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Liquid Telecom launches Azure Stack in East Africa

Liquid Telecom launches Azure Stack in East Africa

Liquid Telecom Kenya has launched a Microsoft Cloud service in East Africa that offers a step-change in cybersecurity for the region's most sensitive databases, according to the company.

The multinational telco says the new Azure Stack service will allow companies to run a private Microsoft cloud within East Africa, rather than at one of Microsoft's 54 public datacentres located outside the region.

"This means users benefit from the cutting-edge security protocols developed and run by Microsoft on its cloud platforms, while holding their data locally, which makes data uploading faster for databases that can be as large as one terabyte or more," the company stated.

The service is available across East Africa and hosted in private cloud nodes in Kenya and Tanzania, which, as Liquid explains, makes it possible to replicate databases at different locations to increase reliability and flexibility.

"The data transmission time to Europe is around 200 milliseconds, and for the closest Microsoft cloud server, in South Africa, 55 milliseconds. But the new Azure Stacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam will mean data transfer speeds of less than 20 milliseconds for all users within East Africa," said Winston Ritson, Group Head of Cloud Services for the Liquid Telecom Group.

"Microsoft spends some $1bn a year on ensuring the security of its Azure platforms. This is a scale of spend and professional attention that companies cannot match or surpass in securing their data," he added.

According to Liquid, East Africa's data security continues to deteriorate.

The telco explains that in 2017, Kenya lost over Sh21bn to cybercrime.

"But the nation's losses are forecast to rise further on new cyber threats, including attacks on built-in Windows IT admin tools, Powershell files and Windows Scripting executables," it added.

Adil El Youssefi, CEO East Africa, Liquid Telecom, said, "Developing the Azure Stack in East Africa has required intensive development and co-operation between Liquid Telecom and Microsoft. However, we believe that in offering a now unequalled level of cybersecurity, it has delivered yet another vital pillar to the economic development of Kenya and East Africa."

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