Microsoft is partnering with Canberra Data Centres to add two new regions to their Azure footprint. The new regions will be dedicated to Australian federal, state and local government, New Zealand government, and their partners in order to overcome concerns of government agencies using public infrastructure for managing Unclassified and Protected government data.
The two new regions in Canberra will be available in the first half of 2018 and will complement Microsoft’s existing Sydney and Melbourne cloud services.
Following the announcement of new datacentres in South Africa and France it means Microsoft has announced 42 Azure regions globally. The company says this is more than any other major cloud provider.
In June the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) formally certified an expanded range of Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office 365 services for inclusion on the ASD Certified Cloud Services List. The company added that the two CDC campuses are the only private data centre facilities in Australia with the security controls and accreditations appropriate for the handling of Top Secret government data.
Microsoft isn't always the fastest company when it comes to new trends and markets. The have famously missed the importance of the Internet back in the 1990s, the smartphone revolution of the early 2000s and struggled to shift from the "boxed software" heritage to offering cloud services more recently.
But moves like this show that when the company is determined, they can not only enter a market and compete, but also throw enough resources at it to shoot for a position of market leadership by leveraging their existing relationships. At this time, it seems to me they are the only company with the capability of challenging Amazon when it comes to delivering enterprise cloud services.