CDN providers must always be on the lookout for new and exciting locations to build new data centres. This ensures that their customers benefits from comprehensive global coverage and high speed data delivery to their users regardless of where they, or the data they are requesting, resides. Typically, however, Africa has suffered from a lack of high quality data centres, meaning that performance is often lacking when delivering data to the continent.
Thankfully, a leader CDN provider has now developed a brand new point of presence in South Africa in a bid to capture the continent’s growing market. CloudFlare has developed the data centre in Johannesburg, and this represents their first foray into Africa.
As internet penetration, IXP deployment, broadband subscriptions and overall bandwidth are significantly lower in Africa than the rest of the world, it is hoped that CloudFlare’s new investment will help bolster these numbers, whilst giving the CDN provider an early lead in the market.
CDN Provider Expansion Benefits
CloudFlare have promised that their Johannesburg PoP will improve website performance for their customers not only in South Africa, but further across the continent, placing a particular emphasis on mobile websites and applications. Given that much of the rise in internet use across Africa originates from cheap mobile devices and often travels across high latency, low bandwidth mobile networks, this is especially important.
The benefits of the decision to open his new PoP are already starting to become clear. Prior to this South African PoP, CloudFlare routed all traffic to Africa via servers in London, Amsterdam and Hong Kong. This resulted in an average latency of 200 to 350 m/s – hardly groundbreaking. Now, new latency tests using the South African servers show that latency has decreased from 300 m/s to as low as 3 m/s – a dramatic change.
Similar reductions were also experienced when another CDN provider, Telekom, introduced PoPs in Zambia and Kenya. This all points to an exciting future for internet across the continent as CDN providers seek to capitalise on a growing wealth of internet users.
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