Amazon Web Services is making what can be described as the first announcement of its presence in Nigeria with the launch of ‘AWS Outposts’, an infrastructure service that enables users to locally host, run, manage their workload and connect with Amazon’s cloud service offerings.
Amazon in a statement shared with BusinessDay described the infrastructure as fully-managed and configurable computing and storage racks built with AWS-designed hardware. These it says, allows its customers to run AWS services on-premises, including computing, storage, and databases, while seamlessly connecting to AWS’s broad array of services in the cloud.
“Customers in Nigeria who have workloads that require low latency, data processing, or data storage on premises can benefit from AWS Outposts,” said Amrote Abdella, general manager, AWS Sub-Saharan Africa. “We are excited to bring AWS Outposts rack to Nigeria as we continue to deliver advanced cloud services to meet AWS customers’ business needs.”
Abdella also said these workloads include applications that might need to generate near real-time responses, communicate with other on-premises systems, or control on-site equipment, such as factory floor equipment, health management systems, and retail point-of-sale systems. Customers can also use AWS Outposts rack to securely store and use customer data in Nigeria, which is important for organizations in highly regulated industries and data sovereignty requirements.
AWS Outposts rack according to the statement, brings AWS infrastructure and operating models to datacenters, co-location spaces, and on-premises facilities. With AWS Outposts rack, customers can use the same APIs, control panel, tools, and hardware on premises as in the AWS Regions to deliver a consistent experience.
It identifies Paystack, a Nigerian fintech as one of the indigenous businesses already using AWS services to build what it describes as powerful B2B payments and growth tools for thousands of Africa’s most ambitious businesses. “AWS’ reliability has enabled us to seamlessly scale our operations, and exponentially grow transaction volumes. We are excited by the launch of AWS Outposts rack in Nigeria which brings cloud-scale innovations and services to Nigeria’s tech ecosystem,” said Ezra Olubi, Paystack co-founder and CTO.
54Gene, a health technology company is also identified as another local firm using the service, and has built its Genomics Infrastructure & Insights Ecosystem (GENIISYSTM) platform on AWS, enabling them to collect and analyze diverse datasets to unlock scientific discoveries. “Using AWS, we have been able to deploy new digital services faster than it would have taken us previously. Continuous innovation is part of 54Gene’s DNA. The launch of AWS Outposts rack in Nigeria allows us to extend and run AWS services on premises. We are thrilled with this, said Francis Osifo, vice president of 54Gene.”
AWS Outposts rack enables customers to build and run applications on premises using the same programming interfaces as in AWS Regions. With AWS Outposts, customers can choose from a range of general, compute, memory, storage, and graphics-optimized Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances, both with and without local storage options.
Other possibilities are Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volume options, and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) on Outposts. Customers can then run a broad range of AWS services locally, including Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS), and Amazon EMR, and they can connect directly to regional services like Amazon CloudWatch and Amazon DynamoDB through public or private connections.
While Amazon is known more for its eCommerce offering, the company says for over 15 years, its AWS service has been the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud offering. AWS says it has been continually expanding its services to support virtually any cloud workload, and now has more than 200 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management.
Operating in different regions across the world, AWS is used by businesses and governments alike to as it says “power their infrastructure, become more agile, and lower costs”.