Mastercard Foundation and Light For The World Launch online platform for persons with disabilities

Light for the World Uganda, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, launched an online platform, Cap-Able, which will enable higher education institutions, primarily Scholars Program Partner Universities, to become more disability inclusive.

Cap-Able is a digital toolkit designed to equip administrators, lecturers, and management with the information, knowledge, and tools to create more inclusive learning institutions. The toolkit offers best practices for higher education institutions to improve enrollment and learning practices, create inclusive learning environments, and help young people effectively transition to the world of work. It is a one-stop-shop for educational material on disability inclusion in higher education.

“We need to come together and explore every avenue to facilitate access to education for people with disabilities,” said Musa Mwambu, a Disability Inclusion Advisor at Light for the World Uganda. “Through strong partnerships like the one between Light for the World and the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, we can swiftly deploy innovative, scalable solutions for students and educators. The accessibility nature of Cap-Able is a powerful reminder of what we can achieve together as we bridge the education gap for people with disabilities.”

Cap-Able will provide key resources to Scholars Program partners, educators, and students on understanding disability and inclusion, detailed information on different types of disabilities and inclusion needs, practical guidance on disability inclusion throughout the different phases of the university experience, as well as a range of educational materials, quizzes, and games. The platform also provides an opportunity for users to share their experiences and other best practices on disability inclusion.

Creating prosperity across the continent requires leaders of all backgrounds and experiences who will work to ensure that emerging economic and social benefits are available to all. Equity and inclusion are central to the realization of the Mastercard Foundation’s vision and mission. It is reflected in the Foundation’s strategy, Young Africa Works, which has set out to enable 30 million youth, particularly women, to access dignified and fulfilling work by 2030.

“The Scholars Program seeks to inspire an inclusive approach in which all young people, no matter their starting point in life, have an equal opportunity to succeed,” said Andre Okunzuwa, Program Partner, Mastercard Foundation. “By leveraging technology, our hope is that Cap-Able will contribute to ensuring equitable access for all young people, including those underrepresented in higher education by supporting institutions to access the knowledge needed to put disability inclusion into action.”

The Cap-Able website has been designed to ensure a user-friendly experience with robust navigation and functionality features. Created with the user experience in mind, the website includes an accessibility menu that will ensure users are able to customize anything and control everything based on their unique accessibility needs — preferred button types, language and locales, size, position, colour, and more.

Cap-Able, while designed to support partners of the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program, can also be useful to other institutions, staff, and students who are interested in taking on a more active role in creating an enabling environment for people with disabilities. 

www.mastercardfdn.org

UNICEF and Liquid Intelligent Technologies launch a partnership to help Giga bridge the digital divide in Africa

UNICEF and Liquid Intelligent Technologies, a business of Cassava Technologies, a pan-African technology group, announced a partnership in support of Giga’s work to connect every school to the Internet and every young person to information, opportunity, and choice.

Liquid will share anonymized data to support Giga’s work to map the location and connectivity status of schools in Africa. Liquid will also share information with Giga about schools’ proximity to telecoms infrastructure and will help develop a connectivity monitoring platform. The resulting information will provide a basis for better-targeted investment to connect schools, including in hard-to-reach areas.

The partnership will initially focus on Kenya but will aim to incorporate other Liquid markets over time, including South Africa, Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Rwanda.

“This partnership with Liquid will allow our Giga team to gain a deeper understanding of the connectivity landscape in Kenya and across Africa,” said Thomas Davin, Director, Office of Innovation at UNICEF. “That knowledge will help UNICEF to get more schools online, giving children access to the opportunities they need to flourish.”

Ben Roberts, Group Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at Liquid Intelligent Technologies, said, “The Giga Initiative from UNICEF and ITU echoes Liquid’s sentiment of creating a digitally resilient economy in Kenya and Africa at large. There is no better place to start than our schools that shape the minds of our children, thereby securing our future. Through our expertise in the digital and telecom landscape, we will support UNICEF in its endeavour to map school connectivity data across Kenya by providing real-time figures to measure impact. This initiative also reiterates the vision of our parent company – Cassava Technologies, of creating a digitally connected continent that leaves no African behind.”

