Microsoft starts rolling out Azure Availability Zones for datacenter failure protection

Microsoft is beginning to make available Azure Availability Zones, which are meant to provide more resiliency in their cloud operations.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is making generally available Azure Availability Zones, starting in two regions -- Iowa (US Central) and Paris (France Central).


Availability Zones are meant to help protect customers from datacenter-level failures. The zones are located inside Azure regions and offer independent power source, networking and cooling. There are a minimum of three separated zone locations in enabled regions.

Availaibility Zones are one of three levels of resiliency Microsoft is providing with Azure. Availability Sets are meant to protect against failures -- both hardware and software update cycle -- within datacenters. Availability Zones are meant to protect from entire datacenter failures. Region Pairs are meant to protect within data-residency boundaries.

Microsoft plans to offer Azure Availability Zones to more geographies over time. They're currently in preview from East US 2 (Virginia), West Europe (Netherlands) and Southeast Asia (Singapore).

Services that support Availability Zones include Linux virtual machinese, Windows virtual machines, virtual machine scale sets, managed disks, load balancer, public IP address, zone-redundant storage and SQL database, the Microsoft documentation site says. Microsoft is offering a 99.99 percent service level agreement when virtual machines are running in two Availability Zones in the same region.

Officials said today that Microsoft partner Adobe already is using Availability Zones.

Microsoft currently has 50 Azure regions across the globe and is available in 140 countries.

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