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Microsoft, CDC underpin Australia’s digital transformation with new local Azure cloud regions

Microsoft has flagged the availability of Azure Australia Central, a new platform featuring two new Microsoft Azure cloud regions located within Australian firm Canberra Data Centres’ secure facilities.

According to Microsoft, the regions were specifically designed to support the Australian government’s mission-critical requirements as well as the nation’s critical infrastructure – with the additional aim of speeding up the opportunities around digital transformation both in Australia and New Zealand.

Microsoft Azure engineering lead James Kavanagh said Australia was a unique market, with specific needs around data sovereignty, assurance of ownership and security classifications.

“The public sector is going through a period of transformation, which is clear from the recently updated Australian Government Cloud Strategy,” he told Telecom Times. “We only see upsides for this market to continue growing as new innovative services are released and we form stronger partnerships with the Australian Government based on trust and shared vision.”

Kavanagh noted energetic demand for cloud services in the Australian market, and said the appetite from both government and major commercial providers created the right environment for the innovation Microsoft could deliver. “To give context, we have the most regions of any market outside the United States – four regions locally out of 42 globally.”

The two new Azure regions in Canberra offer a broad range of features for IT and application development including infrastructure virtualisation, data management, security management and application services as a platform. The range and capability of these services will rapidly grow from initial availability to address scenarios in artificial intelligence, data science and internet-of-things.

In addition, Microsoft has unveiled 47 ANZ-based and international partners which have signed on to use its Azure Australia Central platform. These, it said, include SAP, Telstra Health, AXON, DXC, Accenture, Dimension Data, Veritas, Citrix and Leidos.

Australian software companies including Intelledox, Gravity, GIS People and Ralleo also build on Azure to serve local customers and enter new markets globally. ”Open source partners such as RedHat, Cloudera and MapR will also be delivering open source services on the Azure Australia Central regions,” said Microsoft.

Since 2014, Microsoft has operated Azure regions in Sydney and Melbourne targeting government, enterprises, commercial customers and application builders.

“Microsoft continues to expand its cloud infrastructure in response to growing customer demand and rapid innovation of cloud services,” said Tom Keane, head of Global Infrastructure, Microsoft Azure at Microsoft. “As we drive innovation globally, we listen locally to tailor our approach to serve the specific needs of our customers, as we have for the governments and critical national infrastructure sector in Australia and New Zealand.”

Greg Boorer, chief executive officer, Canberra Data Centres, said: “We have worked with Microsoft to ensure that Azure Australia Central is optimised for Government mission critical computing. We operate an Australian and New Zealand owned, defence-accredited facility, and employ staff with Australian NV1 clearance.

“Everything we do is focused on ensuring the success of our clients and the security of their data,” Boorer added.

“Bringing Microsoft Azure Australia Central regions online will spur innovation and efficiency,” he said.

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