Around half of the world’s population still has no meaningful access to the Internet. UNICEF and Liquid are committed to addressing this digital divide, which has widened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Giga has already mapped over 1 million schools and their connectivity around the world and has connected over 3,000 schools.

Liquid has connected 4,000 schools to internet across Africa. The company aspires to continue empowering schools with digital technology and has mapped 150,000 schools through the continent. 

Giga is part of UNICEF’s broader Reimagine Education initiative, the UN Secretary General’s Common Agenda and Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, and ITU’s Partner2 Connect Coalition. It has the potential to transform efforts to narrow the digital divide, providing a connectivity layer on which digital empowerment initiatives can build.

www.liquid.tech

Vodacom Business expands Cloud Connect offering to support business needs across Africa

The expansion of Africa’s digital economy is gaining momentum, with the potential to reach US$180 billion by 2025, about 5% of the continent’s gross domestic product, according to a recent report released by the International Finance Corporation and Google. To meet the increasing demand for digital services in Africa, Vodacom Business Africa has expanded its Cloud Connect offering across the continent.

Cloud Connect provides businesses with a secure, private, high performance, high availability connection to leading public cloud service providers, including Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

“Africa is experiencing a boom in digitalisation. Combined with the disruptions of COVID-19, this is driving many organisations on the continent to seek out the benefits of cloud services. Our Cloud Connect services keep businesses securely connected while providing them with operational agility and access to essential data and software applications to enhance their performance now and into the future,” says Wale Odeyemi, Executive Head of Strategic Marketing at Vodacom Business Africa.

Meeting the needs of businesses today
As the pandemic has shown, businesses need to be able to adapt to market changes, and with speed, to avoid disruptions to continuity. To help with business agility, Cloud Connect clients are able to experience the same fast switch-on flexibility of public cloud with their own WAN/network. Bandwidth choice ranges from 50Mb to 1G depending on the cloud service provider, so clients can scale network capacity to maintain performance as business needs change.

The high-performance connectivity of Cloud Connect enables periodic data migration and replication for continuity, disaster recovery and retention. The low latency connectivity is also able to support key business applications, including storage, big data, development and interactive applications, fast and in a scalable manner. For example, large data sets are quickly transferable for big data computing applications, and huge media files are streamed in real-time to and from the cloud.

In addition, the consistent performance and reliability of Cloud Connect improves application response times, so businesses can use the cloud as an extension of their data centres. High availability with dual diverse connections to cloud data centres ensures redundancy and protection in the event of a network failure.

Cloud Connect is a managed service, giving businesses more time to focus on important activities, and IT resources can be utilised more effectively, in an organisation.

How does Cloud Connect work?
Vodacom Business Africa’s Cloud Connect offers a secure, private connection without the need to redesign existing large corporate networks or experience the traditional delay of dedicated connections to cloud provider data centres. Cloud Connect works seamlessly alongside the IP-VPN and other fixed connectivity products to give organisations a total ‘Ready Network’ solution.

The service directly integrates into the branch sites of a business and is not reliant on the internet. The cloud locations are integrated into the private WAN, effectively seen as another site on the IP-VPN. Different locations in the IP-VPN then share the connectivity to access resources in the cloud.

“We are experiencing an exciting transformational period in the enterprise landscape in Africa. As a leading connectivity provider on the continent, Vodacom Business Africa remains committed in supporting businesses to take advantage of our continent’s growing digital economy and recognise real return on investment on cloud technology. To this end, we continue to leverage our strategic partner networks to provide innovative products and services, affordably, seamlessly and securely to our clients,” concludes Odeyemi.

www.vodacombusiness.co.za

[Column] Simon Ngunjiri: The public cloud market is getting bigger in Africa

Despite the growth of cloud over the past decade, for most organizations, only 20 per cent of workloads have made their way to the public cloud according to an IBM report

Public cloud is the most popular model of cloud computing where computing services and infrastructure are managed by a third-party provider and shared with multiple organizations using the public Internet. It makes computing resources available to anyone for purchase. 

