Microsoft Azure Australia open for business

Microsoft has announced the official launch of Azure Geo in Australia, which are located in New South Wales and in Victoria.

Nearly more than a year since its initial announcement , Microsoft has finally made Azure Geo available in Australia.

From Monday, Microsoft Azure Australia is open for business. Its cloud services will be hosted locally at two Microsoft datacentres located in Sydney, New South Wales, and Melbourne, Victoria. Each datacentre building measures roughly one rugby field in size, and it's enough space that 16 datacentres can exist in each location and hold 160,000 servers. The newest Azure Geo takes the total number of regions to 19 globally.

The datacentres are also fitted out with Microsoft's D-series virtual machine, which is approximately 60 percent faster than the company's A-series VMs and has up to 800GB of local SSD disk.

Speaking at TechEd Sydney on Monday, Microsoft executive vice president for cloud and enterprise Scott Guthrie said the business strategy behind Azure is to provide a cloud offering that has "no limits".

"No limits in terms of scale and capacity, no limits in global reach, no limits of being able to reuse a lot of the existing skills you already have, and no limits from performance, security, and stability standpoint," he said.

"The other thing we're trying to do from a no-limits perspective is making sure it works with everything else out there. You can use Azure with any device, you can use Azure with any operating system whether it's Windows or Linux, you can use Azure with any database. Not only can you use it on a sequel server, but we've got great partnerships, so you can use partner databases, you can use SAP Hana system, all running inside our cloud, or you can build out and take advantage of all your Azure capability using any programming language or tool.

"Having all of these capabilities in Microsoft cloud ultimately enables enterprises, startups, and ISVs to basically be familiar with whatever tools they're already familiar with and build solutions using them."

Pip Marlow, country managing director, described the launch as "monumental" and "historical", and believes that having Azure in-country will see more customers such as those in the financial services and healthcare sector adopt the public cloud, and will no longer be limited to data sovereignty and high levels of risk-management decisions.

Microsoft also announced an expansion of its ExpressRoute offering in Australia via its existing global partnership with Equinix and by forming a new partnership with Telstra. The expansion gives Australian customers and partners the option to create private connections between the Australia Azure regions and infrastructure located on-premises or in a collocation environment.

Just last week, Microsoft announced its partnership with Dell to offer Azure cloud in a box, officially known as Microsoft Cloud Platform System. It's an offering for customers who want to run their own on-premises datacentre.

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