European cloud provider OVHcloud is launching a Local Zone Edge location in Rabat, Morocco, in partnership with local data center operator Maroc Datacenter.

Local Zones are suitable for workloads with latency-sensitive services such as real-time analytics, e-commerce websites, content delivery networks (CDN) for replay and streaming videos, and cloud gaming. Services include compute, block storage, and networking. They also offer OVH customers greater options around data residency.

Maroc DC OVH local zone
OVH and MDC partner for a local zone – OVHcloud

“We are thrilled to invite you to the signing ceremony for the launch of the OVHcloud Local Zone in Morocco in partnership with Maroc Datacenter,” Maroc announced on LinkedIn this week.

“Located in Rabat, Morocco, this new Local Zone demonstrates OVHcloud's commitment in Africa to offer trusted cloud solutions,” OVH added in its own announcement. “Moroccan customers will benefit from OVHcloud's unique offering for an open, trusted cloud, with data located as close as possible to the user.”

Timelines for deployment weren't shared.

Originally announced last year, the French cloud and data center firm said the new launches were driven by technology from Gridscale – a converged infrastructure firm that OVHcloud acquired in 2023. The company launched the service in February with two locations; in Madrid, Spain, and Brussels, Belgium.

“We are delighted to enter a partnership with the OVHcloud Group, a global player and the European leader in the cloud. The launch of a Local Zone in Morocco will contribute to strengthening the kingdom's digital ecosystem by offering innovative cloud platforms and providing public and private organizations with cloud services that guarantee data sovereignty and low latency.” Abderrahmane Mounir, chairman of Maroc Datacenter.

OVH said it is planning further Local Zone deployments in South Africa, Kenya, and Tunisia for 2025, and aiming for up to 150 Local Zones worldwide by 2026.

“Today's launch of the first Local Zone in Rabat is an important milestone in OVHcloud's relationship with Morocco and confirms the Group's ambition to extend its offering to organizations operating in Africa," said Caroline Comet-Fraigneau, OVHcloud VP for France, Benelux, Africa, and the Middle East.

Founded in 2017, MDC operates a single 2,000 sqm (21,500 sq ft) facility in the Rabat metro area of Morocco.

Since the original launch, the company has launched a Dutch zone in Amsterdam, an Italian zone in Milan, and a Swiss zone in Zurich. Other planned locations in Europe include Prague (Czech Republic) and Marseille (France). A recent blog on OVH’s site also notes a planned Dallas Local Zone, though a launch date wasn’t shared.

Throughout 2024, OVHcloud plans to open up to 15 Local Zones, although the company hasn’t said which facilities the zones’ infrastructure will sit in.

OVH has more than 30 data centers in operation and under construction in France, Canada, the US, Australia, Germany, Poland, Singapore, India, and the UK. These are a mix of self-built and leased locations.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers its own Local Zone service, offering a limited number of services close to population centers for latency-sensitive applications, often in areas where the company doesn’t have an existing public cloud region.

AWS has 18 zones in 17 US metros, along with more than a dozen Local Zones in international markets across Europe, Latin America, Africa, and APAC. The company is currently undergoing a refresh, launching second-generation zones in existing markets with an expanded range of available services and compute instances. Despite multiple requests from DCD, AWS hasn't detailed what facilities the Local Zones sit within or what compute infrastructure they use.