Globally public cloud services market is forecast to grow 6.3 per cent in 2020 to a total $257.9 billion, up from $242.7 billion in 2019, according to Gartner, Inc., Public cloud services serve as the one bright spot in the outlook for IT spending in 2020.

Africa currently accounts for less than 1% of the global public cloud services revenue according to a Xalam report despite accounting for 5% of the world’s GDP and 17% of its population. However, the report notes that its capacity has doubled in the past three years. Despite this, Winston Ritson, the Group Head for Cloud Services at  Liquid Intelligent Technologies says there’s always a but.

‘Africa does lag as one would expect as we are still talking about a Cloud penetration rate of around 15%, but a forecasted public growth rate of between 17 and 20 CAGR’’ he says. 

Public Cloud has its advantages, including almost infinite scalability and an unbeatable breadth of independent service vendor (ISV) offerings. Another key benefit is an extremely flexible pricing structure that helps businesses, especially the small and medium-size, to tightly control their costs by paying for the infrastructure only based on their needs.

The establishment of cloud data centres has positioned a number of companies as public cloud providers offering cloud services on the continent. On Monday, Africa Data Centres officially opened its new 10MW data centre facility in Lagos, Nigeria. The new facility, the company says, will pave the way for Africa Data Centres hyperscale customers to deploy digitisation solutions to West Africa. 

This latest announcement follows hard on the heels of Africa Data Centres recently announced, major data centre expansion plans that will see the company building hyperscale data centres throughout Africa. 

Oracle also announced that its launching a series of new cloud regions using Orange’s infrastructure in Senegal and Ivory Coast. In October,  the company announced that it has chosen Johannesburg as the site of its first African data centre.

The shift to public cloud computing is the dominant trend in the industry and it’s only going to get bigger going forward. Mainstream enterprise and government use – represented as pragmatists and conservatives in the above chart – now accept public cloud computing as a viable choice: capable, secure, and cost-effective. 

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at  Incentro Africa.

Washington University joins major NIH effort to advance health data science in Africa

Washington University in St. Louis is joining a major international effort to advance data science, catalyze innovation and spur health discoveries across Africa. The program is supported by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Common Fund, which will invest nearly $75 million over five years to fund the Harnessing Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa (DS-I Africa) program. 

Researchers at the School of Medicine are receiving one of 19 grant awards that will support data science research and training activities in Africa. The researchers will focus their efforts on developing new training programs in health data science in Rwanda. Faculty from the Brown School and the McKelvey School of Engineering also are involved in the initiative.

Led by co-principal investigators Victor Davila-Roman, MD, director of the Global Health Center at Washington University’s Institute for Public Health; and Philip R.O. Payne, PhD, director of Washington University’s Institute for Informatics, the investigators will collaborate with colleagues at the University of Rwanda and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, both in Kigali, Rwanda.

The project aims to develop a program that nurtures the development of trainees in research careers with a focus on urgent health-care issues in Rwanda, including the burden of infectious diseases, such as HIV, malaria and COVID-19, as well as chronic health conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Applying the techniques of big data science to these issues will enable researchers to identify patterns in diseases and their prevalence in large populations and, based on these, help scientists develop new hypotheses to test with the goal of improving public health.

“Data science holds great potential for understanding the burden of disease across Africa,” said Davila-Roman, also a professor of medicine, of anesthesiology and of radiology. “But to make strides in tackling these diseases, we need highly trained data scientists in Africa, to gather and analyze large sets of health data across populations. Such analyses can then be used to guide interventions. We look forward to working with our colleagues in Rwanda and other sites within the DS-I Africa initiative to develop and implement exceptional training programs for students in Rwanda so they can learn these skills and gain valuable experience.”

The Global Health Center is joining with Washington University’s Institute for Informatics to develop the training programs and curricula that will go into the project.

“The major public health problems that we’re trying to tackle are global in nature — the COVID-19 pandemic alone demonstrates that these issues don’t care about geographic boundaries,” said Payne, also the Janet and Bernard Becker Professor, associate dean for health information and data science, and chief data scientist for the School of Medicine. “In order to tackle these huge problems, we have to be able to collect and analyze immense amounts of data. The NIH is making a substantial investment in creating a network of academic institutions and other groups in Africa and the U.S. that will launch important research and training programs so we can better organize and understand the health data that’s being generated. In addition, the program will help develop a workforce in Rwanda and across many other African countries that can carry this work forward.”

