Microsoft has announced that it is going to open two new highly-secure Azure regions in Canberra, Australia to support the needs of the Australian government and its suppliers. The regions will be available in the first half of 2018.
Microsoft is partnering with local datacenter firm Canberra Data Centres (CDC) to supply Azure regions from within datacenters rated to handle Unclassified and Protected classification material. The new regions will make Microsoft the only major cloud provider able to supply this level of secure cloud service to the Australian government.
These new Azure regions, to be called Central 1 and Central 2, join the existing Azure regions in Sydney and Melbourne, providing Azure with a total of four regions in Australia.
“The Australian Government spends between 6.2 billion and 9 billion dollars, based on data from different sources of government, on information and telecommunications technology,” said James Kavanagh, Microsoft Azure Engineering Lead for Australia. “It’s quite a large portion of the Australian Government’s budget.”
Microsoft chose to partner with a local provider, rather than build its own facilities from scratch. “Microsoft Azure’s revenue is continuing to accelerate and so this expansion is part of a global program,” says Kavanagh, “but it’s also a bit of a first from a Microsoft perspective, within that global expansion.”
“To try to line up the capabilities that are global of Microsoft with the local strengths of CDC is quite an interesting move that Microsoft is making and it’s a very different kind of approach,” he added.