To help stitch together the gaps in Africa’s digital infrastructure landscape, inq. has launched Fabric, the first African-developed cloud connectivity, network-as-a-service software for automated provisioning and routing.
Following an 18-month development cycle, inq. Fabric has emerged as an optimised megaportal network software that provides businesses – from multinationals to small and medium enterprises – with heightened data sharing efficiency, more secure connections and lower cloud egress charges.
Network provisioning is the process of setting up networks and authorising access for users, devices and services. However, between a wide variety of networking platforms and hyperscale computing services (such as those from Microsoft, Amazon, Meta and Google), and having to manage multiple networks across major geographical divides, automation is necessary to lower security risk and the impacts on connectivity.
“Across the continent, Africa is improving its digital infrastructure through new data centres, terrestrial connectivity and undersea cabling. But, between these new developments and a widening number of hyperscalers, we need a unified platform to stitch these complex infrastructure elements together,” said Naresh Thukkani, engineering and product leader and group head of Fabric at inq.
Through this new service, Fabric helps organisations to isolate traffic from the public Internet and deliver on stringent privacy and security policies required by today’s businesses. It has also been adapted to adhere to African data legislation and international law surrounding sharing and privacy.
“African enterprises spreading across new territories – and megacorporations expanding into Africa – require uniquely tailored digital solutions to connect their various offices, headquarters and other business locations. Through inq.’s own point-of-presence (PoP) data centres, built in nine countries across the continent, enterprises can send traffic to the nearest inq. Fabric PoP and the software will provide efficient, safe cloud connectivity. inq. is simplifying these connections through an easy-to-use software solution,” said Dr Andile Ngcaba, executive chairman of inq.
Fabric uses a unique pay-as-you-go, on-demand model, meaning a more affordable, cost-effective option for businesses that are embracing cloud computing technology.
Technology research firm, Gartner, said earlier this year that worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 20,4% this year alone. Meanwhile, recent studies have shown that, in Africa, bandwidth capacity doubled between 2017 and 2020, and that this was likely to continue to increase. The cloud computing market has entered a space of accelerated growth, with some cloud service operators estimating that over the next five years, adoption of these services in Africa will grow by 42% per year.
“We developed Fabric to provide an agile, locally developed solution with the African context in mind – especially to the organisations that are embracing the cloud computing revolution. Our team remains dedicated to introducing new technological solutions to Africa, and Fabric won’t be the last,” said Thukkani.
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