The training programs in Rwanda will build skills in health data science, and trainees in Rwanda will be able to choose among master’s and doctoral degree programs as well as postdoctoral training and faculty development. In-person and remote training options will include opportunities to build skills in applied mathematics, biostatistics, epidemiology, clinical informatics, analytics, computational biology, biomedical imaging, machine intelligence, computer science and engineering.

Mentoring and internship opportunities will help trainees harness their skills to tackle real world problems. They could, for example, apply data science concepts to medical and public health areas such as social determinants of health, climate change, food systems, infectious diseases, noncommunicable diseases, health surveillance, injuries, pediatrics and parasitology.

The NIH program in Africa has four components: a coordinating center at the University of Cape Town in South Africa; seven training centers, including the one led by Washington University; seven research hubs; and four centers focused on understanding the ethical, legal and social implications of data science research.

“This initiative has generated tremendous enthusiasm in all sectors of Africa’s biomedical research community,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, in the NIH announcement. “Big data and artificial intelligence have the potential to transform the conduct of research across the continent, while investing in research training will help to support Africa’s future data science leaders and ensure sustainable progress in this promising field.”

In addition to the Common Fund (CF), the awards are being supported by the Fogarty International Center (FIC), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the NIH Office of Data Science Strategy. The initiative is being led by the CF, FIC, NIBIB, NIMH and NLM.

www.medicine.wustl.edu

Banking malware threats surging as mobile banking increases, Nokia Threat Intelligence Report

The Nokia 2021 Threat Intelligence Report shows that banking malware threats are sharply increasing as cyber criminals target the rising popularity of mobile banking on smartphones, with plots aimed at stealing personal banking credentials and credit card information.

The report, based on data aggregated from network traffic monitored on more than 200 million devices globally where Nokia’s NetGuard Endpoint Security product is deployed, showed an 80%, year-on-year increase in the first half of the year in the number of new banking trojans, which also try to steal SMS messages containing one-time passwords.

“A significant amount of this activity is focused in Europe and Latin America, but this activity is continuously spread to other regions of the world,” according to the report. “Banking trojans use a variety of tricks to collect the information. These include capturing keystrokes, overlaying bank login screens with their own transparent overlay relaying captured information to the intended target, taking screen snapshots, and even accessing Google Authenticator codes.”

Banking malware has been targeted mainly at Android phones, for years the most targeted mobile device type for cyber criminals due to Android’s ubiquity and developer openness, with some banking trojans among the most successful malware attacks in 2021.

The Threat Intelligence Report says that most banking applications allow users to add a multi-factor authentication feature to their accounts to make it more difficult for cybercriminals to obtain personal information. Users are strongly recommended to avoid mobile banking from easily accessible public WiFi access points; and to use both multi-factor authentication when available and strong passwords, which avoid common personal details like birthdays.

The report also found that Covid-19 related malware incidents in residential networks have leveled off at 2.5% after a peak in December 2020 of 3.2%. This demonstrates that people are more aware of the threats posed by Covid-related cyber-attacks and are taking steps to secure their home working environment.

IoT botnets, a network of devices connected with malware, continue to grow in size and sophistication, due to the rising use of IoT devices, like “smart” refrigerators and video surveillance cameras. One known as Mozi, which uses a peer-to-peer command and control protocol, has been used to create botnets consisting of around 500,000 individual devices. Mozi actively scans the network and uses a suite of known vulnerabilities to exploit additional IoT devices. IoT botnets are responsible for 32% of the malware incidents detected by Nokia’s NetGuard Endpoint Security.

