet Solutions will continue to connect clients to Microsoft’s expanded suite of products available through London and Amsterdam exchange points.

“We’re moving towards a global digital economy where enterprises and their service offerings have global reach, but in many ways it is more important than ever to localise delivery. This is what Microsoft is offering by investing in data centres in South Africa.

“Internet Solutions is proud to provide seamless connectivity between clients and their Microsoft-hosted data, so they can leverage this information for improved experience, service delivery and business growth,” says Govinder.

Ross Ortega, Partner PM Manager, Microsoft Azure Networking at Microsoft Corp. said, “We’re pleased to add Internet Solutions as an option for companies to connect to Microsoft Azure through Azure ExpressRoute. The Microsoft Cloud delivered from Africa through partners like Internet Solutions will help developers build new and innovative apps, and support our mutual customers in their cloud journey.”

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