Microsoft is planning to build a new data center campus in Centurion, South Africa. It has also broken ground on new facilities in São Paulo state, Brazil.

Microsoft expanding in South Africa

The company announced plans this week to build a data center campus in Kosmosdal area of the city, to the south of Pretoria.

Microsoft Azure
– Sebastian Moss

“Still in the early phases of development, Microsoft aims to build out its cloud infrastructure in new areas of South Africa to meet growing demand from public sector and private organizations for cloud and AI services and solutions in Africa,” the company told local press. “We look forward to working with the municipality, local organizations, and the residents of Kosmosdal as we develop our data center plans in a sustainable way.”

Further details on campus specifications or timelines weren’t shared.

Microsoft said: “This data center campus represents the next step in Microsoft’s commitment to enabling and accelerating the pace of digital transformation in South Africa, and Africa, in an inclusive, trusted, and responsible manner.”

The first US cloud provider to enter the country, Microsoft opened two Azure regions in South Africa in 2019, in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The Cape Town region, however, was de-listed at the start of 2021 and may have been re-classified as a ‘reserved access region’.

AWS opened its own cloud region in the country in April 2020, launching in Cape Town. Oracle opened its Johannesburg OCI region in January 2022. Telkom subsidiary BCX last year launched an Alibaba cloud region in Johannesburg.

Google launched a GCP cloud region in Johannesburg – its first in Africa – earlier this month.

Microsoft Cloud
– Sebastian Moss

More Microsoft data centers coming to Brazil

In Brazil, Microsoft has begun work on more data centers in the Campinas area of São Paulo state.

The mayor of Hortolândia, Zezé Gomes, this week announced Microsoft has broken ground on two data centers in Hortolândia.

“The works have already begun and will have a positive impact on the construction sector at this moment. Microsoft's operations are expected to begin between 2025 and 2026,” he said.

First revealed last year, one site is being built near Hortolândia’s Chácaras Recreio Alvorada area and the other in the Taquara Branca region.

BNAmericas notes Microsoft secured environmental permits for the construction of the data centers in July last year.

Microsoft launched a São Paulo Azure cloud region – known as Brazil South – in Campinas in 2014. It was expanded to three availability zones in 2021.

The company announced plans for a second Brazilian region – Brazil Southeast – in Rio de Janeiro in 2020. The location is no longer listed on the company’s site and has been re-classified as a ‘reserved access region.’

Microsoft is also developing a new data center in nearby Sumaré, another municipality in São Paulo state outside Campinas.

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