Kevin McNamee, Director of Nokia’s Threat Intelligence Center, said: “Cybersecurity threats only evolve and look for new opportunities, as shown by this year’s report. Banking trojans have dramatically increased over the last year as digital banking becomes more prevalent – and this is a trend we see continuing into the future which reinforces the need for better online practices and having robust endpoint security in place.”

www.nokia.com

Government of Rwanda and Google collaborate to accelerate digital transformation

The Government of Rwanda, led by the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, has partnered with Google to accelerate the country’s digital transformation. This initiative is in line with Rwanda’s ambition to drive inclusive economic development leveraging technology.

Rwanda’s vibrant economy is an ideal launch pad for future innovation in Africa, with focus in four key areas: affordable and universal access to connectivity; adoption of digital platforms; Digital Skilling for All; and fostering a pan-African innovation ecosystem. The Rwanda-Google collaboration is one of several initiatives to advance the above key areas. It will also include support for a progressive policy framework and contribute to an open digital payment ecosystem through the Mojaloop platform.

Initially, the partnership aims to:

  • Support a Training of Trainers (ToT) pilot for Rwanda’s Digital Ambassadors, a national program to increase digital literacy among Rwanda citizens by recruiting digitally-savvy youth to deliver digital literacy training
  • Upskill 500 developers through Google’s developer training and community support programs
  • Pilot a fintech incubation program for early stage fintech companies, starting with 15 companies in collaboration with Kigali Innovation City, and delivered by a Google for Startups partner
  • Accelerate e-commerce growth by supporting 3,000 Small and Medium Businesses to go online as well as equipping 1,000 iWorkers
  • Bring Rwanda to the world through Google Street View by enhancing digital maps of key urban centres
  • Digitise Rwanda’s cultural assets and provide access to heritage through digital storytelling in collaboration with the National Museums of Rwanda

“This collaboration with the Government of Rwanda is an important milestone for us coming soon after our CEO’s commitment to the continent to support Africa’s digital transformation. We will help build a Digital Rwanda by up-skilling the youth, digitally accelerating small businesses, supporting start-ups and developers, improved maps and navigation, digitising Rwanda’s cultural heritage as well as supporting a progressive policy framework. We look forward to deepening our collaboration with the Government of Rwanda,” Agnes Gathaiya, Country Director, Eastern Africa.

“We are pleased to launch this partnership with Google to complement existing efforts to drive digital inclusion, skilling and support the growth of the innovation ecosystem in Rwanda. Growing the digital economy is critical and will continue to drive Rwanda’s economic transformation in line with the country’s vision to become a knowledge-driven economy,” Paula Ingabire, Rwanda’s Minister of ICT and Innovation.

Google will continue to work with the Ministry of ICT and Innovation to increase its efforts to support Rwanda’s digital transformation.

www.minict.gov.rw

African Development Bank’s Coding for Employment program set to expand digital skills among rural youth

The African Development Bank’s (AfDB.org) Coding for Employment (https://bit.ly/3kMNqEF) program will train over 500 digital ambassadors to lead a peer-to-peer training model set to expand digital skills to more African youth, especially in rural communities with limited internet connectivity.

Coding for Employment and its technical partners, Microsoft Philanthropies, will offer the digital ambassadors an intensive three-month program featuring in-demand skills, such as web design and digital marketing, as well as soft skills such as critical thinking, project management and communication.

At the end of the coursework, the Bank and Microsoft Philanthropies will provide graduates with information and communication technology toolkits and resources so they can offer the same training within their local communities.

Coding for Employment online platforms and in-person classes offer these technical courses for free. The program recently hit a 130,000-enrollment milestone among young people across Africa on its eLearning and Digital Nigeria platforms.

“It is very important that we build upon the success of the Coding for Employment program to take digital literacy to the grassroots. The community-based model will ensure that the youth in rural areas are digitally empowered, which further affirms the Bank’s commitment to raising the next generation of digitally enabled youth and women on the continent,” said Martha Phiri, Director of the Bank’s Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development Department.

The digital ambassadors initiative is part of the Bank’s strategy to center its technology and digital investments around the youth and enable them to bring about economic and social transformation in the digital age. The digital ambassadors peer-to-peer model is expected to draw more youth because it offers a more personalized learning experience.

