Microsoft Azure gets direct SA release

Westcon has announced that Microsoft’s cloud platform, Microsoft Azure, has launched through the group’s channel in South Africa.

Microsoft has been providing Azure services for South African customers for some time, through its worldwide network of Microsoft Datacentres.

The announcement of the the launch on Friday (1 August) pertains to the Westcon channel for the Microsoft cloud services, which will offer more flexible packages for customers.

Microsoft announced that Azure would be made available through Open Volume Licensing programs in May 2014. The offering works by purchasing an Online Service Activation (OSA) Key from resellers, on a 12-month contract basis.

From there, Azure in Open monetary credits can be used on any Azure Service which is eligible.

“The introduction of Azure through Open allows partners/resellers to provide the services to customers without having to do the billing on a credit card and to consume services on a pay as you go bundle, and also build their own solutions on Azure and resell these solutions,” the group said.

Westcon could not provide pricing or package details by the time of publishing.

According to Westcon, small and medium sized businesses could save up to 50% of their current technology investment if they consider an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model for their business.

“The Microsoft Azure platform enables a customer to quickly build, deploy and manage their IT solutions, all the while having the system securely hosted in a series of networked Microsoft-managed datacentres,” the group said.

“Because of its open nature it is easy to build home-grown applications on the Azure platform using any language, tool or framework.

Microsoft Azure is operated through the European data center, with local caching in South Africa.

According to Westcon, there are no current talks for the development of a physical node in the country.

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Microsoft Azure gets direct SA release