Today’s youth are our future leaders and entrepreneurs, which is why it is so critical that we empower them with the digital skills they need to contribute meaningfully

Applicants, aged between 18 and 35 years, are expected to be proficient in English or French and must be citizens of Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, or Senegal. Coding for Employment expects to expand the digital ambassador program to other countries soon after the pilot phase.

“Today’s youth are our future leaders and entrepreneurs, which is why it is so critical that we empower them with the digital skills they need to contribute meaningfully to the global digital economy. Microsoft is honored to be partnering with the African Development Bank on its incredible Coding for Employment program,” said Ghada Khalifa, Regional Director for Microsoft Philanthropies, Middle East and Africa.

Digital ambassadors will receive stipends and have access to the digital skills training centers in Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Rwanda. They will also have access to a network of employers, private sector partners and freelancing platforms.

The Coding for Employment digital ambassadors initiative aims to achieve at least 50% women participation by collaborating with women’s groups and strongly encouraging women to be part of the program.

Register to become a Coding for Employment digital ambassador:

French form: https://bit.ly/3CmLvMT

English form: https://bit.ly/3HxNMbN

Application deadline for the first cohort (known as the Nile Cohort): 31st December 2021 at 5:00 pm GMT.

Coding for Employment aims to create over 9 million jobs and reach 32 million youth and women across Africa. The program is part of the Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Initiative

www.AfDB.org

Cloudmania targets 13 African countries with new offerings

Cloudmania, an exclusive provider of Cloud Partner Programmes in Africa, has opened its doors in 13 countries across the continent. The indirect provider focuses on partner building and enablement by giving resellers the ability to resell superior solutions by leveraging Cloudmania.

According to Winston Ritson, Chief Business Officer, Cloudmania, “We understand the growing need for cloud services and its vital role to ensure seamless collaboration between employees. Our extensive expertise will ensure that you are provided with the appropriate tools to assist your customers on their cloud migration journeys. Just as customers have transformed their business, partners have to transform and rely on a partner invested in their business “

Cloudmania aims to help businesses keep track of their data, performance and customers, and creates a single-pane view of the entire network. In addition, the programme is designed to increase workflow efficiency, lower operational costs, and most importantly, develop partnerships with resellers. 

Cloudmania will assist partners’ profitability by supporting them with marketing, training and specialist advice. Using the programme’s communication channels, the team will source qualified and unqualified leads to help partners build their businesses. The offering is backed by superior world-class technology, equipping a reseller’s business with innovative cloud technology, enabling them to offer exceptional customer solutions.

All resellers will have access to a suite of solutions tailored to suit customers’ needs. The products include Microsoft 365, One Voice – a unified voice solution, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Azure in a box, Cyber Security, cloud connectivity, cloud infrastructure, Google workspace, Windows virtual desktop and Basekit site builder.

Cloudmania will assist in boosting the performance of a reseller offering while ensuring affordability, scalability, improving uptime, availability and provide seamless integration.

 The offerings are supported by partner development managers in each country, a panel of experts and focused training programmes. Resellers engaging with the Cloudmania will also benefit from in-country billing in specific territories and reseller discounts.

Cloudmania and its suite of offerings is currently available in South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Cameroon, Botswana and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

www.liquid.tech

Google Cloud announced Google Distributed Cloud during Google Next ‘21 virtual event

What does this mean?

In simple layman’s terms a customer can now have some Google Cloud services running some certified hardware and software either in their data centers with full autonomy or colocation data centers.

Google Cloud’s simplified preferred definition of Google Distributed Cloud, is a portfolio of solutions consisting of hardware and software that extend Google Cloud infrastructure to the edge and into your data centers.

Where can Google Distributed Cloud be deployed to?

1. Google’s network edge – Allowing customers to leverage over 140+ Google network edge locations around the world.

2. Operator edge – Enabling customers to take advantage of an operator’s edge network and benefit from 5G/LTE services offered by our leading communication service provider (CSP) partners. The operator edge is optimized to support low-latency use cases, running edge applications with stringent latency and bandwidth requirements. 

3. Customer edge – Supporting customer-owned edge or remote locations such as retail stores, factory floors, or branch offices, which require localized compute and processing directly in the edge locations.

4. Customer data centers – Supporting customer-owned data centers and colocation facilities to address strict data security and privacy requirements, and to modernize on-premises deployments while meeting regulatory compliance.

What Google Cloud services are running on Google Distributed Cloud?

Google Distributed Cloud is enabled by Anthos. It helps you to build and run applications on GKE clusters and virtual machines anywhere with a Cloud-backed control plane for consistent management at scale.

Compute Services:

●  Compute Instances

●  Serverless Containers

●  Kubernetes Engine

●  Serverless Functions

Storage Services:

● Object Storage

● Istio Service Mesh

Continuous Integration Services:

●  Build (from Cloud Build)

●   Deploy (from Cloud Deploy)

●  Artifact Registry

Developer Tools:

●  IDE plugins

●  Cloud SDK

APIs Services:

● API Gateway

● Apache Kafka (Partner-provided services)

● Kubernetes Engine

●  Serverless Functions

Security Services:

●   Key Management Service

●   HashiCorp Vault (Partner-provided services)

●  Identity Aware Proxy

Data and Analytics Services:

●   PostgreSQL Database

●   Elasticsearch Service (Partner-provided services)

●   MongoDB Database (Partner-provided services)

●    Redis Data Store (Partner-provided services)

●   Event Streaming

●   Data Lake Storage

AI/ML Services:

● Speech-to-Text

●  Language Translation

●  Machine Learning Platform

●   Video Content Analysis

●   Text-to-Speech

●   Image Insights

Observability Services:

●  Loggin

●   Prometheus (Partner-provided services)

●  Grafana (Partner-provided services)

●   Splunk (Partner-provided services)

Will Google Distributed Cloud make management of the hardware and software harder for me and my organization?

No. Google Distributed Cloud is a fully-managed integrated hardware and software solution, meaning you don’t have to worry about the underlying infrastructure and can focus on your application and business initiatives. Google Cloud aims to simplify operations leveraging Google’s expertise and track record in areas like skill deployment fleet management and site reliability engineering. This allows you to focus on your business priorities and leave the complexities to Google Cloud.

Wil this meet our data sovereignty needs?

Yes. Google Distributed Cloud (GDC) enables customers to have a full spectrum of control.

Data Sovereignty (Keep data within the sovereign cloud): Data is allocated on your premise and under the control; No data transferred outside of your isolated environment.

Operational Sovereignty (Fully control your own platform): Operated independently of Google Cloud and global networks.Can be operated by customer directly or a trusted partner, on dedicated networks and with local control plane.

Software Sovereignty (Cloud as a trusted local service): Google Cloud’s open core and open API helps reduce vendor risk and enable operational and software continuity even in black swan events. The benefits of cloud are delivered locally.

Will I need to have my Google Distributed Cloud on premise connected to Google Cloud?

No. Google Distributed Cloud includes a hosted mode to run sensitive workloads. Hosted mode helps you meet sovereignty needs by addressing data residency with strict security and privacy requirements all while providing you with a way to modernize on-premise deployments. Customers can manage this directly or host through a designated and trusted partner. This will not require connectivity to Google Cloud at any time to manage infrastructure and uses a local control plane for operations. Upgrades and patches are offered by Google and verified by the trusted partner.

References

How to extend Google Cloud services with Google Distributed Cloud – Hosted Mode

Driving transformation with Google’s Distributed Cloud

With over 10 years of proven expertise in technical consultation and related services, Incentro, the only Google Premier Partner in East, West and Central Africa has become the go-to partner for successful business transformation in the continent.

From Enterprise CollaborationCloud Migration and Smart Application Development, we proudly serve over 26 countries in Africa and are growing. Whatever your ambition is, we’ll aim for maximum impact. We dive deep into your organization, challenge your plans, build solutions swiftly and make sure they work.

Matthew Munyiri is the Online Marketeer at Incentro Africa. He is an ambassador for cloud and consumer technology and how it pertains to increased efficiency and productivity in the workplace. Want to know more? Get in contact with Matthew – matthew.munyiri@incentro.com.

www.incentro.com

cloud.google.com